November 29, 2014

How To Choose Keywords

how to choose keywordsEvery day millions of searches are performed on the internet and all of those search terms are saved and provided to us to peruse at our discretion. Unfortunately, on the other hand, there are millions of searches performed every day on the internet and ALL that data is saved and provided to us to peruse at our discretion. So how can you go about tapping into this resource without getting bogged down and lost in all that information? In this guide you will find out how to choose keywords, research and test them and read the results.

The first stop on the journey of how to choose keywords will be The Google AdWords Keyword Tool which will provide you with the data from those millions of searchs we were talking about. The first thing you will see that we now need some keywords and phrases to query.

Picking Your Keywords

Although there is no exact science to keyword research there are some tips that you can keep in mind while brainstorming. First of all, try to think like someone who knows that they are looking for your product and input those results, then move down the spectrum. Think like someone who might have a looser idea of what they want, or not know the name of the product. If the first example person is searching for “hammer”, the second person might search for “nail installer”, another person may search for “how to connect wood together”. This may seem far out, but in the keyword analysis stage more is much better, as you might come across a search term that is a little off kilter that no one is yet targeting. A great feature of the Google Keyword Tool is that it provides you with a list of search terms that it thinks are similar to the keywords you’ve specified. This can be another great way to expand your thinking when picking your keywords. In addition to the Google Keyword Tools similar search terms list, you can use the Keyword-Finder.net keyword finder which will take one initial keyword which you provide and reward you with a number of related keyword ideas which you can use with the Google Keyword Tool!

Narrowing Down the List

Now that you’ve compiled a list of keywords and plugged them into the Keyword Tool it’s time to analyze the results and pick the ones to target. There are some things that you will have to look at and decide for yourself which route you want to take. Some keywords will receive millions of searches, some others thousands and some hundreds or even none. Very broad or basic keywords probably get millions of hits and will probably be very lucrative and target by a lot of companies, probably some with large advertising budgets and teams of people working to get to the top. If that scene is for you then by all means go for the big fish term and attempt to get to the top rank, however that may not be a viable option for everyone. A great way to go is to look for on topic, longer keywords that are getting moderate amounts of searches and go after those. Do some Google searches for these keywords and see what comes up on the first page, is it strong websites with relevant information that are already providing a good service to people making those searches or shoddy turnkey sites or other off topic sites? Look at what you find when making a decision on what to do with each keyword. Remember, “long tail” keywords comprise the majority of the searches on the internet and so provide a way for you to get a foothold in your market with some careful research.

Keyword Testing

So you’ve done your research and now it’s time to test what you’ve picked. If you have time to wait and see how things go you can just go ahead and optimize your site for your chosen keywords and wait a few months to see how things play out organically. On the other hand, if you are looking for results a bit faster, consider running an AdWords campaign for your keyword for a short period (long enough to get some realistic data though, anywhere from days to a few weeks depending on the traffic they keyword is getting). With the test data on your keyword you will have a lot of new data. You’ll see updated impressions showing you the most current search data, how many visitors you received from your keyword and also how many of them convert to sales, if that happens to be your thing. You can take that data and run with it. Maybe you’ll find that most of your searches are done on the weekend and that people coming from a specific keyword are converting better than another. Any data you get from this will help you, even if the keywords you’ve chosen aren’t working you’ll have a better idea of what to look for in the future.

Keywords are always evolving and many search terms will fluctuate in volume over time. It’s important to stay up to date and always look at what keywords you are targeting. If you make a lot of posts, make sure you are taking the time to do some research on what to cover and if you have a mostly static website make sure that it is optimized and your keywords are still relevant to your brand. Remember, choosing good keywords can propel you forward while choosing irrelevant ones will leave you in the dust, so always do your research BEFORE you start your project.

Do you have experience choosing keywords? More questions on what to do or look for? Write a comment and let me know!

About George McConnell

George McConnell is the head writer for Traffikd.com and really likes social media! He is a full time internet entrepreneur and currently writing “That Social Media Book”, focusing on the history and effects of social media on internet and real world culture since its inception.

6 comments

  1. I’m trying to understand what term or search a small business owner would use to describe the benefits or their needs for SEO. Given that my don’t know to use the term SEO would they enter “get more leads” into a search engine?

  2. First of all Great article! I like your examples with “nail and hummer”.That’s very clear article. Thanks.

  3. Thanks for sharing this George.

    Ever evolving is the truth. I’ve been fortunate to have access to HubSpot Softwares’ (subscribed) Keywording tool to assist me in my keyword development for our web-based agency. Our belief that keywords are crucial to organic search resulted in landing 2 of our website pages on Google’s Page 1 in ONLY 11 days for our chosen keywords. Getting found is an art and must be your online marketing number 1 goal.

    See our blog post discussing our page 1 success at http://www.kayakcreative.ca/blog

  4. Hey Watpads,

    For your SEO keyword choices you are going to have to think like a customer. What keywords will someone be looking for when you want them to find you? Once you have a list of those keywords you can work on getting your site ranked for them. Hope this helps you understand the SEO side.

  5. That is great to hear Randy, I am sure we all would like to check out how you worked that.

  6. Google Adwords can definitely be a life saver. It’s important when choosing keywords that you know what other people are using, and make sure to add a good geographic anchor in relation to the location of your business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>