How To Do Your SEO Keyword Research

How To Do Your SEO Keyword Research

There are no two opinions on the importance of keyword research in the website optimization process. The success or failure of a website could hinge on the apt selection of keyword phrases. There are instances where website owners have invested heavily in developing a website but have failed to bring in adequate returns because of targetting the wrong keywords in their website text or not doing keyword research at all!

What is Keyword Research?

Simply put, keyword research is all about finding out what keyword phrases are used by the internet surfer to search for information, goods or services online. If there are no searches made for a particular keyword phrase, then why bother chasing the word?  Instread use those phrases that internet surfers do search for!

Keyword Research-1st SEO step

Researching your keywords before writing the copy or even building your website is the first step.  If possible, even the domain name selection should only follow after keyword research has been initiated on the site- specific industry and the target audience duly identified. Initiating any other step in the optimization process would be like putting the cart before the horse and an invitation for site failure.

Dos & Donts of Keyword Research

The first parameter should be to ask yourself whether the keyword phrase is in fact, relevant to your site and its contents. You should, besides, using keyword research tools find out whether people search for this phrase and also the extent of competition that you may have to face.  If you are a company that sells dental care for example then you need to consider only the services that you offer, even though you see traffic for something 'almost' in your area.   It sounds silly, but people do it.  I have seen it.

Start the keyword research process by preparing an excel sheet and noting down all relevant phrases that come to your mind. Go through your entire website content with special emphasis on the title tags and note down all key phrases that may prove beneficial. You could also check the competitor’s website and record key phrases that may also serve your purpose.  Thanks to keyword suggestion tools, you don't even really need to be that detailed in your selections.

Popular Keyword Tools

After you have made your selection of keyword phrases use a keyword research tool to find the frequency of their use among internet surfers. Here are some industry standard keyword suggestion tools:

  • Google Keyword Suggestion - this one is fairly new but is in my opinion, the best one out there. Your keyword suggestions should begin here.
  • Keyword Discovery - Trellian offers a good free trial and the tool is very useful for people that do not get what they were hoping for from Google.
  • Word Tracker - until Google came around, Word Tracker was the industry standard for keyword research.  They slept in a bit by not offering a free based suggestion tool and this is where both Trellian and Google crept in.  Now word tracker has one.  Its pretty good.

Chasing Long Tail Key Phrases

Once the phrases have been collected you can sort them out in descending order with the popular ones figuring at the top of the table. One important thing to keep in mind;  Don't simply list the keywords that have the most searches first.  Instead you need to create a balancing act of which keywords are most relevant to your company and the number of time they are searched.  Next, consider a 'long tail strategy'.  Picking keywords that are more detailed, then broad keywords will get you a more targeted visitor that is more apt to be happy with your site.

Example:  You are a immigration law office located in Toronto Canada.   Instead of focussing on a broad search phrase like "Law Firm", you would get a far more targeted visitor by focussing on "Immigration Lawyer Toronto".  Presto! Suddenly you are getting a targetted website searcher.

Following these simple steps will ensure you are starting your website with the right techniques.

For more information on keyword research make sure to check out some of our other copy writing suggestion articles;

Persuasuve Copy Writing 123

Harvesting Performance Keywords in Google Analytics

Six Tips to Effective Website Copy Writing

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  • avatar
    SEO Expert Services 


    A good way to get keyword suggestions is to use Google Adwords keyword tool. First, you need an Adwords account. Then start a new PPC campaign for your site and use the keyword tool to find not only keywords that people have searched on but also their monthly relative search volumes.

  • avatar

    Yes Hayden, keyword research is not a cakewalk, it requires patience and much keyword sense. Businesses using SEO to improve their websites should ensure they do not overlook keywords that seem to be less used by consumers. I am using keyword research tools such as Wordtracker and Google Keyword tools to pinpoint the most relevant key terms. Those tools allow us to pick our keywords and at the same give a broader insight of keywords, which helps us to dig deeper for keywords.

  • avatar

    Keyword searching is a Herculean task! And our keywords direct search engines to crawl our website. Keyword searching, it’s a needle-in-the-haystack problem, with the haystacks just getting bigger and bigger every second, our task also gets tougher.
    Thanks for holding out useful tips!

  • avatar

    Every one is aware that using relevant keywords related to the subject matter of the website content is sure to bring in better search engine ranking. But this selection of relevant keywords can only come through adequate keyword research only. Selecting keywords after due research is bound to bring in a reward in the form of website success. The failure of a large number of websites can be traced to the lack of adequate keyword research done for the site. You have highlighted an important aspect of the SEO process Cyriac

  • avatar

    Nice article Cyriac!
    Getting the apt keywords for our site is a task and it determines the success of our rankings in today’s keyword search engines. See there are more than 100 million active websites on web, and search engines have to sift through these billions and billions of web pages, to return results. We need something better keywords say unique ones to pictorize our site. Hope the natural language search option won’t be too far from our clutches.

  • avatar

    That was a fairly good introduction to Keyword Research. Maybe
    the key in doing an effective research is planning for a good
    user experience. Achieving a good user experience starts by
    identifying the different groups of people who will visit a
    website, evaluating the range of goals they will have, and
    structuring information into logical paths that help them
    achieve their goals in the minimum number of clicks.

  • avatar

    You have highlighted an important aspect of SEO process. Yes, I feel keyword research should constitute the initial phase of every SEO process and as you mentioned trying to ignore keyword research for other site development works is like putting the cart before the horse. Adequate keyword research using appropriate tools will guarantee site success and will surely pay you in the long run.

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