Three steps to choosing your SEO keywords

in Blog and website content copywriting

If you’re thinking of writing the content for your website, it’s important to get to grips with your keywords ((For anyone unsure what keywords are, they’re the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find your business.)) very early on in the process. Here’s a three step guide to choosing the right ones.

Step one: brainstorm and refine

The first thing to do is write down all the words and phrases associated with your business. Don’t worry how many you’ve got at this stage, just go through the thinking process.

Once you’ve got your list, it’s time to cut it down. Look at each word or phrase in turn and ask, “If I was my customer, would I type this into Google to find my business?” The answer will be one of three things:

  • Yes. In which case keep it on the list.
  • No. In which case delete it.
  • Only when it’s combined with another word or phrase on the list. In which case, combine it with that word or phrase.

Once you’ve done this, look at your list again and see how many keywords you’ve got. If you´ve got 150 words or phrases in your list, you´re either running a multinational business with hundreds of products and services or you´ve got too many words on the list. Around 10 to 12 words or phrases is plenty for the average site. If you’ve got less than this, don’t worry. If you’ve got more, look at the list again and decide which are the most important keywords for your business.

Step two: Google it

Once you’ve got your list, it’s time to turn to Google. First of all, do a search for each of your keywords. If your direct competitors show up in the results, you’ve got a good keyword. If they don’t, ask yourself whether it’s really the right keyword to be using.

Step three: check

The next step is to check you’re not missing any obvious keywords. I like to use Google’s Keyword Planner to do this. You enter your keyword and Google makes suggestions of other keywords you might like to consider.

At this stage, you might also like to ask your customers for their input too. This will give you a genuine outsiders’ viewpoint. What keywords would they use to find you? You might be surprised at the answers!

Throughout this process, it pays to remember that you should pick your battles carefully. You want to be competing against your direct competitors and no one else. Search engine rankings are extremely competitive so you want to be fighting against as few people as possible. It also helps to remember that where search engine rankings are concerned, it’s all about quality not quantity. You don’t want everyone to visit your site, you just want the people who are likely to buy from you. Making sure your keywords are as specific as possible will make sure you’re competing against fewer people and attracting the people most likely to buy from you.

Once you’ve got your keywords, it’s time to put them to good use. We’ll look at how to do that in the next post.

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