Search: The Key(words) to Success
Also, check out your competitors' websites. Take a look at their meta tags and which primary keywords they target.
2. Organize Keyword Lists
After you've built your keyword list, group the words thematically. These themes can be based on the products or services you offer, the markets you serve, or stages of the buying cycle as shown in Exhibit 1 (see mediaplayer at right).
Creating a hierarchy of keywords by organizing phrases into groupings—"primary," "secondary," "tertiary," etc.—will help prioritize which phrases are more important to your campaign, and will result in a targeted, focused keyword list.
Also, take into account that all search queries are not equal, but they are all important. Customers, whether they are individuals or other businesses, often conduct a series of queries before actually purchasing a product.
Search queries are commonly broken down into three categories:
- Informational queries searching for information;
- Navigational queries searching for a specific site or page; and
- Transactional queries searching with the intent to purchase.
Although informational or navigational queries may not directly lead to a purchase, both may lead to a return visit to your site later on in the purchasing cycle. It's important to have a diverse keyword set and target individual site pages to rank for different types of queries.
3. Expand Keyword Lists
When you have a well-organized list of core keywords, it's time to expand each group to maximize relevant traffic to your site.
There are several free and paid keyword research tools on the Internet that make this process a lot less painful. For both SEO and PPC campaigns, all the search engines and the Google AdWords Keyword Tool are great places to start.
Other tools to help with your keyword expansion project include:
- Webmaster Toolkit: Keyword Research Tool
- Overture Keyword Selector
- Priority Submit
- SEO Book Keyword Tool
- Keyword Discovery
- Good Keywords
Opening the keyword expansion best practices toolkit, the first item marketers will notice is the ability to add plurals. Google's algorithm treats the singular and plural forms of a given word as two different words. Take advantage of this variance by including both singular and plural forms of your keywords in your Google account.