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10 day SEO Guide to Supercharge your Online Business - Keyword Research & Analysis

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Written on 12:52 AM by Mrudula

Before going on to keyword Research let me discuss about one of the most common misconceptions about conducting keyword research for a search engine optimization campaign. Many of us believe that you already know which terms a user would use to find your site. But we don't, at least not without doing some research. We may know what our site is about and how we, the site owner, would find it, but it's difficult to predict how a user would go about looking for it. Remember, users probably don’t work in the same industry that we do. If they did, they wouldn't need us. When describing the site or product, break away from industry speak. Users aren't searching that way and if you center your site on these terms, they'll never find you.

Step 1: Create the List

The initial idea of keyword research can be trying to come up with the perfect combination of words to drive users to our site, and allow the engines to see and suggest our site.

As the first step create a list of potential keywords. Brainstorm all the words you think a user would type into their search box when trying to find our services or products. This includes thinking of phrases that are broad and targeted, buying and research-oriented, and single and multi-word and come up with enough words to cover all the services and products site offers. If it is a brand new website or site with no proper visibility avoid using overly generic terms like 'shoes' or 'clothes'. These words are incredibly difficult to rank for and won't drive qualified traffic to your site. Focus on words that are relevant, but not overly used. For example rather than using ‘cars’ try using ‘used cars’, ‘secondhand cars’, ‘hundai cars’ etc…

If you need help brainstorming ideas, ask friends, colleagues for help. Sometimes they are able to see the site differently than the way we see it. Also, don't be afraid to take a peek at your competitor's Meta Keyword tag. What words are they targeting? How can you expand on their keyword list to make yours better? It's okay to get a little sneaky here. All's fair in love and search engine rankings :)

Step 2: Using keyword research tools

After creating the list , the next step will be to determine the activity for each of your proposed keywords and narrow the list to only include highly attainable, sought-after phrases that will bring the most qualified traffic to the website.

There are few good tools out there to help us in determining how much activity keywords are receiving. Some for you:

Overture Keyword Selector Tool

Wordtracker

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Along with them Google Suggest is a great way to find synonyms and related word suggestions that may help you expand your original list.

Step 3: Finalizing the list

Now that we know the activity of each and every, it's time to narrow down the field and decide which terms will make it into coveted final keyword list.

Create a spreadsheet or some other visual that will allow you to easily see each word's conversion rate, search volume and competition rate (as given to you by the tools mentioned above). Calculate how viable that term is for the website and narrow down the list.
The first step in narrowing down your list is to go through and highlight the terms that most closely target the subject and theme of the web site. Remove all the words that are not relevant to the site or that you don't have sufficient content to support (unless you're willing to write some). You can't optimize for words that you don't have content for.

Create a mix of both broad and targeted keywords. You'll need both to rank well. Broad terms are important because they describe what the web site does; however, they won't increase the level of qualified traffic coming into the site.

For example, say the site sells cowboy boots. It may be natural for the site to focus on the broad search terms "boots" and "cowboy boots". These words are important because they tell the search engines what the site do and may increase visitors, but the traffic we receive will be largely unqualified. Users will arrive on your site still unsure of what kind of boots the site talk about. Do we offer traditional cowboy boots, stiletto cowboy boots, toddler cowboy boots, suede cowboy boots or women's cowboy boots? By only targeting broad terms, users won't know what we offer until they land on your site.

Targeted terms are often easier to rank for and help bring qualified traffic. They also make the subject matter expert to the search engines, since the targeted terms strengthen the theme created with the broader phrases. Sticking with our example, targeted terms for cowboy boots site may be "men's cowboy boots", "blue suede cowboy boots", "extra-wide women's cowboy boots", etc. Broad search terms may bring higher levels of traffic, but it's targeted, buying-oriented terms like these that will maximize conversions.

Step 4 :Plan the attack

The final list of about 10-20 highly focused keywords are ready, now its time to plan them for focusing them. If keyword research is done in right manner, at least some of the words on the list already appear in your site content, but some of them may not. Start thinking about how many pages need to be created to support new words, and how and where the keyword phrases will be used.

It is always better to use after three or four related keywords per page (five if you can balance them properly). Any more than that and you run the risk of diluting your page to the point where you rank for nothing. Make sure to naturally work the keywords into your content and avoid over-repetition that may be interpreted as spamming. Your content should never sound forced.

Your on-page content isn't the only place where you can insert keywords. Keywords should also be used in several other elements on your site:
• Title Tag
• Meta Description Tags
• Meta Keywords Tag
• Headings
• Alt text
• Anchor Text/ Navigational Links

You've spent a lot of time molding your keywords; make sure you use them in all the appropriate fields to get the maximum benefit.

Step 5: Ongoing Process

Congratulations. We have created the list, checked it twice, made usage of keyword research tools and are now off to go plan the attack. But we are NOT Done!

As the user and the site's needs change over time, so will the keywords. It's important to keep monitoring the keywords and make tweaks as necessary. Doing so will allow Search Engines show you in top positions then our competition and keep moving forward.

Will discuss more on Page title and Meta data

- Munnu

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