Keywords are THE critical element in achieving search engine success. Keywords are important not only in your meta information but also in your page title and content. These search words filter through to the following key areas: page title, meta information (keywords and description) and content. You may also want to bear in mind the fact that Google does appear to try and match search words with domain names.
I believe the key is to identify the search words that your target audience are using. If you can get into their mindset, and work out what they are likely to type when searching for a ‘product like yours’, then you’ve made some huge steps forward. Tools like Overture’s Suggestion Tool and Word Tracker, may well help to broaden your search word base; however, getting back to basics is as important.
You need to be asking yourself the following questions:
What words do my clients/partners/competitors use to identify my products? For example, mobile phones, religious books, rugby balls, etc
Are there any new buzz words around? For example, ‘Talk-time’, ‘pay-as-you-go’, ‘mobile devices’, ‘broadband’.
What words are my competitors (those ranked highly on search engines!) using? This is how you take a look at the meta keywords and description of your competitors - competitor meta information.
What about regional, cultural or language differences? E.g. elevator (US), lift (UK).
Should I be thinking of the bigger picture? For example, golf is a hobby/recreation but can be a corporate event; marketing is linked to business strategy but also has elements of tactics and promotions; computer chips have huge range of applications not just in a PC.
You may find it helps to list your information in a spreadsheet, placing words for different audiences into different columns.