Keyword Research – Selecting Keywords for your SEO Strategy

Strong keyword research is the backbone to any SEO strategy. The value of your SEO efforts are directly related to the keywords you choose. You cannot overestimate the importance of this activity.

In fact, this is the number 1 starting point of your SEO strategy. During the keyword research phase, many clients ask when the SEO project will commence – the key element of the SEO project is the selection of keywords, the project has commenced.

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Once keywords have been implemented within an Australian SEO campaign, you cannot simply change them in the same way that you are able to alter and test Pay-per-Click (PPC) keywords, without incurring unnecessary costs and making the work for the previous keywords completely redundant.

For this reason, it is critical that the keyword research process be iterative. The keywords should never be dictated solely by the client or by the search engine optimisation firm providing the consultation.

Selecting keywords for your SEO keyword strategy requires thorough research that utilises a number of data points and includes solid client input, as the client can ultimately provide the most information about their product or services.

Approaching the Keyword Research Process

1. Develop a thorough and complete understanding of the client product or service, the areas of the business they wish to grow, their online positioning relative to competitors and current rankings for any keywords previously identified as important

2. Get into the mind of the consumer, determining their search patterns and keyword usage for the product or service offered by your client – brainstorm keyword categories that address the customer’s wants

3. Measure the compiled keywords against any available measurable metrics such as competitor data, PPC impressions and conversions, estimated traffic levels on the web etc.

4. Quantify keyword popularity and formulate a list for a final selection process.

5. Gather other relevant factors such as client budget, conversion potential, strategy, competition level, traffic potential and site content to develop your final client recommendations.

6. Analyse the factors, discuss them in detail with the client and provide an iterative ‘final’ keyword list that is final subsequent to client approval.

Following a clearly determined keyword process is fundamental to making the correct keyword decisions. In the latest economic crisis, there is going to be even more pressure on search engine marketing companies to deliver keywords that will result in a significant increase in both traffic and the business’ bottom line.

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