How To Identify Your SEO Keywords

Finding your SEO Keywords is the starting point for your marketing strategy. As a marketing manager, you’re probably aware of your most profitable keyword (likely your product or service offering). But, how do you differentiate your keywords for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), knowing that at least half of your competitors are vying for visibility on the same exact word?

Enter SEO Keyword Identification

The first step in keyword identification is listing out all of your products and services, common needs from your clients, and top sales descriptions for your offering. Make sure to keep these phrases within 2-3 words. 1-word keywords are notoriously difficult to rank for, and often result in traffic that is not necessarily correctly targeted. Phrases that are 4 words or more tend to draw very little traffic.

You should be able to create a list of 20-30 keywords that encompass your “main” offerings within 2-3 words each.

Find Close Variations

You’ll need to find variations on your keywords to find the ones that you need to target. Show your list of 20-30 keywords to at least 2 individuals in your industry, and 2 individuals that aren’t (friends and family members come to mind).

Ask your audience if there are ways you’d search for your products, or how they’d be able to find your service online. You’ll often see search variations such as “[Product] near me” or “best [service]” that you may or may not have factored in your initial list.

At our marketing agency, we use third party tools to streamline this process, finding hundreds of variations all at once, in order to go to the next step.

Identify Your Best Keywords

Using your growing list of keywords, use Google Traffic Estimator (AdWords) to estimate the traffic that each keyword will bring in each month. At our SEO agency, we use marketing tools to perform this phase in bulk, with segmented results for local results as well as organic traffic from different locations around the world.

Your best keywords are not necessarily the words with the most traffic. Share on X

Sort this list by Search Volume – which words arrive at the top?

Your best keywords are not necessarily the words with the most traffic, though this is an excellent indicator of potential value. You won’t want to choose “fashion” as your main keyword for a new high-end ski jacket brand, even though it’d probably be a keyword with a huge amount of traffic.

Create three columns beside each keyword in your list: Relevance, Traffic, Competition. Then, fill out each column based on how you think each keyword will perform on a score out of 10. The relevance of a keyword is based on your subjective analysis, while there are marketing tools that will help you identify the traffic each keyword will bring in per month, as well as the likelihood that you can rank within the first page of search results (based on the Competition).

If you don’t have access to the above marketing tools, you can also look at how many search results show up for a given keyword to estimate the relative difficulty you’ll have in ranking for a particular keyword.

Once you have your document filled out, total each keyword’s score in order to find a good breakdown of which keywords are likely to be your top performing keywords.

Creating Your SEO Strategy

After completing the above steps, you’ll have to identify your Primary Keywords (the keywords with the most traffic) and Secondary Keywords (the keywords with lower traffic, but with high relevance to your brand) in order to create an SEO action plan.

This SEO strategy phase is usually integrated with your marketing planning document. At our marketing agency, we perform competitive analysis at the same time as the above SEO research. Need help in creating a marketing plan? No problem! Contact our marketing agency in downtown Vancouver, we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. Feel free to call or visit – we always have chocolate 😉