Keywords are a fundamental piece of the jigsaw when creating your website and optimising it to perform well in search engines. 
 
Why are keywords important? 
 
People use these in search engines, e.g. Google and Bing, to find answers to their queries and problems. 
 
So, the question you may ask is, how do I work out the relevant keywords for my business in order to get ahead of the competition? 
Simple keyword research is all about identifying words and phrases that your intended audience is likely to use - you want to optimise your website content using these terms in order to appear higher in the search results for relevant queries. 
 
Conducting keyword research will help you expand your knowledge of your target market, providing insight into what your customers are searching for and the exact words and phrases that they use. Knowing these keywords is a fundamental building block for your overall online digital strategy. 
 
Clearly there are many other factors to consider when optimising your website, such as writing relevant and engaging content, page optimisation, link building and so on, but nailing your keywords is a great start. And it is not difficult. There are SEO specialists out there who will do the work for you, at a cost of course – but this is not always necessary for a small business. 
 
Instead, there are plenty of easy to access and free resources available that can help you identify the keywords you should be focusing on: 
 

Brainstorm a List of Topics 

Simply write on a piece of paper all the key topics a target customer might be interested in. 
 
For an electrician, topics could be rewiring, fuse box, safety in the home, lighting and so on. 
 
Please note that at this stage this is not about seeking keywords straight off. The idea is to have these top-level topics or themes as a starting point, and then to drill down. 
 
So, what do we do with this information? 
 
This is where we can look at free sources of information to start on this journey of discovery. 
 

Wikipedia and its Table of Contents 

Wikipedia is a rich source of information and quite often overlooked, with potential keywords hiding in plain sight. 
 
You can find articles written by thousands of industry experts, and all organised into logical categories for you to peruse. 
 
To find keywords in Wikipedia, we will be following a top/down cascading process, which will facilitate a drill down into the detail. 
 
Firstly, on the Wikipedia home page, type in one of the topics/themes you brainstormed in relation to your business. That will take you to the Wikipedia entry for that broad topic. 
 
Secondly, go to the ‘contents’ section of the page which highlights all the sub-topics covered on that page. I can assure you will find some great keywords, which would be challenging to find by any other way. 
 
Thirdly, for further investigation, click on some of the internal links on the page and examine the Table of Contents of other, very similar entries. 
 
All very easy to do, and a great exercise to set you on your way. 
 

Google 

This is a more obvious source to find keywords, particularly through using the ‘Searches Related to’ section at the bottom of the page of the search results. 
 
Try it, and search for something random. Scroll to the bottom of the page. You’ll find a list of 8 keywords that are closely related to your search term. 
 
Google is trying to help the visitor ‘hone’ their search, with suggested searches based on data collected by Google through previous search behaviour. So, the suggestions are going to be the top of the list and therefore popular, a great resource for you to utilise and apply. 
 
Then, you can continue the process and use these suggestions which in turn will have further pointers at the bottom of each of the search pages. And you will be able to go on as much as you like, and go again. 
 

Google and YouTube ‘Suggest’ 

An even more apparent resource for finding keywords appears when you actually type in a search term. 
 
Type each of your topics into the Google search bar, and you can see what Google suggests to you. 
These are all great keywords to add to your list, and you can be confident of being on the right track because if Google suggests a keyword, you KNOW that lots of people have searched for it in the recent past. 
 
And don’t stop with Google Suggest, try YouTube Suggest as well. 
 

Find Popular Topics Using Forums 

It is highly likely that you will come across online forums, where individuals can engage with other users to exchange views, observations, and ask for assistance concerning a common product or service. In practice, forums are like having live focus groups accessible at any time, day or night. 
 
It is straightforward to find forums where your typical target audience may hang out, and use these ‘search strings’ in Google: 
‘keyword forum’ 
‘keyword’ + ‘forum’ 
‘keyword’ +’forums’ 
 
When on the forum, look at how it is segmented into sections: Each of these sections are potential keywords that you can add to your list. 
 
To dig deeper, check out some of the threads on the forum to find other topics that your target audience may struggle with. 
 
So, there you have it, some ideas to set you on your way and help you find the keywords you should be targeting through your website content in order to attract the right audience for your business. 
 
Of course, getting visitors onto your website through SEO is only half the battle – you also need to have a great website for them to explore once they find you in the search results. 
 
If your website is currently letting you down, we can help. We work with businesses throughout Watford, Hemel Hempstead, St Albans, and the surrounding areas, providing professional web design services with ongoing support
 
If you’d like to see what we could do for your business, why not get in touch
 
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