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A Beginners Guide to SEO – Part 1

April 20, 2012 by  
Filed under SEO, SEO Tutorials

Beginners Guide – SEO Keyword Research

All SEO begins with Keyword Research. There is absolutely no point in doing anything to your website until you know what keywords you want to rank for. Once you have a keyword list, you can start to apply those keywords to your pages, but NOT yet!!

Finding good keywords is the key to success. Your keywords need to possess two primary qualities; First, they need to have good volumes of traffic attached, and secondly, they need to be realistically achievable for your website.

The first task is to find a list of keywords in the first place, establish whether they have any traffic and then have a look  at those keywords in order to come up with a list that your site will be able to rank for.

You can’t spend too much time doing this research, as it is where you are actually making  your money. Most website owners usually try to short cut this area and as a result, they end up ranking for search terms with no traffic, leaving them with no sales.

Another important point to note is that Google very often updates ‘Google Instant‘ (The drop down suggestions that appear when you type in the search box). This can have a massive change on the traffic that certain keywords receive, so a keyword that is suggested one week, might get 100,000 searches a month, but if it is dropped from Google Instant, the traffic volume may drop overnight to 10,000 or less.

There is a school of thought that Google do this periodically in order to keep their income from Pay per Click Adwords rolling in……. We couldn’t possibly comment!

The best starting point for keyword research is Google Keyword Tool. The first thing you need to do is to log in, (as you won’t get to see all keywords available if you are not.) then in the keyword box, add the keywords that you think will be your best traffic keywords. Then, before  you click search, go over to the left hand side and select ‘Exact Match’ as an option. (If you don’t do this, you will be shown amalgamated keyword traffic data which will give you traffic for every term that includes the keyword you typed, or any variation of it.)

Our aim here is to see which specific exact match keywords and phrases are worth your while chasing. Once you have selected ‘exact match’,  click search, and your keyword suggestions will be shown.

Next, click download, and save so you can view the data in an excel spreadsheet. Open the spreadsheet and rearrange the keywords by search volume (or local volume if you are in the UK for example and want to view UK traffic only).

So now you have a list of keywords, from the one with the largest traffic, down to some which have very little traffic at all.

Depending on your niche and the products, goods or services that you are selling, your choice of keywords is very important.

Where you position your keywords is equally as important as your web design itself (get your keyword density checked here The layout, platform, structure and navigation are all linked to your websites performance and a failing in any one are can have huge consequences for your final rankings and traffic.

Starting at the top of the list, you need to go through every keyword and delete everything that isn’t going to convert into traffic for you. Conversion will be the subject of future blogs, but for now, think about which keyword searches will deliver real people that are likely to buy your goods.

For example, if you are selling wooden garden chairs, then keywords such as garden chairs, wooden garden furniture, wooden chairs, teak garden furniture etc would be ideal, whereas other keywords such as ‘chairs’, ‘cheap chairs’, ‘hammocks’ etc are too general and will convert poorly for you.

Many website owners think that they are going to convert visitors into buyers once they arrive on site, but all the evidence points to the fact that someone looking for a hammock will buy a hammock, not change his mind and decide that garden chairs will fulfil his needs.

You should by now have your list narrowed down to keywords that are going to convert for you, so the next task is to look at how realistic top rankings are going to be for those keywords.

Of course, if there are fundamental problems with your websites ability to rank in Google then according to SEO³, no matter what keywords you choose, or how effectively you implement them you will be prevented from ranking. Problems can include loading too slowly, not being easily viewed on tablets and phones as well as on PC’s and laptops, and having a high bounce rate. Check your website health at CRWD and guarantee that your site is fit to rank.

In A Beginners Guide to SEO – Part 2 we will look at how to analyse those keywords in order to decide which ones you will be able to rank for.

This series of SEO Tutorials have been provided by Deeho Search Engine Optimisation, Managing Director Dave Holland, is a veteran of the SEO world, with a decade’s experience setting up websites and positioning them at the top of Google’s rankings.

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