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Ask Bloomtools: How do I choose keywords for my site?

Posted by Tracey Voyce on 1 November 2014

I understand how important it is for my website to be on search engines but how do I go about choosing the right keywords?

Answer: All your search engine optimisation efforts are dependant on the keywords you choose for your website so it's very important that you choose the right ones.  Keywords are the words and phrases you think best define what your business is about.  They should always be based on what your target market would use to find your business on search engines, not on what you think would be best.
To choose the right keywords you need to conduct keyword research.  Here are the steps:

Step 1 - Brainstorm

The first stage of researching keywords for your site is to generate a list of terms and phrases relevant to the industry and what the site or business offers. This could produce a list of between a dozen to several hundred keywords.  List all of the most important words and phrases currently on your site and put yourself in the mindset of the your customer and vendors and think about what they would search for.  Also, look at what your competitors are using.

Step 2 - Estimate numbers

Get a count for the keywords in your list using some of the following tools:

At this point, your keyword spreadsheet will have one column for the keyword, a column for each keyword research tool and a column that lists the average count for each term.

Step 3 - Add new terms

Expand your current list of keywods and phrases by adding a new term that the various research tools suggest. Try to compile a large variety of keywords and phrases from the tools and get search estimates for each of these additional keywords. Remember, only add relevant keywords that will bring valuable traffic.

Step 4 - Give the keywords a relevancy score

Once you have built your list of potential keywords go through each term and estimate what you think its relevancy is to your site (0% - 100%, with 0% being the least relvant keywords and 100% being the most relevant).

Step 5 - Estimate competition and difficulty

There are various ways to estimate how competitive a keyword can be:

Use the keyword research tools like keyCompete, Spyfu, Adwords Keyword tool estimator and Keyword Discovery all have features that allow you to see how highly competitive a keyword is.
Search for a keyword and see which sites are being displayed in the top 10-30 results. See what terms these sites have in their title tags and anchor text. Pay attention to sites that repeatedly rank in the top results as these sites are your main competition.
Give each a percentage based on what you percieve their difficulty to be and add it to your spreadsheet.

Step 6 - Choose the keywords you want to compete for

It is crucial to know each keyword's difficulty and competitiveness, as choosing competitive keywords will require more work, and will be much harder.  It is suggested that you choose up to 10 keywords and focus on these to start with.

Your local Bloomtools Consultant can help get your business in search engines.  Find out more here.

Author: Tracey Voyce
About: With more than 20 years business management experience, Tracey Voyce is the sales and franchising brains behind Bloomtools. Tracey has owned and managed many businesses and spent several years training and motivating coaches at the world’s largest business coaching franchise.
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Tags: Website Design Internet Marketing