When you begin SEO for your Web site, you first need to select your main keywords.
Keywords are the terms that Google’s users use to seek out a Web site like yours. “For example, if an individual needs a Philadelphia orthodontist who supplies invisible braces, he or she could search for ‘orthodontist Philadelphia’ or ‘braces Philadelphia’ or ‘invisible braces Philadelphia,’” says Master Google’s Ali Husayni. “Those are all possible keywords for a Philadelphia orthodontist’s Web site.”
Some businesses need only one keyword and others use hundreds. If your list of keywords is long, you need to know how to prioritize them. The most important keywords are not always the most popular – because those are frequently very competitive. A national or international keyword like “physical therapy” is a good example.
Devoting your SEO activities and budget to just very competitive keywords means that you probably won’t get the results you’d like. You’ll get exhausted and discouraged after only a couple months. However, if you select your keywords carefully, you can make progress in a fairly short period. “Once less competitive keywords such as ‘physical therapy software’ have worked for you and your business increases, you can allocate more money to SEO and go after the more competitive keywords,” suggests Husayni.
Below are steps for compiling a list of prospective keywords:
1. Spend some time thinking of the words or phrases that guests at your Web site might employ in a Google search.
2. Search for these keywords on Google and visit the Web sites you find on the first page of your search results. Scrutinize those sites to identify other keywords you may not have already pinpointed.
3. Use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to search on one of your keywords. This tool will provide a thorough list of the keywords from the previous month that relate to your original keyword. Add these terms to your keyword list.
4. A different Adwords column displays those keywords’ volume for the past month. So you can learn which keywords were the most popular that month. The greater the search volume, the more vital that keyword is.
5. Some keywords will have fewer than 1,000 searches per month. Delete them from your list. They usually aren’t worth your time.
What you have left is your list of keywords. These keywords can help rank your Web site on any search engine; however, we only work with Google.
Another option is signing up for a service like WordTracker.com whose function is to help you find and evaluate keywords. WordTracker.com can also supply a service similar to Google Adwords Keyword Tool.