Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Whatever the search engine optimization cost, an SEO campaign ought to first start with identifying the right keywords to target and categorize. Of course, no SEO campaign is the same, or uses the same keywords. The methods of your SEO campaign and the search engine optimization cost will have to depend on the company’s market, budget, and the products they’re selling.
However different the various companies you perform SEO services for are, there is a basic umbrella approach to researching, identifying and categorizing keywords.
First, compile a list of keywords relevant to your business. The list should be very comprehensive and searcher-oriented. A combination of PPC data, analytics, internal search data, know-how on your competitors, historical data on your company, and a bit of old fashioned intuition all come together to create your big master keyword list. You may also want to check out Google suggestions for keywords you haven’t thought of before, as well as searching keywords in Wikipedia and scrolling down to the “See Also” column for alternate keyword possibilities.
Second, you should further expand your list. The Google Keyword Tool is a common option among SEO consultants. Expand the seed word list and check out the search volumes of all your keywords.
Google’s projected search data volumes, however, shouldn’t be taken too literally, as they are sometimes not accurate and only measure keyword effectiveness in relation to each other. Instead, you can just make general assumptions based on the Google data, but don’t accurately conclude you’ll get exactly X amount of users a month solely based on that data.
Third, choose the most important keywords and prioritize the list based on level of importance. The most important keywords are the ones that will most likely generate the most revenue. Target the most important keywords the most in your campaign. These important keywords will also be used as your own barometer of ranking health, as well as to start a link building campaign. You may end up with anywhere between twenty five to hundreds of priority keywords, depending on the size of your campaign.
The keywords that end up on your priority list may also depend on the competition in your industry. Localized keywords will very likely end up high on your priority list, as competition for unique keywords is less intense. For example, “loose diamonds” makes sense as a keyword for the Harry Winston website, yet the small diamond store in Ojai, CA may want to target specific keywords like “loose diamonds in Ojai” in order to get a grapple on the Google rankings.
Categorizing your important keywords based on your business goals, such as promoting a specific product or non-brand keywords.
Once you have all of your priority keywords ready, you should determine which landing pages the keywords will link to. You will be optimizing these landing pages the most in order to direct traffic to that site. On-page optimization may only affect a couple of your priority keywords, so using the remaining list of less important keywords can help you beef up the optimization of the landing pages.
Using this guide will assist you in your future keyword research pursuits and enhance your optimization methods.