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Why Keyword Research Is Necessary for Your Business

by Kim Garmon Hummel, on Aug 9, 2022 5:06:07 PM

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the words you and I use every single day as we search on Google, Bing, and other search engines. In most cases, you have a question, and keywords lead you to the answer.

A search engine uses your keywords to populate search results that best fit your search query. I like to think of keywords just like a normal conversation. When you’re talking to someone, you need to use the right words to communicate the correct meaning. For the most part, that’s just natural behavior. But sometimes, it can be challenging to communicate what you mean.

Keywords can be short and sweet or long and complex. For example, “movie theaters” or “coffee mugs” are short keywords; “movie theaters Elvis now playing” or “large green travel coffee mug” are long keywords.

Is Keyword Research Necessary for My Business? 

As a business owner, you need to know four metrics about keywords:

  1. What keywords are your ideal customers using to find your business?
  2. What keywords are your ideal customers using to find your competition?
  3. Do these keywords align with your customer’s buying journey?
  4. What is the volume and difficulty of a specific keyword?
This is part of keyword research, an exhaustive gathering and testing of the keywords that may drive or divert traffic to your business. Your goal here is simple: find the right keywords, use them in your content and websites and then reach the first page of search results when a customer uses the right keyword. That is called keyword ranking. With the right research and strategy, it’s possible to get there.

This is an involved process that combines what you think you know with what actually is. Keyword research is all about validating your assumptions and discovering a new way to engage your customers.

The Keywords That Lead to Your Business

What keywords are customers using to find you right now? Paid services, free tools, and your own acumen play a big role here. It’s important to have a fundamental understanding of your ideal customer before you start here. Bonus points if you have a starting point of terms, products, or common services relating to your business. This research process leads to a greater understanding of your customer and brand sentiment.

Once you know the words that customers already use to find you, it’s time to pivot.

The Keywords That Lead to Your Competitors

At first, it may seem counterintuitive to even think about your competitor’s keywords. However, it’s the same motivation as learning and using the keywords that lead to your own business.

Understanding the search intent and search volume of keywords that lead to your competitors can be used to divert traffic from them to you.

Which Keywords Align with Your Customer’s Buying Journey?

I’ve mentioned keyword intent in this blog. What is that? Can you infer a customer’s place in their own research process just from what keywords they use?


Keyword intent is the purpose of a search in a search engine. The intent is determined by the search engine algorithm itself. You can then use paid services to record intent and inform your keyword research.

Generally, there are four primary categories of intent:

  1. Informational: They're searching for an answer to a question or to discover information.
  2. Navigational: The customer wants to find a specific website, page, or location.
  3. Commercial: This is where customers begin to investigate specific products and brands, usually indicating a decision or purchase is close.
  4. Transactional: The customer intends to act. This usually involves a purchase.
Understanding and applying keyword intent to your research creates a more effective keyword strategy for business.

What Is the Volume and Difficulty of a Specific Keyword?

Keyword volume refers to the total number of organic searches to date. Keyword difficulty is a bit more involved.

A keyword has high difficulty when there is high competition to use and rank for that keyword. This is where a lot of the keywords you assume are rock solid and direct traffic to your business end up. They’re usually common, straightforward keywords people use regularly.

A keyword has low difficulty when there is less competition to use and rank for that keyword. Think of it as an opportunity to get ahead and stay ahead.

The Key to a Strong Strategy? Work with Sauce Marketing!

It’s our job here at Sauce to balance difficulty with volume. Is a difficult keyword with low search volume worth the work to rank for? What about an easy one with high search volume? It’s hard to answer without the right research to back it up. Which keywords communicate the right intent?

But that’s what we do here! Our team at Sauce Marketing works hard to craft a dedicated Recipe for Success for our clients. We highly recommend keyword research is conducted right at the start. That way, you can build a strong and informed content plan that grows your business, reaches customers where they are, and helps them solve their problems. Then, over time you can track keyword performance and optimize. That’s how you stay ranked on the top pages and a few steps ahead of the competition.

Click here to schedule a free call with one of our Growth Guides.