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SEO and Keywords: how to identify the right keywords

Written by Brett Sidaway, February 7, 2011

SEO and Keywords: how to identify the right keywords

SEO and Keywords

When conducting research to identify the correct keywords for SEO you need to ask yourself some basic questions. For example, what would a person type into a search engine to get to your site?

What keywords would you associate with your business? What would you type to find products you sell? Even considering the age of your target customers is important as they will use different words and have different writing styles. For example an older customer are more likely to type in full sentences, whereas younger, more IT savvy customers will abbreviate. You should consider common typos and keyword variations. For example, if you are selling canal holidays you may assume that your potential customers will type in keywords like “canal holidays”, “canal breaks” etc. but there’s also a good chance they will search for “barge holidays” – do you know the difference between a canal boat and a barge? Before you start answering any of these questions you must have a thorough understanding of your business. After all, the more you know about your business, the more targeted your keywords will be. Always scan through your website and marketing literature thoroughly for good ideas for your keywords. At this point it is always good to find out what keywords are being used by your competitors too.

Compile a draft list of keywords you wish to target

From your existing site you will know which the good keywords are and these are the ones you can control by introducing new keyword variations to catch the additional traffic. For example if your site is for canal holidays you need to brainstorm keywords by putting down everything you think is related to your website. While you are doing this it is good practice to compile a list. Some suggestions could include :

  • canal holidays
  • discount canal holidays
  • canal boat holidays
  • cheap canal holidays
  • narrow boat holiday

These are basic keywords that you would like your website to be found for. By using words or phrases that your target customers are likely to type in to get to your website, you will give your site maximum chances of being found in the search engines. Another suggestion is to add geographical keyword modifiers. This is when you want to target keyword queries that include names of cities and towns. Suggestions could include :

  • canal holidays scotland
  • welsh gateway canal holidays
  • canal holidays uk

Branching out to use other related keywords can also be a good tactic as it will help further improve your visibility on the search engines. For example:

  • norfolk broads sightseeing
  • british waterways
  • canal boats for sale
  • waterway and canal boats

Using search engine keyword suggestions and related searches

Search engines provide an endless pool of keyword suggestions. As soon as you arrive at the search box and start typing your keywords, search engines start showing their search suggestion drop-downs with a list of predicted keywords relevant to your currently typed-in text. As soon as you get to your results page, you are again given some keyword suggestions. There are plenty of keyword suggestions that you can find just by using search engine interfaces.

Google keyword tools and resources

Google provides several keyword-oriented tools that you can use for SEO keywords. These include the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, Google Sets, Google Trends, and Google Insights for Search. All of these are free and can be very useful for obtaining relevant keyword suggestions.

Getting SEO support

For those just getting started with building an online presence, SEO strategy can be very difficult to understand.  It is essential to look for reliable search engine optimisation consultants who can help you to get your business website to the top of the search engines in an ethical manner. You could even consider SEO courses to help develop your knowledge in this area. Opace Technology Solutions are successful Web Design and SEO consultants in Birmingham who study keywords to know which ones will work and which ones won’t. The higher the keyword search volume and the higher your website ranks in search engines, the more people will visit it. Over the next few weeks we will be covering a series of SEO topics in more depth. Please follow us @opaceweb on Twitter for information on blog updates, and feel free to subscribe to our feed.

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