Traditional Approaches: Domain Expertise, Site Content Analysis

One of the smartest things you can do when initially conducting keyword research is brainstorm original ideas with business participants before getting keyword tools involved. This can be surprisingly effective for coming up with numerous critical keywords. It can also help you understand if your organization thinks about your offerings using different language than your customers, in which case you may want to adapt!

Start by generating a list of terms and phrases that are relevant to your industry and pertain to what your site or business offers. The brainstorming phase should ideally result in a list of several dozen to several hundred or more keyword searches that will bring relevant visitors to your site.

One easy way to begin this process is to gather your team in a conference room and then follow these steps:

  1. Produce a list of key one- to three-word phrases that describe your products/services.

  2. Spend some time coming up with synonyms that your potential customers might use for those products and services. Use a thesaurus to help you with this process.

  3. Create a taxonomy of all the areas of focus in your industry. It can be helpful to imagine creating a directory for all the people, projects, ideas, and companies connected to your site. You can also look at sites that are leaders in the industry and study their site hierarchies as a way to start your thinking about a taxonomy.

  4. Broaden your list by thinking of higher-level ...

Get The Art of SEO, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.