Why Keyword Research is The First Thing You Should DoOctober 4th 2011 Sally Ormond Keyword research, keywords, search engine optimisation, SEO copywriter, seo strategies, website design
What should come first? Your website or your keyword research.
Unlike the chicken and the egg conundrum, this one is easy to answer – your keyword research should always come first.
Researching your keywords (not guessing) is vital if you are going to get the most out of your web presence. The words you target will have a big effect on your website’s structure, which is why it’s vital you do it before thinking about your design.
It’s not until you have your keywords that you can:
- Create your SEO Copywriting
- Plan your anchor text link building strategy
- Decide on your site’s navigation
- Create your title tags
- Decide on your URLs
- Write your META Descriptions
What keywords do you choose?
Choosing the right keywords/phrases is paramount, so here are a few tips on making sure you find the right ones.
1. Open your mind
First up, you’re looking for the words other people will use to find your products/services. They are not necessarily going to be the same ones you’d choose.
They must be relevant to what you do, after all, loads of traffic is useless unless is converts into buying customers.
Also think about using ‘long tail keywords’. For example, if you sold laptops, targeting ‘laptops’ would be very competitive, but it would also bring ‘browsing’ traffic. When people are ready to buy, they are more likely to use a term that includes the make and model of the specific laptop they want. Therefore it is important you also aim for these longer keywords too.
2. Word groups
Start off with words and phrases that relate to what you do. Then, add to that list words used within your industry. Expand it again to include words used in the media for your products and services. Then, for good measure, throw in some geographically specific phrases too.
Once you have your (long) list, use Google’s keyword research tool to refine your list.
Once you have your list, you then have to decide which are the best ones to target. That means looking at their relevancy and competition.
Basically you want a term that brings lots of traffic, but not one that is highly competitive, because trying to rank for it will be a long hard slog.
You can use this table to help you identify which words are the best ones to go for:
As you can see, your whole website’s design and marketing campaigns are going to be focused around your keywords.
That’s why it is essential that, before you start any design or marketing, you research and find the keywords you want to target.