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Employing Keyword Research Techniques and Tools

This is an extremely important step. You might say the mantra of search engines should be “keywords, keywords, keywords.” Search engine spiders (the bots that go through your page gathering web page data) are looking for keywords that match or closely relate to the search query. A keyword is a specific word or phrase a search engine looks for in its index (the list of websites it looks at during a search), based on what the user typed as the search query. For example, [cars] could be a keyword for a website that deals with restoring classic cars.

Discovering Your Site Theme

The first thing you need to figure out is your website’s theme. The theme is the main thing that your site is about. It’s the central concept of whatever your site is doing on the web. Again, it seems simple enough, but it’s very important to know exactly what it is that you’re about. If you have a website that specializes in selling customized classic cars, you need to figure out exactly what that means, narrowing down the kinds of cars you consider to be classic, the types of customization you do, and so forth. Also consider where it is that you’ll be going with this website. Think about whether you only want to handle classic cars, or if you might also want to broaden your scope and include newer models.

Brainstorming for keywords

After your theme is clear in your mind and you’ve clarified what your business is really about, you have a good starting point for your keyword brainstorming sessions. Brainstorming is an appropriate first step for choosing good keywords. At this point, there are no bad keywords; you just want to compile a big list of possibilities.

Building a subject outline

After you have a large list of keywords that you might want to use, your next step is to create an outline using those keywords. Start with the broadest ones at the top level and break the list into categories and subcategories, getting more specific as you go deeper

Choosing theme‐related keywords

Now, take your nice, long list of hundreds of potential keywords and go through and match them to your theme. Figure out whether you will be doing custom work for a Ford Anglia as opposed to Ford Mustangs, and whether you want to include Dodge at all. Also start thinking about keyword phrases, like. Qualifiers, such as [convertible] or [1960s], thrown in at the beginning and end of a main keyword, turn it into a keyword phrase, and they help you figure out how narrow you want the search to be.

Doing Your Industry and Competitor Research

Now it’s time to check out the competition. With any business, it’s an important step in getting a feel for the market. With industry research, you need to know what keywords your competitors are using in their content and what kind of traffic they’re getting. One of the easiest ways is to look them up on the search engines. Use the keywords you came up with during your brainstorming session and plug them into the query window. Google bolds your search terms in the search results, so pay attention to those words and the text surrounding them.

Last word

You can find out what the man on the street is saying by actually going to the man on the street. Check out Internet forums, interest groups, and newsgroups that relate to your business and make note of what people are writing in their posts. What words do they use when referring to your type of business or the product that you sell? Those can be used as keywords for your website. Talk to your clients. Communication is key to figuring out what they’re looking for.

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