Keyword optimization (also known as keyword research) is the act of researching, analyzing and selecting the best keywords to target to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website.

Keyword search optimization is a critical step in initial stages of search engine marketing, for both paid and organic search. If you do a bad job at selecting your target keywords, all your subsequent efforts will be in vain. So it’s vital to get keyword optimization right.

Benefits of Keyword Optimization
In a recent survey, participants listed keyword optimization as one of the hardest tasks in search engine marketing. Because of its difficult nature, most site owners, marketers and bloggers don't spend enough time optimizing keywords. This is ironic since optimizing keywords is the most important aspect of SEO and PPC. If you don't choose and use keywords your customers are searching for, you won't get found. That means no traffic, no sales, no money.

So to look at the big picture, you must practice search engine keyword optimization to:

  • Drive qualified traffic to your website: To drive searchers to your site, you must optimize for the keywords they're searching for
  • Measure traffic potential: Analyzing the popularity of keywords helps you gauge the size of a potential online market.
  • Write effective content: By incorporating optimized keywords into your website content, you can connect instantly with potential customers and address their needs.
  • Understand user behavior: By analyzing the words that your customers use, you get an idea of their needs and how to service those needs.

 

Where Keyword Search Optimization Comes into Play
Keyword optimization plays a major role in every aspect of Internet marketing from content strategy, to link building, to how you group your keywords in your AdWords ad groups, to how your site content is organized, a.k.a your information architecture.