Choosing Search Engine Keywords

Finding the right keywords is the key to unlocking the mysteries of search engine optimisation.

Researching keywords is the Holy Grail of the Internet age. Finding the right keywords is the key to unlocking the mysteries of search engine optimization (SEO) and opening your website to potential new customers. Whether your aim is to get a higher search engine ranking for your website or you want a new page on your website to be found by search engines, you should follow these search engine keywords tips to attain meaningful traffic and qualified leads ready to enquire or purchase your product or service.

Why are Search Engine Keywords important?

The dominance of search engines to find products and services, greater competition in the marketplace and an increased focus on online revenue have resulted in SEO becoming an indispensable component of website marketing.

Now there are analytic tools that can tell you what keywords your potential customers are using in search engines to find businesses just like yours. This valuable data can be used to incorporate these keywords in your website design and copy to increase your search engine rankings.

Keyword tools (and there are many) provide a huge variety of unique data—the keys that your potential customers use when searching for products, services, or information related to your business.

How do you decide what keywords to use?

When deciding on what specific search engine keywords to use, there are many different factors to consider which should be both unique and common to your business and industry. These factors include:

  • the products and services you will offer – general, specialized or customized
  • the location of your business – local, state-based, national or global
  • the hours of your business – standard business hours, 24 hours or an emergency service
  • what keywords your competitors are using

To demonstrate how to find search engine keywords for your business, let’s use a practical example of optimizing a website for a plumber based in Philadelphia. Here is a hypothetical example of the search results that you may receive when using a keyword research tool such as the Google Keyword Planner.

KeywordLocal Search Volume
Philadelphia plumber1300
Emergency plumber720
Local plumber90
Toilet repairs30
Gutter repair50
Emergency plumber720
Plumbing company70

When looking at these results you can quickly see a website navigation structure forming based on the main search terms, but you can also see keywords developing that are specific to your business. Your website needs to have information that is categorized around the search engine keywords that your customers are using to find for business similar to yours.

A website for a plumber can branch out into many searchable pages which are very individual to their business. These specific pages may include a page with the exact localities listed that the plumbing business services, another page may describe the specific products and services the plumber offers, and another page may detail the hours of operation. Thus, you need to incorporate keywords on those pages unique to your business in order for your potential customers to find you when using search engine keywords that you have targeted.

What are common search engine keyword mistakes?

In our research, we have found that there are “broad keywords” that attract browsers and “money keywords” that attract buyers. Identifying and differentiating these are the very first step in maximizing the Return On Investment (ROI) of your website site with search engines. Five common search engine keyword mistakes are as follows:

  • Only using single-word terms
  • Using terms that are way too broad and do not focus on what you offer
  • Using terms that are too specialized, which nobody searches for
  • Using search engine keyword terms which are unpopular
  • Using highly competitive terms which you can’t hope to rank well for

Using our example of a Philadelphia-based plumbing business again, if a customer were to search for ‘plumber’, the number of websites with this keyword would be very competitive, and you may list lower in search engine rankings.

However, by using a search engine keyword phrase such as ‘Philadelphia plumber’, even though it has a lower search volume, the traffic will be more qualified. You can narrow this even further into the exact region such as ‘West Philadelphia’ or a Western Philadelphia suburb such as ‘Cedar Park’.

When and where should you use keywords?

A common mistake that people can make when designing a website is stuffing their website design with keywords too frequently or out of context. Search engines see this as spamming and this may lead to your website ranking being lower or even banned by search engines. Search Engine Keywords (SEK) in website copy should be a seamless and natural addition to the website design and website copy.

The real trick of using keywords in your copy is getting the balance right. That balance is the difference between appearing on the front page of search engine rankings and being ignored by search engines as a result of keyword stuffing. So to find the balance, contact an SEO company like SEO Works that can help you with not only finding the right search engine keywords but the correct placement and frequency of keywords.

Why should you monitor keywords?

The internet is dynamic, and the keywords that your potential customers use to find businesses like yours may keep changing. This is why it is important to be vigilant and monitor the rankings of your keywords and the keywords your competitors are using as search trends change. However, with experience and diligence, you can develop and maintain a contextually rich website that will rank highly on search engines.

While finding the right keywords is the Holy Grail and the foundation of any SEO activity, with all the tools available in the marketplace, the search for the right keywords does not have to be an epic quest. With detailed research and analysis, the best search engine keywords can be found to optimize your website, increase website traffic and improve online growth and revenue.