Using Audience Feedback to Shape Keyword Strategy
Deciding which keywords are the "best" for your website is an on-going process. You should be constantly analyzing and adjusting your keyword strategy. And there are a variety of tools you can use to get basic information like search volume and competition. However, one of the best places to get feedback about your keywords is to ask your audiences.
If you have a business website that generates inquiries, leads, customers, or whatever, you should be getting feedback from your site visitors about how they found your site. Ask them where and how they started looking. Ask them where and how they actually found you.
You should also ask them more generally about how they would describe your products, services, or business. In many industries, the words that industry insiders use to describe themselves is vastly different from the way that their customers would describe them.
Another great resource for getting audience feedback for keyword selection is your web analytics data. Your web analytics reports will tell you where visitors came from and what search phrases they used to visit your site. This provides some very key information.
First, you should check out your referral traffic to see from what sites and pages people visited you. Identify what keywords were targeted on those referrer pages and see whether they have positions in search results. If they do, there's a chance that the visitor found the referrer in search. This can help you shape your keyword targets.
Second, use specific keywords that visitors came to your site from in the titles of pages and posts that you publish. Some of the most valuable keywords that I have discovered for myself came from questions that visitors had typed right into search results.
The most important thing to do is to be constantly revising your keyword strategy. The ways that your visitors, leads, and customers search for the products and/or services that you provide, will take a vast variety of forms. You don't want to limit yourself to a small segment of your market by focusing only on those keywords that you think matter.