SEO Tips: How to Perform Keyword Research Like the Pros
As a business owner, you’re told you need a website. Not only that, but you need a website that ranks well in the search engines so you get all that profitable traffic.
There’s a catch though. You can only target a few keywords before you won’t rank well for any keywords.
So… Since you can only have a limited number of keywords, then there should be 2 questions on your mind right now. 1) How many keywords can I target? And 2) Which keywords should I target?
How Many Keywords Can I Target?
Most small to medium sized businesses will target about 10 keywords. This is typical for a website that consists of 5 – 40 pages and is NOT an eCommerce website. As your website grows beyond this, or if you have an eCommerce website, you will need to adjust your SEO strategy. In addition to having some general keywords, you’ll need to create specific entry pages that are highly optimized to a specific set of keywords (3 or 4 per page). These are often called “organic landing pages”, or just “landing pages.” You can have just a few organic landing pages, or many, depending on your budget and/or time to put into this.
Blogging should also be a big part of your companies SEO strategy. Blog articles are great at capturing the long-tail searches. A long-tail search is when someone uses a larger number of keywords in their search because they have something specific in mind. For example, “best deals on Samsung LED Flat Screen TVs in Victoria” (long-tail search); as opposed to “TV stores in Victoria” (short search). So when you write a blog article, it’s less about single keywords and more about key phrases.
How many key phrases can you target with each blog article? 1-2 key phrases per article is enough. By the way, about 70% of searches done are long-tail searches.
Which Keywords Should I Target?
Put on your detective cap because there’s some sleuthing to be done. Determining the keywords your website will target is extremely important and the foundation of any good SEO plan. The process of discovering your best keywords is called keyword research. Not a very inventive name – but self-explanatory at least.
Here’s the keyword research process:
- Brainstorm 10-20 keywords you think people would search when looking for a business like yours. It’s good to do this with a group because everyone will contribute a unique perspective. Be sure to mix up the type of keywords. Geography and words that indicate search intent are just as important as your business name and functions.
- Plug your keyword list into the Google AdWords’ Keyword Tool. Be sure to set it to “exact match” (checkboxes on the left, or wrap your keywords in square brackets: ‘[keyword]’). The keyword tool will output the volume of global searches done on those keywords (and country searches if you specify your country). It will also indicate how much competition it thinks there is for that keyword. Then, as a bonus, it will also suggest other related keywords that you might not have thought about.
- Pick 10 keywords that have high search volumes but low-ish competition. You want to slip into the search sweet spot that gives you quick results and profitable traffic.
- Test the keywords out in the search engines and see for yourself who your competitors are going to be. The Google Keyword Tool is great but nothing beats doing your homework. Maybe the tool failed to account for the massive local box-store that is dominating your chosen keywords. Sometimes it’s better to work a different set of keywords if there are major competitors already targeting your keywords.
This process is important to get right. If you go after the wrong keywords it can be a lot of wasted effort (and you’ll end up starting over again later). I highly recommend you go through this process with a professional SEO specialist. It’s worth the cost of hiring someone – if only for this piece.
Yes, devEdge Internet Marketing can do keyword research with you…
Start Increasing Your Website Traffic
Whether you’ve already got a website or are planning on launching a website in the future – it’s important to plan your SEO keyword strategy. A well executed keyword strategy, coupled with solid SEO work, can lead to plenty of new revenue from online sources.
Have you ever tried a different method for keyword research? How’d it work out for you? Do you think SEO has value to a business today? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments below.