Obtaining a high-ranking website in the SERPs (search engine results pages) all starts with the words on your pages (ie. keywords). The keyword research you choose for your website should be chosen with great care or else you’ll fall into the trap of having the same keywords as your competitors and neither of you out-ranking the other.
This guide will give you 4 ways to find the keywords that…
- Your customers are searching for (most keywords don’t matter because no one searches for them)
- Help you outrank your competition
- Increase your traffic and revenue
Let’s get started…
Google Search Box
Since you want to find the keywords your customers are using to find your services or products, the best (and easiest) place to start is with the Google Search Box. Go to Google.com and start typing in your main keyword (attorney, plumber, juggler, magician, etc.).
You’ll see a dropdown of suggested search terms that others typically use.
This is the easiest way to build a seed keyword list. You’ll use these initial keywords to find other (more profitable) keywords later on. Open an Excel spreadsheet and put these keywords in there.
Google’s Related Searches
This is one of my favorites and often overlooked by veteran SEO consultants.
When you enter your main keyword in Google and hit GO, scroll to the bottom and you’ll see a box like this:
WOW – Look at all those keywords! Of course, some of them won’t apply to you, but add the ones that do to your spreadsheet and forget about the others.
Your keyword list is starting to grow!
Spy on Your Competition
No sense in reinventing the wheel, right? Scroll back to the top of Google and click on one of your competitor’s.
TIP: Don’t click on the ads on the right side or top, or even the directory pages like Yelp. You want the top organic listing. This is most likely someone you know.
On your competition’s Home page, Right Click and choose View Page Source:
You get a page that looks like this (it’s the html or backend of their website – what the search engines see when they index websites):
Hit Control + F and enter “meta” and all the Meta terms will be highlighted so you don’t go blind trying to read html.
You’ll want to search for the Meta Description and the Title:
They keywords your competition uses in their site’s Title and Description are helping them get high rankings.
TIP: Most likely, your competition’s main keywords (and the keywords you want to rank for) are put at the beginning of the Title and Meta Description. This is something you should do because when a search engine crawls your website one of the first things they look for is your site’s Title (what you’re about) and the Meta Description.
Enter these keywords in your spreadsheet. Your keyword list is growing!
A “Freemium” Option
I love spying on my competition and I haven’t found a better tool that Spyfu (http://www.spyfu.com/).
Copy/Paste your competition’s site into the search bar.
Then click the “SEO Keywords” tab and you’ll see results like this:
Since Spyfu is a software you only get a few results and you’d need to pay to get the full results, but these few results will give you even more profitable keywords to add to your arsenal!
I am a paying member of Spyfu and if detailed spying on your competition’s PPC keywords and SEO keywords are important to your business you might want to try it out.