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Choosing the Right Keywords

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The very first and most important step you should do when starting a search engine optimisation campaign, is to sit down and choose the correctย keywords. Keywords are the phrases that potential visitors will type into search engines to find your website.

Anyone can think of relevant keywords for their business, but to be successful you will have to find the keywords that are not only achievable but will also bring in traffic.

Before you start brainstorming potential keywords, you should bear in mind the following:

  • Use phrases.ย Aiming for a simpleย keywordย such as design is not only going to take along time to achieve but statistics show that around 80% of searches are now compromising of 3 or more words, e.g. web design London.
  • Relevant Keywords.ย The keywords that you want to aim for should be relevant to your business and your websiteโ€™sย content.
  • What would you search?ย Try to anticipate what your potential customers will search for to find your business.
  • Local Keywords.ย At first you should try to achieve good positions for local phrases, but donโ€™t be too specific.
  • 5 Keywords.ย You should not choose more than 5 keywords per page. Try to aim for 1 or 2 primary keywords, followed by 1 or 2 secondary phrases.

If youโ€™re finding it difficult to come up with key phrases, then try to create a list of words using your business name and the services / products you offer. You should then mix the keywords together, and also add locations, e.g. web design Kent.

Now you should have a nice long list with all your potential keywords, its time to find out if theyโ€™re actually worth targeting.

I would recommend using theย Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Enter your keywords into the space provided, and click โ€œGet Keyword Ideasโ€, then select exact from the drop down box (you do not have to select exact, but I feel this gives me a better idea of numbers).

(Here are a fewย more ideas on using this keyword tool properly)

Not only will this give you statistics from last monthโ€™s searches but it will also give you more keyword recommendations.

After you have noted all of the new keywords and the monthly search figures (taken from the โ€œglobal monthly search volumeโ€ columnโ€ its time to see how much competition youโ€™re facing.

This is a little time consuming, but I would definitely recommend it. Go to google.co.uk and type the following:

Allintitle:โ€keywordโ€ โ€“ Obviously entering your keyword.

Using this search phrase, will tell you the amount of other websites using your keyword in their title tag (see image for details), therefore giving you a rough guide to the amount of competing websites.

So, now we have a long list of keywords that tells us the monthly search figures and amount of competing websites.

You can now choose the keywords that will bring in traffic and are achievable (not thousands of competitors).

United States (US): New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Columbus, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Seattle, Denver, Washington, Boston, El Paso, Detroit, Nashville-Davidson, Memphis, Portland, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas, Louisville
United Kingdom (UK): London, Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol, Kirklees, Fife, Wirral, North Lanarkshire, Wakefield, Cardiff, Dudley, Wigan, East Riding, South Lanarkshire, Coventry, Belfast, Leicester, Sunderland, Sandwell, Doncaster, Stockport, Sefton, Nottingham
Canada: Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Mississauga, North York, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Scarborough, Quรฉbec, Hamilton, Brampton, Surrey, Laval, Halifax, Etobicoke, London, Okanagan, Victoria, Windsor, Markham, Oshawa, Gatineau, Vaughan, Kitchener, Longueuil, Burnaby, Ladner, Saskatoon
Australia: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle, Wollongong, Logan City, Geelong, Hobart, Townsville, Cairns, Toowoomba, Darwin, Rockingham, Launceston, Bendigo, Ballarat, Mandurah, Mackay, Bundaberg, Bunbury, Maitland, Armadale, Rockhampton, Adelaide Hills, South Brisbane, Hervey Bay

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