5 Secrets to Choosing the Best Keywords for Your Website

Keywords are the words or phrases that customers type into a search engine to find your website. For instance, if you’re an accountant in Chicago, you’d probably want the words “Chicago accountant” to appear a few times on your site.

Since choosing the right keywords can mean the difference between whether or not a potential client finds you, it is important to strategize to make your web content as effective as possible. These ideas can help you get started.

1. Begin with the Obvious

As any SEO company will tell you, sometimes the best keywords are also the most obvious ones. Choose a few keywords that tell people what your business is all about — “website design,” “Cleveland veterinarian,” and so forth. These keywords can help people find you, but they aren’t the only keywords you should use.

After all, your direct competition is probably using the exact same phrase in hopes of driving clients to his or her site.

2. What Makes You Unique?

What makes your business stand out from the crowd? Why should people choose you over your competitors? Boil your responses into a few phrases, and you’ll have another crop of keywords, this one far more specific to your company. For instance, if your specialty is helping people who dread having dental work done, you might use phrases like “Seattle sedation dentist,” “Seattle sedation dentistry,” or “Seattle dentist phobia.” If you’re set up to take patients round the clock, phrases like, “Seattle emergency dentist,” or “24-hour dentist Seattle” would do the trick.

3. Be Specific

If you live in a large city, you might want to narrow your keywords down even more. Rather than always using the city name, for instance, perhaps you could mention the neighborhood where you practice (“Olathe dog groomer” instead of “Kansas City dog groomer”). Do you work exclusively with one type of client? If so, you can choose keywords to indicate this (e.g., “Olathe small dog groomer”). The more specific information you can offer, the more likely clients are to find you.

4. Brainstorm

Now it’s time to have some fun. Gather your marketing team, office support staff, and any other employees you can find. Ask them to suggest keywords that come to their minds. You’ll probably get some ideas that you’ve already selected and some that are way off the wall. You’ll also, however, get some creative ideas that you can use.

5. Ask Current Customers

One of the best ways to find keywords is to talk to current customers — people who have already found you. Ask them what search terms they were using when they found your business. Then make a conscious effort to work these search terms into your website copy.

Choosing the right keywords for your website can help your customers find you and help you build your business. Take your time and select your keywords carefully.

Michael is a full-time blogger who has passions in all corners of the online world. In his down time he enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and blogging on everything from technology, to business, to marketing, and beyond.

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4 Responses to "5 Secrets to Choosing the Best Keywords for Your Website"

  1. I’d like to add…

    Check your analytics’ report. Check your log. You will find a lot of keywords you never thought of that are driving visitors to your site. You can write content that targets them specifically and you can expand your existing pages to cater better for folks who arrive via those keywords.

  2. Neil Perulli says:

    I could not agree more with the statement “Be Specific”. All to often I see sites targeting extremely broad terms with little budget, which in my opinion is a recipe for failure. Pick niche, longer tail get successful then go for the big times if possible.

  3. Definitely be specific. I do a lot of niche research, and come across great new keywords regularly. But I find that so many site don’t take the time to really research great keywords.

  4. Very helpful article. I would also suggest that looking a variations on a specific keyword can be useful. For example, filmmaker / cinematographer. This can allow you to find keywords that have the same buyer intent but aren’t being targeted by your competition.

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