Every SEO strategy needs to start with keyword research. While Google’s semantic search puts less relevance on keywords in the text as it did in years past, we still have to have a clear goal.

As an Indianapolis SEO company, it is our job to leverage data to determine exactly what keyword search terms to target. You may have some ideas, but those ideas are often influenced by opinion and industry-specific verbiage. We use data to determine the exact keywords to target based on their average search volume, competition and purchasing intent.

keyword research

Average Search Volume

The first thing we look for in any specific keyword is demand. This keyword may sound great and describe what we do, but how many people actually search this keyword within our target audience each month? Is the volume of search high enough to make our efforts worthwhile and what is the expected increase in traffic by improving ranking for any given keyword.


The next thing we look at is the competition. If a keyword has low volume search quantity but high competition, it often doesn’t make sense to focus our efforts here, at least not in the beginning. If a keyword has high search volume and low competition, that’s going to be our initial target as it provides the most impact in the least amount of time. We won’t turn away from high volume, high competition phrases – we’ll just focus on the quick wins while the longer efforts take place in the background.

Purchasing Intent

Lastly, we’ll look at purchasing intent. Just because a keyword is high volume and/or high competition, it still doesn’t necessarily make it a high value keyword unless it has purchasing intent. In other words, if you sell shoes and the search term “how to tie your shoes” is high volume, low competition – there’s still some value to that traffic but the lack of purchasing intent behind that search phrase would put that term at the bottom of our priority list.

An SEO project requires a lot of work and a lot of steps. But if you skip this very important step, all of that time, money and effort might not turn into increased traffic, leads, appointments and sales.

Make sure you and your SEO start off with clear intent and data-driven keywords to work towards.

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