What Keywords Should I Use?

keyword words
Terry Johnston, photo

When you begin thinking about updating or building your website, one of the first things you should do is ask your customers, people you know and complete strangers: “What words or phrases would you use in a search to find my company or service?

There are quite a few online tools out there to assist you in your keyword search… Here are four free ones: Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Free Negative Keywords Tool, Keyword Competitor’s Keyword Tool and Wordpot. I typically start with Google Adwords Tool to generate hundreds of words and phrases per category, which I dump into Excel and “filter” to find the best choices. This is something you want to spend a little time on… don’t rush. It’s important to identify which words have been used by a fair number of searchers, that the competition for that word/phrase isn’t so strong that you could never rank for it, and that it’s a word or phrase that you can seamlessly weave into your content without it sounding forced or contrived.

You can also use some of these tools to “spy” on your competition and see what keywords they’re concentrating on with their own websites. Consider using a Thesaurus to select additional words that mean the same thing, use some common misspellings of words and finally, “negative” keywords.

Negative keywords are a key piece of a successful keyword list. Adding a negative keyword to your ad group (Pay Per Click or PPC) or campaign means that your ads won’t show for search queries containing that term… thereby saving you money on queries you don’t want.

The negative keyword  -free trial would prevent your ads from showing on any search queries containing the terms free and trial. It wouldn’t prevent your ads from showing on variations of these terms however. It also wouldn’t prevent your ads form showing on search queries that only contain one of the terms.  For example, the search queries one-day trial and free test could trigger your ads, while free one-day trial could not.

It pays to take your time and do the work on this important cornerstone of your search efforts. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, hire a professional. You will use these keywords to build your titles, subtitles and page content and your should review them periodically to be sure they’re still the best choices.  Good Luck!

Feel free to comment or ask questions below. I’d love to hear from you!

About the Author: Deb Ward is owner and founder of iMedia Buzz, Inc. which offers a “turn-key” solution to small businesses who want to take their “online brochure” website and turn  it into a dynamic, marketing tool. Get Found!