Keyword research is perhaps one the most boring & mundane parts of the SEO to do list when starting a new website project, redesign or arguably when taking a second look at a long running project. At least that is what most SEO professionals or do-it-yourselfers will say if you ask. Thankfully for the clients at Ecreativeworks, I am here. I love the keyword research projects so much that I specialize in them and have done most of the research on our new project websites for over a year now. I love it so much that I actually get excited when I can talk to a client for the first time and ask for an initial list of “dream” keywords from them. This is where it all starts, and yes I get everything from very specific targeted model numbers to the vaguest of terms like “quality”. Wouldn’t we all like to rank for that—oh ya, scratch that. Can you remember that last time you typed “quality” by itself in a search engine? I doubt you ever have. But this is where my life begins with a new project and it is the first opportunity I have to educate people on how the search engines operate and a little bit about how searchers search. Of course no one can predict how people search today, let alone next month, but we do have some tools at our disposal that will help us to know which keywords have a better chance of performing for our sites.
Next up is the actual research. Get this, I now get to learn everything I can about this client and their terminology. I start by looking over their current website or just their initial phrases, if they don’t yet have a website (boy am I glad they found us if that is the case). Then, I get to look at some of their competitors where I learn even more about what it is that this industry is all about. I am having fun now, learning about semiconductors, extruded tubing, metal castings, etc. Ok, I have to qualify that I worked for an Iron Foundry and loved it–I really like to know how things are made. They even have a cable show that was written just for me (or it seems that way anyhow) called “How Stuff Works” and if you haven’t seen it, it is awesome. Back to the topic, now I start my actual search looking for terms that are highly searched and yet have a lower competition in the search engines. This is often the “hard” part.
Once I have found a sizable number of keyword phrases, I sort through them giving them a category, with the best ending up in my “top recommended” category. These are what I can take to the client through my 1-2 hour presentation on my findings. This is the “fun” part, especially when the client sees all the different variations and terms that they may not have even thought of, but are being searched online. This is often a surprise as they may not be the same “lingo” that is used inside the company. I like to make sure that they are thinking “outside the box” when choosing their final keyword phrases. This is also where I get them to focus their keyword phrases. You see, at the the beginning of any website project, you need to really focus in on a few keyword phrases for each page. I generally will look at 1-3 to start off a project. This is an effective way to focus the content on phrases that have the most potential to drive initial traffic to your just launched site. The goal should be to drive more traffic and higher quality traffic to your site so your conversions can also increase and hopefully lowering your bounce rate.
Next up is working on your content and using the keyword phases in the most useful manner on the site itself. But, that is a whole new topic that I will have to talk about later. Hope you enjoyed the quick keyword research read and maybe you will get excited about keyword research next time like I do.