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Keyword Research Tips

Keyword research is an important element in creating a strong Search Engine Marketing (SEM) campaign for your website. The keywords you use to optimize your website for internet search engines will determine the type of visitors that are attracted to your site. To ensure your success, we have created a list of helpful keyword research tips that will help you create an optimized website that attracts the traffic you want.

Follow this link to find Keyword Research Tips that will help you optimize your website and attract new clients.

• Brainstorm primary keywords or key phrases that potential customers are likely to use when searching for your business online.

    Work with paper and pencil to create the primary list. Ask yourself how you would search for your company online. Without knowing your company name, what words would you plug into Google, Bing, or Yahoo search engines to find the services or products you sell? Here are some examples we could use for our company, which are related to IT Services: Computer Services, IT Services, Computer Consultants.
• If your service or product is bound by geography, what keywords or key phrases would describe the boundaries of your service area?
    Can you provide this service or product anywhere or are you limited to specific travel times or routes? For example, our IT services are area-specific. We do not provide our IT services outside of the Upper Valley or beyond an hour of travel time. If your services are bound by geography, create a list of landmarks, towns, cities, etc that describe your service area. Here some examples for our company related to IT Services: Lebanon NH, Hanover NH, White River Jct. VT, Upper Valley. These can also be used as keywords for your website.
• Combine the "primary keyword phrases" and the "geographic phrases"
    At this point you should have a complete list of phrases. Now, combine each primary keyword with each geography keyword. Here is an example using the phrases mentioned above:

    Lebanon NH Computer ServicesComputer Services Lebanon NH
    Hanover NH Computer ServicesComputer Services Hanover NH
    White River Jct. VT Computer ServicesComputer Services White River Jct. VT
    Upper Valley Computer ServicesComputer Services Upper Valley
    Lebanon NH IT ServicesIT Services Lebanon NH
    Hanover NH IT ServicesIT Services Hanover NH
    White River Jct. VT IT ServicesIT Services White River Jct. VT
    Upper Valley IT ServicesIT Services Upper Valley
    Lebanon NH Computer ConsultantsComputer Consultants Lebanon NH
    Hanover NH Computer ConsultantsComputer Consultants Hanover NH
    White River Jct. VT Computer ConsultantsComputer Consultants White River Jct. VT
    Upper Valley Computer Consultants ComputerConsultants Upper Valley

    As you can see, by combining three primary phrases with four geographic phrases, we ended up with twenty-four targeted key phrases.

• Determine the volume of searches for each phrase
    Use Google's Keyword tool to analyze each key phrase and determine the search volume of each phrase. If you see, that there are no global or local searches for the phrases you have chosen, refine your list and start over until you find terms that people are searching for and which define your products or services well. Keywords or key phrases that do not describe your business well will draw the wrong crowd and will not help your business.
• Go After the Long-Tail But Plan for the Broader Terms
    Part of having a successful SEO campaign is building trust with the search engines. Unfortunately, the age of your site plays a big role in that trust factor and new sites just don't have it. To work around this, new websites should be sure to incorporate long-tail keywords ("computer software engineering classes for beginners") into their content. These long-tail keywords may have a much lower search volume, but that also means there is less competition and those who find you are searching with more targeted words, which means they know exactly what they want and are more likely to buy. By targeting these long-tail keywords you will help your site survive long enough to build that trust so you can start to go after some broader keywords down the road.
• Choose Keywords on a Page-by-Page Basis
    It's so important that you target completely unique keywords on each page of your website, based on the content of the individual page. For instance, your homepage might target "computer software engineering classes," but you should target "java programming for beginners" on the page about Java programming (not the homepage which focuses on general courses). The content on your site will back up your keyword selection and help that page do well in the search engines. If you try to put a keyword on a page where it isn't the main focus of the content, you'll never do as well for that keyword as you would like. Best practice dictates that you can target 2-5 keywords per page on your site, so make sure you're sticking with the most relevant options!
• Remember to Factor User Intent into Your Selection Process
    When someone searches for "apple" are they looking for information about the fruit or do they need a new computer? User intent determines what someone means. Different keywords can be used to search for the same thing, while the same keywords can be used to search for different things. It's very important that you keep user intent in mind when choosing your keywords because that will determine the kind of visitor that comes to your website. Having more visitors is great, but having targeted visitors is better.
• Your Keywords Aren't Set in Stone
    There is no rule that your first round of keywords have to be your last and only keywords! I've been in the SEO industry for nearly 13 years and in that time the language of the industry has evolved. Certain terms, like "inbound marketing," didn't even exist when I started in this industry. Social media marketing and keywords related to it have popped up in the last few years as the technology developed. My point is, as your industry evolves, the lexicon is going to change with it. You have to be willing to work new keywords into your website and SEO program or you risk becoming outdated and getting left behind.
These are just a few things that new website owners need to keep in mind when conducting their keyword research and keyword selection process. Remember, the keywords you target will shape the scope of your SEO campaign and impact the kind of people that find your site. Even though you can always re-optimize your website for new keywords, it's better to get your site off on the right foot from the beginning!

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