Keywords are a very important resource for SEO. Domain names, headers, links, and content all contain keyword that search engines use to sort and pile results on their pages. Lots of hard work goes into researching for the right words to be placed in the right spots. Like most projects the hard work should be done first so you can keep up with the changing pace of SEO tactics through the websites life. Smashing Magazine has a ordered list of the best SEO tools.

Generating keywords is the most basic, yet thought provoking process in SEO. There is access to tools that allow coders and developers to analyze searched for phrases and keywords. They don’t show you how valuable the words may be but with the information found you can build hypotheses, test them, and iterate them (quote). Most companies offer free tools. Google has a slew of tools you can use and all you need is a account.

Short and Long Tail

There are two forms of queries (searches) which are “Short Tail” and “Long Tail”. “Short Tail” queries attract thousands of hits per day. “Short Tail” are popular searches that fill cloud boxes and the front pages of websites. Most people don’t realize that those queries only consist of about 30 percent of the total searches.

Examples of Short Tail searches

  • local weather
  • NHL
  • Stock Market

It’s in the “Long Tail” that the other whopping 70 percent of searches are located and that’s where researchers focus their studies. A “Long Tail” search query may get entered as little as once a week. These individual searches on a global scale get entered more regularly though and that’s why they make up the majority share of searches.

Examples of “Long Tail” searches

  • “1970 Lamborghini Miura seat cushion”
  • “Red Sea salt levels in 1999″
  • “Honey oak walking stick”

Brainstorming for SEO keywords

The easiest and cheapest way for researching is brainstorming! Who hasn’t brainstormed at least once in their life? Okay maybe a handful, but most of us have had to at least a few times for school. Start with words that pertain to your sites ideal motive. You should try to come up with at least 10-20 specific words that really grasp the concept and then branch off those words. Depending on how crazy you want to get you could have a few dozen to well over hundreds of secondary and tertiary keywords.


You can also check out your competitors sites. There are too many websites out there for you to not have some sort of competing website. See what things are more competitive and write them down.  Find ways to improve features in your website that your competitor’s site lacks. You can learn more about this in the Planning for SEO.