Keyword research is the bedrock of search engine optimization (SEO). The question is, how thorough should that keyword research be? By taking your time and doing in-depth keyword research, your SEO strategy will be built upon hard data and will have the best chance of success. Here is our detailed seven-step process for SEO keyword research.

1. Understand the Business: First, you need to understand the business and the industry it’s in from an insider’s perspective. Who are the biggest competitors? Which products are critical to success? What trophy keywords does management aspire to rank for?

2. Analyze the Site: Take some time to thoroughly analyze the site as well as the competitors’ sites. Check out the wording used and how it compares to competitors’ phrasing.

3. Create a Seed List: This keyword seed list is a starting point for your keyword research. Basically, a keyword seed is a single word that can be found within a larger keyword phrase. For example, for a perfume…

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