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I was reading an article the other day that focused on the importance of keyword/phrase research.

Keyword research is imperative to any targeted SEO marketing plan. In order to rank high on the search engines, we need to first determine what people are looking for and what keywords are used in searches by  consumers.

If you think about it , you need to find out what verbiage the layperson uses when trying to find the product or service you offer.  A keyword search will determine what keyword has more search volume on a  monthly basis.  Once you determine the popularity of the keyword you then need to address the competition.  Do a classic Google search on the highest ranking keyword and see how many other websites come up in the search.

 

Here is an example of how to interpret the Google results.

You can see my keyword phrase, then I have circled the number of websites that compete for that same search phrase, in this case over 92.5 million other sites.  Under the Ads you can see our website is listed #3 organically (this search was done Oct 2014 using Google.ca).  If you were just starting out and looking to compete on the search engines using this keyphrase you would know that you are competing with 92.5 other websites.  This information is imperative when determining whether or not SEO efforts would be successful.

Google results