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Choosing the Best Keywords for Your Website

Posted on 11/28/2012 by Brian Petti

Keywords are what ultimately bring visitors from the search engines to your website. This traffic is called Organic traffic and is basically free. So how do you get more organic traffic to your website?

Before more organic traffic starts flowing to your website, you need to choose relevant keywords to target on your website. This is a critical step because not all keywords relating to your website or business may be an optimal choice. Here are some basic steps to follow to get the best keyword options.
  1. Research – Researching keywords is basically developing a large list of words and phrases that have potential to focus on. It can be tough to come up with this off the top of your head, so to save time, use some of the free keyword tools available. Google’s Keyword Tool is a popular option that can show you may different variations and related phrases to what you are looking for.

    Start by typing in some of the main areas of your business, your main services or products, what your business or website does, etc. When you hit the search button, you will be provided with a long list of different variations and related words/phrases around your initial search.
  2. Refining – Once you have a list that covers all of the different pages and elements of your business, it’s time to evaluate the keywords so you can choose the best options. The main things you should keep in mind when choosing these keywords are:
    1. Relevancy – Does the keyword or phrase relate to what you do? If not, get rid of it.
    2. Search Volume – Although search volume is important, don’t just choose all of the high volume terms. These terms are usually much more competitive. It’s important to have a good mix of more general, large volume words and longer (or longtail) but less searched but less competitive words.
    3. Competition – How hard will it be to rank for the keywords? If all of the top spots are filled by major brands such as Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc., that keyword might not be the best choice to go after.
    4. Natural – Does the keyword phrase sound natural, or would it be very difficult to actually use in a sentence. Your goal is to be able to use these phrases naturally in content.
  3. Evaluation – After your keywords are refined and you have placed them throughout the pages on your website, it’s time to see how they perform. There are various tools online (although many are paid options) that follow the rank of keywords your website ranks for. Keep an eye on how your keywords are ranking, how much traffic is being generated from those keywords, and are those keywords leading to conversions. Google Analytics is a great, free tool to monitor which keywords are bringing traffic to your website and also which keywords are converting.

    As time goes on, you will be able to see more clearly which keywords are working well for your website and which are not. Keep making tweaks and changes and fully take advantage of opportunities to keep increasing your organic traffic.