How to Select Keywords


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Keywords are essential to your business. Without appropriate keywords, people won’t be able to find you because the search engines won’t list you. Therefore, if you want your business to succeed, you must use the most relevant keywords possible.

It is true that search engine optimization (SEO) can be a little frightening and it can be overwhelming to try to come up with effective keywords that really work well for your business. So, you might ask yourself how you get started on choosing amazing keywords. A methodical approach will probably work best for you and if you take it one simple step at a time, you will see that you will achieve positive results.

The following are simple steps that you can incorporate into your keyword approach:

  • Search for your brand: It is extremely important that you understand where your brand falls in the search engine rankings. Your objective, in this case, is to force your competitors’ rankings to fall below your rankings. You want your brand to appear as high up on the first page of the search engine as possible. If you are at the top, nobody else can be. You want to own that spot. Additionally, you need to ensure that all of the terms that are connected to your brand (such as brand-specific product names) also appear at the top of the page.
  • Gather suggestions for keywords: There are keyword suggestion tools that will help you to obtain a list of top-quality keywords. You can obtain this by entering relevant keyword and your competitors’ URLs into the tool. Remember to make sure that you include a variety of different terms (head terms, mid-terms, and long-tail terms). Head terms are terms that get less than 1,000 monthly searches, mid-terms are terms that get between 100 and 1,000 monthly searches, and long-tail terms are terms that get less than 100 monthly searches.
  • Beat out the competition: You should identify the keywords of your competitors by including their homepage URL to your keyword suggestion list. Then you can compare their keyword list against yours. That is an easy way to identify if you have missed any important keywords.
  • Hone your keyword list: Hone your keyword list by categorizing in by search volume, relevancy, competition, and present status. Your objective should be to choose 10 keywords that are part of your SEO strategy. Those words should include your brand name and four other relevant keywords. Your choices should be only the keywords that are extremely relevant to your business. You can look at the specific words that are already ranked in the search engines. It is easier to begin if you have a running start. An important thing to look at is your global monthly searches.  Think in terms of conversion. Try to picture people searching for those terms in the context of your website and try to determine if they could actually be converted.
  • Develop a strategy to rank your keywords: Once you have your established list of keywords, you can create your SEO strategy around those terms. You need to watch the terms over time by monitoring the patterns of the rankings and by gauging exactly which type of traffic you are receiving as a result of those terms.


In as much as SEO requires a lot of effort up front, the results will be long term. Keyword selection is critical to the success of your business’s success when it comes to your SEO strategy. The keywords will make all of the difference. If you do it correctly, uncomplicated SEO can positively affect your website traffic and your brand awareness will increase exponentially.

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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.

Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.

Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.

Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.


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