PREVIOUS: Part 3 – SEO Basics

Hopefully by now you should have a general understanding of what SEO is and how the general elements affect search engine results pages (SERP’s). The first 4 sections of this guide covered the introduction to SEO, search engine operation, search engine marketing and SEO basics. We now move onto keyword research.

Keywords

Keywords or key phrases have been mentioned throughout the previous parts of the SEO Beginners Guide and this section (part 4) will explain the importance of them in more detail.

The first step from a user perspective is to type a keyword into the search box. They are hoping to retrieve some sort of information or find a desired page. Let’s take a step back to reiterate some information from earlier sections.

Important information from part 1

***If a search engine doesn’t recognise your websites words, titles and links, based from the keywords searched by a user, then your site will miss out on valuable traffic.***

Important information from part 2

Keyword Research

The keywords that you target are crucial to the success of your business’ online marketing strategy. The initial stages of your SEO will involve keyword research to establish which words or phrases you should target. This can be done through a number of metric platforms, the most common being Google Adwords: Keyword Tool. Here you have the opportunity to explore the diverse range of keywords or phrases searched and their search volume locally and/or globally. There are a number of ways to manipulate the search results to suit your preferences and you’ll be surprised by some of the results you’ll find.

When conducting your research, be sure to thoroughly explore the possibilities with branded and non-branded terms. When you have decided what keywords have high search volume and what you prefer to target, these become your anchor text. The anchor text is the clickable text in the hyperlink, essentially the targeted keywords you have determined to have search volume that is directly relative to your website, product or services.

The example above illustrates that “seo agency” equates to approximately 590 local searches per month, whereas “seo services” generates 3,600. There is significant search volume between the different keywords that are searched on a monthly, local basis.

Seasonal Trends

Further research should be conducted to determine any seasonal trends between search terms. This can be conducted by taking high volume keywords that you are considering targeting, and placing them in Google Trends.

Here you can again identify that “seo services” has a much higher search volume. You can alter the search results to establish trends in searches on a seasonal basis. Similar to Adwords, you can also adjust the results to display global and local searches and date back as far as 2004.

The example was set to display the trends for the identified keywords over a 2 year period, 2011-2012. The trend analysis shows that there are significant spikes in local searches during the months April, July and October. Therefore these will be suitable months to prepare targeting the keyword “seo services“, if you wish to achieve the best results.

There are a number of platforms and ways to identify the opportunities of what keywords to target, you just need to conduct the most effective research to identify them. Ultimately once you have discovered the most suitable keywords that have the highest search volume and are relative to your service/offerings, you’ll target these in your SEO strategy and eventually attract many more users to your website.

NEXT: Part 5 – Keyword Strategy