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How to Pick SEO Keywords

Now that you’ve spent some time in the world of web design, and around the lingo that comes with it, you’ve probably heard “SEO” thrown around quite a bit. If you don’t already know, SEO stands for search engine optimization and is actually one of the best ways to grow a new business. SEO is the process of increasing quality website traffic from search engines through the use of selected keywords. The keywords chosen are critical to the success of SEO, so how do you go about picking the right ones for your business?

Before selecting any keywords, you’ll need to determine what your SEO goals are for your website. How broad or narrow is your target audience? What type of site traffic are you trying to gain? (ecommerce shoppers, a blog following, potential users of your services etc.) Also it’s important to remember that SEO results do not happen overnight, as it takes time for search engines to realize and remember that you are there. SEO is an important investment for your site and its long term success.

Now that you know what your SEO goals are and have a picture of who you are wanting to attract to the site, it’s time to start thinking about which exact keywords/phrases you want to use. Wix allows for up to five SEO keywords or phrases per website. Five will definitely get the job done, but because it is only five, it is crucial to think practically about what these terms should be and choose them with intent. A great place to start is to put yourself in the shoes of someone from your target audience. (Don’t forget that most website traffic via SEO comes from those who do not know your site/business name, and therefore will not be searching any titles.) Ask yourself, “what would I search in order to find a business/service/ website like mine?” Additionally, a good rule of thumb is to use a mix of both short terms and longer phrases. By doing this, you will get traffic from people who are running short, quick searches and also those who are running more specific, detailed searches.

The next step is to start making a “master list” of potential terms. You don’t have to be too picky here, as getting all of your thoughts down will help you effectively narrow it down to the final five words and phrases. Once your master list is completed, it’s time to start considering volume, competition, and relevance of the terms on there in order to start eliminating the weaker terms.

Volume: How often is this term searched for online? Although volume will change over time, knowing how common a particular word or phrase is amongst search engine searches will help you determine how much potential traffic you may get by using that term.

Competition: How many websites are also using this term? High volume often means high competition. And at the end of the day, the higher the competition is, the harder it is to be the number one search result for that term. There should be a balance between volume and competition.

Relevance: Going back to the thinking like your audience mindset, relevance of terms is essential. How likely is it that your target audience is searching this term not yet knowing about your business/website specifically? You could have a high volume term with low competition, but if the term isn’t relevant enough to your audience, it is a waste of one of your five terms.

Finally, after considering the above variables, you should be left with your most efficient words and phrases. Hopefully it isn’t many more than 5, but if you do find yourself over Wix’s 5 keyword limit, go with your gut and your favorites based on personal preference. And that’s it! You’ve selected your first SEO keywords for your new website. Not too bad huh? And the best part is that you can change your SEO plan and keywords at any time as your website evolves and your learn more about your audience over time. Simply go to your dashboard and find SEO on the left hand side menu. For best results in the long term, make sure you are paying attention to your traffic and where it’s coming from via analytics so you can make adjustments accordingly.

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