How to Build a Keyword Glossary

This is an excerpt from my new eBook “SEO Principles 2013″. The following is Chapter 3, Building a Keyword Glossary:

To build a keyword glossary start with writing down 5 to 10 keywords or phrases that you think people will search on to find your site. Don’t worry about being wrong this is just as starting point.

Next go to Google’s keyword tool at https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool.

The Google Keyword Tool will help you to identify how often keywords are searched on a monthly basis (globally and locally), what the competition level is for these phrases, and help you to identify other opportunities.

Next, type your 5 to 10 keywords into the “word or phrase” text box and click on the search button.

keyword glossary example 1

In our example we identified the following keywords: men’s shoes, men’s casual shoes, work out shoes for men, and men’s work shoes.

You can see what Google returned for this search:

keyword glossary example 2

As you can see this is fantastic information to have access to. Before we didn’t know how often people were searching for specific keywords. Now we’ve taken the guesswork out and can optimize for the keywords that people are actually searching on.

You will also notice that Google returns keyword ideas. You will want to scan through these ideas for additional keywords to add to your glossary.

keyword glossary example 3

You should end up with about 10 to 30 keywords in your glossary depending on the topic and size of your site. If your site doesn’t have a lot of pages yet, then feel free to start small – 5 to 10 keywords is fine. Once you feel comfortable with optimizing for these keywords, add new ones to your glossary every few months. At the same time, create new pages to go with these keywords to ensure the depth and breadth of your site increases. Building new pages and content will signal to search engines that you’re serious about your site and the content you write. Stagnant sites that don’t grow or aren’t updated will not be crawled as frequently by search engines.

When you scan through the list of keyword ideas, look for keywords that have a large amount of search volume. At the same time, make sure they are specific to what your site is about. If you just go for large volume keywords, the terms may be too broad (“shoes”) or have different meaning depending on the industry or service (acronyms can have different meanings in different industries) you provide. Keywords with large search volume are also going to have more competition making them more difficult to rank on.

When selecting keywords you want to make sure you find a good balance between volume and competition. It’s all right to have a few stretch words that you may never rank on. Just make sure that you have other more “realistic” keywords to provide balance.

Once you’ve selected your 10 to 30 keywords, complete the rest of your glossary by adding the search volume, level of importance, and the page on your site you want to optimize. You can even do a Google search to see if your site ranks in the top 3 search result pages. If it does, you may want to track this ranking in your glossary to see how it changes over time.

TIP: When using Google or other search engines to track your site ranking, make sure you are NOT logged in. Being logged in will bias your search results and potentially show your site ranked higher than what it would show for other users.

TIP: Track to see if your site shows in the top 3 pages (first 30 results). Listings beyond page 3 receive so few clicks that ranking there is not going to provide much traffic.

For more detailed information on optimizing your web site for SEO, please visit Amazon, “SEO Principles 2013″ is now available for $2.99.

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