I know I harp on the concept of goals way too much in this blog but when establishing your SEO strategy you need to determine your goals because it will create a roadmap for your strategy. If you aren’t sure how to determine your goals for SEO you can answer these two:
1) What keywords would you like to rank for? (start with 10-20)
2) Who are your competitors that you want to compete against?
Remember though that when you set goals they aren’t always going to be realistic. If you want to rank for “cars” on your blog you probably don’t have a chance at that and may want to recalibrate to a slightly different term. Your keyword goals are more of an outline but the reason you should write them out is because these goals may list terms you haven’t been targeting and should start thinking about more. I personally ask my clients to write up a list of their desired keywords because it might tune me into keywords that I didn’t think about.
When you are done creating that list of keywords you would like to rank for you should take the time to run them through Google’s Keyword Tool to see if there are other keywords or phrases that you didn’t necessarily think of. Also this tool is a good way to see how people actually use search and what types of phrases that they use.
Sometimes we are so close to an industry or refer to our sites and content in a specific way that we don’t take into account how the searchers are actually using the tools out there. This is often an eye opening experience for most users and it helps streamline your goals.
Tomorrow: More on research