Learning how to create an SEO keyword plan is exciting. It makes you take a good hard look at your business, at your customers, and at your market. You’ll learn a lot about your competition and their philosophies, too. The sooner you get started the better you will understand the rest of the SEO process. This guide will help you build and curate your first keyword list by asking yourself three very important questions.
Who Are You Targeting?
We’re not going to lie picking the right keywords is tough. Your keyword list will evolve over the months. It will never stop changing. The good news is that your target AUDIENCE is likely to remain the same over time. You can start digging out basic keywords by thinking about the things your audience is actually looking for.
- Starting by using the Google keyword tool to find Seed keywords
- Then narrow down your search by carefully selecting keywords that have search volume
- Begin with a group of 5-10 closely related keywords and optimize your target page accordingly
Let’s assume you run a blog for local musicians, giving them event news and contact information for booking agents and producers. Your website is about music but your audience isn’t looking for just any music information. You won’t be targeting many phrases that involve buying music or finding music, you’ll be targeting phrases that involve specific pieces of equipment or specific parts of the production process.
What Are You Selling?
Goals, though, are the most important thing to keep in mind as you determine the best keywords. Are you trying to make money off product referrals? Keywords like “best country guitar” or “how to fix a broken synth bass” target people who might be buying a product soon, keywords like “cheap drum heads” or “download rap beats” will target people who practically have their credit cards in hand. You’ll need a healthy mix.
If you’re serious about selling goods, you’ll absolutely need to invest in the services of an SEO company. Running a blog is one thing, and you could potentially have plenty of time for keyword research and optimization, but running a business is an entirely different matter. It’s important to learn how to search for keywords no matter whether you hire or DIY it after all, you have to know a little bit about keywords so you can better explain your needs to any hired SEO pro.
How Are You Doing?
Good targeting leads to high conversions. Things can change quickly, though, as competitors potentially crowd your keyword choices or as new trends make your keyword choices obsolete. You might notice that older pages that once converted well could benefit from some fresh content and fresh keywords. You might notice that pages with too many keywords have sunk down to the bottom of the rankings. There are all kinds of reasons that a solid keyword can fail. The search engines modify their algorithms daily.
This is why analytics are so important. You have to keep track of your keywords, see how they perform over time and see whether some of them appear to be seasonal or short-lived in effectiveness. Most of the tools you will need are free to use but if you have a large site, a large number of sites, or limited SEO knowledge it might be better to leave the analytics up to the professionals. A consulting session now and then can help bring to light problems that you didn’t even know existed.
Pick up a few eBooks about targeting (and marketing), try out some keyword research tools to figure out what you like, and get involved in the community at a search engine optimization strategy blog so that you can keep up with the changing trends. Learning about keywords is a process that will never end.