How to Develop a Keyword Strategy

By Mike Munter on March 03, 2011  

Developing a sound keyword strategy is the foundation for quality SEO work.

keyword strategy

The factors I look for in choosing and recommending a keyword strategy to my clients are:

1.  Traffic – I like to see around 500 exact local monthly searches for a keyword for a local business and 1,000 exact local monthly searches for a keyword for a national or global business.  Since we are hoping to claim a page one position for the search term, I want to have something to be excited about when we get there.  Read my post titled, “How much traffic can you expect from page one of Google?” for more information.

2.  Competition – I like to see low competition – don’t we all?! – for the keyword terms I’m going after.  A term like “dog treats” gets 6,600 searches per month (great!), but unfortunately, there are 7.3 Million web pages with the term “dog treats” on the page.  It could take years to get on the first page of search results for that term.    For a term like dog treats, we’d want to drill down a bit and find a long tail keyword that would get us on the first page a bit quicker.

3.  Conversion – This is where we need to think like a consumer when choosing keywords for your business.  What would a potential customer type into Google if they were looking for your business?  This is a good time to use your intuition, ask friends, and get ideas by using Google’s keyword tool or other keyword tools.  A simple way to see if you’re choosing buyer keywords is to type them into Google and see what the search results look like.  If you see your competitors, that probably means you’ve got some good keywords to go after.

Using Keyword Strategy

Once I have my list of possible keywords, I can perform a crucial step of keyword strategy.  I like to see who’s in the #1 spot for each keyword.  I use my SEO tools to find out how strong they are and if they are optimizing their site around the same keywords I’m considering.  An aged site with thousands of backlinks for the same keyword I want to use is probably not someone I want to try to overtake.

Developing a keyword strategy is mostly based on the numbers, but it also calls for intuition.  To see the keyword strategy I used for my site, just click the link.

Begin With Keyword Strategy Discussion

To discuss keyword strategy for your small business, just give me a call at 503-890-6663 or complete the contact form.


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