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How to Find the Best Keywords for Your Business

April 25th, 2013 ::

Typing on a keyboardI was recently tweaking my website, and one thing I did was make sure I had the right keywords integrated throughout the site. That little exercise got me thinking about how to identify the best keywords for a business, especially one that is in a highly competitive industry or market.

Let’s back up real quick. For those who don’t know what a keyword is, Google defines it as “any word or short phrase that describes a website topic or page. The more a keyword is used by searchers and websites, the more attraction power it has.”

Keywords are important. If you want to rank high on a search list, you need to do two basic things: create new content to keep your site fresh and use strong keywords throughout your content and Web pages.

Here’s how to audit your website and identify what keywords to use:

Give each Web page a purpose

Look through your website and make a list of each page: name, category (product page, about page, etc.) purpose. By defining your pages, you will have a clearer idea of what keywords to research and which keywords to use on which pages.

Brainstorm keywords for each page

Go back to your page list. Quickly think of the keywords that are most likely to be used when conducting a search on that topic. If keywords overlap from one page to another, that is perfectly OK. No need to edit – yet!

Check your list against the Google Keyword Tool

This tool sets the standard when it comes to keyword research – webmasters and SEO experts rely on it.  Simply type in a word or phrase, and you’ll get a list of similar keywords with a count of how often each word is searched, along with info on which words advertisers think have most value.

Keep in mind that the more competitive (valuable) a keyword is, the harder it will be to rank high in search results for that keyword. Revisit your list, and throw those out. Don’t be tempted to use keywords that rank super low; no one uses them. Your best bet is to go for medium-values.

Consider using long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are entire phrases – like “non-toxic ways to get rid of ants” rather than “pest control.” They are less competitive, but they work very well for SEO purposes, and they convey user intent, which is great for lead conversion purposes.

Do some competitive analysis

Use the keywords you chose to conduct searches. As your competitors pop up, take a look at their sites. What meta-titles are they using (those appear at the very top of the browser window)? Next, conduct a keyword search for your competitors’ sites using semrush.com (handy little tool, isn’t it?) to understand what they’re being found for.

Finalize your list

Now that you have done all that research, plug your almost-final list of keywords back into the Google Keyword Tool to make sure they’re not too competitive, but that they do deliver results. Finalize your list, integrate them on your website, and you’re good to go!

Have you ever done in-depth keyword research? What did you learn?

Image courtesy of 123rf.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Search Marketing | 2 Comments »

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maria-Bailey/100000034070780 Maria Bailey

    This is a great summary. I wish it was as easy as described, but of
    course if it was easy we would all be #1. That would be a very wide
    search engine. It is labor intensive, but a must to build a site that
    works. Thanks for putting it together for everyone.

    Maria@ http://www.successcityonline.com

    • Anonymous

      So true Maria! But nothing worth doing is easy, is it?! Glad you enjoyed the article, and I hope it helps your own SEO efforts.