SEO Tips: How To Build And Plan A Keyword List
AIM enjoys reading the blog by Toma at www.optimizingtheweb.com, and recommends it to our readers.
“Choosing what keywords to target in your content and deciding on how to use it can pose some problems. This is why I decided to create this article and talk about the process of deciding what to choose and how to use it. First of all I want to clarify a small detail: many people say that they’re targeting a keyword without knowing if that’s really a keyword. Here is what I mean by that.
A group of words can be called a keyword only if there is someone searching the Internet for that particular group of words. That is why be careful when paying for SEO service: don’t optimize and rank number 1 for group of words that either no one is looking for or there are only 10 searches/month. The only situation when you could try and target this kind of keywords with very low search volume is if the competition is really weak and your website has only few pages.
Despite what many people say that quality is the only thing that matters I think that only one extraordinary article won’t help you that much. I’ll offer you my suggestion on the relation between quality and quantity bellow in the list of things that you may want to consider when building a keyword list.
How to choose what keywords to target
There are 3 main factors that will influence your decision to target or not a certain keyword:
Relevancy. This is the first thing to check: is this keyword relevant to my website? Many people tend to think first at the services/products they provide. This is not wrong but you have to keep in mind that it is possible that many of your potential clients might not know what kind of service they need. Usually a client encounters a problem and he/she is searching the web for a solution. That is why I think any service provider should think of keywords that are directly related to problems his services address. This also implies a good knowledge of your company: know what you really sell. As a conclusion, stop thinking as a service provider and start developing keywords as a problem solver.
Monthly Search Volume. After you know a keyword is relevant to your website go and find more about it. The main list of keywords should contain your most competitive keywords: this means groups of two words. These keywords not only have very high search volume each month but also have great competition. The secondary lists are for long tail keywords that have lower competition, lower monthly search volume but higher conversion and easier to rank for. You can build a secondary list for any keyword from your main list. In fact I recommend you to do that in order to be able to dominate the main keyword.
Competition. Here you’ll have to check different statistics that can help you decide what keywords to start target first. Basically this step helps you with assigning priorities.
General Competition. See how many results are displayed by the search engine. If your website is new then you should try and find out keywords that have about 1 million competition. Less it’s better, higher will be harder to dominate. You don’t have to try and rush things because you may end up with no ranking and lost time – if you try to rank well for a keyword with high competition, from the start
Title Competition. This is very useful. There are many keywords that have few million websites competition when doing a general search but when you check to see how many pages target those keywords in their titles the competition is dramatically reduced. Now you’ll have to check and see if the first page for the general search and the title search is the same. If not, go on the general search results and see what other factors might help those websites to rank well: it could be the back links
Anchor Competition. This tells you how many links with your keywords as actual text are out there, on the web. A higher number can tell you that it can be easier to get back links for a specific keyword.
How to make a plan of using the keywords
Once you have your keyword lists built it’s time to decide in which order you’ll start using it and how you’ll develop content that will help your rankings. My opinion is to start with the keywords that have lower competition. This decision factor is also connected to the monthly searched volume: work hard only if the keyword has a decent amount of searches each month. Realize that only a percentage of the people that searched for those keywords will actually visit your website.
Once you decided on some main keywords to target you’re ready to start building content around it. You’ll build articles in a pyramid structure. The main keyword is on top and its long tail keywords are at the bottom. Create a link architecture that will help push relevancy to the page that target the main keyword.
Quality is very important but without quantity it will be very hard to rank well for competitive keywords. Having more articles in a pyramid and a logical link architecture between them will also help the user find what he/she is looking for by providing complete information on a subject. Covering every angle of a story can mean to create an important number of articles but in the end the results will be in your favor.
Free tools to look for keywords
I recommend these tools because it will work no matter what country or language are you interested in. There are other suggestion tools on the market but almost all of them work just for some countries and main languages.
Google Keyword External Tool – http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
Google Search Based Tool – http://www.google.com/sktool/#
Google Insights for Search – http://www.google.com/insights/search/#
Google Trends – http://www.google.com/trends
Now, let me know what you think and if you have something to add to all this. Maybe you know some other good free tools or share us how you choose your keywords.”
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