Keyword research, finding the right keywords for your website or product, is one of the fundamental activities in SEO. Here’s a terrific article that was written by Simon Byholm, CEO & Founder of Secret Search Engine Labs…
The keywords you use to promote your website effectively selects what people will be visiting your website and you better make sure this is people interested in buying your products and services!
If you sell your own product the type of visitor will determine your conversion rate and visitor value. If you use AdSense on your website the type of visitor will determine your CPM. If you sell advertising directly the type of visitor will determine how long people are staying on your website which affects your page view statistics.
The keywords you use to promote your website directly determines the level of income you will have from your website.
How To Choose Keywords
Fist of all you need to have an idea of what products or services your are going to sell. At this point I’ll just assume you already know that.
Now you start by making a list of all keywords related to you main product or service by brainstorming. Just write down everything you can think of, here’s a list to get your started.
- Brand names
- Who is using the product (dentist,webmaster, mothers etc)
- Where is the product used (home, office, underwater, on website etc)
- Related products (soap – shampoo, car – insurance, hosting – domain names)
- Season (summer, Christmas, harvest etc)
- Product features (low noise, easy to use, cheap, high availability, tasty, blue)
When you have a list of 50-200 keywords you are ready for the next step which is keyword tools.
Keywords tools helps you find synonyms and related keywords that you didn’t think about. They also help you determine if a keyword is likely to bring in paying customers or just browsers. And finally they help you determine the level of SEO competition for a keyword.
The first tool to use is the Google keyword tool which is free and uses the Google index to find relevant keywords. The Google keyword tool tells you exactly what people are searching for on Google, it lets you know what people are interested in and in great detail.
As an example I type in the keyword “add url” into the box I quickly find out that there is several types of “add url” searched for.
- directory add url
- search engine add url
- seo add url
There is also some synonyms for add url
- submit url
- adding url
- register url
- add link
As you see there is endless variations and you should now write down all the keyword that is relevant to your business and has some level of traffic. Use Excel or the free alternative OpenOffice.org, to easily keep track of your keyword lists.
Now that you have the keywords you need to find out the competition. If you are just starting out you don’t want to take on a big competitor head on, instead try finding areas (keywords) that you competitor is neglecting and with those.
For every keyword in your list type in this at Google
allintitle: your keywords
Replace “your keywords” with your actual keyword phrase.
This query returns the sites that have your keyword phrase in the title of the webpage. Note the number of search results returned and write it down in your Excel or OpenOffice spreadsheet This is a rough indicator of the level of competition for that keyword.
And yes I know this is a lot of work so you might want to start with your most important keywords and continue with the rest later. (There is a tool to make this task easier but it’s not free so I’ll tell you about them later…)
You now need to decide what page on your website is going to target what keyword. No single page should target more than two or in some cases three keywords/phrases, otherwise you have a loss of focus and the page will not be effective for sales or for SEO.
Finally you need to decide where to start. What pages you are going to build first and what keywords to optimize for first. A good idea is to start with the EASIEST keywords with the least amount of competition.
Sure you are not going to get a lot of traffic with these keywords, but you can expect to get a #1 Google ranking fairly quickly and with that you’ll get some visitors and much needed feedback on you website and marketing message.
You’ll also start generating some cash to help you along.
When you have mastered the easy keywords you just go on to the medium competition ones, and then you have those at #1 go on with the tough ones.
Now you probably think that this is a lot of work, and it is! But choosing the right keywords and target market can mean a ten fold increase in income ones the traffic is starting to flow.
And as I said earlier there’s a tool that I use that will make your work much easier.
The tool I use the most for keyword research and to determine competition is Market Samurai, a desktop application that you install in your computer and that uses the Google keyword tool and the Google search box to automatically do the keyword queries you would otherwise have to enter by hand.
I’ll end with a quick recap of what to do
- Brainstorm initial keyword list based on your experience
- Use the Google Keyword tool and Market Samurai to generate additional keywords
- Use Google search and Market Samurai to evaluate the competition for the keywords (this is where the tools save a lot of time)
- Implement easy keywords and optimize until you have Google #1 listings
- Implement medium competition keywords and optimize until you have Google #1 listings
- Implement tough competition keywords and optimize until you have Google #1 listings
Now, all that’s left is to get started!