Digital Presence & Marketing Strategy

PODCAST: Is Keyword Research Still Important?

I had a Facebook friend ask me recently if keyword research was still important for online marketing.


I wasn’t sure if they were being sarcastic or not so I just didn’t respond.

They followed up with this statement:

We’ve heard that SEO doesn’t really matter that much so we thought keyword research wouldn’t matter either.

That question and comment inspired me to dig into early blog posts. In 2008 I did a podcast interview with Mat Siltala of Mat taught me most of what I know about keyword research and why its vital when starting an online business.

Here’s the podcast again. Some of the tools he mentions may not be the latest and greatest, but the gist of the interview remains true to this day.

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Why is keyword research so important when it comes to marketing online?

  • It helps separate you from your competitors
  • It helps you learn what your competitors are doing
  • It helps you determine who your target audience is

How do you determine which keywords are the quality ones?

Research your competition. Which keywords are they going after? Look at their title tags, content, links, etc. to see what they are using. Find variations of those words. Spend time on keywords that are targeted (niche), not the general phrases that everyone is going after. Targeted keywords tend to convert better too.

How do you use keywords to market your website online?

Keyword research is a key part of my marketing campaign. There are many different tools out there to use. Aaron Wall has a great keyword research too. Keyword Discovery has one. SEOMoz is pretty good. Wordtracker too. Using your competition can help you so much – you can develop more of a targeted niche, something to build the content around.

Once clients have done the keyword research, where do they put those keyword phrases?

  • Anchor Text in Off-site marketing – links pointing people back to your site (ie. writing articles, press releases, blog comments, submitting to free and paid directories, and link sharing with related websites)
  • Inside the content of your site
  • If your site has 500 words of content, need to use specific keywords at least 5 times to show search engines what you are about.
  • Blog posts
  • Navigation
  • Title Tags
  • Header Tags
  • Friendly URLs
  • Alt Tags in pictures and links
  • Meta tag title, description and keywords

Why is keyword research an ongoing process?

You never want to stop figuring out what are the best converting keywords. Just because you’re being found for one word doesn’t mean its the best one.
What analytics software do you recommend?

  • Google Analytics

What are your websites? sells memory foam mattresses and custom mattresses.

Any other recommendations?

Understand that you’re competing with people that have been doing this for years. It won’t happen overnight. Take it slow, build quality content and links, figure out the right keywords and build trust and credibility.