Choosing the right keywords and phrases for your search engine optimization (SEO) program is critical to its success. The right keywords drive targeted traffic to your website – prospects that are ready to buy. The wrong keywords attract web visitors that are not likely to purchase your products and services – wasting your time and money.
By following the simple methods listed below, you will be able to determine the right mix of keywords and phrases that will generate targeted prospects to your website. Remember that good search terms are ones that are related to your business and have sufficient monthly search traffic.
How to choose the best keywords and phrases?
1) Select keywords that represent your company’s “bread and butter.” What products and service lines are the most profitable, have the strongest sales, and continue to show good market demand. And yes, typically the 80/20 rule applies here. 80% of your sales and sales leads are produced by 20% of your keywords and phrases.
2) Look at complementary products and services that people tend to buy that you don’t offer. Often, these keywords generate good prospects and typically have less competition than your primary keywords and phrases.
3) Use online tools to help determine keyword variations and search frequency. The best free programs to use include Yahoo! Search Marketing’s search term suggestion tool and Google’s AdWords suggestion tool.
4) Use WordTracker – http://www.wordtracker.com. For a small fee, you can use this tool to find niche keywords, use the thesaurus to find related search terms and determine general monthly search frequency. This is a great tool and worth the investment.
5) Use pay-per-click programs like Yahoo! Search Marketing or Google’s AdWords to choose keywords and phrases for your SEO program. Both programs help you generate search terms based on specific keyword relationships and show how often they are searched for. Set a small monthly budget and track the number of keyword impressions you receive for each search term. After one to two months of data, choose the search terms with adequate search frequency and incorporate them into your search engine optimization program.
6) Don’t forget Geographics. If your products and services are local or regional, be sure to include your state or city within your search phrases. For example, an investigations company that conducts most of its business in the Midwest would want to choose “Indiana and private investigator.”
7) Take a look at your competition. Based on your top three competitors, look at their website for specific search terms being used. Also, look at their META keywords to get a good idea of what search terms they think are important. Remember you want to look at competitors for your different markets served and products and service lines.
8) Analyze your website traffic. Make sure your web hosting company provides you with the ability to analyze your website log files. Some hosting companies have you log into your account to view monthly web traffic reports, while others email monthly reports. Information obtained can tell you the top search terms and search engines used to find your website and other valuable information. To get the most out of your log file data, it is recommended to use a log file analyzer such as Web Trends or Urchin.