The new year is always a good time to review your keywords
while you’re looking back at how your business fared the previous year. Every year you need to review your marketing to make changes and improvements, and keyword research needs to play an important part of this.

A good starting point is to look back at your analytics from last year and see which keywords led to the most traffic to your website. There’s no harm in looking back at the year as a whole, or perhaps from January-June, then July-December. Either way, your stats are important to find out what’s working and what isn’t.

If you have an e-commerce business or online shop, then hopefully you’ve been tracking goals to find out which keywords led to the most conversions. If this isn’t set up, then ask your web developer to do this for you, as finding out which keywords convert the best is data you need. It allows you to build on this and create or improve content around the keywords leading to new sales or enquiries.

Once you have a list of keywords which are sending the most traffic or converting, then you need to think about the keywords and pages which aren’t ranking well, and what to do about it. (Remember not to include branded keywords, we’re looking at keywords relating to your products or services for this exercise).

Log onto your Google Webmaster Tools account and find out which keywords your pages are ranking for, then click to find out exactly which pages they are. If certain pages you’re expecting to rank aren’t then this is where you need to take action. Product or service pages, which aren’t faring well in a search should be re-optimised and think about alternative keywords they could be found for.

If you’re optimisation is generally not working well, then perhaps the keywords you’re targeting are too competitive, or too general. Work through your research to find a selection of keywords, which are highly relevant, but won’t be so difficult to rank for. It’s better to have less traffic that is relevant and targeted than untargeted visitors who are browsing from one site to another.

Finally, how could you create more of the type of content your visitors are interested in? There’s all sorts of ways you can do this, not just written content, but audio and visual. Don’t forget these can also be optimised on your own site, but also on the site they’re hosted on, such as YouTube. Your wider online marketing will also affect rankings, so the more proactive you are, the better.

Make this the year you create interesting, relevant and useful content that will engage your visitors, but of course they need to find it first!

 Image: Letters between letters by mag3737, on Flickr