Keyword Research BEFORE Website Design

Keyword ResearchAn effective business website design combines form and function – an appealing design, a good user experience, coherent branding, and best practice marketing tactics.

One of the advantages of working with an integrated web design firm is that all elements of form and function can be considered and implemented in the design process from the beginning.

What Pages Should be Included on your Website?

In addition to a Homepage, most websites have some version of an About Us and Contact Us pages. Where you really see differentiation in an effective design layout is in the Services/Products pages.

In small business web design, it’s common to see one page listing all of the services or products that your business offers. While this may work from the perspective of your visitor, it’s likely that you’re missing out on significant opportunities to be found on the Search Engine Results pages.

Keyword research will reveal not only the actual words that searchers are using to find your business – these may be different than the ones industry insiders use – but also the variety of keywords that are used to find the products/services that your business offers.

Example: Financial Planning Firm

Based on the planner’s needs and recommendations, a typical Financial Planning Firm website will be set up with a main navigation similar to that shown below:

Main Naviagation

However, if Keyword Research is performed prior to building the website, the Planner and web designer would know that Financial Advisor is searched almost twice as often as Financial Planning, and nearly three times as much as Financial Planner.

Financial Advisor vs Financial Planner keyword research

In addition, even if the primary services page was optimized for Financial Advisor instead of Financial Planning, the firm would still be missing out on the being found for Advisor Services related terms like:

Financial Advisor Services Keyword Research

Without getting into specific, detailed keyword considerations, it is fairly obvious from a marketing/SEO perspective that a financial firm would benefit from a design that included more service pages in their navigation.


No matter your business or industry, beginning the web design process with keyword research will help insure that your website includes the pages and keywords that your prospective customers/clients are searching for.

As always, questions and comments are both welcomed and appreciated!

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Brent is a REALTOR with Keller Williams in Henderson (Las Vegas valley) NV. He has a background in digital marketing and is a nationally recognized SEO expert. In addition to this blog, he is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal and has been syndicated through SteamFeed, Social Media Today and B2C.

3 Responses to Keyword Research BEFORE Website Design

  1. Greg December 3, 2014 at 11:01 am #

    Great post about researching keywords before you design the website.

    I would also add using some semantic research like

    1) Auto complete in a search engine (Don’t Hit Enter)
    2) The searches (related) at the bottom of Google
    3) Uber Suggest

  2. Donald McLeman December 4, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Makes a lot of sense, Greg. Something I’ll bear in mind with my own designs. I feel in practice it’ll be more ‘during’ than ‘after’ but I can see it should happen well before the site goes live.

    Thanks for a good article.

  3. GPS October 3, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

    Hello Brent!

    Thanks for such an informative and helpful article.
    I enjoyed reading it and learnt new tips to web site designing.
    I am new to digital marketing and like to read articles related to it.
    I found your post very interesting and would love to read more.

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