Keyword research is the foundation to any SEO campaign, so in this post I’ll cover a simple way to perform keyword research for your website using Google’s free keyword tool.
The Google AdWords keyword tool has been developed by Google to give PPC advertisers an insight into different keywords that could be useful in setting up a PPC campaign. The flip side is that it also provides a great insight into keyword search volumes and related terms which can be used as the foundation of a basic SEO campaign. With Google powering a majority of searches worldwide, it’s also fair to assume that the numbers are quite accurate.
Let’s cover the steps to establish a baseline list of keyword ideas for your website.
1. Choose Your Targeting Options
The first step is to select your targeting options. The country and language you choose here will influence the search volume numbers which are displayed after entering your keywords.
2. Select Your Keyword Generation Preferences
You can choose to generate a list of keywords in two ways. The first is by entering a few general search terms associated with your website, the second is by entering a URL and pulling keywords from that page.
If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend just entering a few simple keywords you would like to rank for and using the tool to expand this list.
3. Enter Some Basic Keywords
The third step involves entering some simple key terms you’d like to rank for. Enter each key phrase on a new line which can be made up of 1 or many search terms. For example a florist might have something like this:
- Flower delivery
- Buy flowers
- Online florist
Once you’ve got 3-4 basic keywords, ensure the ‘use synonyms’ box is ticked and click on ‘Get keyword ideas’. Google should now give you a big list of keywords:
You’ll want to focus on the global monthly search volume column, which shows the average number of monthly searches for each keyword on the list.
Now obviously the huge keywords like florist or florists are going to be very hard to rank for as there will be a large number of sites competing for such a generic keyword. My advice is to scroll down the list until you can find some lower volume “long tail” keywords. These may be 3-4 keywords in length, but reduced competition on these phrases means it’s much easier to get your site ranking well.
By ranking highly for a group of long-tail keywords, their combined traffic volume will hopefully equal some of the more difficult phrases. This helps your site to get decent traffic volumes without the struggle of ranking for the most competitive search term in your industry!
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