Below are some SEO friendly ways to target a specific “theme” or keyword on important pages of your site for SEO purposes:
When I first started professionally working on the internet back in the stone ages of the mid-to-late 1990’s, all we cared about was:
1. Making HTML changes to web sites.
3. Stuffing the “keywords” meta-tag with as many keywords as humanly possible (for SEO reasons).
Back in those days, you could do very little to tell Yahoo, Excite, HotBot, or Altavista what your web site was about so that if someone searched for something you did, you would show up higher than the other web sites in the search results. I vividly remember copying and pasting important words and phrases from client’s home pages into their “keywords” meta tag, hoping that Yahoo or Netscape would find the web site and rank it high. Man, those were the days.
When we fast-forward to 2011, we realize that we’ve learned quite a bit and have started using a few flashy tools along the way that this start-up company called Google has created to learn about what keywords we should be targeting, bidding for, or optimizing our web sites with. You may have heard of Google. 🙂
For today’s blog post, I review five tools that Google has made available for website owners and marketers to perform proper keyword research. Don’t worry, pure web analytics fans – you just may learn something new today!
Tool #1: Google Insights for Search
When you visit Google Insights for Search and start entering in a few of your favorite search terms, you’ll understand why this tool is becoming very popular and highly regarded. Within a matter of milliseconds, you’ll see historical search term trends, options to filter by industry, national and regional interest levels, other related search terms that have been used, and even which websites visitors are going to when they use your keywords.
Use Google Insights for Search to learn about the traffic volumes on the internet for your keywords, and learn about what websites people are visiting when they search for your keywords.
Tool #2: Google Trends
At first glance, Google Trends seems similar to Google Insights for Search, but it works in a different way and provides you different information. Google Trends specializes in comparing keywords, regardless of whether the keywords are related or contrasting. It also gives users search volume index figures and important news articles that boosted search volume over time. You can also compare websites and enter in URLs to compare your website with a competitor’s.
Make use of Google Trends by comparing and contrasting keywords and websites to refine your understanding of what volume is out there for your keywords.
Tool #3: Google AdWords Keyword Tool
If you’re like me, you need lots of ideas – fast. The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is great for both advertisers looking to build keyword lists for use in pay-per-click, but also great for discovering alternate keywords or synonyms. You can find keywords based on a word, phrase or website, and have the ability to receive traffic estimates and filter your results by industry. The tool works in a similar fashion as Google AdWords does, with a very similar look & feel.
Maximize the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to find new, related keywords to target your website (or, marketing efforts) for.
Tool #4: Google Suggest
You don’t have to look very far to use this great Google tool. Simply start searching for anything on Google.com, and you’ll see the Google Suggest tool in action. This is actually an excellent way to further explore the possibilities that exist for any keyword you type in. You’ll be able to see what other searches Google suggests to you via this auto-complete approach. I guarantee you that you have not thought of every possible variation or combination, so go use Google!
Take advantage of the standard Google.com search engine and see what possibilities exist for your keywords that you didn’t think of.
Tool #5: Google Analytics
Create a Google Analytics account today and start learning what keywords visitors are using to find your website and what they are doing on your website after they arrive.
In my last blog post, I discussed “Five Things to Know About Google Webmaster Tools” and certain aspects of it that I find useful for my search engine optimization efforts. In today’s blog post, I will discuss its usefulness for performing one of the most important aspects of SEO; keyword research.
In Google Webmaster Tools you are able to find keywords that you are actually ranking for right now. For example, once signed in to Webmaster Tools, go to “Your site on the web>>Search Queries>>Top Pages” to see your best performing pages and their associated keyphrases. With this new section, you will be able to determine which phrases currently get you the most impressions, CTR (click through rate) and what their average positions are within Google.
Another useful section, “Your site on the web>> Links to your site >> How your data is linked>> Anchor text” lets you see what anchor text the external links are utilizing to point to your website. Put simply, anchor text is the word(s) that you click on to open the hyperlink. Anchor text is weighted (ranked) highly in search engine algorithms, because the linked text is usually relevant to the landing page.
The general idea behind using these tools is to identify which words get you the most ROI (return on investment) so that when performing new keyword research you won’t actually hurt your current rankings. Sometimes, overzealous “SEOers” will completely alter the keyword targeting of their site and will unwittingly substitute the great words they already have for lesser ones. Just because all of your keyword research tools are telling you these words have a good KEI (keyword effectiveness index) number, it doesn’t actually mean they will perform for your specific demographic.