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Some Tips and Tools for Identifying the Right Keywords


When working on our SEO strategy, it can be tempting to focus on generic keywords, since these generally draw more traffic. However, the reality is that our time would be better spent focusing on “long-tail” keywords—that is, more specific, longer keyword phrases.  This is because long-tail keywords tend to be associated with users that are further along in the “buyer’s journey” and closer to making a decision or purchase. These users are more likely to convert to customers or clients than users who are simply conducting broad, general searches using broad, general keywords. Here are some helpful tools for selecting the most effective long-tail keywords for your website.

Just the Facts, Ma’am  

Consider relevance as a key qualifier in selecting your keywords.  Also, shoot for more specific rather than less. If your company specializes in event lighting, for example, consider the differences between the user searching “event lighting” and the user searching “outdoor string-light installation for wedding.”

Clearly, the first user, searching “event lighting,” is just launching into their research—they don’t really know what they want and they’re going to want to look around quite a bit before moving toward a decision. The user searching “outdoor string-light installation for wedding,” on the other hand, knows what they want, they’re ready to buy if they find the right vendor—you, of course.  You want them to find you.  Don’t get me wrong, you may want the user searching “event lighting” to find you too, but the fact is that they don’t represent as likely a visitor to customer conversion. So, set relevant, long-tail keywords as your first priority.

Location Location Location

If your business operates in one geo-location or area, think about adding location keywords to your pages.  For obvious reasons, users searching online for services or vendors are often only interested in finding someone who serves their location. So these users will add their location to their searches: “outdoor string-light installation for wedding San Francisco, CA.” Adding your location will drive more relevant traffic to you.

If your business operates in multiple geo-locations, it’s a good idea to dedicate separate pages to each location, so that you have a presence when users search in each of these specific locations. This way, for example, both “outdoor string-light installation for wedding San Francisco, CA” and “outdoor string-light installation for wedding Los Angeles, CA,” could direct users to you.

This Ain’t the SAT: Don’t Guess

We need to research our keywords to make sure they’re effective.  There are many ways to conduct this research successfully, including these 3 great tools from Google that will help you.

1. Web Analytics: Tools like Google Analytics can give you insight into which organic search terms are currently driving traffic to your website. The keywords that you see there provide a good set of core keywords and establish a list of keywords and performance data that make a terrific benchmark for assessing your future SEO campaign efforts.


2. Google AdWords Keyword Planner: Google AdWords Keyword Planner is another great Google tool that simplifies keyword research. Enter a single keyword, multiple keywords, and even website addresses, and Google will provide a list of related keywords as well as some basic metrics for determining what kind of competition you face for each one and how many searches it gets in both global and local searches. If you’re interested in more advice on using this tool, check out our article about it.


3. Google Trends: Google for the win, again.  With Google Trends you can enter multiple keywords that can then be filtered by category, search history, and location. Results will show you how much interest there is on the web surrounding particular keywords; what gave rise to that interest; what the source of the traffic is; and similar keywords.


With this solid advice and these tools in your belt, you are well on your way to building a great SEO strategy, or improving the one you have in place. Get started by identifying the right keywords for your campaign and increase that visitor count and conversion rate!

Have any favorite keyword tips or tools? Tell us about them below!

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