(This Keyword Research page is the starting page for our section on onsite optimisation factors. These are things that you do on your own website to help with SEO. These are factors that are fully within your own control.)
The search engines index web pages as opposed to websites so each page represents an opportunity of getting found for a particular search term. You need to research what keywords are being used to search for the products or services that you offer so that you know what phrases to target.
Keyword Analysis Tool
There are several free and subscription based tools on the Internet that can help you to do this. I generally use the Google Keyword Analysis tool. This is provided for users of Adwords, their pay per click advertising system but it is freely available to all and it is probably as good as any other. See https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal.
Don't just trust you own judgement to select keywords. Your mind may work different from other people in this respect and if you have specialised knowledge of the product or service offered you may think in technical terms that the public may not be familiar with. You have to put on your Joe Public hat when doing this and consider what someone with no real or technical knowledge of your business would type in the search box.
To illustrate this let’s say that you have business renting out property and accommodation. In other words you are a "property letting agent". Many people seeking your services will be looking to rent a property for the first time and they will not be familiar with the industry terminology. They will be thinking of the word "renting" rather than "letting" and they will probably search using terms like "flats to rent Anytown" or "rented accommodation Anytown". Only a few of them will use the term "letting agent anytown".
KEYWORD RESEARCH – ACTIONS REQUIRED SUMMARY
- If you play around with search terms related to your web pages on the keyword tool you should be able to decide which are best for you. When doing so you must take off your technical hat and put on your general public one. You must put yourself in the place of the people who are searching for your services and guess what terms they would use. These are not often the same as those used by technical people or those who are in your business.
- Write down the keywords you have decided upon so that you won’t forget them. For reasons that will be discussed later it is really only practical to target one or two key phrases per page.
- Remember that the search engines index web pages as opposed to websites. Each page on your site can be optimised for different keywords.
- You can use lots of words related to your keywords in your content. Google is good at recognising themes or related content on a page and putting this in context. For example in our example website’s homepage we are looking to optimise for the term "trade training". If Google sees references to "plumbing training", "electrical training" and "joinery training" within the same page content it will probably be able to put this also in the context of trade training and this could boost the main key phrase being targeted.
The illustration above shows the web page title for Toucher Web Design homepage (in blue at the top). This is using the Internet Explorer browser. Note the use of the keywords we researched.
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