The content you include on your website has many functions. First it describes your product and services to your potential customers, and second, it can affect how people find your website in the first place as including specific keywords in your text can help navigate people to your site. Keywords are a huge factor in how you are ranked in search engine results pages and utilizing the right ones will help people find your website.  Keywords are words that potential customers will use on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. They will type in a few words or a phrase based on what they are looking for and if your website has the same words incorporated then you will be more likely to show up on their results page. Utilizing keywords is key to having good SEO and can positively affect the amount of traffic your website receives.

Here are some simple steps to take to determine your ideal keywords and how to incorporate them into your website.

Step 1: Make a list of relevant topics for your business

Start by making a list of every relevant topic to your business, service, and product. Think of what you are offering your customers and why they are coming to you. What do they need and why would they conduct an online search? Listing relevant topics will help you think about what you are offering and what your customers are looking for so you can momentarily see things from their point of view.

Step 2: Think of keywords related to your topics

Once you have all your topics listed, you can start to think of keywords related to those topics. List all the words people would use to describe the service or product. Compile these words from the mindset of your potential customers – think about what words they will use in the search engines. These words will be based on what you think people will potentially type in when looking for specific services or products. For example, “VHS transfer to DVD” or “eCommerce website design.” You can consult an SEO specialist to help determine which keywords you should use but overall if you focus on what your general audience will be using to search you should be able to create a well-developed list of keywords. In this stage write down everything that you can think of in relation to each topic.

Step 3: Narrow down the list

Now you have your long list of potential keywords, it’s time to narrow it down and focus on the most important words or phrases. In this phase, the goal is to identify the most important keywords and the ones most specific to your business. It is also helpful to have head terms and long-tail keywords. Head terms are shorter and more generic, while long-tail keywords are longer keyword phrases of 3 or more words. Again, thinking from the point of view of your customer can help you identify the most relevant words to your business.

Step 4: Incorporate your keywords into your website

Now you need to make sure your website uses these keywords, so when people search these terms, your website will appear in their search engine results page. Placing keywords in several locations such as title tags, headers, and sub headers and the body text is useful. Placing them in banner images does not help, instead having them in paragraphs hear the top of the page will be most effective. Weaving the keywords into the copy and having a keyword heavy page with about 3 keywords to every 10 words will help optimize your search engine results.

Overall, you want to make sure you are gaining traffic from desirable sources, from people who are looking for your specific service or product. This will increase your conversion rates – people who visit your site and actually make a purchase or perform an action. It’s also important to keep evaluating your keywords and changing them as your business grows and evolves.