One of the first steps in the long and arduous search engine optimization plan is the research of keywords. Keywords are center of all SEO programs, your content is written around keywords, your titles should be keyword optimized and your link building program relies on keywords as anchor text.
Here are ten keyword research tips to help you get started:
Misspellings and Typos: use common misspellings or typos such as double strikes, letters close to each other on the keyboard for example yahpp instead of yahoo. The classic example has been John Cow for John Chow.
US spelling and UK spellings: labour/labor, colour/color, cheque/check – there are plenty to choose from. The ‘or’ and ‘our’ are common as is the use of a ‘z’ in place of an ‘s’ – optimization/optimisation/
Plural and single: don’t forget the plurals – and I don’t necessarily mean the adding of an ‘s’. alumnus/alumni.
Acronyms and abbreviations: our society is full of acronyms especially when it comes to the online and IT world. PC, PDA, MSN – there are a lot to choose from. Abbreviations are just as common. 1st/first, Dec/December.
Verbs: play with verbs. If you are selling shoes your options could include walk/walking, run/running, jog/jogging
Adjectives: descriptive words are often used by searchers. These could include new; used; old; free; cheap.
Hyphenated and merged words: the most common one these days is email/e-mail, pay per click/pay-per-click/PPC/payperclick.
Geographic: geographic data is particularly important if you want to rank well in local search. Town names, suburbs, states, counties. It may be useful to include local terminology as well.
Domain names: you would be surprised at how often users do a search on a domain name or part of it. Use variations including the www.
People’s names: people’s names are often used in search queries. Again, look at misspellings. My name is often used in a search engine with a variety of misspellings.
Once you have developed a set a keywords, go through the above list and see if any of these tips help to add variations. Keywords are the central key to any search engine optimization program. Don’t just concentrate on the obvious – everyone else is so they will be highly competitive.