How to Conduct Keyword Research:
Keyword research is critical to the process of SEO. Without this component, your efforts to rank well in the major search engines may be mis-directed to the wrong terms and phrases, resulting in rankings that no one will ever see. The process of keyword research involved several phases:
1. Brainstorming – Thinking of what your customers/potential visitors would be likely to type in to search engines in an attempt to find the information/services your site offers (including alternate spellings, wordings, synonyms, etc).
2. Surveying Customers – Surveying past or potential customers is a great way to expand your keyword list to include as many terms and phrases as possible. It can also give you a good idea of what’s likely to be the biggest traffic drivers and produce the highest conversion rates.
3. Applying Data from KW Research Tools – Several tools online (including Wordtracker & Overture – both described below) offer information about the number of times users perform specific searches. Using these tools can offer concrete data about trends in kw selection.
4. Term Selection– The next step is to create a matrix or chart that analyzes the terms you believe are valuable and compares traffic, relevancy and the likelihood of conversions for each. This will allow you to make the best informed decisions about which terms to target. SEOmoz’s KW Difficulty Tool can also aid in choosing terms that will be achievable for the site.
5. Performance Testing and Analytics – After keyword selection and implementation of targeting, analytics programs that measure web traffic, activity and conversions can be used to further refine keyword selection.