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More About SEO Keyword Research

I promised that I'd blog more about this topic, so here it is. Some information about SEO keyword research can be found in this previous article that I wrote - please read this:

Pick Good Keywords and Increase Website Traffic (webstix.com)

Basically, what you're doing is trying to match up specific keywords on your site (your website content) with the terms that people are searching on. Search traffic is targeted traffic because people are looking for something specific.Your goal is that they end up at your website instead of your competition. So it's all about keyword research.

Let's say I sell website design. Wow, what a coincidence - I do! Of course, there's a lot of competition for those keywords but that's not stopping me. Your industry may have more competition or possibly less competition. Either way, you can still get some traffic. Here are the general steps I would take to optimize my website using keyword research:

  1. Research using the Google Keyword Tool. This is a tool that Google provides for their AdWords (pay per click ad) customers so that they know what keywords to bid on. The cool thing is, those are the same keywords we want to try to optimize because these are keywords that people are using. Type in your keyword (and the CAPTCHA word if you're asked) and you see some results. Below is a screen shot showing you what fields you should look at (adjust this using the "Choose columns to display:" pulldown) and then also set the "Match Type:" to "Exact".
  2. Next, what you want to look for is high search volume and low competition. You'll most likely find this with what are called "long tail keywords" which simply means the keywords are long with anywhere from 3-5 or more words in them.
  3. There's one phrase lower on in the list called "[website webpage design]" and it gets 1,300 searches a month with medium to high competition. Let's work on that one:
    1. I search on Google for "website webpage design" and I see that there are 106,000,000 results and then Google suggests searching for "website web page design" design, so this isn't a good keyword. The keyword "website web page design" has even more competition. Let's choose another one.
    2. I search on Google for "creating website design" and I see that there are 66,200,000 results. That's better. The top result has a PageRank of 4. The second result has a PageRank of 7 and the third is 4. That's high competition. Let's skip that one, too.
  4. You'd go through steps like that until you found keywords that had low competition. There are a number of tools you can use to help speed up this research but that's the process. It takes a while, yes, but digging for gold always does.

After all this research, you'll have a list of maybe 5 or more good keywords which will become your main keywords. You'll then go back to your website and:

  • Use your keywords in your URL - so in the domain name (best) or in the page name (ok).
  • Use your keywords in the title of your pages.
  • Use your keywords in the meta keywords of your pages.
  • Use your keywords in the meta description of your pages.
  • Use your keywords in your copy.
  • Link those keywords to their appropriate target / landing pages.

You want to set up keyword #1 to be one page by itself or convert an existing page to use that keyword (but why not just start a new page?). Keyword #2 would be another landing page and so on. Make internal links to the appropriate pages.

After doing this for each keyword and making all these changes on your site, you'll then work on getting links from other sites.

I won't kid you, SEO is a lot of work. There's a lot of competition out there and it's increasing daily. The example I always give is, I could fix my car myself or I could take it to a garage, pay them and have it done faster while I continue to do what I do best - website marketing. But even if you're not going to do SEO yourself, it's good to have a glimpse of all the work that goes into doing SEO so that you can do a bit of it yourself when you're creating new pages (or at least plan for it) and so that you know about all the work that your SEO company is doing for you. More people know a bit about cars and much, much less about SEO.

I hope this post was informative. If you'd like this kind of work done to your website, please contact Webstix and we can talk about an SEO strategy that can work for your website. Since there's varying amounts of competition for each industry, there's not really a blanket amount of time (cost) that covers SEO for all websites. The only way to find out how much your website may need would be to ask!

-Tony

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