Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Keyword Development Strategy

The Dunford Group consults with companies every day about the best way to spend their on-line marketing dollars.   I always recommend creating a list of primary keywords that will drive web site content production and a list of secondary keywords that content creators should keep in mind when writing a web site page or a blog posting for their site.

For example, one of our clients is a transportation company and they found that because of COVID19 restriction, traditional methods for finding new business (tradeshows, knocking on doors, asking current clients for referrals) were not available so they hired us to get them back to growth mode.

We looked at their business and created a starting list of keyword ideas. Then we used Google Keyword Planner and other agency tools to discover more about each keyword phrase. As we learned what keywords were being searched (and not searched) we eliminated low value keywords so we could focus our SEO efforts on the highest return keywords first.

Keyword creation refers to compiling a list of individual words and multi-word phrases (2-6 words usually) that will guide your content creation for the site.  Of paramount importance in keyword research is balancing the keywords you think people will use in their search, with discovering what people are actually searching.  

The number of primary keywords you want to focus on will be 20-30 for a small or medium-sized business web site because any more than 30 and you dilute the effectiveness of the hours you are spending on your SEO. To increase your number of keywords your SEO marketing time budget will have to increase.

Knowing what keyword terms people are searching for is only half the battle.  You also need to determine how competitive these keywords are and one way to do this is to manually enter each search term into Google.com to see how many pages are currently indexed by Google on the web for this term.  

This approach is far from an exact science, since you will now have a sense of the competitiveness of these terms on the World Wide Web and not necessarily the competitiveness for these search terms in your specific target market/geographic area.

In the end, you can distill the keyword list to a very good “educated guess” and start your work.  Your plan should always include a regular review of your keywords every 60 days to ensure you identify new keyword opportunities and remove ineffective or overly competitive keywords.

You can choose to structure an SEO campaign on your own, but you can also turn to a professional who will save you a ton of time and utilize their experience to optimize your content and ads for you. If you’d like some assistance in coming up with the best plan for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Rob Dunford is a Marketing Consultant in the Great Toronto Area with over 25 years of experience in implementing marketing plans for small businesses.