Every website owner has heard of them, every search engine uses them, and if you are into SEO you just can't ignore them. Yes, we're referring to 'keywords'. Perhaps the most crucial aspect of search marketing are keywords, and choosing the most 'relevant' keywords can be the difference between success and failure of your web-based venture. Search marketing and knowing your keywords A keyword is as single word or a phrase which is used to help search engines index your site. Generally, keyword can be a one to five word phrase that can be used by people during search to find your website. However, choosing 'relevant' keywords for your SEO strategy is not easy. Some business owners tend to use keywords that are internally focused rather than being based on the kinds of searches people actually make. Other times, people tend to be almost 'careless' in researching their keywords and choose generic or irrelevant keywords that have extremely high competition. Some examples of generic keywords could be SEO, website, search engine, UK etc. The best way to choose keywords for your business is by thinking like a person interested in your service/product. What type of word or words would they type in the search engine browser to find your offering? What are the qualities of your product or service? Answering those questions will better help you in choosing the best keywords for SEO. Choosing the best keywords for SEO When you target generic keywords outside your area of business, it exhibits carelessness or a desire to aggressively increasing your visibility and rank. However, going all out to increase ranking on search engines can be detrimental to your SEO campaign because very generic keywords such as free or SEO don't add any value at all. Also being too focused can lead to fluctuating ranking for your website. So the best way to ensure you reap rich dividends for every single SEO penny you spend is to understand the process to research effective keywords. Typically, there are many different methods to find best and relevant keywords and some of these steps are: > Finding words that people use to find product or service similar to your offering. - Keyword research tools such as Google AdWords Keyword tool, Wordtracker, Trellian Keyword Discovery, etc., are tools that help you pick the most searched and relevant keywords for your website. - Historical analytics data - Data mining the search information at your site's level (if you have included a site search facility) > A keyword list helps you understand your target audience 'search psyche.' So, create a keyword list to find the best combination of primary and secondary keywords that: - Drive traffic to your website - Spike the conversion rate for your business - Ensure that the search engines index your website for the optimum terms > Examine what will be your 'long tail' terms and optimise for those. > Finding related keywords used for search on large and small search engines. > Discovering keywords using trend related tools such as Google trends & Google Insights > Discovering news, forums, and blog related keywords > Utilizing Lexical FreeNet, which is a tool that helps find related keywords from a very large database Finally, remember that the main goal for choosing the best and most relevant keywords for SEO is to divert large amounts of targeted traffic to your site and stay ahead of your competitors.