~By: Roxanne Peterson

SEO companies constantly stress the importance of thorough keyword research. Building your online brand with a clear sense of your target audience is one thing, but trying to predict how your audience will try and find you is a completely different kettle of fish. The keywords you choose will set the foundations for your entire SEO campaign and represent your strengths and specialisms as a company.

First of all, simply employing an SEO consultant in the first place will greatly aid your keyword research. Their job is to discover your niche to sell your products or services – and sell them hard. As the owner of a business, you can often become so involved in your own organization that you find it impossible to think like a consumer. Using a combination of research methods, search engine optimization software and personal experience, your SEO specialist can inspire new approaches to keywords and suggest better search phrases.

Cementing a solid basis to your campaign by thoroughly researching relevant search terms is crucial for the on-going success of your website. Identify your primary keywords, i.e. those of most priority for your business, and look to also optimize your secondary phrases, i.e. alternatives that don’t generate quite as many searches but could still instigate business.

The second step you need to take along the road to determining your best keywords is to get talking. Chat to colleagues, brainstorm ideas with your marketing team (if you have one) and even speak to clients to try and understand how they found your company in the first place. You’re not only conducting this research to benefit your SEO, you also need to consider the user experience and human perspective. At first it’s best to come up with a definitive list of generic, broad match keywords that best represent what you offer. Then, as you gain confidence about your choices, consider targeting search terms that represent every aspect of your business, from the products you sell to the USPs you offer.

You could also check out your competitors’ keywords as part of your research process. While you don’t want to copy their tactics like for like, if you know that another business is thriving thanks to clever SEO marketing then taking a sneak peek at their optimized keywords will benefit your decision.

The SEO Best Practice Guide, as published by the search engine optimization research authority eConsultancy.com, recommends distinguishing between your head search terms and long tail keywords and targeting particular users with a good mix of the two. For example, optimizing your site for generic (and therefore more popular) keywords is great to raise awareness of your site alongside the big market players, but those searching for the particular product or service are more aware of the choices on offer. Long tail phrases are, by definition, more precise, and those searching with them are normally more inclined to purchase or inquire. Using this type of term indicates a true intent or purpose to the search (often referred to as a commercial search). As an extra benefit, long tail search terms can be cheaper to optimize as the level of competition is often lower.

As is often the case with search engine optimization, bear in mind that many more specific keywords may not convert too well when it comes to the organic search listings – again, it’s important to analyse all the information available to you to truly determine where those extra sales are going to come from.

Once you’ve got a clear idea of the search terms you want to cover, take advantage of the variety of SEO tools that are freely available on the web. Such search engine optimization software will demonstrate how many monthly searches are generated for your keywords, the competition you’re facing from similar sites and even which terms are more likely to result in higher sales conversion ratios. Great SEO tools include the immensely popular Wordtracker, iSpionage, SpyFu and our personal favourite, SEMRush. Another handy piece of kit commonly used by search engine optimization professionals is Google’s very own Adwords tool.

As a conclusion, take all industry advice on board when it comes to keyword selection, as simply going with your gut feeling won’t result in the best ROI. If you’re liaising with an SEO consultant on a regular basis, use their specialist advice to your advantage and take this opportunity to really put across the goal of your business’ search engine optimisation campaign.

About the Author:

The above article is edited by Roxanne Peterson, who is associated with many UK Seo and Web Designing related companies like SEO Positive in UK which is showcased in the article. She excels in writing articles related to web designing, SEO, pay per click services, social media etc.

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