Finding the best phrases for your website is an extremely important part of SEO and arguably the most important activity. Ranking for the correct phrases can make or break your website. This is not simply a case of finding the phrases with the highest number of searches, but finding the best possible phrases to bring the correct traffic to your website.
There are numerous techniques that can be used. Here is a general overview of the evaluation process we use to assess keywords:
What are customers typing in?
The first stage is to try and put yourself in the shoes of the people you are trying to attract to your website – whether it be customers, clients, partners or others. There is a basic initial question: What would they type into the search engine if they were looking for you and your products or services? This is when you will probably need to step away from the office lingo.
Categories and Aligning Keywords with your website
Once you have done this you should have a list of keywords for your website, so the next step is to break these keywords into different categories and cross reference with the content on your website. It is extremely important that the content on your website is relevant to these keywords. You may have to write new pages which, also, obviously have to be relevant to your company. However, we recommend working with your existing pages, and content, before then creating more.
Are your keywords relevant?
Now that you have a list of keywords split up into different categories which should have aligned pages and content on your website. The next part of the process is to then search for these keywords in Google and view the results. Here you are looking to see if the websites shown are relevant to you and are companies you should be competing with. If they are then these can stay in the list. Also this is an opportune moment to see what keywords your competitors are using, seeing if they are relevant and possibly adding them to your list. If you add any, search for them on Google again to make sure.
Finding more keywords
There are quite a few useful tools out there to find variations and related keywords. A couple that we use are:
Word Tracker who offer a free trial (but require your credit card details).
SEM Rush who offer a free basic area. SEM Rush is our preferred area and is used in a lot of SEO and ranking software.
We’ll briefly run through SEM Rush to give you an idea of what you can see. When you first visit SEM Rush, type in one of your keywords. Once you have done this you will see quite a lot of data. The main area that we are interested in is the Keyword table. This will show us different variations, on relevant keywords, to the one we typed in. We have highlighted this in red below.
There is also an option to View Full Report. If you click this you will then visit a more detailed list – However you will need to add a subscription to view more than 10 rows here.
This should provide you with more keywords to evaluate and that you can run through the Are your keywords relevant? exercise above.
It’s also worth looking at Google Trends. With this tool you can see who has been searching for the keyword over time and whether the search volumes are increasing.
Also further down the page you can see Google’s related searches – which can be quite useful.
Check Search Volumes
By this point you should be satisfied with your list of categorised keywords, so now is the time to see if they are searched for. You may have noticed that SEM Rush showed search volumes – these are taken straight from Google. However you may prefer to use Google directly for this, via: http://adwords.google.com/keywordplanner. To do this you will need to create a sample AdWords campaign, but don’t initially need to use this (you can simply pause all of the ads that you create).
The above is a great beginners guide to keywords but there will be more advanced lessons on this in the future. However, this should give you a good list of keywords for your website, and the next lesson will show you how you can implement these.
If you have any questions, or would like us to work with you on this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll help in any way that we can.
Call Jon Seymour on 01492 460 460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org