why keyword research is important

Why Keyword Research is Important for Driving Organic Traffic [Top 10 Reasons]

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any successful keyword targeting and on-page SEO strategy. Why keyword research is important? By understanding the importance of choosing the right keywords, you can drive more traffic to your website, boost your online visibility, and drive ROI.

What is Keyword Research

Keyword research is the process of identifying specific words and phrases that people use when searching for information on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. It’s a crucial component of search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategies.

The goal of keyword research is to understand what your target audience is searching for online and to optimize your website’s content to match those queries. With the selection of relevant keywords, you can improve your website’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs), attract more organic traffic, and ultimately reach more potential customers or users.

Keyword research involves analyzing various factors such as search volume (how often a keyword is searched for), keyword difficulty (how competitive a keyword is), and user intent (the reason behind a search query). This information helps website owners and marketers choose the most effective keywords to target in their content, whether it’s blog posts, product descriptions, or landing pages.

Why Keyword Research is Important

Keyword research is a crucial aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) that involves identifying the most relevant and high-performing keywords for a website or online content. A thorough keyword research gives you valuable insights into your target audience’s search behavior and preferences, ultimately helping optimize your website’s content and improve your search engine rankings.

When you analyze the keywords that your target audience uses to search for products or services, you can tailor your online content to meet your customers’ needs better and drive more website traffic.

Identifying relevant keywords for the business is also crucial for attracting the right type of traffic. When you target specific keywords closely related to your products or services, you can increase your chances of reaching potential customers who are actively searching for what you have to offer.

1. Uncover Insights Into User Search Behavior

Keyword research provides valuable insights into what people are searching for online, giving content creators a window into popular topics and trends. This information is crucial as it offers immediate feedback on the viability of content ideas, guiding creators on where to focus their time and resources effectively. 

For example, if you’re in the fitness industry and discover high search volumes for terms like “home workout routines” or “healthy meal plans,” you know there’s demand for content in these areas. 

Rather than guessing what your audience wants, keyword research empowers you to align your content with the specific topics and queries that users are actively searching for, increasing the likelihood of attracting organic traffic and engaging your target audience.


example of search on google for the term home workout routine and its variations


2. Understand Your Competitors

Keyword research offers SEO professionals a comprehensive view of their competitors. For example, imagine you’re planning to create content about sustainable fashion. Through thorough keyword research, you can identify the domains already vying for relevant keywords such as “sustainable fashion tips.” 

With competitor analysis, you gain insights into the level of difficulty in ranking for specific keywords and assess the feasibility of achieving a top position in search engine results. This understanding of the competitive landscape enables strategic decision-making in SEO efforts, ensuring that resources are allocated effectively to maximize visibility and engagement.


example of competitors pages on google serp for the keyword sustainable fashion tips


3. Identify Content Gap

Keyword research is essential for identifying content gaps as it enables website owners and content creators to pinpoint areas where their competitors are ranking for keywords that their own site is not. With thorough keyword research, you can uncover valuable insights into the topics, themes, and specific queries that your target audience is searching for online. 

This allows you to identify untapped opportunities and create content that fills these gaps, ensuring that your website remains competitive in search engine rankings and effectively addresses the needs and interests of its audience.

For example, if you want to identify the content gap with your competitors for the same keyword as above “sustainable fashion tips”, you can use tools like SEMRush. Just enter the keyword, and scroll below to see which pages are ranking for that keyword.
Then, go to Keyword Gap enter the page’s URL, and click Compare. 


example of how to do research for content gap in semrush for the keyword sustainable fashion tips


Then, you will get the results of what keywords your competitors are ranking and you are not. With the content gap analysis feature in SEMrush, you can uncover untapped opportunities to create content that resonates with your target audience and improves your website’s visibility and engagement in search results.


results of keyword gap analysis by comparing two pages for the keyword sustainable fashion tips


4. Identify Content Opportunities With Low Competition

When identifying content opportunities with low competition, SEMrush offers valuable insights to assess the level of competition for specific keywords. SEMrush provides a comprehensive analysis of keyword competition, considering factors such as organic search results, paid advertising, and domain authority. 

For example, if you search for “best free keyword research tools”, you will see that it is pretty difficult to rank for that exact keyword because the keyword difficulty KD for that keyword is 84. But, if you scroll down, you can see keyword variations that are easier to rank for, such as “best free amazon keyword research tool” with KD 54 and “best free keyword research tool 2023” with KD 26. Focus on keywords with medium to low competition to uncover untapped opportunities to create content that stands out in search engine results and attracts more organic traffic to your website.

example of keyword difficulty in semrush for the keyword best free keyword research tools


5. Identify Content Opportunities With a Large Search Volume

Keyword research is crucial for identifying content opportunities with a large search volume as it provides valuable insights into the popularity and demand for specific topics or queries. Analyze the search volume data to pinpoint high-volume keywords relevant to your niche or industry.

