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How are target keywords selected for a Search Engine Optimisation project?

Key phrase evaluation and selection is one of the most complex and critical areas of SEO practice. The success or failure of an SEO project can hinge entirely on identifying the right key phrases for that website.

The starting point for the key phrase selection process is the list of keywords and key phrases identified by the client. They are usually the person best placed to identify key phrases relevant to their business, since they have the best knowledge of both their products and customers. Sometimes, however, the client is too closely involved with the technical side of their business to appreciate the terms a potential customer might use when conducting searches.

The second stage of the process attempts to gain an insight into the mind of a potential customer searching for the product. Methods of doing this will vary depending on the product and target market, but may include focus groups, customer questionnaires and observation of search engine users under controlled conditions. Searchers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they combine terms and operators in order to generate relevant results. On the other hand, searchers may use surprisingly oblique terms to find something with which they may already be familiar.

At the end of this stage there will be two lists of potential target key phrases, one provided by the client and the second generated through customer research. If these two lists are broadly similar, it suggests that the website’s content is appropriate to its audience. If not, it indicates that it may be necessary to adjust the focus or language of the website to bring it into line with its target market.

The third stage of the process seeks to add further potential target key phrases which may not have been previously suggested. Data from actual search engine usage and from the website’s server log files are examined, with this analysis often identifying relevant, high-traffic key phrases which had previously been overlooked.

Finally, sophisticated evaluation techniques are used to select the target key phrases for which the website will be optimised. Characteristics of target key phrases will include:

Contact Details

Office & Registered Address:
Optillion Internet Marketing, 8 Church Street, Ruddington, Nottingham NG11 6HA, United Kingdom (UK)

Optillion's offices are within 30 minutes drive of Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and East Midlands Airport

Optillion's Directors

Paul Bibby, Head of Search Engine Marketing and trainer in Google AdWords and Analytics

Gavin Walker, Head of Search Engine Optimisation and trainer in eMarketing, SEO and SMM

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