SEO Keyword Search Tools
The first and most important search engine optimization step is keyword research. What is keyword research? Simply put, it's figuring out what people might search for in order to find what your website offers — what keyword topics best identify your website content.
In this step of our SEO tutorial, you learn the basics of how to do keyword research, try out some free keyword research tools, and start your SEO plan of attack!
Getting Started with SEO Keyword Research
The first task is simply brainstorming. Ask yourself some basic questions to select keywords that might make good targets for search engine optimization, like:
- What is your website content about?
- What would you ask a search engine to find what your website offers?
- What do you think other searchers would ask for?
- What are your most popular pages/items about?
Most people can make a short (or long) list of keywords that might be used to find their own site. But ask other people these questions and write down their keyword suggestions, too. Doing so will help you go beyond the jargon words that only you and insiders know. When doing keyword research for SEO, you want to discover what real people in your target audience would call what your site offers.
Don't limit your ideas; brainstorm whatever subjects and phrases could lead the kinds of visitors you want to your site. Type them into a spreadsheet. Your brainstorming will "prime the keyword pump."
This initial list will be expanded upon and refined in the next few steps, but start with the logical keywords.
Find Keywords People Already Use for Your Business
If your site is already live, you may have hidden keyword gold just waiting to be dug up.
- A good place to look for keywords is your internal site search. Offering visitors a search box within your site is good for users but also good for you, because it collects search query data. Looking at these queries primarily helps you improve usability (since it reveals what people want to see, what website content may be missing, and where your site navigation is weak). But you may also find nuggets of keyword gold, useful phrases that people search for. Add those to your list.