I’ll be completely honest with you, keyword research is something I normally charge hundreds of dollars for and feel it is best handled by a professional. However, it can be done easily. Usually, SEO’s recommend making a list of keywords that describe your business. I recommend making 3 lists: 1) define in keywords your business 2) what insider or industry terms are used 3) who are your competitors and what keywords do they use on their web sites.

Below I’ll go through each of these steps with a mock example of a real estate agent.

Define in Keywords Your Business

People think this is a easy step, but often they miss the point entirely. I had a client once who wanted to make 1 page web site that would target the keywords computers, books, shoes and video games and with a budget of $500 wanted to be ranked for each of these terms. This is the kind of mistake people make they think too broadly. It is best to think specially, so sure you would mention real estate, housing, houses, homes, condos, lofts, real estate agents, real estate listings, townhomes, semi-detached, duplexes but also include the target locations like the major city or neighborhoods like: Toronto, Rosedale, Richmond Hill, Forrest Hill. Then mix them together so you get phrases like: Toronto real estate, Rosedale real estate, Richmond Hill lofts. These niche terms will serve you the best because they bring targeted visitors and are generally less competitive.

What Insider or Industry Terms Are Used

Here is where being an expert in your chosen field really shows. For real estate it would be terms like: MLS, OREA, Realtors, income property, reverse mortgage, joint ownership, step-rate mortgage, listing broker, listing agent, etc. The goal is to mention terms that bring very targeted visitors. These terms can be used to build unique content pages within your site. The goal is like playing the lottery. When you buy more tickets you are more likely to win. Well search engines work in a similar way, when you target more keywords you have a greater chance to rank for niche terms and get visitors.

Who Are Your Competitors & What Keywords Do They Use

Sometimes its best to not to try to reinvent the wheel. List your competitors and check out their sites. Find out what terms they target and what they rank well for. Do they do Adwords? If so what keywords are they bidding on. Adwords is often used by SEOs/SEMs as a means to find tried and tested keywords that will bring the best visitors for the buck. If you see lots of people advertising on a keyword it must be a pretty good keyword. However, realize generally those keywords are the most competitive to target and rank well for.

Now you have a bunch of lists. So now I have good news and bad news to tell you. Good news is that many of the keywords you discovered in this process are good ones to target; bad news is that you don’t know which are which and you don’t know if you really have a complete list of keywords. In my next article I’ll show you how to verify your keywords and I’ll help you choose the best keywords to target.

For help doing keyword research, please feel free to contact me at 905-417-9470 or by email at allanp73@gmail.com