Whether one is starting a new online business based on an ecommerce website or the website is already established, proper keyword research is crucial. Of course, there are a lot of methods of doing this and webmasters usually apply what worked well in the past, based on previous experience. However, chances of getting noticed on the online environment are quite low if keyword research is not a part of anyone’s strategy.
First and foremost, you should establish the principal keywords your business is related with, let’s take for example a company that sells knives. The major keywords would be knife, knives, folding knives, pocket knives, kitchen knives and so on. But again, this only depends on what the company sells while it would be unnecessary to use pocket knives when it does not have in its inventory this type of knives. So picking up keywords from own knowledge about the products would be first thing anyone doing keyword research should do. Choose keywords that best characterize the business/services/products.
Second step would be to create a large list of related keywords and this can be done in various ways. The most important one is by using the Google Adwords : Keyword Tool while it is the most updated tool and, well, you are optimising a website for Google so its database should be used first. Using it is not so difficult but there is a trick of getting way more keywords than using it in a normal matter. First of all, you may want to swich it to its previous interface ( the current interface was released a couple of months ago ). Take each word you found in step 1, add it to the box and hit « get keyword ideas ». The keyword « kitchen knives » generates 131 related keywords and another 69 keywords to consider. Add all of them to the database, and here comes the real trick. After you have added its, a list on the right part of the screen gets filled with selected keywords, next you should take each keyword listed there and do the same with it. You will get keywords listed before but also new keywords ideas you might use. Add all again, repeat the procedure until you get hundreds of keywords to consider.
A step most webmasters jump over is to use Thesaurus.com database for synonyms. Synonyms are also great for some products/services while for others are not. However, if synonyms you consider related to your business are shown, copy its and do the step above with Google Keyword Tool, that should generate another dozens of new keywords.
Yahoo Answers is a good place to find out what people are looking about your product, in our case kitchen knives. By browsing the questions you might find patterns that can help you create content that answers their questions.
Last, but not least, competition websites. These are goldmine for new keywords idea, is like you hired someone to do the job, you just pick up the fruits. Check at least first 20 competitors’ keywords, add its to the master list and if something new, you might want to take them again through the whole process described above with the Keyword Tool.For established websites with some years behind, a good method is to use Awstats and Alexa method for new keywords.
Now that we have the main keywords, secondary keywords made up of hundreds of its, how do we know which one to target, how to find gold keywords and how to properly promote its for prospects and search engines ? This is the subject on a new article, so stay tuned if you would like to find out how to use the massive list of keywords created. Care to share other methods for proper keyword research, feel free to leave a comment below, would be glad to share ideas with other webmasters.