Google provides tools that you can use for keyword research so that you can find the most popular relevant keyword and keyphrase around which to plan your SEO strategy. (Google.com/trends) Keyword research reveals two key bits of information:
- what people really call your product or service,
- what products and services people are actually searching for.
To be an effective source of traffic, the content of your website must be relevant to both of them.
Another important thing you will notice in researching keywords is the time element, indicating that the popularity of your keyword may vary widely depending on time of year. Here is an example showing that no matter how well you optimize for a keyword, it only drives traffic when people are interested in it:
“fall foliage” keyword popularity
The chart shows popularity of the keyword “fall foliage” in the US since 2004 in the Travel category. Notice that if you want to attract users to your website who are interested in “fall foliage,” then you can expect one big spike in traffic every October. But note also that the term itself is losing a little popularity every year.
fall foliages keyword alternatives
Further research indicates that the term can be refined to drive traffic from a narrower but more specific group.