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Everything You Need to Start Your Own SEO Company

 
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ever changing game.  Google and the other Search Engines are constantly changing the way they evaluate websites.

That said, there are still some things that remain fundamental to good SEO, such as good keyword research. The truth of the matter is selecting the right keywords will be the first step in building a website that gets a ton of traffic, but, selecting the wrong keywords will doom your site to no traffic, or unfocused traffic.

What is a keyword/keyword phrase anyway?

Keywords are the words or phrases that people type into the Search Engine’s search bar to find specific information.  There are many different tools that keep track of this data for us.
The rest of this article will focus on tips and tricks to help you find the best keywords possible for your website.

Understand What You Are Trying to Do

The first step in keyword selection is to understand what your site is trying to accomplish. Let’s say you have a site that is trying to sell Diet Plans.  Several good choices of keywords to start with would be Diet Plans,  Rapid Weight Loss Diet Plans, Vegan Diet Plans ect…  What you wouldn’t want to do is target phrases like Free Diet Plans.  While you might get traffic with the phrase Free Diet Plans, most people searching for free diet plans will quickly leave your site when they discover you only have diet plans for sale.

Understanding your target audience will help you focus your efforts only on those keywords that will bring you trafficANDsales.

Keyword tools

There are ton of great keyword tools available, both free and paid.  If you are a local business owner looking to optimize your site, you can get away with using Google’s free tools.  If you are an SEO professional or an affiliate marketer, then investing in a good keyword tool is a must.  Many of today’s keyword tools automate the entire research process and help you find keywords you may never have thought of.

If you decide to use a paid keyword tool, make sure that it not only gives you search volume information, but that it also analyzes your competition so that you can understand how difficult it will be to rank on the first page of Google

Search Volume

Search volume will tell you how many people a month are searching for your keyword.  If you are using a free tool, I recommend the Google Keyword Tool.  If you already have a gmail account go to https://adwords.google.com , sign in and find the keyword tool under tools.  Change the “Match Type” to Exact and enter your keyword phrase into the box that says “Word or Phrase”.

If you have a Google account, you will get up to 801 keywords back.  The data will show you how many people look for your keyword on average each month (This number is supposed to represent how many people are searching for your keyword each month in Google.  For Google alone, these numbers seem inflated, but they work out to be a good estimation of the total search volume from all search engines).

There is a ton of advice on what search volume is acceptable and there really is no right or wrong answer.  It depends on what you are using the site for and how much it will cost you to get a site ranked.  For example, I built a great Adsense website with a ton of great information, but I knew it would be expensive to rank for due to the level of competition. 

In this case, I knew I wanted all of my keywords to get at least 3,000 searches per month.  On the other hand, I recently build a lead generation site for a local niche.  In this case, the competition was very low and my return was going to be high, so I was willing to accept just a couple of hundred visitors per month.

Competition

My next statement is my opinion and many will disagree with me.  When trying to assess the level of competition, many people will tell you to look at how many competing pages there are for a given keyword.

I completely disagree with this approach.  When trying to rank for a keyword, your main objective is to get your web page on the first page of the SERPs (and then to the #1 spot).  With that in mind, it doesn’t matter how competitive the sites that are ranked #11 through infinity are.  The only thing that matters is how competitive the top 10 sites are for that keyword.

In trying to asses the top 10 sites, here are the key factors to consider:
  • On-page Optimization – In other words, how well have they optimized their page around the keyword phrase(s) they are ranking for
  • Age of the domain – Generally speaking, the older the domain, the better
  • Domain extension – Although you can improve the SEO of any website, those with a .com, .org, .net, .edu, .gov or a country specific domain tend to rank better than those with other extensions.
  • Inbound links – The amount of links the page has from other websites as well as those coming from other pages of the site itself.  The quality of those links should also be considered.
Analyzing each of these factors for the top 10 websites for each of the keywords you are researching using free tools can be done, but it takes a ton of time.  This is where using a great keyword tool comes in handy.  For the past 6 months I have been using the Stealth Keyword Analyzer and it has been terrific. 

The Stealth Keyword Analyzer reviews all of the top 10 websites for each of the factors above and tells me how easy it is to rank for a given keyword.  In fact, I can import all 801 keywords from the Google Keyword Tool and let it rip and an hour or so later it will have analyzed all 801 keywords and tell me which ones I should go after.  You can read my review of the Stealth Keyword Analyzer here.

Commercial Intent

The last thing you need to consider when researching your keywords is the commercial intent of the keyword.  If the intent of your website is to advertise a local business, then this might not be as important, but if you intend to sell something on your website, it is critical.  Going back to our previous example, optimizing your website to rank in the SERPs for the keyword Free Diet Plans when you are selling diet plans is of no value to your site. 

The key is to think like a consumer.  Pretend that you are someone who wants to purchase information on diet plans, what terms would you search for (rapid weight loss diet plan, diet plan reviews, best diet plans, ect…)?

Follow these steps and you should be well on your way to finding some great keywords.
Tag : SEO
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