What’s a keyword and what do I do with it?

I often get requests from clients to increase their ranking in Google, or get them on page one in the search engines. Trouble is, most small business owners I speak to haven’t thought about what keyword they’re wanting to increase their ranking or get on page one for.

When you go to Google, for example, you aren’t instantly presented with a list of websites. Instead, you search for the terms you’re looking for, and you’re presented with a list of what Google considers to be the best sites for those terms.

When optimising your website, that term typed into Google is your keyword or keyphrase, and that is what you should be always thinking of when working on your website.

However, this is often the first problem DIY SEO’rs hit. A huge determining factor of SEO success is the ability to chose the right keywords. Ideally, you want keywords that have high demand and low supply, so that you get enough searches to bother but it’s not too much effort to raise your website to the top. Many people don’t know how to go about finding those golden nuggets.  Keyword research is one of the things most small business owners have perhaps heard of, but really don’t know why they’re supposed to do it or how to do it well.

In addition to demonstrating the viability, supply and demand, for your topic keywords, it must also be something that suits your audience, and something that you can optimise your site for.

Essentially, with keywords, you’re looking for the words or phrases that everyone is searching for and few websites are providing.  It takes research, quite a lot of research, to find these golden keywords but once you do, you’re set.  Let’s look at how it’s done.

Step One.  Choosing Your Basic Keywords

To start, choose a main topic your business is about.  For example, if your business is about coffee makers then you’d start with that basic keyword.  However, the keyword “coffee makers” is liable to be a very competitive keyword and if you’re just gettings started in SEO, trying to optimise your site for it is like swimming upstream.  It’s better, easier, and more profitable to optimise your site for more niche specific keywords like, Italian made coffee makers or single serving coffee makers.

Step Two.  Finding Those Niche Specific Keywords With High Demand And Low Supply

Visit Google’s Keyword Tool External.  Enter your keyword/keyword phrase here and you’ll see a list of possible keywords along with supply and demand data in the form of advertiser competition and approximate search volume.

The ideal is to see a low advertiser competition and a high search volume.  That means many people are searching for your keywords but there aren’t many businesses targeting those keywords.  Good demand and low supply.

KeywordSpy is another useful tool to research your competition.  It also helps you generate keyword ideas.   Likewise, wordtracker.com, a subscription based service, will show you how many searches have been conducted for your keyword phrase, how many they predict, how many pages Google lists for that search term and a number called KEI or Keyword effectiveness indicator.  The higher the KEI, the better.  The higher the predict number, the better and the lower the Google number the better – combined they indicate high demand and low supply.

Step Three. Using the Keywords

Once you have your list of keywords narrowed down to niche specific keywords with high demand and low supply, it’s time to make use of these keywords, write website content including them, optimise your website for them and start driving traffic to your website.

You should also be backlinking to your website using these keywords. This is a whole new topic unto itself, but you can download my free report on how to build better website links and improve your website SEO, just over there in the sidebar. Fill in the form and the link to download will be instantly emailed to you :).

Leave a Reply