Choosing Keywords for SEO

An effective SEO strategy focuses not on the number of visitors but on attracting the right type of people to your website. Keywords play an important role in getting this job done.
Keywords are words and phrases people enter into search engines, like Google, to find the products, services and information they’re looking for. With the proper research and integration of keywords, you can significantly improve your website’s search engine ranking and targeted traffic.

Fortunately, choosing the correct keywords sounds more intimidating than it actually is. Let’s dive in.


1.) Establish the main subjects of your website.

Begin your keyword research by reviewing both your business plan and website navigation. Then put together a short list of the subjects you want your site to be listed for. Your list should include concise terms related to your industry, products and/or services.

Example: For a restaurant that also brews its own beer, the main subjects may be:

  • Restaurant, Brewery (general overview)
  • Microbrews (product category)
  • Brewery Tours (business aspect)
  • Locally-Sourced Ingredients (business aspect)

These main subjects can now be used to create lists of associated search terms.


2.) Brainstorm.

Sit down with a group of employees and reach out to customers through an email or a survey to compile a list of words potential customers may use to find your services or products.


3.) Make use of keyword research tools.

Google’s free Keyword Planner will help you generate keywords, key phrases and ad groups. If you’re a beginner, it’s a great place to start.

Wordstream’s free keyword research tool is also highly regarded by marketing professionals and makes competitive keyword research easy. Using the tool, you can share a competitor’s URL, industry and location, and Wordstream will deliver the business’ most popular keywords and their frequency throughout the site.

MOZ Keyword Explorer is also a popular tool often used to decide which keywords to keep and which to reject. The tool provides more accurate search volume data than Google’s Keyword Planner, and its keyword suggestion filters reveal far more keyword results.
Every keyword tool will provide slightly different data, so it’s a good idea to use a variety of tools to gather information.


4.) Choose realistic terms.

In the Google Keyword Planner, you can view “Average Monthly Searches” and “Competition.”

  • Average Monthly Searches: Times per month a term is searched
  • Competition: The number of websites that are targeting the keyword

It’s always important to remember your competitors are also researching and building lists of keywords. In fact, your strongest competitors are probably already ranking in the top positions of many of the more general searches related to your industry.

There’s no sense in spending time, energy or money to rank for keywords you have no chance of ranking for. Successful digital marketers work to find the right balance between a keyword’s search volume and its competition.


 5.) Get specific.

Narrowing in on more specific words and phrases will help increase your search ranking. Additionally, the more relevant the search terms, the more likely you are to turn that visitor/lead into a sale.

Ultimately, if you’re looking to integrate keywords that both improve traffic and convert visitors, research is key. Review your business plan, survey your customers, analyze competitors, and use keyword research tools.

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