Keywords are important building blocks of any organization’s SEO strategy; optimizing a site with strategic keywords can help you largely influence your target audience. Also, regulating the keyword spread will give you the power to tweak your campaign as per requirement.
To build a successful blog, you’ll need pick the right set of keywords. Subsequently, you’ll be able to gather data about which keywords are working and which ones need more work — but how would you pick the initial set of keywords?
Frame your overall goals.
Before you determine which keywords might be right for you, spend some time thinking about what your SEO goals are. Generally companies use SEO to boost their website traffic, but you need to be more specific than that.
- How quickly do you the results? SEO is a long-term strategy. If you want results faster, you may need to choose higher volume of keywords.
- How relevant does your audience need to be? Are you targetting one specific audience, or flexible with the types of people you have coming to the site?
- What kind of traffic do you desire? Do you want people to buy your products, or are you focusing simply on brand awareness?
Do your Preliminary Research.
Once you have charted your grand vision in mind, you can do the following research:
- Come up with root ideas. Sketch out some keyword ideas related to your line of business. Find at least a few broad search categories.
- Use topic and keyword generators. Next, use an online tool to help you come up with an exhaustive list of keywords, and one that’ll also provide the keyword stats.
- Create a excel sheet. Export that data into a spreadsheet, to facilitate quick comparison and field wise analysis.
Narrow down the list.
Once you’re ready with the excel sheet, you can start weeding out the weakest candidates. Take a look at the following variables with special focus:
- Volume. “Search volume” refers to how many times a particular phrase has been searched for. It can help you gauge how much traffic you’ll receive from a specific query, though you should know that volume tends to fluctuate.
- Competition. Next, look at the competition level for those keywords. As a matter of fact, high volume keywords tend to have the higher competition. You’ll need to strike a balance between the two.
- Relevance. Consider the relevance of each keyword to your core brand. Analyze whether it will drive the segments of traffic that you would really need.
- Current rankings. It’s worth checking to see if you currently rank for any of these terms — if you do, that might help you build early momentum.
Pick your top candidates.
At this juncture, the shortlisted keywords should be your personal picks, based on your instincts. You should have narrowed your list down to atomic keywords, that promises higher ROI.
Your initial set of keywords may not be perfect, but it will give you a good starting point that can be improved upon even further. Introspect how results develop over time, and don’t hesitate to make changes when you need to.