What is a keyword and why they are Important

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase used during a search or query on a search engine like Google. In the picture below, the keywords used in the search are, “What is keyword research”. The search engine used to make the query is Google.

Click here to learn some of Google’s Advanced Search Functions

what is keyword research

Search volume and keywords

What’s great about search is that search engines like Google and Bing give you the search volume for the keywords that people are using to find things. For example, a phrase like, “how to do keyword research” gets about 720 searches every month. Below is a screen shot from a tool called SEMRUSH.

Try Finding Search Volume for Any Keyword

Use SEMRUSH’s free tool below to find the search volume for any keyword.

Each keyword is Main Street

If you are a business that has a retail store, then you have to understand that each keyword is like Main Street. Ranking in the top three positions on search engines is like having prime real estate on the Main Street of the world. Businesses spend millions of dollars in rent to have a prime location on a busy street. Investing in SEO and ranking well, gives you the ability to have prime location in search engines for free.

Each keyword is a store aisle

If you are selling a product or service you have to understand that each keyword is like a supermarket aisle with only 10 products on the shelf. Ranking well for a keyword gives you more visibility because people don’t usually scroll to the second or third page on a search engine. They won’t walk down the search result page “aisle” to find a product. They will purchase the products that are on top or first in the aisle. If you run an ecommerce building, this is essential to your success.

Keywords and the Consumer Journey 

keywords and the consumer journey

Keywords are an essential part of a consumer’s path to purchasing a product or service.

  1. Usually there is a stimulus that makes people want to search for something.
  2. Then, people take action on what they find.
  3. That either turns into a  good or bad experience.
  4. Usually people share that experience with a review, social post, or by telling their friends.
  5. These reviews usually influence and triggers another search.

High Intent Keywords

High intent keywords are terms that have a higher chance of resulting in someone converting into a customer. For example if someone searched for “buy mens shoes online” they are most likely looking to buy a pair of mens shoes online. Targeting and ranking for these terms is extremely important.

Low Intent keywords

Keywords with lower intent are terms that would not directly result in the searcher buying your product or service. A term like “mens shoes” has low intent because you don’t know why they are searching for the term. Terms with lower intent are important to target because they can help push the searcher towards buying from you.

It’s very important to understand and have a seasonal and evergreen content strategy driven by keyword research as well.

Evergreen Keywords

Evergreen keywords are searches that are valuable and exist all year round like evergreen pine trees. There are many of these, but it is important for them to be related to your business. For example, if you own a watch store, you can target a phrase like “Watch buying guide” because people would be searching for that term year round.

Seasonal Keywords

Seasonal keywords are keywords that increase in search volume and value during specific times of the year.

Example of Seasonal Areas:

  • Holidays (Christmas, Thanksgiving Day)
  • Seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall)
  • Special Days ( National Siblings Day, National Donut Day)


Understanding the importance of keywords is essential to developing a digital marketing strategy and learning SEO. Tools like SEMRUSH give you the ability to get search volume for different keywords. Each search has a different intent so understanding intent will help you target search terms better. Now that you know more about keywords click here to learn how to do keyword research.

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