What role does keyword research play in an SEO expert’s work? 

Keyword research is a vital part of any SEO experts work. It allows them to find and understand the search terms used by potential customers when looking for your products or services. Then, they can optimize a website and create content around these keywords to help customers find them in the search engines. It is also a critical factor in determining what is needed to rank for certain keywords in the search engines and how much work will be required to get there. 

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There are many factors that go into the keyword research process, including traffic potential, ranking difficulty, and business value. Each of these can have a significant impact on whether or not a specific keyword is worth going after. Ultimately, a search engine optimization expert must balance the unique circumstances of each situation against these four criteria in order to make the best decision for their clients. 

The first step in any keyword research is to brainstorm a list of seed keywords. These are the words or phrases that best describe your product or service. You can use a variety of tools to do this, from free Google Trends to more sophisticated paid tools like Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer. For the best results, try to think of words that are specific enough to stand out from competitors but not so broad as to be unfeasible. 

Once you have a list of seed keywords, the next step is to study what your competitors are ranking for these terms in the search engines. You can do this by searching for your seed keywords in the search engines and taking note of who ranks on the first page. For example, if you are selling coffee-making equipment, you might notice that the websites that rank for this search term are primarily e-commerce stores. This would indicate that if you were to rank for this keyword, your website could compete with these other sites. 

Lastly, you can also look at what people are searching for to determine the intent of their queries. This can help you come up with ideas for new content that will address the questions and needs of your potential customers. At Yoast, we frequently see that businesses miss out on valuable search traffic because they are using their own wording to describe their products or services, rather than the words that their target audience is actually using. 

Once you have a set of keywords, the final step is to prioritize them by the metrics you’ve decided are most important. This will determine which keywords you will focus on optimizing your website and content for, and which ones will receive the least amount of attention. Choosing the right keywords can mean the difference between rocketing your website to the top of the search engine rankings and getting tons of visitors and sales, or being buried somewhere on the 5th page of Google. So, make sure you take the time to do your keyword research correctly!