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Keyword research is the first step for both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). It is also the foundation for improving your search engine visibility.

In both organic and paid search, appearing in the top three SERPs (search engine result pages) is a golden opportunity. Some would argue that only the first page has real value. However, everyone would agree that you want web searchers to find you. These are people searching for your product and/or service.

Getting found depends on search engines and Internet searchers. In terms of search engines, their primary goal is to find relevant indexed information and present the search results to the search engine user. As for the web searcher, they type keywords and keyword phrases into a search query that they feel are relevant. Yes, this means terminology that they use – and not internal lingo. Bottom line: it all boils down to keywords.

If you have a web presence, try the following simple test.

Using Google, (still ranked the number one search engine) try typing your company name or brand into the search query to determine if you can get found.

So.. for example, I would key in “WebFuel”.

This is especially important for us as there are several businesses with the name WebFuel – located in various countries.

Now check out the search results page: WebFuel

Now take it a step further, and test keywords that reflect your products or services.

In my example, I tested “Search Engine Optimization Ottawa” and PPC Ottawa”. What I want to know is if WebFuel appears for our key services in a local search (our company is based in Ottawa).

Screen capture of Google SERP for WebFuel

Now check out the search results page: Search Engine Optimization Ottawa and PPC Ottawa.

What keywords and keyword phrases can you get found for? And… are you ranking high in SERPs?