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Whether you are conducting a pay-per-click campaign, search engine optimization or social media marketing, you need to do some keyword research and pick the right keywords for your marketing efforts. But how should you go about doing that?

Of course, even if you’re just building your website then keyword research is in order.

First, study your competition. What are they doing? Write down any keywords you find on your competition’s websites. Analyze those keywords with regard to your differences and similarities to your competition. Does anything stick out?

That should help you narrow down your keywords to a niche that you fill within your industry. Now look for some synonyms. Using a tool like Google’s keyword research tool, enter your keywords and look for related keywords that might help you.

Now search for those keywords in Google and Bing and see what the competition is like. Are there a lot of websites targeting those keywords? That can be both good and bad. It’s bad because the more websites targeting those keywords the tougher your competition; it’s good because if there are a lot of websites targeting a keyword then it’s because that keyword is valuable.

After you’ve done all your keyword research, pick the ones that are best for your business. Those are the keywords that you’d expect a searcher to type into Google’s search box when they are trying to find the products and services you offer.

Don’t cut corners on keyword research. It’s an important part of your online marketing plan.

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