Keyword research

Keywords are very important to how successful your website is in the search rankings, this is because search engines such as Google will look at your websites content and use it to rank your website in their search results.

With Google being the number one search engine in the UK chances are very high this is how most of your customers will be finding you, this means that it is vital that you optimise your website for the content that they are looking for – this is done through keyword research.

Keywords are phrases that people enter into search engines to locate you for example bishops stortford book shop or London flower shop it is important they are more then a single word but also that they are not to long, try to aim for 3-4 words for each one – include others but they may not perform very well as you will see in the research steps.

So what’s involved when doing keyword research for your website? The first step in the process is to write down all of the keywords that you want to appear in the search results for, don’t worry if you don’t think they are any good the point of this process is to identify which keywords have value and which are poor performers. To further add to this list if possible ask your customers to help out by suggesting some additions as customers may be using a different set of keywords you may not have thought of.

It’s a good idea to enter all of the keywords into a spreadsheet as we will be entering some more information in the research stage and being able to sort and if later the data will be beneficial.

With this list of keywords the next step in the process is to look up how well each performs while at the same time getting more suggestions from the best placed people to know which key words are best – Google! The Adwords service has an inbuilt keyword research tool that lets you enter your keywords and will give you figures on how many people are searching for the keyword around the world as well as in your country (e.g. the UK).

You can find Google Adwords here

You can then locate the keyword tool under Tools and Analysis and the keyword tool option, you will then be able to enter your keywords in the box provided one per line.

Google adwords entering keywords

Google adwords entering keywords.


With your chosen keywords in place hit search, make sure to switch to the keyword ideas tab under the form to get the raw information, you will then see not only the results for your keywords but also the results for additional keywords that Google is suggesting are relevant to you.

suggested keywords from Google

Suggested keywords from Google

This information is what we will use to determine which keywords are of high value and which are not, the key to this is to identify keywords that have high search volumes but low competition – these keywords are the ones that people are using to look for products or services but also other websites are not optimising for.

These types of keywords will give you better SEO results with less effort then keywords with high competition, looking at the example above the keyword WordPress Website has a large number of searches however the competition is low – this makes it a high value keyword and identifies it as one we should be optimising our website for.

Taking another example ecommerce website development this keyword has allot of competition but relatively low search volumes – this means that it would take allot of effort to rank in the search results for it and the result would only be shown to a relatively low number of people.

the final example we will look at is one of our entered keywords bishop’s stortford wordpress website development this keyword does not show how many searches it gets or the competition – this is because there is not enough data for Google to calculate the values. This happens because the keyword gets incredibly low search volumes ( i.e. none at all or next to none at best ) this means that optimising your website for these keywords is a waste of time because no one is searching for them.

Normally if this happens it means you have been to specific with your keyword by having to many words or by adding a geographic term such as a town or village name. Try removing some words or increasing the geographical region you are targeting to improve the quality of the keyword.

Make a note of all the keywords that perform well because these will be the ones you need to use when optimising your website – when working with large numbers of keywords putting them in a spreadsheet means you can filter them by the values as well as assigning them to pages on your website so you know where you want to use them.

Blog post by Alex Wells

Blog post by: Alex Wells

Based in Saffron Walden, Essex, I have over 10 years experience in crafting bespoke websites for a wide range of clients, I love helping businesses and individuals achieve their digital goals through smart deployment of modern web technologies.

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