If you’re playing a game of Scrabble, “keywords” is worth 19 points.

If you’re optimizing your website or blog, keywords are worth much, much more.

Keywords are, well, the key to success. If you want your pages to be found among the more than four billion on the World Wide Web, you have to select relevant keywords with sufficient search volume and low or medium competition.

But how? At Hollister Creative, we pursue up to four lines of inquiry to develop a keyword strategy and select single keywords and keyword phrases.

A scrabble board containing Google keywords.1. Client discussion and brainstorming. We generate an organic keyword list by asking our client these questions. If you are optimizing your own website, ask yourself.

  • What are your services or products? List them in words that prospects would use when searching.
  • Should any be paid particular attention because they are target growth areas, rare or unique?
  • What simple words describe your competitive advantage (i.e., fast shipping, guaranteed)?
  • What geographic markers describe your service area (i.e. states, cities, Main Line)?
  • What keywords are your competitors using on their web pages?

2. Google Analytics tool for existing site. If we (or you) are building a new site, check Google Analytics on the existing site to see which keywords are already working well, and add them to the list. Caveat: This tool only captures search terms of about 10% of searchers; the rest were signed in to Google while searching so Google won’t show the terms they used.

  • Sign in to the proper account at https://www.google.com/analytics.
  • Set a custom date range of six months.
  • In the left menu, go to acquisition > campaigns > organic keywords.

3. Additional free keyword tools. If the keyword list is still short, we may use other tools to generate more ideas from the keywords on our list.

4. Google Adwords research. We may use this to check the popularity and competition for targeted keywords and to generate additional ideas.

  • Sign in to Google, go to https://adwords.google.com and select tools > keyword planner.
  • Select “Search for new keyword…” then enter keywords one at a time under “Your product or service.”
  • Under targeting, select your service area and click Get Ideas.
  • Sort keywords by average monthly searches and/or competition.
  • Add to your list any relevant keywords with sufficient traffic and low or medium competition.

At this point, we usually have a long list. In our final step, we analyze the list and reduce it by eliminating the inferior keyword phrases.

Need help with your business website? Call Kim Landry at 484.829.0021 or email [email protected].

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