SEO keyword research is one of the most important and fundamental tasks to carry out when it comes to optimising your website for search engines.

If you’ve never done it before, it can seem like a daunting task, but it’s really not that hard once you know how! Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Brainstorm for topics

Make a list of relevant topics based on what you already know about your business. These might be keywords you’d like to rank for, topics you blog about or things you sell to your customers.

Have a look at the products and services pages on your website. What keywords are relevant to them?

Ask your employees and clients what they would search for to find your products and services. Family and friends can also provide surprising insight into search terms for people that are outside of your industry and don’t know much about it.

Step 2: Refine your topics

Now think about some keywords that relate to the topics you’ve come up with. These are going to be the specific words you think your customers are typing into a search engine when they’re looking for a product or service like yours.

Check out what your competitors are talking about online. Sometimes they can offer hints on what might be working for them.

Look at where your audience is on Social Media and see what they are talking about. This will not only give you some good ideas on keywords but will show you what your audience is really interested in from their point of view. You can then use this information for future marketing activities.

Step 3: Research your keywords

When you’ve got a list of keywords you think might work, it’s time to plug them into Google’s Keyword Planner and see what comes up. Something you thought was good might actually get very few searches a month, and you might see some suggestions for a phrase you’d never thought of that gets thousands of searches.

If you are running Google AdWords you may use different keywords for that than you would as part of your SEO.

Would you have better luck landing on or near page one with a keyword that has low or medium competition or would you go for a word with high search volume? Have a think about that. A lot of where you show up in the search depends on many factors with your website. So if you are new or your website doesn’t have a high ranking factor, which would be better for your business?

Step 4: Create your list

From your research, you can create a list of keywords that will work for your business. Aim for a good mixture of long and short phrases, with high, medium and low competition. Having a mixture of words gives you a better strategy because you’re not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Step 5: Narrow it down

Assign each keyword to a page on your website. This will be the primary keyword to target for that page. It’s best to use your shorter keyword phrases for your website pages, and save longer ones for blog posts. Any phrases left over from your list can be used for future blogs, and this gives you an idea of what to write about too!

There you have it. It’s quite an easy task once you know how, and by doing your research and optimising your pages, you’ll have a much better chance of ranking well in the search engines.

Each page that you can assign a keyword to that is optimised well is like a mini sales person out there on the web attracting new opportunities to your business. Seems like a fairly cost efficient way to build a sales team!

If you would like to learn more about SEO, check out these two resources:

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