What you may not realize, though, is how many keywords you've already overlooked.

Before your SEO firm can work their science on your keywords, shaping your list of suggestions into a concise few keywords to target, they're going to rely on your industry expertise. That is to say, at the earliest stage, it's almost always helpful to begin with a "full hopper" of keyword possibilities, even if they aren't all great keywords.

The art of whittling down that lengthy initial list will come into play later. That's when your SEO expert will spend time analyzing the keywords, adding similar terms to the list, and nixing any that aren't perfect for your online marketing plan.

Right now, though, in the infancy of the brainstorming process, it's critical to include all the relevant keywords you can think of, given your extensive knowledge of the field you work in.

Coming Up With Initial Keywords: A Brainstorm or Just Spotty Showers?
If you spent the next 15 minutes compiling a list of all the keywords you think people are searching for in Google to find your site, how many do you think you could come up with? Fifteen? Seventy-five? Two hundred?

No matter how many you write down, you can be sure of one thing: you’re missing some. The most seasoned veteran in any field will invariably leave off a number of terms he or she's been conditioned over time to disregard.

Examples of these omissions might be:

A commonly misspelled variation of a keyword (irigation services vs. irrigation services)
A plural version of a term that’s typically used in the singular, or vice versa (television repairs vs. television repair)
A two-word adaptation of something your industry only recognizes as a single compound word (land scaping vs.landscaping)

The reason it's impossible to come up with all the potential keywords being searched for your type of product or service is because, in the world of search, we're dealing with one gigantic variable: humans. Keywords can be as varied and unique as the people typing them. What in your eyes might seem like an obvious keyword for something, might never cross the mind of your next big customer.

That's why it's helpful to consider keywords from a broader perspective.

When we execute keyword research, we factor in a lot of things...because we've learned over time what kinds of variables are in place when it comes to anticipating keyword searches. But we couple our experience with one of our most valuable assets: our clients' experience. When you work with AAI to build an SEO foundation for your site, one of the first things we'll do is seek to learn all about you, your industry, and your customers. Your input, especially around the jargon you hear every day, becomes one of the most effective tools in our kit.

Minneapolis internet marketing firm August Ash helps businesses and non-profits make sense of their myriad keyword possibilities. We treat keyword research as the strategic groundwork necessary for just about all future marketing work on a site. If you have questions about this process, or are ready to see how your site can benefit from a tested, intelligent approach to keywords, let us know.