Search engine optimization aids in providing the best results for user search. The user’s intended query is answered. And, ‘search’ is a different model for the psychological approach & results, as compared to social media, for example.

What the user searches for, the search engines deliver – as best they can. The exercise of optimizing pages to best match that query deals with many factors, but at the core sits keyword research. It affects on-page data, information architecture, links and at an emotional level – words that sell.

Expanding SEO factors a little, we must deal with internal link structure, link popularity & relevance, spiderability, optimized code, content relevance and technical infrastructure.

Clearly, a lot of moving parts here and both the work itself and the results for ethical, white-hat SEO is not done overnight.

As the saying goes – the slow, steady (knowledgeable) hand wins.

But, for keyword research, it begins here:

Step 1:

Get into the mind of the searcher, and start with compiling keywords in your market, competitors and trending information.

Step 2:

Expand the keyword research, use social media and insights tools, your own web analytics, logs. Move from nominations to selections. (Note: your IA (information architecture) will need to be scrutinized early, and established)

Step 3:

Generate a master list, and divide them into a) head words, b) middle terms, c) long tail terms. Now, if you started this work BEFORE you designed the site, you’d be ahead of the game. Start looking at keywords and how they can be aligned, as well as grouped into pages and “themes” for logical arrangements. Think about the user first, search engines second. If users follow an information “scent” (they do) – does your site and structure align itself well? Don’t go for the most competitive keyword. The aggregate values in traffic (as one metric) come from a bucket of keywords, from the end of the tail, and towards the head.

Review the complete keyword research infographic series here. (Thanks to the awesome folks at Elliance)

What keyword tools do you use for your business? (check the “Tools” menu/section on this site for more)


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.