SEO Copywriting Checklist: Don’t neglect your keyphrase research!

Keyphrase research is a crucial first step to SEO copywritingGreetings and welcome to another installment of the SEO Copywriting Checklist video series! Today, Heather discusses keyphrase research – or more precisely the lack thereof, leaving content un-optimized for both search engines and readers.

Lately, Heather has been hearing a number of excuses from a lot of people as to why they’re not researching their keyphrases. What follows is her rebuttal to their excuses, as well as why keyphrase research remains a critical first step to sound SEO copywriting.

Do one of these excuses sound familiar…

Although keyphrase research is a very important, foundational SEO step, a lot of people decide to skip it. There are several reasons I’ve been hearing for neglecting keyphrase research, the big one being…

– We don’t have time to research keyphrases.

…We are producing a lot of content, we are on very tight deadlines, we don’t have time to research the keyphrases before we start writing, and so we’ll try to remember to do it later.

– I’ll do it later. 

And of course, what often happens is that “later” never comes. The site is then left with all this un-optimized content that could be much better for the search engines and much better for readers if it had those keyphrases.

– We’re a big brand company. Google will figure it out. 

A lot of big brand companies think because they are such heavy hitters, Google should know this and figure it out – so they shouldn’t have to worry about keyphrase research.

Which certainly isn’t the case. Then, small business owners who are typically overwhelmed anyway just trying to get a site up and working will often say…

 – Do I really have to?

…I’ve got so many other things going on! Is this one more thing that I have to learn?

And that answer is yes.

No matter who you are or what you’re doing…

Keyphrase research is a critical first step

In order to “control” positioning for a keyword, it needs to be on the page.

And especially if you’re kicking out a lot of content, the advantage to doing this preliminary work is because…

Keyphrase research helps you understand what information people are searching for and what questions they have.

That means you don’t have to guess, or try to figure out “What should I write about today?”  The keyphrase research can often dictate that – so you know people are looking for X information, and you can be the resource site that provides it to them.

So keyphrase research is important to do on a number of levels.

Your solution? Just do it.

I know it takes time, I know that there’s a learning curve involved, but it’s well worth it.

– If you don’t have time to do the research, hire someone.

Now if you flat out don’t have the time to do the research, or you are focused on so many other things you don’t want to learn how to do it, that’s cool. But consider hiring someone who does this day in and day out, who can help you with the keyphrase research, and then…

– Go through the site and (intelligently) add keyphrases to your content and Titles.

That way, you’re going to have the best of both worlds: you’re going to have really, really good content and you’re also going to make that content easier to find in the search engines and connect with even more readers. So again…

– It will be worth it. Trust me.

Thanks for joining me for this week’s SEO Copywriting Checklist video! If you have any questions at all, or ideas for a future video, I would love to hear from you. You can reach me at, or find me on Twitter @heatherlloyd.

photo thanks to Bruce Clay, Inc.

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