Enter your keyword

Keyword Research 101

Do you have pages on your website that have little or no traffic? Think they could be doing better? You’re probably right. It’s time to put those wasted pages to work for your business and get them bringing in traffic!

You can put those pages to work by including keywords in their content. But not just any keywords though, you want to use keywords and key phrases your potential customers are already typing in to Google to find businesses like yours.

Unfortunately chances are good that many of the keywords relevant to your business already have tons of your competitors vying for top spot on Google. So how do you get around this little problem? By going after keywords your customers use but that your competitors don’t know about yet.

The following is the actual process I follow when brainstorming up keywords for myself and Clients. You can use this process too to find juicy, hidden keywords that your competitors might not know about yet.To get started, fire up Microsoft Excel and follow the steps below.

Steps for Keyword Research Brainstorming

  1. Produce a list of key one to three word phrases that describe your products and services.
  2. Come up with synonyms that potential customers might use for those products (an online thesaurus like http://thesaurus.com/ can help here)
  3. Create a list of all the areas of focus in your industry. Not sure what the areas of focus are in your industry? Look at leading websites in your industry and study how they break down their website into sections. The titles of the sections likely cover the areas of focus in your industry.
  4. Broaden your list by thinking of higher-level terms of which your products or services are a subset. For example, if your business was a theatre, a higher-level for your service might be ‘entertainment’.
  5. Review your existing site and extract what appear to be key phrases from your existing pages.
  6. Most industries have associations. Review industry association websites in your field to see what phrases they use to discuss your industry.
  7. List all your various brand terms.
  8. List all your products and services. If your site has a massive number of products consider stepping back a level or two and listing the categories and subcategories.
  9. Step back for a moment and imagine that you’re a potential customer. What would they type into a search engine if they were looking for something similar to your product or service.
  10. Even better, ask your actual customers, family, friends, etc what they would search for. You really need an outsiders perspective here so try to avoid asking people directly associated your company.
  11. Use your web analytics tool to see what terms people are already using to come to your site. To get a copy of your keyword report from Google Analytics, just email me at chris@websiteondemand.ca.
  12. Be sure to include competitive analysis! Here’s how to do some basic ‘competitor analysis’:
    1. Review your competitor’s websites and see what phrases they use for their products and services that compete with yours. This is CRUCIAL! Even better is if your competitor is the top ranking one in Google and has already invested heavily in their SEO. You can glean much from their SEO efforts simply by reviewing their website.
    2. Record what non-brand terms your competitors use for their business.
    3. Read any articles your competitors have written that are published on sites other than their own.
    4. Observe what the media has to say about your competitors.

And there you have it! Once you have the list of keywords from the steps above, you can feed them into Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool and see which have traffic, which don’t and if there are other similar keywords you should be targeting.

I'm an avid world traveler and founder of Website On-Demand and BRIM Bullying Prevention. In my role as founder of Website On-Demand, I help small businesses use their websites to increase their revenue and make meaningful progress in growing their business.

No Comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.