Choosing the right keywords is vital to getting your business noticed on the web. The clue is in the name; your keywords are quite literally the key to opening the door to let potential customers locate your business online.

Ranking high on search engines, getting more conversions and increasing brand awareness all starts with your keywords. The success of each of these business goals is determined by how relevant your key terms and phrases are to your business. This article will take you step by step through building the best keyword list.

What Are Keywords Used For?

Keywords make up search queries made on search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. They are used as a way to identify and verbalise a searcher’s problem or topic when they’re looking for more information.

Search engines list results in relation to the keywords that you use in your search query. Each site listed in your search result gets crawled to see just how useful it is for giving you the answer to your search. But getting your site seen as the most relevant result isn’t easy. Sometimes, the most relevant sites don’t always get listed due to not optimising their use of keywords.

Google AdWords and Keywords

In relation to Google AdWords, the more relevant the keywords are to the ads, the higher the Quality Score will be. This increases the chances of your ads achieving a higher ranking on Google Search and ultimately, more conversions.

In order to build a keyword list that is relevant to your site, social channels and Google AdWords practices, you need to consider the following steps!

Step 1: Think Like A Customer

Picture it: you’re a car owner. We all pray that nothing will go wrong on our vehicles, but today is not your day. Something has broken. You’re not a car fanatic and you certainly don’t know all of the parts on your car. However, luckily for you, you can easily find what you need by using search terms that are familiar to you.

When businesses listen to customer names and descriptions of their products, they can optimise their content for these targeted keywords and phrases. The viewer will, therefore, be able to find the content quickly and easily. After all, they’re the ones who’ll be using it.

Action: Write down the words and phrases you know your customers use to describe what you’re looking for. These are the keywords you will want to prioritise first.


Step 2: Go Generic To Target More People

Being broad when selecting your targeted keywords can help you to reach a wider audience. We know what you are thinking, “that’s pretty obvious” – this is true, but unfortunately, not every business practices this.

Generic Keywords | Bigger Audience Reach | Keywords

Action: Select an additional list of generic keywords and phrases (but remember to keep them relevant to your business) in order to reach more people.

We aren’t suggesting you go really generic and don’t include any niche terms that will be of use for your customers. Just like some users won’t know the specific keywords for your products, others will! Having a selection of both niche and general search terms is key for increasing brand awareness as well as generating conversions.

Generalising your keywords should be an additional practice to broaden the types of people (and quantity of people), that you reach. Only there is a slight catch… Generic keywords can be more competitive and may require higher bid amounts. So don’t go mad when deciding these!


Step 3: Group Similar Words Into Themes

Thinking in terms of Google AdWords, it’s important to start grouping your keywords into specific ad groups based on the product, service or a category. Not only will this show adverts for all of the relevant search terms in that ad group, it will help you better organise your account.

So, when you’re analysing your AdWords data, you can easily navigate through to different tabs of information to find get the answers you’re looking for. (Just like search users want.)

Having touched on the subject of cars, let’s take a look at an example. The image below shows the potential ways of grouping different keywords related to “car parts”. Now have a go with your products.

Google AdWords Car Parts | Keywords

Action: Group your keywords and ads into ad groups based on your products, services or other categories.

The benefits don’t stop there!

Grouping keywords in relation to a theme is something to consider on your site and social channels too. If you know what keywords you are wanting to target for a particular category page, you can get these implemented into the metadata, body content and image alt tags. All of which are great SEO practices to improve search rankings.

Step 4: Picking Your Keyword Quantity

Knowing how many keywords you need is just as important as having the right ones. Limiting the number of keywords you want to searchers to find you by, limits the chance of them finding you. On the other hand, stuffing lots of irrelevant keywords to target will drive the wrong people to your site. Or worse your paid adverts, which inevitably wastes your time and finances!

We advise that you have between 5 and 20 keywords per ad group. This way you achieve two things: the first to ensure your terms are related to the group’s theme. The second is making sure you have enough terms in the group to actually rank for.

Good To Know: It is possible to rank for more than 20 keywords per ad group. However, make sure these keywords are definitely related and that you aren’t able to further categorise them. If you are, perfect, get re-grouping!


Step 5: Use Google’s Keyword Planner to Get Suggestions

By now, many businesses should be pretty familiar with Google AdWords and the Google Keyword Planner. Even if you aren’t creating a Google AdWords campaign, utilising the Keyword Planner is vital for building the best keyword list.

Remember: Google is “full of ideas and wants to share them with you.” Don’t put yourself at a disadvantage by not making use of their tools.

Uses for the Keyword Planner

  • Discovering new keyword ideas
  • Looking at traffic estimations for particular keywords
  • Getting suggested bid estimates for individual terms
  • Comparing the trends around certain search terms and phrases
  • Get insights into historical statistics and future forecasts for keywords

Closing Thoughts

Building the best keyword list is all about making sure you are visible to your prospective customers. Sometimes the keywords you think they will find you from, don’t match the terms they are using to find your business.

Summary of Steps

  1. Target keywords you know your customers use to describe your goods and services.
  2. Add broader search terms to your keyword list to target more people and spread your reach.
  3. Group similar keywords into themes and product categories to better organise paid ad campaigns.
  4. Choose between 5 to 20 keywords for each keyword category or ad group.
  5. Discover more potential keywords to target through Google’s Keyword Planner.

It’s time to put your new-found knowledge into practice. Well, what are you waiting for?

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