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Building an Effective Keyword List for SEO


Learn the secrets of developing an effective keyword list for SEO. Selecting the right keyword list for your website will ensure the best result for your SEO campaign.

Your keyword list is the driving force of your web aspiration and therefore should be your first and primary focus in: a.) choosing your domain and b.) building your web presence.

Keywords are the fuel of any successful web endeavor and are meant to not only allow potential traffic to find your site but to label your abilities and define who you are. Keywords can make your site or leave it an empty web wasteland. The beauty of selecting the right list is how it will affect your indexing and your long-term ranking.

Keywords are what customers type in the search engines when they are searching for services, products, concepts, and answers. Businesses “optimize” web pages by assigning what keywords define their company, are relevant to core content, and define chief competitors by determining which keywords are popular for their demographic. Choosing the right keywords depends on the correct method of obtaining the list. If the method is thorough and concise, those words will sky-rocket your business into internet super-stardom with earnest work and knowledge. And, whether you seek the support of social media, PPC campaigns or an organic ranking, they all start here – with a great keyword list.

Keywords permeate every aspect of a business and are not limited to their online relevance but saturate offline marketing as well. They are the heart and soul of a company’s marketing engine on a basic linguistic level and this in turn can fuel the creation of a great list. What do you do? What does your business do better than your competitors? A need to ask the essential questions that define what and who you are as a business is necessary for building a list that will outperform your rivals.

Step 1. Getting Down to the Nitty and the Gritty.

What’s in a name? Quite simply, everything. The dynamic of these terms or phrases are the very life-blood of who you are as a business. In all likelihood your keywords will end up as key phrases with words included in your list to enhance your core phrases. Keywords or key phrases should be brain-stormed and considered in a narrowing process that starts with generalization of services, products, client culture and focuses on your business’ deliberate features or values that stand out in your industry. Ask yourself the following questions to get a good general base:

What do we do?

What is our client culture method?

What features do we offer that others in our industry do not?

What separates our business from others in our demographic?

It is important not to over rationalize this process. Keep it simple! Specification is the key to a great and time-tested keyword list but you do not want to overdo it. A good example would be the keyword “car”.

Although it is possible to rank for the keyword “car”, the chances that your website will achieve a first place listing is against your business both via time and financially. It can be done, but that’s another article. What does your company do for cars? Be more specific and focused. Does your business deal with foreign cars? Perhaps foreign car accessories or service? Narrowing the field helps tell the story and the story support the theme. Tag-along key phrases that are not primary key terms like the generalization “car” can help your primary keywords in boosting your ranking. didn’t get a top ten ranking by listing the keyword “car” by itself, they had tag-along key phrases in smaller markets that supported their primary key term.

A primary key phrase of Florida Real Estate may take a bit to achieve a primary organic ranking, but can be helped with key phrases such as Orlando Real Estate, Florida Retirement Homes, Tampa HUD Homes, etc. These phrases should be simplistic and to the point.

Step 2. Sizing Up the Competition.

It is often said if you want success, “don’t reinvent the wheel” and this old adage is well applied on implementing keywords for your web venture. Looking at where your competitors rank, what their current rankings are and what key phrases they use is vital to “keeping up with the Jones’.” Many firms can run a report outlining your competition and why they are out-ranking your endeavor. It’s a good idea to hire a firm like West Press for this stage of the keyword building process. West Press can show you detailed information on which terms would be best to add to your master list, which terms your competitors are using and also suggest adaptive strategies.

As a practice, West Press generally uses the top three competitors within your industry demographic that rank well in organic listings in the “Big 4″ search engines to study. The list will be comprised of competitors who rank well in your demographic and perhaps one that is more successful and is a larger enterprise that uses more primary key phrases. It is a good idea to go after a company like Nike for example, in using the key phrase “tennis shoes” but your list needs more grounding than that to compete. Adding tag-along key phrases will help with this process and build your base.

Step 3. Themes That Tell A Story.

It’s important to group qualified key phrases into groups that lend themselves to your story. Each primary keyword or key phrase should be listed with additional words or phrases that supports the main theme.

Think of them like a table and each table needs legs. For each idea we piece together a theme and selection can be organized for optimal success.

Step 4. Knowing When To Say When.

There are many websites that believe that more is better, SEO doesn’t work that way. In short, a large number of keywords will not help your ranking. What helps your ranking will be how concise, focused, and specific your list is to your company’s mission and duties. Too many keywords or key phrases can back fire as a plan and limit your ranking.

A large list that tends to be irrelevant can get your site banned. A specific list that is well planned out will out perform a large list that entails every thought about a company and their offerings. This is an important lesson that can save you aggravation later.

Step 5. Zeroing In On Popularity.

Eliminating and revising your list will depend on what key phrases are more popular. Unless you have a multimillion dollar budget for off-page television ads during prime time or can make a video go viral, you will need to follow suit with what is already popular within the engines. A good firm will test your list and be able to exclude key terms that have no relevance or a low keyword popularity within the “Big 4.” Keyword popularity can change so your list will need to be reanalyzed at some point and recompiled. At West Press we generally examine keyword lists every ninety days and by doing so, ensure that your content and Meta information is relevant with current trends.

Deciding on keywords should be a fun and fulfilling process. It not only cements your business further in the mind and the abstract of who you are and where you currently stand as an enterprise but allows you to expand your ideals and client culture for further discovery both on and offline. Is your web presence in need of the right keyword list or SEO expertise? West Press can help. Our internet staff has more than sixteen years experience in SEO and online marketing. Give us a call today!

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Eliyahna is a full-time web developer and designer and the CEO of Eliyahna Creative, LLC.