Keyword research is the most important but time consuming part of the SEO process. It is essential to give it the necessary time though as it lays all the foundations of your SEO success. You probably have an idea of the keywords your website should include, but research is required to verify that those keywords are the best ones for your particular business.
The first step is to sit down, preferably with some other members of your company, and make a list of words and phrases people might type into the search engines in order to find your products or services. This list should be most the important phrases that define your company as a whole, with your core products, services or brands — the kinds of things you would mention in a company brochure. Your lists should include the following:
- business type
- core product brands
- core product categories
- core service categories
- Remember to “think like a customer”. You want to come up with phrases that the average person would type in the search box when looking for a business like yours.
- Don’t worry about capitalization or plural/singular or different endings on a word. For instance “painter” will also return paint, painting, painters, etc.
- Stick to two-word phrases for the most part – single keywords are usually too general and three-word phrases are usually too specific. So for a painting business we might come up with phrases like:
- house painter
- residential painter
- painting contractor
Once you’ve got your base keywords selected, then you want to add any geographic qualifiers to your list, such as “Perth” or “WA”. Remember, this should be based on what you feel your target customer will be typing into Google. So take your core words and add your city to the end of the phrase. So if one of your core words was “painter”, you would add “painter perth” to your keyword list. In our next post in this series, we will talk about the next step in the keyword research process: Using the Google Keyword Tool. Did you miss the beginning of our series? Then head over to “What Is Search Engine Optimisation?”