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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Researching the Right Keyword and Key Phrase

When it comes to SEO, Keyword Research is another important part of the recipe. Sadly, I didn’t quite realise this until I had spent some time submitting to web directories. I touched on the importance of getting your keyword right in my second post, my definition of SEO so I’m broadening out the idea of researching the right key word for a website here. Trust me, research keywords and phrases can be real hard work I tell you! And it will most likely take more than one post to get the full gist of it but here goes nothing!




Alright, so you have a website and you’ve got some decent content in it, take for example my humble SEO blog. Now I've done a bit of link building and mentioned my website to a couple of other websites here and there; what more can I do for my website to help it get ‘found’? Keyword research would and should be the next thing to do. A lot of SEO professionals would argue that keyword research should actually be done before the content is written for a website. I can definitely see the advantage of doing this, but being realistic, most companies don’t know they need SEO work on their website until they’ve spent months on the Internet with maybe 5-10 hits on their site first! If you can get the keyword research done during website content creation, all well and good, if not, live with it and move on!

Keyword research is about locating a spot for your website on the Internet, a target niche if you like. It involves finding the right words to be found for on the Internet and sometimes it also being found by the right people. Let’s take an example, an age group of 55-60 years could search for “spectacles” and another group of 15-30 year olds could search for “eyeglasses”. They are actually searching for the same thing but if a website is only optimised to be found for “spectacles” then that website ends up losing a large section of the “eyeglasses” market because they are only optimised to be found by say, 10% of the population. Alternatively, it is quite pointless if someone looking for more information on Nigerian political opinions comes to my website, that is the wrong target for me, after all, I'm more interested in SEO and Nigeria then anything else. Keyword research is about looking for every possible market to target on the Internet, to make sure your website stands a chance of getting the right awareness.

Now, that been said, sometimes it might actually be better to target a very small section of a market, depending on the type of market in question. I was having a discussion with my boss on a new client website whose target was “IT Support”. Now that is a very vague keyword and almost impossible to rank for considering its a relatively new website (unless you want to go into Pay-Per-Clicks methods). In most cases, the renown method of divide and conquer is best when it comes to targeting the right keyword. By that I mean splitting your market into locations and targeting what is known as a long-tail-key-phrase. So instead of optimising for “IT Support”, you could optimise for “IT Support Northeast”. Yes, less people would search for a something so specific but there is less competition involved as well. In this case, less is more. Less people might search for your keyword but you stand a better chance of being found and clicked on for that keyword. You could be found on page 10 for “IT Support” but page 1 for “IT Support Northeast UK”, which would be seen by people more and eventually get more clicks? Go figure…

In my next post I’ll talk about using the Google Keyword Tool and some other cool tools to carry out Keyword research, find out the market competition, targeting and actually linking all this into your website. 


See you in a bit!
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