How to Pick Good SEO Keywords

When you’re doing search engine optimization (SEO) work, one huge problem — one that has little or nothing to do with the technological limitations of search engines — is that many companies have no idea what keywords (the words people are using at search engines to search for websites) they should be using. They try to guess the appropriate keywords, without knowing what people are really using in search engines.

Here’s how to do a quick keyword analysis:

  1. Point your browser to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool.

    AdWords is Google’s PPC (pay per click) division, but many of the tools provided are free. You might want to set up an account first so you can save your work, which you can do from right there.

  2. In the search box, type a keyword you think people may use to search for your products or services and then click Search.

  3. Click the Get Keyword Ideas button.

    The tool returns a list of keywords, showing you how often that term and related terms are used by people searching on Google and partner sites, as shown in the figure.

    image0.jpg
  4. Reset the Match Type check boxes.

    Clear the Broad Match check box in the left column and select the Exact Match box. The keyword list reloads.

    You may find that the keyword you guessed is perfect. Or you may discover better words, or, even if your guess was good, find several other great keywords. A detailed keyword analysis almost always turns up keywords or keyword phrases you need to know about. Someone whose site was ranking really well for his chosen keywords, still was totally unaware that he was missing some other, very popular, terms. It’s a common problem.

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