Lots of articles on search engine optimization (SEO) tell you to find keywords and put them into your pages. It sounds simple, but most people don’t know how to choose them or where to put them on their page.
Keywords are single words or word phrases that you want to emphasize on your pages, so if someone types them into Google search, your site appears at the top.
Today I’m going to take you step-by-step on how to use the free Google Keyword Tool to do keyword research for your CityMax site. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to create a list of potential keywords and how to pick the ones that will work best for your pages.
1. Enter a broad range of keywords that are relevant to your website content.
Try to include a variety of word phrases. There really is no point to targeting a single word because the competition for them is so high. More on that later. Your list also doesn’t have to include every phrase you can think of, instead try to come up with phrases that use a variety of words. The Google Keyword Tool will generate a larger list of phrases for you from whatever you enter.
I’m going to use an example of a pretend Vancouver restaurant that focuses on high tea. You enter your keywords like this (remember to choose a country and language too):
2. Scan the keywords that are generated and expand your keyword search
A list of keywords based off what you entered will show below. Look through them and add phrases to your keyword search list. Remember your goal is find keywords that are relevant to your pages. If you’re not sure if a phrase is relevant, click on it and you’ll see what pages appear when you do a search for that phrase. If the pages that show match with your page content, it’s a good keyword for you.
3. Put keywords into groups
You’ve now got a huge list of potential keywords. Print them out and then grab some different colored highlighters. I like to group my keywords so like-keywords are together. You can also do this by copying your keywords into a spreadsheet.
If you’re doing keyword research for your website in general, each group can represent a different topic to focus on for each page.
If you’re doing keyword research for a single page, you’ll just be picking out the keywords that match your page’s topic.
4. Choose 3 keywords per webpage
Here’s what you want to look for in a good keyword:
- Relevant to your content - You want someone who does a search on Google to find your site at the top and click on it. After they click on it, your page that appears must match with the person’s expectations or they’ll just leave. Remember, only choose keywords that actually reflect each page’s content.
- Lots of monthly searches - You want keywords that often get entered on Google search. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean you want to pick the keywords that have the most searches…see the next tip.
- Low competition - You have a better chance of ranking well for keywords that don’t have a lot of competition. Low competition is based off the number of webpages that appear for each keyword. Anytime you do a search on Google, you’ll see the approximate number of results for a search.
You will want to choose 3 keywords to page. I find that any more than that and my writing starts to not flow well. It’s one thing to get people to your page, but if the writing isn’t compelling you’ll still lose the visitor.
Bonus: Know how different keyword formats are weighted
Did you know changing the order of your keywords or inserting a word in between keywords in a phrase can make a difference? There are 3 different types of keyword match types in Google. Assume a person types into Google search: high tea vancouver
- Broad match: vancouver bc high tea restaurants. The searcher needs any of the keywords in their search and it doesn’t matter what order or if there are extra words.
- [Exact match]: high tea vancouver. The searcher needs the keywords exactly as they are shown without any extra words.
- “Phrase match”: place for high tea vancouver. The searcher needs the keywords in the same order as their search and it doesn’t matter if there are extra words.
On the left side of the Google Keyword Tool, you’ll find where you can show the results for all 3 match types:
Later, when you’re writing for your pages, you may want to keep this information in mind so you present your keywords in the format that gives you the best results.
Next post, how to strategically insert your keywords into your pages.