While there are many forms of online marketing, none of them are as important and significant as search engine marketing (SEM). When you think about it, it really makes sense: nowadays, whenever someone goes to look for something, they usually rely on a search engine query to find it for them. With millions of searches being done every day, it isn’t hard to see that marketing through search engines is a very wise – and popular – decision. However, its popularity has led to high competition for specific keywords, which makes choosing the keywords you want to rank for a very important process. This process, known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) keyword analysis, is one of the most essential components of successful SEM.
You Can’t Analyze a Keyword without Finding One First
The first step to SEO keyword analysis is to find a single related keyword (or key phrase). The search process, however, is not just a prerequisite: it makes the analyzing process significantly easier, and may also help you learn a thing or two about your target market at the same time. The first step to finding the right keyword is to put yourself in the shoes of your website visitor. Then you have to think backwards. Consider your website’s content and think about what a person who just landed on your page might have entered into a search engine. For instance if you have a page selling frying pans you could choose the word frying pan as your starter word.
SEO Keyword Analysis Tools
Once you have chosen a few nice keywords, you can use them as “seeds” to generate other related keywords using SEO Keyword analysis tools.
Some keywords may be great and other keywords may not be worth your time and effort. But how do you know? Once again the answer is: SEO Keyword analysis tools.
There are various tools online that are built specifically to research and analyze keywords. The most popular of these tools is Google AdWords’ SEO Keyword Analysis Tool, where you can enter in a given keyword and be presented with monthly search volumes, and even an estimated cost of launching a paid campaign. And the best part is the Google keyword tool is free.
When using the Google keyword analysis tool, the number you really want to focus on is search volume. If you have a keyword that accurately represents what you sell, has low to medium competition, and gets a ton of search traffic, you’ve found an excellent keyword worthy of putting in your Meta data. Not all keywords, however, will be like that: some may only receive a couple hundred searches a month, or maybe even less! While they may not be something you would want to put into your landing page’s content or Meta data, they make for excellent keywords for blog posts or other “small” pieces of content.
Many keyword analysis tools also come with another wonderful feature: a list of other keywords that may be related. Pick and choose between these keywords until you have many of them, and categorize them based on monthly traffic and competition. Also be sure to check for other keywords, since you’ll not only be able to find all the aforementioned information, but also several variations that may help you in your marketing efforts.
Try not to think too broad, however: although broader keywords tend to attract more traffic, there are two main problems associated with them.
1. Broad keywords receive a lot of volume, and although this is great for the few websites that rank high in them, this means that there’s very high competition. The resources you would need to devote to these very few keywords in order to achieve a high ranking would far outweigh the eventual benefit.
2. Tying into the previous problem, broad keywords are also exactly that: broad. Even if you did end up ranking high in them, the traffic you would receive would most likely be browsers instead of people who are further along in the buying process.
As a result, try to focus your energy on long-tail keywords, which are less-general variations of the aforementioned broad keywords. For example, a long-tail version of the broad keyword “frying pans” would be “Nonstick Calaphalon frying pans”.
Plug in Your Keyword!
Now that you’ve analyzed your keywords, it’s time to incorporate them into your website and its content. As mentioned earlier, keywords that receive a decent amount of monthly traffic, have a small or medium amount of competition, and aren’t too broad or narrow are perfect for incorporating into your website’s “primary content” and Meta data. However, the keywords that aren’t quite as broad should still be used in “smaller” forms of content, such as articles and blog posts.