4 Keyword-Research Tips for Smarter SEO

keywords

If you're responsible for brand communications, then you're expected—or should be expected—to be a search engine optimization expert as well as a great content creator. Yet SEO may still be somewhat of a mystery to you.

If that's the case, it might be because you're getting stuck on what's often the first recommendation from self-proclaimed SEO experts: Identify smart keywords and use them in your content.

"Great," you might think. "I'll do that very thing."

Then comes the nagging internal question: "But how do I identify them?"

Kristen Heflin, assistant professor of communication at Kennesaw State University, compiled these four keyword-research tips to help you get on the road to becoming one of those vaunted SEO experts.

1. Work with colleagues to brainstorm a list of keywords associated with your organization. These keywords can be the names of products, services, executives or industry trends.

2. Input your list of keywords into a keyword research tool. One of the most powerful tools is the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

3. Identify trophy keywords or keyword phrases. Trophy keywords or keyword phrases are the most frequently searched terms that are relevant to your site, have a high number of people searching for them and have a low number of competitors trying to get ranked for them. If all of your keywords have high competition, pick the one that is the most specific while still being the most relevant to your content.

4. Select one trophy keyword or keyword phrase for each page of your website. Turn back to your website hierarchy and identify one trophy keyword or keyword phrase that applies to each page of your website. List this keyword or keyword phrase in the “keywords” column of your hierarchy. It’s fine to use the same keyword or keyword phrase on multiple pages of your site, as long as it’s relevant to the content on that particular page.

This content was adapted from PR News' upcoming Writer's Guidebook Vol. 2.

There's still time to register for PR News' June 6 Google for Communicators Workshop in Miami. SEO will be one of the topics at the workshop.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI