Doing Keyword research and Using the right tools to get the keyword information you need is essential if you want to build a successful website.
Keywords are the most essential part of website creation, especially if you want your website to out perform your competitors.
And Since you are here reading this Blog, you must be looking for a way to do that and improve your Search Engine Rankings and user experience on your website.
Improving your website to get beter performance is in the first place a matter off creating a good website structure and for that, you need to understand two things:
- Your website topic
- What terms are used in search engines related to your topic
For the first part, you probably already know more than you think, so first thing to do is to get a piece of paper (or open a text editor) and start writing down all terms you can think of about and related to you website topic.
Example for the Topic Games: “Online Games, Download Games, Free Games, Video games, Adventure Games, Joystick, Game Computer, WII, Nintendo DS, Games Console”
Just to get you thinking and do some brainstorming before getting to do online research for the best search terms.
Now, before you take the next step, go to Google or Yahoo and do a search for the Keyword you are most likely to know a lot and want to focus on that term.
For “Games” you get 1,430,000,000 results on Google and 5,450,000,000 results on Yahoo.
For “Online Games” you get 111,000,000 results on Google and 2,690,000,000 results on Yahoo.
You can see that these are still very competitive keywords to target…
So lets take it one Little step further in Google and try two extra keywords “Free online kids game” and now you are down to 11,300,000 results.
So what do these numbers tell you? Well, first place, that there are a lot of Games sites :-)
But looking at it form an SEO Point of view, it will be a lot easier to rank for “Free Online kids game” than it will be for just “Games”.
It is time to Introduce the term Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) and this is a rank based on how popular the keyword is, and how much competition it has.
Now the competition factor we have seen above, the popularity factor, that you will read about later on.
Back to getting into the heavy hitters.. there is an the hidden secret in doing your keyword research and building your keyword list the right way:
As you can see in the Image, building a website with the right keywords targeted, will lift you into the higher competition field, just by focusing on the related words rather then going for the “Games” right away.
How to find keyword clusters
Finding the terms related to your topic, as seen above, you already have some clue about keywords and search terms to use.
You just have to arrange them into “packages”.
But to get you into the right state of mind to do this, you have some great tools on the Internet to help you out and put you on the right track to find out what people are really looking for:
You Free Clustering Keyword tools
There are several great free tools on the Internet that can help you track down what people are looking for, but also what Search Engines find related terms…
Lets start out simple by looking at some of the most your used tools, and how you can use them in a simple way.
With this tool you have to check first, if your results are targeted for the right country and language, that is the first bloc you see in the page.
Just select the filters you want with the drop-down list next to the boxes.
After that, fill in your search term, and provide Google with the anti-spam term (Only once per session).
If you get the result page, select the “Avg Search Volume” column to sort the info to get an indication of the volume of searches (the results are from the previous month, so it a good idea to do this several months in a row)
Now you can go through the list and click on “Add” for the terms you think would do well for your new website.
Once you are done, download the results in the format of you liking, txt file or csv so you can work with these later on.
SEO Book Tools
This tool from Aaron Wall of SEOBook.com is really a great interface for the WordTracker database, combined with some Yahoo and Google information.
Most people will have problems with this tool the first time the use it, I even forget about the important click myself sometime…
If you do a term research, don’t use Enter !! You really, really have to use the Submit button !!
After that, you will get an extensive result page, and the nice part with the current version is that you can export the results into a .csv file like Google give you.
Download the file for later analysis in for instance MS Excel.
Trellian Keyword Discovery, just like WordTracker are basically keyword tools that you use extensively if you get a subscription.
For basic research they both have a free tool that you can use, but is limited in the results and the information offered.
Both will show you the results of the first 100 related searches for free.
Trellian shows also how the search market is divided for the search terms, but these kind of details are into their extended Keyword Research Tool
If you are looking for Keyword information, WordTracker is also among the first you will find and that also brings great information on keywords.
You will find a lot of similarities with the SEO Book suggestion, since they both use the same database.
It is whoever a nice tool to double check the keywords found before.
But more than only a Keyword research tool, they also have a great Free Keyword Expert Newsletter that you can subscribe to for Free, highly recommended!
Putting Your Keyword List Together
Looking at and following the steps and tools above you will find yourself with an enormous amount of search terms that are actually used on the Internet for find information about the topic of your website.
Now here is where you will have to do the hard labour… but it will pay off!!
Yo have to go through the terms and pick the ones that will suite you best, that means that you can relate and write about those subtopics you just found for you site.
You see the emphasis on write about? that is because you are building the site and you should provide good quality content to your readers.
I like to import the data into an Excel worksheet (Open new spreadsheet, choose the data menu item, import external data, import data and select the csv file as source and don’t forget to select the csv value in the import option field).
In this Keyword list (yes you build one already :-0) you can select, sort and move the search terms around to get “clusters”.
Search Engines to the Rescue
This “clustering” can be a bit overwhelming if you start doing this for the first time, so lets bring in some free professional help.
This search engine has some great features to help you find your basic clusters, just go over to www.ask.com and start typing in you keyword.
There will be a small drop-down box showing you some related keywords.
The results page will also show you the relater terms in a simple sidebar.
Yahoo also has a similar way of presenting you this kind of information, they call it search assist
And yes, even at www.google.com there are some related terms to be found, although not on every searched keyword, but if there are, you can find them at the bottom of the first results page.
If you are done selection the search terms you want to target and clustered them into topics, you are ready for the next step… your domain name selection… stay tuned.