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How to do keyword research in five simple steps

 Keyword research in five simple steps.

Keyword research is an essential element of Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is vital, not only in attracting users to your website but also in ensuring that your website is attractive to search engines. Here are five simple steps to help you find those all impotant keywords.

Step 1: List what your business has to offer.

Make a list of 5 to 10 areas that you want to rank for. These could include product lines and services, anything that is important to your business. It is a good idea to write down your ‘Unique Selling Proposition’, your USP in marketing terms and use that as a basis for deciding which areas are important.

Step 2 . Associate candidate keywords with each item on the list.

Put yourself in your customers shoes and try to think of potential phrases that they are likely to use when searching for your products or services. You should try to associate a number of candidate keywords and phrases with each item on your list. There are any number of tools that you can use to help you for example Ubersuggest: is a popular keyword suggestion tool.

Step 3: Use Google to research related search terms and check out your competitors.

Use Google to find out what other people are searching for, every time you enter a search term, Google’s prescriptive search algorithm will attempt to finish the word or phrase for you. This algorithm is based upon the most popular search terms entered by other people using terms similar to the ones that you are entering. Even better, Google also shows you a list of related search terms at the bottom of the page. Use these related search terms to generate ideas for new keywords to add to your list. You can also Google to check out how your competitors rank for various keywords, just use Google in the normal way, using yoiur keywords to see where they rank.

Step 4: Ensure you have a mix of Focus Keywords and Long-tail Keywords for each item in your list.

Focus keywords are your main keywords, the problem with them, is that although they are essential, it is extremely difficult to rank highly using them, because all your competitors are also using them. Long-tail keywords are more specific and easier to rank for, they are also the terms that people use when they actually want to buy something. You should repeat step three above using your candidate long-tail Keywords this will ensure that you have an adequate mix of Focus Keywords and Long-tail Keywords.

Step 5: Use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner to refine your keyword list.

Google has a tool called Google AdWords Keyword Planner which is intended to be used in as part of Google’s Adwords . To use the planner you will need to set up an AdWords account, but that doesn’t mean you have to create an ad. You can use the tool to search volume and traffic estimates for the keywords you’re considering. Use the Keyword Planner to flag any terms on your list that have too little or too much search volume, remember the higher the volume the more competition. It is a good idea to try and maintain a healthy mix of both.

Successful keyword research will result in a better optimised website. Your content will be easier for people to find because it is written using the same terms that people are using to search. Using the right keywords not only means that it is easier for search engines to rank your content but that you are using the same language as your potential customers. Your potential customers will find it easier to relate to you when you are using the same phrases and idioms as they use everyday.


Jeremy Kitt

View posts by Jeremy Kitt
Jeremy Kitt is the Principle Web Designer with Managed Web Services, responsible for website design, development and marketing.

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