How to Find Your Keywords

October 08, 2014 by Allison Carter

To get proper SEO, you have to do things the right way.  As Google has honed its algorithms over the years, there aren't any more tricks or games to boost your SEO overnight.

Getting seen on the Internet takes strategic planning and knowledge, especially in a world flooded with websites.  It turns out the most important thing you can do for your SEO (or "Search Engine Optimization") strategy is to know your keywords.

Keywords are the words that a web browser would type in to Google to find you.  For example, here we know that our keywords are SEO and Web Design (among others).  These are our core businesses, and we want Internet browsers to see our unique service offerings when it comes to those two words.

You should know what your business's keywords are.

To find the right keywords, start by asking yourself what terms are relevant to your business?  If you had to narrow down your core services to 5-6 words, what would those be?  If this is too hard, try asking friends and family members for their opinion.  But start to get a sense for what really defines your business to customers and clients.

Then take some time to use Google's free keyword planner.  You must have a Google account but you do not need to pay to use this service.  Log in at adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. After getting acquainted with the program, there is a world of education available at your fingertips.  You can narrow your results to a specific geographic area if you wish.  You can view how competitive (and searched) a keyword is.  You can also view similar keywords that Google recommends.  It is possible to get lost in here but it is worth the risk for the wealth of information provided.

Once you've worked down to your few critical keyword phrases, Google search them.  See what companies and websites Google provides when you search on your keywords.  If the search results are way outside your business's services and goals, then you might have the wrong keywords.  Yet if the results make sense, you know you are headed in the right direction.

After you've done your work to ensure that you've got strong, relevant, and useful keywords, start to use these keywords in your content and in your metadata.  Read our article What is SEO & Why Does it Matter to learn more, but by using your keywords liberally yet organically throughout your website's content and blog posts, you will see gains in your SEO.

If you want to play with future projections and trending data, you can search for your keywords at Google Trends: www.google.com/trends.  While we can't know what is truly coming next, this projection tool might help you further narrow your words or be more strategic.

Knowing your keywords is a mixture of art and science, yet incredibly important to your website's success.  Contact us today to get started on your SEO.


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