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For many organizations online, keyword research and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not considered when designing a new website. Doing it this way is completely backwards. When we are developing a new website, the first step is always keyword research.

For your clients, you want a website to have the most appeal to the market you are trying to reach. You don’t just want to attract targeted visitors, you want to engage with them on your website when they arrive. You can accomplish this by developing your website content around what people are searching for online. Here’s a couple of tips we always implement when we are developing a new websites.

SEO development plan

Website topics: Create a list of the topics, market niches, and services that you will be covering on your website. This is a topic list that you want to talk about on your website. If you are an estate agent, you want to talk about latest property trends, new properties, and general tips on buying or renting new property.

Keyword list: Create a list of a couple of keywords and keyword phrases that describes the topics you have selected. These are the phrases that people would use to search for the topics on your website. The keyword list can be the same as your topic list. This list will contain your seed keywords that you are going to use in your keyword research. To do this correctly, select at least two keyword phrases per topic.

Keyword research: Use one of the many available keyword researching tools to perform a search on each of the seed keywords that you have selected. Export this keyword list and refine this list to best 20 – 25 phrases for that specific topic. Repeat this process for the remaining seed keywords.  Once done, combine this list in a master list.

Relevance: With every keyword and phrase in your master list, give them a rating of between 1-5 with 1 being your best keywords and 5 will be one of the lowest ones to convert a customer. About 30% of your keyword phrases should be rated.

Analyze: Use all the phrases you have rated as 1, look a the number of keywords and phrased in each category as well as the number of searches per day, and then calculate how many pages of your website should be weighted for every topic. Doing it this way will give you a rough content plan that targeted visitors will find interesting.

Once you have done this, the time is ready to start planning your website. Take this further by defining what actions you want your visitors to take.  Do you want them to sign up for a news letter? Purchase a product? These are the next steps in the way we plan our websites.

In the next part of this series, I will explain the next steps involved with website development.