One of the most important tasks in any search engine marketing campaign, whether it’s for PPC (pay per click) marketing campaign or unpaid SEO (search engine optimization), is building a list of keywords. Many business owners don’t realize what keywords are being used to find what they are selling. Creating a list of relevant and searched keywords can (and most probably will) cost you a lot of time if you do it wrong.

First of all, you need to know what keywords are. When using search engines like Google, Yahoo, AOL and Bing, keywords are the terms that Internet users are using to find things they are searching for. You should set up your site, so that it’s easily found by your prospects when they type in terms that are important to your business. You should not ignore the keyword research step. In case you do ignore this important step, you’re leaving it down to chance whether your site will be found by your prospects. With the today’s competition in mind, the chances of you being profitable are actually very slim.

Your main goal is to form a list of relevant keywords that will help your site to be found in the unpaid listings in Google and other major search engines. An unpaid SEO campaign is where you’re trying to get your site listed in the organic results on the search engines. On the other hand, pay per click campaigns will instantly enable your site to appear for the paid ad slots at the top or the right of the page.

Keywords are important, as they reveal the exact terms your prospects are using. Also, keywords reveal what your prospects are actually thinking of when searching for your products or services.

Misfiring with an irrelevant keyword list that does not help drive the specific types of traffic that you’re hoping for will cost you a lot of effort that you will have to duplicate to accomplish the results you are planning.

It’s important to understand the differences in keywords and how they affect your SEO campaigns. There are two main types of keywords everyone uses: 1) buying or long tail keywords (as they are often referred to) and 2) researching or short tail keywords.

A short tail keyword can be a broad term, for example “bridesmaids dresses.” Short tail keywords generally have a high volume of searches. However, they are generally quite competitive. And, because of this, they are usually very difficult to rank well for. A long tail keyword will be something a lot more precise, for example “Vera Wang Bridesmaids Dresses,” where the user is obviously searching for a specific product.

Optimizing your website for the long tail keyword will be far less complicated for you. And although your site would receive not as much traffic, this traffic would be more likely to pay for your products or services.

Once you come to pick your keyword list, you’ll have to figure out exactly how you’re going to split your website content up for casual browsers and for interested buyers. It is crucial to have in mind both user groups on your website. The truth is that some of casual browsers could be only a couple of steps away from making a buy.

In order to create the list of relevant keywords you should brainstorm what your company is about and come up with a lot of terms that are important for your business. And to create a comprehensive list you can use Google Wonder Wheel and You will be using the terms you gather from these sources in order to conduct a market research using reputable keyword research tools at the next stage.

As soon as you have built a long list of relevant keywords, you should break them up into different categories. For example, a wedding boutique would split their keywords into the following categories:

  • Brides
  • Bridesmaid
  • Grooms


Now that you have the categories, you can use a keyword research tool in order to find the terms that your prospects are using when browsing for your products or services. This is a very important step and should be taken seriously.

For this stage of your keyword research you can use, or you can use Google AdWords. The best use of these highly time efficient tools is for finding the exact terms being used by your prospects, the approximate volumes of searches carried out as well as the level of competitors in your niche. You need high volume, but low competition keywords. This sounds great, but keep in mind that reality is far more complicated.

At this point, your list of relevant keywords is almost complete. However, there’s still some work yet to complete. To organize your keyword lists you have to choose the most relevant keywords from your lists. A good rule of thumb is to identify and incorporate 2-3 keywords per page. Make sure you do not stuff your pages with keywords, as major search engines may penalize you.

Keyword selection requires human input as does not know the main aim of your marketing campaign. What’s more, this tool will usually return terms that are not relevant to your business. When choosing keywords to include in your website, perhaps the very best approach is to search for those keywords that include the popular terms in it, but do not have a lot of competition.

It could take few days to develop your first keyword list, but from there on it is a fairly simple process. After you have found the relevant keywords to use on your site within each category, you have to include them into your website.