The effectiveness of your SEO effort depends on the keywords you choose. You absolutely cannot overestimate the importance of strong keyword research.
Although keyword research is highly important for creating content for search engine optimization (SEO), you can test combinations extremely rapidly with PPC advertising, and see real time results as you make changes. For SEO, you have to get that page indexed and develop links to the page that contain the keyword in the anchor text.
Keyword research should be an ongoing process, and you shouldn’t lock yourself into only a few one or two word phrases. All keywords should be relevant to the products or services represented on the Web site being optimized. Keywords which include single- and multiple-word phrases should also be assigned to pages that are most relevant.
There may be a problem if your client insists on using only the keywords that they have chosen for their site. Many new webmasters read a column or a book and are instant experts – and will expect results from you based on their superlative research skills or else they want to rank for their cute company name – which brings in zero traffic without brand recognition.
Make sure that keywords chosen are actually popular, and will bring you qualified traffic. A dozen top-five listings for keywords nobody searches for won’t help when it comes to bringing in organic traffic.
Thorough research uses a number of data points and includes the client without being bullied by them. The chosen keywords must be qualified by both relevancy and popularity. Relevant keywords can be brand- or product-related; popularity is determined by using tools and methods particular to each SEO firm and may include:
Research of the client and competitor sites
Information gathering sessions with the client
Review of analytics data
Analysis of paid search impression
Analysis of conversion volume data
Use of keyword research tools
Analysis of links to client and competitor sites
Evaluation of social sites and trending tools
Brainstorming and thinking outside the box
Once a good starter list is established, you should use the above methods to assign keywords to pages. Otherwise, you may end up with a lot of number one rankings and no traffic to show for it!