finding the right keywordA keyword is a single word or group of words entered into the search box of search engines like Google, by people looking for information, products or services on the web.

Just think of how you yourself go about looking for something using Google.

If you wanted to find a company selling luxury Belgian chocolates online, then you’d enter something like ‘luxury belgian chocolates’ or ‘belgian chocolates’. Or if you were looking for a shop in Oxford where you could go and buy them in person you’d enter ‘luxury belgian chocolates oxford’.

There is evidence that search users are now using on average 3-4 words in their search and more frequently a geographical reference to narrow the search results. So keyword combinations and locations over single keywords are becoming increasingly important.

Impact of Keywords

There are many factors that influence where a website will appear based on the keywords.

Here are some of the most important ones:

1. The quality of the match between your website keywords and the words entered into the search engine search box.

2. The density of those keywords on your website pages, i.e. how many times they appear in relation to the rest of the text.

3. The prominence of the keywords on your web pages, i.e. if they are used as headlines and at beginning and/or end of the page sentences, for example.

Selecting the right keywords is critical to getting those high search page results so spend plenty of time on the selection process.

Finding the right ones!

Finding and using the right keywords and keyword combinations is the’ Holy Grail’ of search engine optimisation. Keywords are the bedrock, the foundation and one of the fundamental cornerstones of effective SEO.

The ‘right’ keywords for you are those words, phrases and combinations of words used by people who are looking for products and services like yours.

So how to find the right ones, that’s the question, isn’t it?

Well, one good place to start is to ask your own customers or clients which words and phrases they used to find your website. This is good practice to start to do whenever a new business enquiry comes in. It can be particularly effective for companies whose main website objective is to generate direct contact, by phone or email. People can usually remember what words they put into the search engine search box, if asked at the time they contact you.

Make it a golden rule from now on to always get this information if at all possible from everyone who contacts you via your website. At the same time you can ask them what search engine they used.

The keyword and search engine information will greatly assist whoever is doing your ongoing SEO (you do have an ongoing SEO Strategy as part of your marketing plan don’t you???).

Another good source for the right keywords is your own experience. Put yourself in the mind of your potential customers and write down all the potential single words, phrases and combinations of words that you yourself might use to find products and services like yours.

You’ll probably be surprised at how many you end up with.

You can also use the free Google Keyword Tool to look at keywords and see what volume of people search on these keywords. This can test your assumptions about the right keywords to use.

Your Google Analytics data collected from your existing website can also provide valuable clues.

Once you formulated your list – you’ll need to fine-tune it and focus on the keywords where you think you can compete most strongly (as there is less competition) – often the longtail keywords – or where your business is most relevant.

Engaging the help of an SEO specialist is often prudent for this and can save you valuable time and energy in trying to do it yourself. Get in touch if feel you need some help with your SEO or a keyword review. Perhaps your current website just isn’t getting you to where you need to be in Google. We can help you.