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Meet the author:
Jill Olkoski

Jill has a MA in Clinical Psychology, a BS in Computer Science, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering.

She currently owns Aldebaran Web Design in Edmonds (near Seattle WA) and enjoys educating her clients on topics related to small business website design.

In Jill's previous life, she spent 17 years in the engineering and quality organizations of a Fortune 100 tech company.


How To Select The Best Keywords – Try Google Trends

November 8th, 2012

You’re a small business owner and you are developing a new website. How do you know what the best keywords are to select? There are many tools web designers can use to calculate the number of searches and assess the competition for particular keywords. Here’s a very fast, free Google tool you can use to check out the potential search traffic for different sets of keywords by region.

Here’s the website: Google Trends

Let’s say you’re a psychotherapist in Canada, and you are trying to figure out whether you should target the words “psychotherapist” or “therapist” or “counsellor”. How can you decide which is the best to use?

Take a look at Google Trends. Enter the keywords separated by a comma, then click on the region you want to zoom in on. Here’s what you see for Canada:

So for Canada as a country, “therapist” wins. But keep in mind that “therapist” could also mean physical therapist, or massage therapist – so some of these searches are by folks not looking for a mental health therapist. “Psychotherapist” is very specific, but gets the lowest number.

But this is for the whole country, what about different regions of Canada?

In British Columbia, the western most province, “counsellor” is used most.

However take a look at Ontario:

In Ontario, for whatever reason, people search more by “psychotherapist”. So if you’re a mental health business in British Columbia, using “counsellor” might be best, but if you’re in Ontario, you might want to use “psychotherapist”. You can see this tool is a wealth of information for those small business owners trying to figure out what keywords to target.
And to round out the search, we’ll look at “therapist” in Canada:

So no matter where you are in Canada, using “therapist” would be good possibility, with slightly more usage in BC and Ontario than the rest of the country.

Using Google Trends is one of many tools available, but it’s easy and fast and lets you view geographic as well as trend information. Have fun!

J. Olkoski
Aldebaran Web Design, Seattle
Jill Olkoski has a BS in Engineering, a BS in Computer Science and an MA in Clinical Psychology. She delights in using her advanced technical and psychological skills to help small business owners develop cost-effective and successful websites.

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