Without links and keywords the internet stands still. So, for our local seo clients we are always digging into keywords and their ideal use. In a nutshell, keywords and keyword phrases are the driving force behind raising search engine ranking and drawing site traffic. Sounds easy doesn’t it? However, successful SEO marketing encompasses a great deal more than “pick and place” keywords. The following SEO keyword strategy will help to achieve more localized results.
Choosing Relevant Keywords and Keyword Phrases
The first step in an effective SEO strategy is choosing keywords and keyword phrases that are relevant to your niche. Targeting keywords that deal with health won’t help if you’re selling automotive products.
Also, you don’t want keywords which are too general or broad in their scope. Although “automobiles” may be a high ranking keyword, it won’t do much good for your automotive product business because such a search will result in too vast a selection of sites for customers to draw from. You can localize your keyword list even further by using phrases such as “automotive parts in St. Louis” for example. Choosing keywords and phrases which deal specifically with your product or service and your target area are what you’re after.
In order to create a list of viable keywords, sit down and do some serious thinking about what you would use to search for your specific products or services. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and determine what questions they might ask and how you might solve their problems. Draw similar advice from family and friends, and visit competitors’ sites and see what keywords they are using.
Utilizing Free Online Tools
Once you have your keyword list, turn to one or more of the free online tools available. Google provides some of the best, but others such as Word Tracker are good as well. There are also various software products which you can purchase to help with choosing keywords. However, it’s advisable to avoid them as the rules and criteria change frequently and these tools can quickly become outdated and provide misleading information.
Since Google is the most popular search engine, we’ll use their keyword tool for this example. Go down your list of keywords and plug each one into the Google keyword tool. A list of keywords will be generated which show both “Local Search Volume” and “Global Search Volume”. Export these lists into a spreadsheet and eliminate all keywords which are not relevant. When you’ve weeded out your list, you can begin the process of determining the best keywords to use. The idea is to keep the keywords which are both relevant and popular yet have a low competition factor.
Determining Keyword Value
A keyword’s competitive factor is achieved by determining its value compared to other sites. To do this, run each keyword through a Google search to bring up its results. For instance, a search for “automotive parts” produces “About 64,700,000 results”. Even though this is a large number, it refers to all pages on which “automotive products” appears. To reduce this number, we simply need to transform our original keyword into a title using the operator “allintitle: automotive parts”. A new search now reveals 216,000 sites which have that verbiage in the title. Since titles are strong strategic elements in SEO ranking, this number will help determine the keyword’s value.
Add this value to another column on your spreadsheet and continue with this process until you have created a value for all keywords listed. You will then want to keep all keywords which have both a low “allintitle” value and a high “Global Search Volume”.
Although there is much more to an effective SEO strategy, this will give you a strong jump on the competition. By building these keywords and keyword phrases into good content on your site, you will grab a larger portion of those customers looking for your product or service.