Keyword Research Tips: A Four Step Process

Posted on June 02, 2011 by BGM Article Team


Keyword SearchHow does your potential customer find your site? How do the search engines display your site? Keywords are how your site is found, how your site is ranked and should be the foundation upon which your site is built. Keywords = success or failure.

Find your keywords then build your site
Ideally you would research your keywords as you build your brand and purchase a keyword rich domain (this still does have a big impact on ranking). If you can focus on which keywords you will target and then build your site architecture around that your site will be built on solid foundations. Don’t worry if you already have a site that needs improving, keyword research is a constant process for best results.

Keywords can improve your business by:

  • Uncovering opportunities within your market place
  • Suggesting titles for articles
  • Relevant site content ideas
  • Bolt on services to consider
  • Themes for viral marketing campaigns
  • Titles for ebooks and downloads

#1 Brainstorm a raw keyword list
Get down as many words based on your business theme as you can, keep writing till you have exhausted all thoughts. Tips for brainstorming:

  • Use a thesaurus
  • Inspect competitors sites (use the google keyword tool)
  • Get in your customers head and think what they would be looking for
  • Consider localised spellings
  • Common search phrases include: how to, best of, buy, review
  • Use the google suggest tool in the search box

#2 Using keyword research tools
The only tool you really need is google keyword. Unless you are an affiliate marketer looking out for niche opportunities and conducting hours of research to find golden keywords you only need free tools. When using google keyword it’s best to check the [exact] match box on the left so that your results are based on exact keyword matches. Also consider your location and whether global or local searches are more relevant to your type of business.

Run your keyword ideas through google trends: look for upward trends to make sure your market is sustainable. Also check for seasonal spikes in search so you can be ready for high sales periods. Conduct a quick run through the free keyword tracker tool to look for any phrases you may have missed. Ignore the figure data on this tool as it is highly unreliable.

#3 Filter your keyword list
Once you have your raw list you need to filter down to find the buying keywords. Run through your list in the google tool and look for searches between two and twenty thousand, check the CPC value and look for high numbers. A high CPC signifies a keyword that has strong bidding; a keyword only has strong bidding if it converts well to sales and is worth having. This is the hardest part of the process trying to find the phrases worth targeting; refining your keyword list takes a bit of intuition, creativity and time to check data. Remember to look for words that a potential buyer would use at the point of purchase: high traffic is not success; traffic that converts to sale is success.

#4 How to use your keywords on your site
Once you have a defined list with one or two overall theme keywords apply them to:

  • Meta titles
  • Meta tags
  • Meat descriptions
  • Anchor text
  • Alt tags

Apply to every single page. Ensure that on a single page the tags, titles and descriptions etc are consistent. Stick to one or two keywords per page.

Aim for 250 to 500 words per page for content, insert your keywords in the first sentence and paragraph but don’t over stuff. Keyword density used to be a real hot topic but is not an SEO technique today: quality writing counts.

On each page use a H1 tag at the top with your keyword. Any H tags should be in sequence order down the page: H1, H2, H3 etc (you don’t have to use all H tags, H1 is the only important one). Break up your copy with bold subheadings, use the keywords in these. Again don’t over stuff just for the sake of it, your copy needs to be readable. Quality first. Continually assess and research your list to make sure you are targeting the right words/phrases.

Remember to look for keywords that buyers would use. A website full of window shoppers is not a success.

For extensive keyword research and in-depth competitor analysis read the Shellshock UK blog If you have an online business that needs a boost read about online marketing strategies for ecommerce and internet marketing for small business.

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Posted by BGM Article Team

Clayton Johnston - Biz Growth Mentor

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