How to Choose the Most Effective Keywords for Search

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How to Choose the Most Effective Keywords for Search


By Bob Speyer, Web Success Team

Keywords are like Super Glue. They are the fuel for search engines and connect you to your potential customers. Selecting the right keywords can make all the difference in whether you are found in search. Therefore, keyword research is the foundation of any online marketing strategy. And keyword selection can be divided into Selection and Priority:

Keywords for Business Success

Keyword Selection & Priority: Keywords have different values for search selection, i.e. keyword terms or phrases should have high search volumes; make sure the chosen keywords terms are relevant; and you need to assess the relative competition. If they don’t meet this criteria, then you should eliminate them for consideration. Prioritizing keywords phrases should have high search volumes; make sure the chosen keywords terms are relevant; and keywords are prioritized based upon competitive advantage for products and services.

Creating the Keyword List: You may think you already know the best keywords, but you should do some brainstorming. Talk to clients, study competitor sites, add geographic variations (e.g. Los Angeles Attorneys, Calabasas lawyers), descriptive alternative (e.g. personal injury attorneys, dog bit lawyers), and using Google AdWords Keyword tool that will give you other suggestions as well.

Selecting the Most Relevant Keyword Terms: Now your task shifts to relevancy. You want quality traffic, not just numbers. Ones that convert to customers at a higher rate. If you are a lawyer, you want clients in your geographic area of Los Angeles, not New York or Chicago, for example.

Analyzing Keyword Competitiveness: Unless you have beaucoup bucks to spend, you will have to choose your keywords wisely. Using Google AdWords Keyword Tool, it will classify keywords as low, medium or highly competitive. The higher ranking the keyword, the more competitive. If you want to rank on the first or second page of Google, you will need to do more than keyword SEO. But that’s for another blog!

How to Beat the Competition: In order to take on the competition and win you must understand two terms: Website Authority and Relevance:

Authority: This has to do with external links. Search engines will rank your site based upon how many authority links (not just any links) are directed to your site. The two most important linking factors are: Number of links to a website from multiple domains and number of links to a specific page for a term to be ranked

Relevance: This means if other sites are trying to rank of keywords in question. On-page relevancy includes: matching a keyword in the page title, in a site’s internal navigation, and in the domain name.

Opportunity: You can assess opportunities by considering authority and relevance. If more powerful sites are dominate for a keyword term, then you should look for other less competitive keyword opportunities. If these powerful competitive sites aren’t targeting specific keywords, then there are opportunities to exploit.

The Final Analysis: At the end of this process, you should have a list of keywords that have been vetted. Now, it becomes a process of prioritizing all the remaining keywords. While the same primary assessment variables can still be utilized to determine priorities, secondary assessment variables now can also be considered.

The best strategy is to target keyword terms with relatively high search volumes and low competition. Then factor in relevance and of course priorities. Finally, monitoring your metrics are key to testing and tracking to become even more focused and successful in finding and using the keywords that will give you the best results. Good luck!


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  1. In House Web Solutions
    January 11th, 2012 13:50  / 

    Its funny how many people don’t understand the Authority piece. I was talking to one of my biggest competitors and he was confused because i ranked higher than him with twice as less links than him. I did some research on his links and he was using auto approve blogs and automated submissions. Whereas I do everything manually or in a drip feed from sites that have a huge authority such as hubpages, squidoo and ezines.


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