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9dec 2011

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Keeping Up with Keyword Research

by in Business, Online Marketing

When optimizing your web or blog content, it would seem doing research the first time around is the way to go, and then that’s it. Although that’s definitely how a business should start, doing the research once isn’t the end of it. Since search engines, and the ways people search online, are changing so quickly, the keywords businesses use on their web or blog content need to be constantly evaluated, and changed if necessary.

According to recent survey from Hydra, less than half (42 percent) of digital marketers felt they were keeping up with keyword trends. Furthermore, over half of the study’s participants (55 percent) claimed they don’t know which new words or expressions are worth spending time and money on. Even if you were sure about which words or expressions were worth your time and money a year ago, those same words may not be worth it today. Perhaps you haven’t created enough new content on those keywords to make them worth the time and money. Whatever the case may be, keyword research must be an ongoing activity in order for your search engine optimization to be the best that it can be.

A scenario where keyword research needs to be ongoing is with mobile search. With smartphones, mobile commerce, and mobile websites, people are definitely using search engines on their phones as well. What someone searches for on their phone is very different from what someone searches for when on a desktop or laptop, simply based on the fact that someone searching on a phone is on-the-go, and someone on a computer is staying put. Therefore, if you do have a mobile website, or are planning a mobile website, the keywords you try to optimize on one should be different from what’s optimized on the other. Fortunately, Google Adwords’ Keyword Tool now has a new feature where you can see which keywords and keyword variants are the most popular on mobile devices.

Also consider that Google just implemented a Penalty Box, where websites are penalized for not following its Google Webmaster guidelines. The most minor violations, which result in a drop of six rankings on search results, include content that’s too short, or keyword optimization that’s too excessive. If in the latter category, you may need to go back and do additional research to narrow down the number of keywords to optimize, or to change the keywords you optimize all together. This penalty box is a result of Google’s recent changes to its algorithms. Those algorithms might not change for 10 years. But, they could also change in a year or two. If they do change in a year or two, then be ready to change how your web or blog content is optimized.

Overall, keeping up with keyword research comes down to keeping up with the ways search engines operate, and the ways people use search engines. Since how, and when, those things change is out of your control, the best thing to do is to manage and to worry about the things you can control, which is the keywords you choose to optimize.