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Useful Tips on Keyword Research October 2, 2008

Posted by seonotes in On-page Optimization, SE Rankings, Search Engine Optimization.
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Keyword Research is the heart of any SEO project. It is a crucial phase in doing optimization for your web pages. Your choice of keywords can either make or break you in the Web world. No doubt, the keyword research stage in optimization entails analytical planning, and careful research.

To help you out in doing it right the first time, here are some useful tips in keyword reasearch to take note of:

Think Relevance

Some people fall into the trap of picking the most popular search term there is. Be careful though, because every topic has a particular niche. The hotel and travel industry for example, has several niches – from high-end luxury hotels, to medium-range accommodation providers, to cheap or budget-friendly inns and motels. The key isn’t about going for the most popular search term. It’s about carefully studying which key phrases are most relevant to your business. Remember, related does not necessarily mean relevant.

Consider Both Search Volume and Competition

Search Volume versus competition – aim to strike a balance between these two factors. Of course, most keywords with the highest traffic normally get the tightest competition in the SERPs. However, you can consider first your webpage’s search engine standing before choosing your keywords. If you have a stable site with good links, and your stats say you can compete big time, then go ahead and dive in the bigger ocean. That means you can consider optimizing your site for the high-traffic and highly competitive terms. But if you are a fairly new site with lesser links to begin with, you can choose search terms with an easier level of competition, but have “fairly” significant amount of traffic to give you. Long-tail key phrases can give you that, when their traffic demand are summed up together.

One more Tip: specific and long-tail keywords are known to be great for translating traffic into conversions – or user site visits into sales, as an example.

Make use of tried and tested Keyword Research Tools

Don’t just rely on sheer gut feel when drafting your final keyword list. Sure you can list down any term you can think about in the preliminary phase of keyword research, but always test the “profitability” of these straight-from-your-brain words and phrases by using tried and tested keyword tools. You don’t want to mess up your final keyword list with mere guesses.

One more Tip: Wordtracker, SEObook, Google Adwords Keyword Tool, Keyword Discovery, and even your Analytics and PPC stats are useful sources of data.

Allot enough time for doing keyword research. Most people think this is just some 10-minute click and copy activity when starting SEO. Don’t allow yourself to commit the same mistake. There is value in doing it right in the beginning.

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