SEO First Steps – Finding Your Niche Keywords and Phrases

One of the first things to do in terms of optimizing your site for SEO is to find and refine your keywords.  Although major search engines no longer use keyword tags in their algorithms, your keywords are one of the most important factors in creating your content.  Start by listing about 10 words that you think people might search under when looking for the services or products you offer. It’s easiest to think about what you would search under if you were looking for your own products, basing your keyword choices on your own search habits.

After you’ve culled a basic list, use a good keyword suggestion tool to analyze it.  There are several tools out there, my favorite is Submit Express, but you can find one that suits you by searching under “keyword suggestion tool.” You want a keyword suggestion tool that gives you both keywords along with the number of searches for each word.

Go through your list, checking each word in your keyword suggestion tool and writing down any results that are relevant to your services or products and have good searched for numbers.  I typically look for terms that have about 10 searches a day, possibly less if the keyword seems particularly relevant to my site.

After creating your new keyword list, examine each of the new words or phrases looking for “niche” keywords, or keywords that are searched for but not over saturated with competition. When you do a search in Google, at the top right of the page it will tell you that the results are number x – y of about n for “your search term.”  This means you can easily see how many pages are going to come up for search of that particular term.  Your goal is to find keywords that have high numbers under the number of times searched, but lower numbers under the search engines results pages. If I can refine my keywords I’ll have better luck showing up on the top of the of the search engines, while insuring that the keywords I’ve selected are actually searched for.

For instance, if I am selling hair bows, when I do a Google search for girls hair bows there are about 18,500,000 pages that come up. Even though there are 24 estimated daily searches for girls hairbows – the number of pages is so great that it might be hard for me to get into a top position there.  This is probably not my best choice for a keyword.  I notice that “cute girls hairbows” has 6 estimated searches a day, which isn’t fabulous, but there are only 39,400 other pages to compete with.  This phrase would be a much better option for me.  I continue going through my list, checking each one in Google to see how many other pages there are. As I continue going through my new list this way, ideally I should be able to come up with 10 – 20 keywords and phrases that have about 500,000 pages in Google. Now I have a great niche keyword list to work with!

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  1. […] on your keywords (you can get some baseline niche keywords by following our article “SEO First Steps – Finding Your Niche Keywords and Phrases.“) and rewrite your content.  This doesn’t have to be the great american novel and take […]

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