Keyword research is the process of finding the actual search terms that people are entering into the search engines of Google, Yahoo and Bing when they search on the Internet.

It’s a component of search engine optimization (SEO) that any business with an online presence needs to understand – after all, your website is an important asset and needs to be managed accordingly so that it can perform well for your business.

One of the benefits of keyword research is that it can provide useful information to your business about your prospects and customers. It can also be applied to improve your website’s performance in attracting customers and improving sales.

Here are a few ways to use keyword research effectively for your business:

Analyzing Visitors to Your Website

It’s a good idea to analyze keyword information to find out how visitors are arriving at your website. To do this, go to the Control Panel of your website and review the statistics that can be found at Awstats. Inside Awstats, take a look at the key phrases that people are searching on to get to your website.

The longer your website has been online, the greater the volume of keyword information that your business will be able to collect and analyze. When analyzing keywords, identify the most popular phrases that are being entered into the search engines by visitors to arrive at your website. These popular keywords could be used as the basis for a link building campaign or for getting paid traffic.

Finding Keywords for Online Advertising

Paid traffic can be a useful method for getting more visitors to your website. Traffic can be bought through online advertising programs such as Google AdWords, that allow your business to pay for visitors based on the number of clicks on ads leading to your website.

When preparing an online advertising campaign, undertake keyword research to select well targeted keywords to include in your advertisement. The use of poorly targeted keywords will simply result in the waste of a lot of your money for little effect.

After setting up your AdWords campaign, monitor your campaign based on individual keywords. Some keywords will result in a higher click through rate (CTR) than other keywords. The high CTR keywords are the ones that you want to retain in your campaign – remove the low performing ones that have poor CTRs.

If managing an online advertising campaign is not your area of expertise, consider outsourcing the task to an AdWords expert. There are Google AdWords experts or a ton of SEO companies promoting their services on the Internet that can help your business with online advertising and SEO.

Keyword research is a useful tool for learning more about your customers and for improving the performance of your website. All businesses with an online presence should take advantage of the benefits good keyword research can provide.