Navigating the Jungle of Keyword Research

You have a website for a reason, right? What is your goal? Obviously, you have a product or a service that you wish to market, and, in order to do that, potential customers have to know you are there for them! Put succinctly, you need a strong Internet “presence,” for that presence means traffic, and traffic means increased sales. The other factor in all of this, indeed, is the right kind of traffic – customers who really want and need what you offer.

The right traffic is a result of the right keywords – there is just no simpler way to say it! And, you must be thorough and committed in your search for those keywords that will improve your SERP position, as well as drive real customers to your site. A methodical approach that “covers all the bases” will take some time, but it will be well worth your efforts.

You know your products and/or services best, so the first step will be to generate your own list of keywords and keyword phrases that best describe what you offer. Ask close friends and associates for their lists as well – multiple brains will only improve that list!

Test your finalized list by conducting a little bit of research. Type each keyword/keyword phrase into all major search engines and see what pops up on the first page. Are the sites closely related to your products/services and content? If so, then the keyword(s) is a good one and should be used.

Consider longer keyword phrases (sometimes called “long-tail keywords). For example, the phrases, “bedroom furniture” or “natural remedies” would be common for sites that offer those products or information about those products, but they are too generic. Customers may want contemporary bedroom suites for under $2000 or specific natural remedies for Indigestion, respiratory ailments, diabetes, or cancer. In addition, many potential consumers are looking for information before accessing a specific website for purchasing. If you have blogs and articles on your site that pertain to important information, keywords can drive traffic to that content. A senior residential facility, for example, may offer articles on making the transition from independent to assisted living or the importance of dignifying the individuality of residents in such facilities. Keyword phrases with long tails would be warranted to bring interested parties to those articles and, of course, to the site.

Use a keyword research tool to test your own chosen keywords and to look for keywords that people typically use when searching for products or services similar to yours. Such tools can give you the most popular keywords currently in use by the public. There are numerous such tools, such as Keyword Spy, Keyword Discovery, Google Adwords Planner, and Bing Keyword Research Tool. All of these are quite similar, and others can be found by a simple “Google” search! These are valuable sites, and you can be certain that your competition is certainly using them.

While development of critical keywords may be tedious and a bit time-consuming, the task will be well worth the effort. As well, the task is not a one-time event. Terminology evolves, and good keywords today may move into disuse over time. A smart site administrator maintains a regular keyword research endeavor!