Let’s take the same example for the keyword above. In this case, the global search volume for “best free keyword research tools” is 3.7K, which means 3.7K people search for that term each month globally. However, the search term for that keyword is 110 in the United States. As we see below, the global search volume for the keyword variations is 40.

example of the search volume for the keyword best free keyword research tools and its variations in semrush


6. Understand The Search Intent

Understanding search intent is pivotal in SEO, aligning with Google’s mission to organize information effectively. To rank prominently, content must cater precisely to users’ search intent. 

For example, consider the keyphrase “eCommerce website builder.” A search reveals that top results predominantly feature tools and platforms for building eCommerce websites, indicating user intent is focused on finding such solutions. If your goal isn’t to promote a similar tool, targeting this phrase may not be ideal. 


example for the search intent ecommerce website builder on google


However, shifting focus to a related term like “best eCommerce website builders” enables the creation of informative content that aligns more closely with user intent. This highlights how keyword research guides content strategy by deciphering search intent, ensuring content relevance, and enhancing SEO effectiveness.


example of the search intent on google for the keyword best ecommerce website builder


7. Get Ideas for New Content

Keyword research is instrumental in finding new content ideas as it unveils the topics and queries that users are actively searching for online. When you analyze keyword data, you get insights into emerging trends, popular topics, and user interests, which can spark inspiration for fresh content. 

For example, utilizing Google’s auto-suggest feature reveals popular search queries related to a given keyword as users type their queries. Suppose a fashion blogger types “summer fashion trends” into the Google search bar; auto-suggestions might include “summer fashion trends 2024,” “summer fashion trends for women,” and “summer fashion trends men.” 

These suggestions provide valuable direction for creating timely and relevant content that resonates with the target audience, ultimately driving traffic and engagement. Thus, keyword research serves as a catalyst for generating innovative content ideas that meet the needs and preferences of users.

example of google auto suggest for generating content ideas for the keyword summer fashion trends


8. Drive Long-Term Traffic Growth

Keyword research provides long-term organic traffic to a website, as it provides content creation strategies that align with user search intent. When you identify high-volume and low-competition keywords relevant to the target audience, you can optimize your website content, including blog posts, landing pages, and product descriptions, to rank prominently in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

Keyword research also enables the identification of long-tail keywords and semantic variations, allowing for the creation of comprehensive and authoritative content that satisfies a wide range of user queries. 

Over time, as the website ranks higher for relevant keywords and attracts more organic traffic, it establishes credibility and authority in its niche, leading to sustained organic traffic growth and enhanced visibility in search engines. Thus, keyword research serves as a strategic foundation for driving continuous organic traffic to the website, facilitating long-term success and audience engagement.

9. Find Keywords With a High Conversion Rate

Identifying keywords with high conversion rates is essential for an effective SEO content strategy. Keyword difficulty often indicates broadness; shorter, “head” keywords typically entail higher competition and difficulty in ranking. 

Conversely, “long-tail” keywords, comprising three or more words, offer specificity and higher conversion rates. 

These keywords are advantageous for several reasons: 

  • they encounter less competition as they are tailored to specific services and products ensuring better targeting and relevance to visitors 
  • long-tail keywords align closely with search intent, attracting highly relevant traffic and enhancing overall conversion rates 

Thus, leveraging long-tail keywords can significantly boost SEO performance and drive better results over time.

10. Understand Trends

Keyword research is crucial for understanding trends in user search behavior, as it provides valuable insights into the topics, themes, and queries that are gaining traction over time. With keyword data analysis, you can identify emerging trends, popular topics, and seasonal fluctuations in search interest, allowing you to tailor your content and marketing strategies accordingly. 

Google Trends is a powerful tool for understanding trends for specific search terms, offering insights into search interest over time, regional interest, related queries, and rising or declining popularity.

For example, let’s take the term “plant-based diet” and insert it in Google Trends. As we can see, the trend for that search term is constant, and it is worth writing content around it.

example of the trend in google trends for the term plan based diet


Read more about Local Keyword Research.



keyword research serves as the cornerstone of a successful SEO strategy, offering invaluable insights into user search behavior, competition, and emerging trends. When you understand the importance of choosing the right keywords, you can drive more traffic to your websites, boost online visibility, and ultimately achieve a higher return on investment. 

Through different tools like Google Trends or SEMRush, marketers can gain deeper insights into search trends for specific terms, helping them identify emerging topics and tailor their content accordingly. With the right keyword research strategies, you can stay ahead of the curve, attract more targeted traffic, and establish long-term success in the ever-evolving digital landscape.


Is keyword research the most important for SEO?

Keyword research is a critical component of SEO but other factors like website structure, backlinks, and content quality also influence search engine rankings.

What is the main purpose of keywords?

The main purpose of keywords is to help users find relevant information, products, or services on search engines by matching their queries with relevant content or web pages.

How do keywords improve SEO?

Keywords improve SEO by increasing relevance, and visibility, guiding content creation, competitive analysis, and enhancing user experience.