Many are asking if keywords are still relevant in 2015, and the simple answer is, yes. Keywords still form a critical piece in online marketing, no matter the medium, whether it be for ranking pages on your site or blog, videos, imagery, paid search or more, keywords are one of the main items you will want to keep in mind when planning your web content.

keyword research detectiveFurthermore, understanding the niche or market, what your competitors are ranking for, what keyword phrases are getting the most and best traffic are all ways to advance your business to the next level easier. I mean, who needs to shoot in the dark?

Let’s have a look at 5 critical things to consider when you begin to think about the keywords you’ll focus on.

5 Things to think about when starting keyword research

Decide what you’ll use keywords for – Presumably you have a plan for these keywords, and if not, now is a good time to clarify this. Are they going to be used for new content, web pages, social media, visual content (videos and more) or exactly what? Knowing this going in is helpful, especially when it comes time to cross-promote.

Identify common keywords in your niche – Off the top of your head, you ought to be able to think of a set of basic keywords to begin your research with, just by looking at the content in your chosen niche or market.

Spy on your competition – There are tools you can use, or in the absence of tool help, you can simply look at your competition’s content and glean what they are targeting by the words they are using in their titles, URLs, and what the content is about.

Employ tools to help do the work – Luckily for us there are oodles of keyword research tools out there, most of them offer a free version, such as the Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and Keywordtool.io.

Learn the intent of the searcher – Now put on your thinking cap and try to get into the mid of the web searcher who’s searching for you. What is their intent, and how will these keywords differ from what you’ve found so far. Google estimates that 15% of web searches have not been seen before, so take the time to understand what they’re typing in the search box!