Significance of keyword research
Keyword research is a fundamental part of online marketing of all kinds, and is especially relevant for freelance writers, online publishers, and bloggers.
Compelling content is favored by search engines, but if you don’t use the words people are actually interested in and actively searching for, you’re missing a lot of traffic.
However the value of keywords goes well beyond SEO copywriting. In fact, close your eyes for a moment and imagine a world where search engines don’t deliver traffic at all.
Keyword research, at its essence, is market research. It tells you what people are interested in, and in what relative numbers.
Better yet, it reveals the actual language people are using when they think about those topics, which provides you with insight on how to converse with them via your blog.
Keyword Research: It’s Not What You Think:
“Words are powerful,” my teacher said, looking out over my 7th grade English class. “These little blotches of ink have overthrown kings, governed religions, and caused millions of men and women to fall in love.”
Yes, it was a tad dramatic, but my 13-year-old heart started racing. Those were the words that launched my writing career.
For well over a decade, I’ve been on a continuous quest to master the power of words, to wield them with great eloquence and effect. I’ve written thousands of pages, read hundreds of books, and now I’m making a living with nothing but words.
The right words are.
What’s the difference between a headline that goes viral on Twitter and Facebook and one that’s ignored? The right words.4 5
What’s the difference between a blog post that receives hundreds of referrals from search engines or none at all? The right words.
What’s the difference between an opening paragraph that grabs the attention of your readers and one that has them looking for the Back button? The right words.
Choose the right words, and you’ll receive traffic, subscribers, revenue, influence … everything you need to be a success. Choose the wrong words, and you’ll be just another nobody that doesn’t get it, forever clamoring for attention but forever ignored.
So where do you find the right words? You guessed it—by understanding what copywriting is really all about.
The Origin of Keyword Research
“There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use.” – Eugene Schwartz
The above quote is from Eugene Schwartz, one of the most influential copywriters in the history of the craft. It’s a piece of the following, much longer quote from the 1960s:
“One hour a day, read. Read everything in the world except your business. Read junk. Very much junk. Read so that anything that interests you will stick in your memory. Just read, just read, just read… There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use.”
He’s referring to studying your audience. Before writing a single word of their sales letter, top copywriters spend weeks or months talking to prospects, reading their favorite magazines, and studying sales letters that have worked (or even failed) with that audience in the past.
Why? To find the right words.
It’s about knowing your audience so well that you learn which words will grab their attention, earn their trust, and persuade them to buy your products or services in the future.