Determining Keyword/Phrase to focus on for search engine optimization

Before you even start writing a web page or your blog post in our CMS, you need to determine which keyphrase or keyword you want to focus on for search engine traffic.  Once you have determined your keyword/phrase, you can create your page or post as normal, then optimize the content and the media to match.  Here is how to determine which keyword or phrase you should use:

Option 1, ask google

One of the great things is that if you want to know how to get more attention from google, you just have to google it.  They will tell you everything you need to know to get traffic from them.  One of the greatest tools they provide is the keyword suggestion tool in google adwords.  You will need an adwords account, but creating one is easy and free.  Even though they will try to convince you to purchase pay per click packages, we advise you not to.  Just use the tool instead.

  • login to adwords by clicking the link above
  • if you don't get to the keyword planner tool initially, click on tools in the navigation bar and select keyword planner from the drop down menu
  • under [Find new keywords and get search volume data] click on the first option titled "Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category"
  • this will open up a form where you can enter different information.  These fields are pretty self explanatory and have help icons you can click on for more detailed information so we will not go over them all here.  Fill out the form with what you want to determine and click [get ideas]
  • The new page will show lots of different options and ways to drill down to find the information you want, but if it gets overwhelming, just let us know and we will walk you through it.
  • The important thing to look at is the keyword ideas table in the middle of the page.  The table is like a spreadsheet with the following columns:
    • keyword
    • ave. monthly searches
    • competition
    • suggested bid
    • ad impr. share
    • add to campaign
  • the first three columns are what you are after.  Find a keyword that is high in monthly searches, but low in competition.  That is the keyword you want to use for your content.


They change this tool quite a bit so these instructions might not be correct when you read them.  If that is the case, let us know in a support ticket and we will walk you through it personally.

Option 2, ask google... in a different way

All of the sites we build include google analytics tracking.  You can use this tool to find what keywords your site is getting traffic from as a starting point before using the adwords tool above.  You should also use this tool to see what results your efforts have brought so you can adjust your focus accordingly in the future.  Again, this tool is very robust and powerful to the point that it is hard to handle if you aren't used to working with it.  We are, so don't hesitate to ask us to help you navigate the use to get the information you need.

  • login to analytics here
  • click on the all website data link under your company name (if you don't see statistics initially)
  • in the left menu, click aquisition, then search console, then queries
  • this will show you what keyphrase was used to find your site in the time period you indicated.


The first row is always going to be (not set) because as privacy concerns have increased, there are instances where google will simply not log what keyphrase was used to find your site.   Typically though, that is just an amalgam of the other keywords below so simply ignore it.

Please click here if this helped you.
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Category: CMS Tutorials, Search Engines

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