Choosing the best keywords for your website - checklist

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Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines to find the product, service or information they're looking for. Using the right ones can ensure your website is listed as near as possible to the top of relevant search results. Here's how to choose the right keywords.

  • Consider the sector you operate in, your products or services, any brand names you use, your location, and what is unique about your business.
  • Based on these, come up with short descriptive phrases, to find appropriate keywords for your business.
  • Identify competitors' keywords. Targeting these may help you redirect some of their web traffic towards you. Online services, such as Keyword Spy, can help you do this.
  • Use a keyword suggestion tool such as Google's free Keyword Planner to find variations on the keywords you have come up with, as well as useful statistics on their popularity and search volumes.
  • Embed your keywords in your website. They need to be used in the title tag of each page, headings and sub-headings, and the metadata (snippets of background code that users don't see, but search engines do).
  • Keywords should also be embedded into the content of your pages - the higher up the better.
  • Remember not to overdo it, as your pages will read badly, and search engines are likely to downgrade content which isn't helpful to users.
  • Trial a number of keywords in a paid search campaign - use a few different PPC ads that correspond to your selected keywords, and see what level of response you get..
  • Track and monitor how your keywords are working using a free online tool such as Google Analytics.
  • Modify your site content, and your keywords, according to your findings.
  • Consider paying a specialist agency to help you track, monitor and modify your keywords, as experts understand the constantly changing nature of search engine algorithms. It can also be time-consuming to do it properly.

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