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How to do your own keyword research in 10 simple steps

12 March, 2014

keyword research

Whether you are setting up a blog on your website or simply reviewing your website content to ensure you can be found by search engines, you will need to create a list of keywords. A search marketing keyword is the text that someone types into Google.

You might have the best products in the world, but if the content on your website does not contain search engine optimization keywords, potential customers will not be able to find you.

You can employ a consultant to undertake a comprehensive keyword analysis for your site. However, if your budget is tight, you can carry out a basic keyword analysis yourself. This blog post explains some things you can do to come up with your own keyword search engine optimization list.

Magnifying glass keyword research

SEO audits and keywords

Keyword analysis should always be done alongside an SEO audit. SEO audits show up where there are technical issues with your website that mean that search engines can’t find or won’t rank it. There is no point spending time creating keyword optimised content if your website is not set up correctly to be found by Google.

Alongside your SEO audit, you should also undertake keyword analysis. This looks at the keywords and phrases that people are currently finding your website with (are they the ones you want/expect?), and also the keywords that your competitors are ranking highly on.

From this, you can come up with a list of relevant keywords for your website that you would like people to be finding you on.

Keywords should be used both in the website content that site visitors see (“front end”) and in the metadata that you set in the website and blog content management system (CMS) or “back end” of the site. They should inform how you write all your website content, from product descriptions to page titles and meta descriptions.

keyword spy

Finding keywords using Google Webmaster Tools

(1)   Login to Google Webmaster Tools

(2)   If you haven’t already, open an account and verify your website

(3)   Once logged in go to Optimization > Content Keywords: here is a list of keywords that your website appears in Google for

(4)   Download these keywords, put them into an Excel sheet and then move onto the next tool!

Finding keywords using Google Analytics

(5)   If you don’t already have Google Analytics installed on your website, you really should. It is a snippet of code that your website developer needs to add to your website and it can give you some amazing insights into your website and customers.

(6)   Once setup and logged in to Google Analytics, go to: Traffic Sources > Search > Organic: this is a list of keywords currently driving traffic to your site

(7)   Again download these, add them to your excel sheet and move on!

Creating keywords from products and services

(8)   You then need to make a list of all your products and services, and add the ones you would expect to be found for (but aren’t) to the list – or ones you would like to be found for.

(9)   You can then take some of these keywords and have a play with Google search. Start typing some of them in the Google search bar and a drop-down box appears with the most popular search terms. This helps identify more keywords that users search and shows you opportunities that you may not have thought about and considered. Add to the list and move on.


Assessing keywords with SEMrush

(10) is a fabulous tool. It allows you to find out what keywords your competitors rank for, it even shows you what keywords your competitors are paying to rank for!

The importance of long tail keywords

An example of a long tail keyword would be “large red beach towel” (as opposed to just “towel”). Long tail keywords receive much fewer searches. However, as they are less competitive, you are more likely to rank higher on them. And because they are more specific, the ROI is likely to be significantly higher.

You should now have a fairly good list of keywords to help you write the content and metadata for you website or blog.

If you would like more advice on keywords search engine optimization, just give me a call on 011 33 20 21 21.


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