So how do we now whittle this long list down to a few choice keyword phrases?
Well, here is where it takes a lot of knowledge, research and experience to select an effective keyword phrase, with decent monthly search figures, high potential conversion ratio and which is not too hotly contested in Google’s search rankings.
You are going to need to use your own knowledge of your business and your industry to remove any keyword phrase which would probably not be used by anyone wishing to find your particular site, or buy your products or services. Depending on how long your list is now, you might have to be quite aggressive (though don’t delete the keywords completely, you may want to look at targeting them in the future).
With a new website targeting a keyword with over 1000 average monthly searches, it might take some work to achieve a respectable ranking figure, so to begin with, you might want to target a keyword phrase with 300-500 monthly searches.
Once your site ranks well for those terms, and you have established a decent backlink profile, you can then go back and look at targeting more competitive keywords.
Now, with the (hopefully manageable) list of keyword phrases you have, you can then use Google to see how competitive the keywords are for yourself.
Type the first one into Google and have a look at the first result. If the keyword appears in the Title tag of the page verbatim, and also the Meta Description, then there’s a fair chance that that site is deliberately targeting that keyword to rank for.
Now click on the link and have a look at their site. Think about how quickly it loads, how well it is presented, whether it contains relevant and informative information pertaining to that keyword choice. Also, look at any images on the page, are they helpful/well positioned, do they have appropriate alt img tags?
If the page looks good to you; informative, well-presented, easy to navigate, etc. then it might be difficult for you to compete against it directly, unless you are able to offer more value. There are ways this can be achieved, so don’t despair. We just have to look at how to optimise your own site to compete against these other pages.