Central to successful search engine optimization are the keywords that you choose. One way of looking at them is to see them as the vehicle that drives your SEO campaigns. The fuel that fires your SEO engine are the inbound links you nurture. The results you achieve will be directly affected by the phrases you opt for.
Keyword research is a fine balance – you don’t want to go overboard but equally this isn’t an area to be skimped on. Here are some tips to help gain better results:
To get the ball rolling, list a small number of keywords that describe the products, services or site. Take a look at the descriptions to get an indication of how the search engines rate them. You can do this manually or make use of a ranking tool to get an idea of the opportunities available. These form the basis of your list.
There is a tool available in Google AdWords which helps you build upon your initial keyword selection. It’s not just about the search volume – although this is important. There are other factors which are taken into consideration when using this tool, so educate yourself on the process and start to unearth keyword gems for your campaign.
Filtering your list
At this stage your list should be looking quite extensive. To help you refine the listing there are some key questions that need asking. Just how quickly would you like to gain a top position in the rankings? Can you identify groups of keywords that complement each other? Which keywords have the most potential to generate cash?
You can gain answers to all these questions with a step-by-step approach. Speak to your client if you have one as they will be able to answer most of your questions. They can tell you quickly where the big money earners are and through your discussion your keyword selection priorities could change dramatically. Alternatively, quiz key members of staff within your organisation as they will all bring their own perspective.
Look for similar keywords and group them together. Keywords that support each other can be used on targeted webpages. The link building value can then be spread across the site, boosting your website optimization. Content also looks more natural.
The competition can also provide insights. Choose keywords with a lower competitive rating. Start by looking at the top five rival sites for your core keywords and analyse their link portfolio. What are their link sources? How is their authority rated? Those with a high authority will be tough to beat.
Final keyword selection
Look at keyword trends as a final quality check. You can clearly see demands for keywords and double check your strategy.
Link building will always play a part in your keyword selection as they will be fundamental in developing link value. Think about where keywords will point using mapping. You can do this throughout the keyword research process or at the end. New webpages may be required as a result.
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