Finding effective web keywords

Last month we talked about how we implemented SEO (search engine optimization) on our rebuilt website (visit it here). Here’s how we found effective keywords.

SEO is a key part of website development — because no matter how well conceived your website is, it’s not much good if your audience can’t find it.

Working with LevinsonBlock’s SEO expert we came up a with list of keywords based on the nature of our business, such as marketing, brand strategy, annual reports, etc. Then came the crucial step:

Keyword scoring

Instead of just embedding keywords into our website content and coding, we ranked them.

How keyword scoring works

We conducted a search in Google using each of our potential keywords.
Then we compared the number of inquiries that used our keyword to the number of results that Google displayed. The pattern we were looking for is a high number of inquiries and a small number of results. Why?
  • A high number of inquiries mean that the keyword is popular — we have a big potential audience.
  • Fewer results means there is less competition for that particular keyword – which means we will rank higher in Google results. The result: we get noticed and more traffic comes to our website.
Once we had these two numbers for all our keywords, we processed them through an algorithm which gave us keyword scores.

The results

There were many surprises! Here are a few examples of keyword scores:

Marketing Plans          2
Marketing Planning     10

Brand Strategy           5
Brand Building            .003

Annual Report             .025
Shareholder Report      .001

What it means

The higher number is a better score. First, take a look at “Marketing Plans” vs. “Marketing Planning”. A trivial difference in wording, but a big difference in the score. Likewise, “Brand Strategy” and “Brand Building” mean pretty much the same thing, but using “Strategy” makes this a much stronger keyword. With all our keywords, there was one choice that was stronger than the other.

“Annual Report” and “Shareholder Report” are both weak keywords — our audience just doesn’t use these when they are searching for our services. So even though annual reports are a big part of our business, it doesn’t make sense to use it as a keyword.

Keep in mind

  • SEO principles may be simple, but implementation is an art. We used an expert — you might want to consider it too.
  • Keyword use changes over time, so revisit your keyword list periodically
  • Keyword use is different from region to region, so make sure your SEO research focuses on where your target audience is.



Barbie’s measurements (if she were life-size): 39-23-33.