What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the words that people type into search engines to find you and your business or services. The main use of keywords is to optimize your website and social media for search engines. Search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Duck Duck Go scan or crawl the internet for information and find keywords in the content (words, pictures, videos). They use the keywords on your website and social media to determine when to show you in search results. Google and other search engines want to deliver quality results to searchers. There are other issues that search engines review to make the decision about what is quality, but keywords are a big one.

Keywords For SEO First

Keywords can be added to many areas of a website to optimize for search engines: image names, image titles, alternative text, headings, text, meta descriptions, link titles, and SEO page titles.

So, before I ever start building a website, I perform keyword research for my client’s industry or services. One of the first questions I like to ask my clients is, “If you were looking for your business and services, what words would you type into a search engine?” Depending on what they say, I go to work to find what words are most searched and have the greatest potential to convert.

Also, be on the lookout for synonyms and similar words. Finding synonyms or similar words for the key terms is also valuable since not every person uses the same word to search for the same service. For example, most people type into the search engine “web designers near me” to find my business. Some similar terms for web designer would be web developer, website builder, etc…

I have some tools I use to determine which words are searched most and which words are the “money” words. Money words are those keywords that cost the most if you are advertising on Google Adwords. They cost the most because they bring in the business…or the money.

For those who may not know…Adwords is a paid service that Google offers. If you pay for an advertisement, Google will display your ad at the top of the page if you spent enough money on that keyword. You’ve probably seen them at the top and bottom of the search results page.

Keyword Research Spreadsheet

I provide my clients with an Excel Spreadsheet with the keyword research data that I find. See the image below. Next, I’ll try to explain what the document shows.

snapshot of an excel spreadsheet filled with keywords

Columns A through D show the raw data and can have hundreds of results. These have to be sifted through because they don’t all apply to the client’s business. Columns G through J contains the Focus On Keywords and data that apply to my client’s business which are high search volume and high cost in Adwords.

  • Columns A and G are the keywords.
  • Columns B and H show the average monthly search volume for that keyword.
  • Columns C and I show the competition for the keyword, The higher the number, the higher the competition is for that word from other businesses.
  • Columns D and J show the Adwords cost to have that keyword show up at the top of the page on search results (if that keyword is included in a Google Adwords Campaign). The higher the cost for a keyword, the better that term converts or draws people into your Ad and website. That is why they cost more and I call them the money words.

Additional Ways To Research

Besides using Google Adwords data, another way to find good keywords is to go to Google.com and start typing in one of your business services and see what Google offers as a suggestion before you finish typing. The suggestions will pop up to help you complete what you are typing or searching for. Those suggestions come from what others are searching for and can give you clues to good keywords to use for your business.

Other ways to research involve free and paid options like SEMRUSH, WordStream, HubSpot, and DemandJump. Just Google it!

There are many tools to use to find good keywords for your business. The tools don’t matter so much. What matters is that you do some keyword research to find highly searched and valuable keywords and use those to build your website.