How to create a keyword plan . . .

keyword planBy Haydn Rowe

We’ve previously discussed the importance of creating traffic for your website and one of the techniques we mention is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

SEO is a big topic, with many methods, theories, updates and changes circulating as to how best get your website to the ‘top of Google.’

This leads to much debate about the best SEO practices, but one methodology you cannot afford to omit is the use of keywords.

Often websites are launched before any thought is given to what keywords are being targeted with each page.

Needless to say this is wrong on so many levels and can lead to keyword duplication, overuse of keywords for pages, keyword stuffing or no keyword targeting at all – not good practice if you want your website to rank highly on search engines.

If you don’t have a keyword plan for your website – then by implication you have created or are creating a website that has no focus, is not targeting your target market and therefore will have inefficiency BUILT IN.

Before you begin a keyword plan you need to have your navigation structure in place so you can indentify which pages to target with each keyword.

Creating a Keyword Plan – selecting keywords for individual pages

Here are the steps for creating a keyword plan.

  • Optimise Page by Page – you can only optimise one page at a time (search engines index pages not websites) – so work through your navigation structure (or site map) one page at a time.
  • Three Keywords per Page – ideally you should select three key words or three key phrases for each page. Any more than three keywords then, by definition, they are no longer [key] words and a search engine will struggle to define what is “key”. Bear in mind that the more words a page is optimised for, generally the lower the ranking on an organic search.
  • Topics, Themes & Content – your Home Page can be more generic than the other individual pages, which should be more focused. These should strongly relate to the theme, topic or content of that page.
  • Keyword Selection – you can choose keywords from your knowledge of what is bringing traffic to your current website (by using Google Analytics), by using the Google Keyword Tool (best accessed via your AdWords account) or by looking at your most profitable keywords for Google AdWords (if you are using AdWords).
  • How Many? – when you are starting out it is a good idea to begin with your top 60 keywords. At 3 keywords per page this gives you enough keywords for your 20 most important pages. However, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do the whole website, or even start the other way and make sure you have enough pages for your keywords.

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