First, think about the words that describe your business or what your prospective and existing customers will use to describe your business. This is just a start. The goal is to get as specific as you can with your keywords. For example, I do website design but it is considered a broad term and the competition are therefore very high so it makes no sense trying to optimize for that word, because it will take a very long time before I can get to the top.
Then think about what sets you apart from your competition or what makes you unique, add those adjectives to the general keyword. E.g. Custom Website Design, Affordable Website Design
Then add in your location. Custom Website Design New York, NY, Affordable Website Design New York, NY
Create a variation of keywords that surround your keyword list. E.g. Custom Web Design. Notice I used Web instead of Website. For a Landscaper, it may be Landscaping instead of Landscaper. For a Cosmetic Dentist, it may be Cosmetic Dentistry instead of Cosmetic Dentist.
The more specific you get the better. It will be more difficult to rank well in search engines if you stick to broader, more general keywords. Consider using general topics as an umbrella for the more specific topics that relate to them.
After coming up with a list of possible keywords, the goal is to narrow done the list to find the best keywords that you can get to the top for:
• First, find out how many people are searching for those keywords by using Google Keyword Tool and looking at the search volume. It’s ok if the search volume is low, these are often the best keywords and convert much better into leads even though the searches are few. You will make up for the volume by using a combination of low search volume keywords, which will get you to the top faster and get you better qualified leads.
• When using Google Keyword Tool, it will tell you the level of competition, low competition, medium competition, high competition. You typically want to go for low competition or medium at the most.
• Search on Google for the Keywords and see who your top three competitors are. Then evaluate the number of links that they have – you can use yahoo site explorer tool. To get ahead of them you will need to have more links that they do. With local businesses I find very often they don’t have more than a few hundred links if any at all .Which is good, because you can easily build 200 links by submitting one article to directories.
• Based on the number of links and how realistic it is for you to get them or past them, will be an indicator on whether or not you should optimize for that keyword
To see the volume of traffic per keyword and the competition using Google Keyword Tool, perform the following steps:
1 Go to http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
2 Enter one or more keywords into the big form box.
3 Put a check beside “Use Synonyms.”
4 You will see an image with letters. Type in the letters you see.
5 Click “Get Keyword Ideas.”
6 Locate your keywords, as well as review the keywords