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SEO – Keyword Planning and Analysis – How to Choose Key Words and Key Phrases

Written by Adam Bullas, December 7, 2010

SEO – Keyword Planning and Analysis – How to Choose Key Words and Key Phrases

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This is the first in a series of posts that will consider how to design and execute your own Search Engine Optimisation campaign: SEO Hints and Tips – Simple Steps to Help with Search Engine Optimisation

To demonstrate the advice offered in this series of posts we will define and develop an SEO campaign for a fictional ‘Pet Shop’ business. This particular Blog will discuss how to plan your keywords and refine them after careful keyword analysis.

Why carry out keyword planning?

Keywords are the foundation stone of a successful web presence. Choosing the right keywords will improve the chances of your site being found by people searching the web. The keywords you use on your website will need to achieve two goals:

  • They must accurately describe the goods or services you offer
  • They must be words that people actually use when searching on sites like Google for the goods and services in your field

If you want to generate business from web searches, you will need to have a website that can be found in search results.

When should you choose these keywords?

The best time to define your keywords is when first planning your site. The reason for this is that you can design and structure your pages around those words. You will find yourself doing this automatically. If you already have a website and want to change or add keywords, don’t worry. It doesn’t require major surgery to make those alterations, as we explain below.

How do you choose keywords?

Think about your business as a whole, and also think about the various aspects of your business. Your homepage should be the face of your business, summarising your business as a whole. Each distinct aspect of your business should then be represented as a separate page on your website. Since every page of your website represents something different, every page will have its own specific keywords and should be optimised for these keywords individually.

Example: Keywords for a Birmingham Pet Shop

To demonstrate how to successfully plan and refine keywords, let’s use the example of our fictional Pet Shop business in Birmingham.  Please feel free to apply the following process to your own business. First, let’s generate a selection of suitable keywords / key phrases that we think describe our business as a whole:

  • birmingham pet shop
  • online pet shop
  • pet supplies
  • pet products
  • pet food

Open the Google Adwords Keyword tool at: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal Type the keyword in the box under ‘Enter one keyword or phrase per line:’ and then click ‘Get Keyword Ideas’.

A four column table is generated; Keywords, Advertiser Competition, Local Search Volume (month), and Global Search Volume (month). Click on ‘Local Search Volume’ to put all entries in order from highest to lowest number of searches.

Keyword analysis

Take note!!  See how one single character can change the results – single or plural terms and terms with or without hyphens or apostrophes can have very different numbers of searches.

Google Keyword Tool - Results

Note about Pay Per Click Some people create adverts containing keywords of their choice.  These adverts appear as ‘sponsored links’ in Google results. These are not organic search listings. The advert owner pays an agreed price to Google every time someone clicks on that advert. This is called Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising. This keyword search tool is provided by Google for people defining their own PPC campaign, which explains why the first column is ‘Advertiser Competition’. Against each keyword, the green bar indicates the number of people bidding to use that keyword.

 

The objective for PPC and also SEO is similar. Try and find keywords that have low advertiser competition (less green in the bar) and high search volumes.  This is the ideal scenario – less competition, lots of searches. You will notice that the keyword tool presents results for keywords / key phrases other than the ones you initially entered, and some of these look good.

Google Keyword Tool - Keyword Search Results

This tool also offers ‘Additional keywords to be considered’ – these are generated in response to your search and presented further down the results page.  This is very useful. If you found it hard to create enough terms to describe your site, gain extra keywords and inspiration here. Sometimes the keywords suggested are better than the ones you thought of initially! It only takes a search on one or two phrases to get the ball rolling… Checking out the results, we find a number of additional keyword phrases that are suitable for our business:

Google Keyword Tool - Additional keywords to be considered’

What makes the keywords suitable?

They are relevant, descriptive, and searched for at least a thousand times per month (our own chosen cut off level). So, in this example using the Google Adwords Keywords Tool and five potential keyword phrases, we have identified at least eight additional phrases that we can use on our site that will enable our Pet Shop to be found. Follow these steps, and you will be able to do the same for your business. Come back for more excellent SEO advice. Good luck! Jake Chambers info@opace.co.uk

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