When was the last time you performed a keyword audit with regard to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on your company website? “What are keywords,” you ask? What is SEO?

Google, in their relentless effort to sell advertising, offers many tools to help you determine which words are best to include in your display ads. This means these also are words and phrases that need to be included in your content; they are ‘key,’ thus the term “keywords.” By including the very words on your site that people are searching for enhances your SEO—the term used to describe how easily and quickly search engines find your site.

If you have not already created a free Google AdWords account, you will need one. AdWords is the program Google uses to construct, sell, manage and measure the online advertising they offer to place in searches performed when someone enters a keyword.

Spending 15-20 minutes conducting an audit of your organic content, meaning words naturally included in the copy on your website, is time well spent, especially as more people use mobile devices, expecting to easily and quickly find you. This brief investment of time will deliver a long-term payoff. Improving your content will help improve traffic to your website. Most importantly for someone advertising with Google AdWords, it will improve your site’s all-important quality score.

Begin by compiling a list of words you know consumers use to find your product, industry and business. If you are far removed from the front line, talk to your salespeople. Ask them what customers ask for and record all of these words and phrases. Numerous sites exist to help you expand this list. One very simple one to use is Google can accept up to 1,000 words, so create a comprehensive list.

Once you have exhausted all keyword possibilities, create or log into your keyword account and go to Select “Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups” and paste in your list. Skip the many options and go down to the blue button that reads “Get search volume.”

This will create a graph indicating the number of times each month these words are entered into a search. Selecting “Search volume trends” displays different data options that are also helpful in determining words you will want to add or possibly remove from your website. Beneath that is a table with tabs labeled “Ad Group Ideas” and “Keyword Ideas.” Be sure every box in the right column labeled “Add to plan” is checked for both pages.keyword1



Choose to download all of the data on these pages into your plan, which can be exported into an Excel spreadsheet or text file. Now you have a large list of words to include in your content along with the average times each month these terms are searched.

The most frequently searched words need to be included in your web content. Depending on their average cost and your budget, you may want to include them in your advertising. The quality score Google gives your ads goes up when the very word/s in your ad is an exact match to content on the page receiving traffic from the link.

Caitlin Schlichting is the co-founder and CEO of Digital Fire, an online marketing company, and is also a teacher and trainer on the subjects of digital marketing.

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