What is Keyword Research and why it is important ?
Hello, and welcome to this blog on developing keyword research.
Anytime we search online for something, we’reusing keywords whether we realize it or not.Let’s say you want to order a pizza.
You know the name of your favorite pizza place,but you don’t know the phone number.
As you search the internet, you choose important keywordsto get to the information you want as quicklyas possible.
Obviously, the name of the pizza place isthe first keyword, but you want to make sureyou’re calling the right location, so thename of the town is another important keyword.
Find low competition Keywords :
You might even use the keyword “phone number”to get right to the information you need.Just like that, you’ve developed a searchstring with three carefully chosen important keywords:
The Pizza Place, The Town, and phone number.Chances are, when you search, you’ll findwhat you’re looking for pretty quickly.
Library databases are designed for scholarlyresearch, so they react differently than websearch engines.
A web search engine will bring back usefulresults if you put in the question “whatis the phone number for The Pizza Place inThe Town?”However, whole sentences or questions don’ttend to bring back useful results in Library databases.Database respond much better to thoughtfully used keywords.
The best place to start developing keywordsis with your research topic, question, orworking thesis.Imagine you’re writing a research paperon the benefits of using therapy dogs in literacyprograms.
Why Keyword search or research is very important :
What are the most important terms or keywordsin that topic?benefits, therapy dogs, and literacy programsKeywords should be keywords, not key sentences.
Notice that we have selected either individualwords or short phrases that need to be kepttogether in order for the term to make sense.
Therapy and dogs on their own mean somethingdifferent than “therapy dogs” as a phrase.
Our keywords are also focused.We need all three of them to truly researchour topic.
We might mix and match them when we’re searching,but we’re going to need to find sourcesabout all three keywords and the connectionsbetween them.
It’s a good idea to write down your keywordsas you develop them.
You can put them in a document, write themin a notebook, or use a chart.
This will save you time as you come back toyour research, since you can keep track ofkeywords that work well, cross off thingsthat aren’t working, and add new keywordsyou discover as you search.At this point we have enough keywords to beginresearching.
However, it’s almost always helpful to considersome alternates, synonyms, or related termsto our keywords.
The way we think about a topic might not bethe way scholarly researchers are thinkingabout it.There also might be research exploring thetopic from several different perspectives.
If we only approach it from one perspective,we might miss useful information for developingour ideas.You may already know some alternate keywords.
Keywords research in SEO ( Search engine Optimization ) :
For example, you might know that “literacyprograms” are also sometimes called “readingprograms.”But sometimes we need to get out of our ownheads to see how other people might be talkingabout a topic.
There are many tools you can use to developalternate keywords.One is a thesaurus.
There are many free thesauri online and inthe Library.This tool allows you to find synonyms andis best used with individual words.Let’s use “benefits” as an example.If your word is in plural form, it’s oftenbetter to look up the singular form – so“benefit” instead of “benefits.”
We get a variety of results, not all of whichare useful.“Advantage” would be a good alternate.Let’s think about what we mean by benefitin our topic.We’re talking about how therapy dogs area positive thing, so “assist,” “enhance,”even “improve” might be useful alternateterms even though they’re not direct synonyms.
Other background or tertiary sources likedictionaries or encyclopedias are also goodtools for finding alternate keywords.
Let’s do a search in Credo Reference for“therapy dog.”There’s a dictionary entry that uses thephrase “emotional assistance,” which mightbe helpful.Scrolling down through the results, we seean entry for “animal-assisted health care,”which includes the term “animal-assistedtherapy.”
This would be another good alternate term.Another place you can find additional keywordsis in the results of a database search.
As you search, you may find sources that usekeywords you hadn’t considered.Many databases also offer suggestions as youtype in your keywords.
these are just based on what otherpeople have searched, so don’t assume theyare good suggestions.However, they often offer useful synonymsor alternate terms.Let’s do a search for “literacy programs”in Academic Search Complete.
Search Engine optimization is must for your blog or website in keyword research:
As we put the keyword in the search box, itsuggests “literacy initiatives,” whichwould be a great alternate keyword.In the first couple of results we see theterms “literacy education” and the term “educationalprograms,” both of which we would want toadd to our list of potential keywords.
While you want to take some time to consideryour keywords before you begin your research,remember that developing keywords is a process.
You’ll probably add, change, delete, andadjust your keywords as you search and asyou refine your topic.
There is no perfect number of keywords oralternates – the best keywords are the onesthat bring up relevant and useful search results.
This is a skill that takes practice, so don’tget frustrated if it takes some time to figureout which keywords work best for your project.
That’s just a part of the process that allresearchers face.
Once you have some keywords, make sure youwatch our blog on Using AND, OR, and NOTto see how to connect them effectively inthe database.
If you have more questions about developingkeywords or are having any other difficultieswith research, remember the librarians arehere to help.
You can email us at [email protected]