keyword research.

All SEO work must be founded on actual facts, not assumptions, because often what you as a business owner understand about your product or service can be far different to how your clients think about it. The words they use to search in Google with will reflect these differences.

Both Google and Bing provide keyword research tools to get statistics. I recommend Google’s tool within the Google Adwords account management site. This is free to use and you don’t have to run any paid campaigns through Adwords to be able to access it.

Create a Google Account to access Adwords:

First, set up a Google account if you don’t already have one. If you already have a “gmail” address – then this is your Google account login. If you don’t have one and don’t want a gmail address, you can register your existing email address as a Google account address too. Set it up here:

Follow the directions to set up your new Google account.

Once you have been verified as the account holder, you can then create your new Google Adwords account here:

Follow the directions in the account to set up your details. You don’t need to add billing information or start a campaign. Simply skip those steps and access the menu item called “Keyword Planner” in the “Tools” section of the menu. You may see an error bar in red stating that you haven’t yet set up your account for running campaigns yet. Ignore it. You can still use the Keywords tool anyway.

Using a ‘seed’ list:

The following directions will only tell you how to get statistics for your keyword ideas. There are several other elements you can research using this tool, but I will cover just this one.

NOTE: This will not generate an exhaustive set of keywords you should use: It will only give you an overview of some ideas. To get a complete analysis done for you, please refer to our SEO Services section for ways in which we can help.

Select the “search for new keyword and ad group ideas” item.

In the first box for products or services, enter as many words as you like that you believe are most relevant for searches that people might use to find you. Your keywords don’t need to be single words, you can add phrases here too. Add each new phrase or word on a new line. You can also select a specific page in your website it is relevant to, for example, if one of your website’s pages is about low cost clothing online. You can also select a specific category that Google will deliver results for in the third box. Each of these 3 boxes is optional, but using at least one is mandatory.

Finally, select the country you specifically target, and the language of the search words you want to research. You can experiment with the other targeting and custom settings later, but first try the settings I have just noted.

Click: Get Ideas.

You will first land on a graph element and a list of words in the tab called “Ad group ideas”. Click to the tab “Keyword ideas” instead.

Now you will have the search statistics for the exact phrases you will have added previously, plus also a list of other phrases immediately below with relevant stats. If your keyword ideas are not actually used, or seldom used, the figures in the “Avg monthly searches” column will be low. Ideally, you would search engine optimise your website for the words and phrases that have the highest Avg monthly searches figure.

Build a Keyword List:

Scroll down and view all of the stats of other words and phrases that Google thinks are relevant for your set of words, your landing page or your category that you selected earlier.

Select “Add to plan” for any phrases that you think are most relevant and also have sufficient numbers of searches to be viable as a phrase you would add into your search engine optimisation programme for your site.

Now download your words into a CSV file or save into Google drive. This will allow you to refer back to the file or document when you come to implement the words into your website.

Further Notes About Keyword Research:

Compare your assumptions about which keywords are relevant for you versus the actual words being searched by people using Google. You may find that very few people search what you thought. If that’s the case, you have no choice but to change your ideas about which words to use when optimising your site, because it’s not helpful to optimise for something that never or seldom gets searched.

When selecting the words from the recommended list that Google suggests, don’t add words or phrases solely because of the number of searches that occur per month. Select words that satisfy both the requirement for high search numbers and also those that are most commercially relevant for you. Commercial relevance can be scored mentally by you by thinking about the following:

  1. If a word or phrase is definitely what people would use to find services or product you offer, then select the word.
  2. If a word or phrase might be what people would use to find services of products you offer, then select the word.
  3. If a word or phrase is unlikely to be what people would use to find services or products you offer, then do not select the word.

You will end up with a list of words that are either definitely, or might be relevant. Depending on how relevant the ‘might be’ list is, you may or may not decide to include them in your SEO work. To assist in planning your website structure, you should group words into sets that are ‘nearly the same’ or ‘very similar’ and the “Ad group ideas” tab in the keyword planner may help you decide which words to group together. The number of pages of content you should create for your website depends largely on the number of groups you end up with. You can optimise any single page for any one or two keywords phrases (or groups of very similar phrases) but you shouldn’t try to create pages optimised for more than two phrases or groups at a time or the result will dilute the targeting for any given page. If you end up with far too many groups for your site to seem structurally sound or organised, then leave out any phrases of groups that were in the ‘might be’ list. Be prepared to write about 20-50% more content that your competitors have for their websites.

There are many other factors other than just keyword groups that go into deciding what website structure you need and how many pages of content you should create.

For assistance in planning your content structure to make your website highly search engine optimised, consult a professional SEO services provider of your choice, or drop us a line.