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Keyword Research Best Practice Steps

Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Keyword Research

An SEO campaign can be broken down into two separate phases. The first part is the on-site optimization phase. Before building links that will generate search engine trust and traffic to your website it’s important to have a solid SEO foundation with your website. The website should be full of helpful, well written content that can be optimized naturally by implementing keywords. In order to find the most relevant and best keywords to use, you will need to conduct keyword research. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1 – Review Every Page
It doesn’t matter if your site has 10 pages or 100 pages, they all need to be optimized for the best results. Read the content on every page of the site and make a list of possible keywords that you think a searcher might use to land on that page. This is a starting point so the list should include both broad and niche keywords.

Step 2 – Use a Keyword Tool

The Google keyword research tool is free, but there are also paid versions that are good. Using the tool, insert the keywords from your brainstormed list one at a time. The tool will generate a list that includes that keyword along with others that the tool thinks are related.

Step 3 – Scrub the List
Remember, the tool is just a computer. Not all of the keywords that it suggests will fit or make sense. Go through and eliminate any of the ones that aren’t appropriate. Paste the “good” ones into a new document. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each keyword on your original list.

Step 4 – Scrub Again
Once you have a complete list of good keywords from all of your brainstormed keywords, go through and look at them again. Consider the competition and search volume.

Step 5 – Select

Best practice is to select only 2-5 keywords per page of content. If the content on the page is only a few hundred words, 2 keywords may be sufficient.

Keyword research can take quite a bit of time, but it is extremely important to be thorough. The keywords that you select lay the foundation for your entire SEO campaign. Choosing the wrong keywords can result in the wrong traffic or few conversions.

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