Manning Search Marketing

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For this article, we’ll be using just the free options. There are great websites/tools you can use, but if you’re just looking to do a small keyword analysis, then this can help you along your way.

An important part of your marketing campaign is choosing the best keyword phrases for your website. A natural place for people to start usually is seeing what their competitors are targeting on their site. This is a good place to start to build a preliminary list that you use to start your research, but it doesn’t end here. The reason is that your competitors may not be targeting the best keyword phrases on their site, so it is necessary to do the research and make sure you have the best keywords.

Just a quick note, I’ve found using Google Keyword Tool with Internet Explorer a bit sluggish, so try Google Chrome, or FireFox when doing your searches.

You will want to start to build a preliminary list of keywords. You can check out your top competitors, see what keywords they may be optimized for, and you can also use SEMrush, to get a sample of 10 keyword phrases with this. Research as much as possible to get a good starting list ready. You can also check out Alexa.com for some related competitors and see the data they have on file with their domain listing.

Next, open Google Keyword Tool, and for organic Seo purposes, you will want to use the Exact option. This shows up after you’ve made your first search. Using the Exact match option is good for finding out the exact number that Google has recorded. I’ve found the Google’s numbers here tend to be lower than what I have seen from Analytics and other sources, but its a good starting point for current available data.

  • Broad match: The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words
  • Phrase match: The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase
  • Exact match: The search volume for that keyword idea

With your keyword research here, you can try starting with some topic general phrases to get an idea of what keywords are coming back and their values, and then further research more longtail keyword phrases. You can used negative keywords to block out any that are showing that you are not looking to target. Start off with general keywords to help get some ideas, and then further refine. The more related keywords you can collect for your research is ideal.

You will want to download the keywords you selected, I tend to use CSV to Excel.

Getting The Competition Numbers

Once you have the search data, now you want to find some information on each of the keywords regarding the competitiveness of each of the keywords. This part will be time consuming on your end depending on how many keyword phrases you have in your list.

You could start off with something such as the following.

Google Competition number is obtained by searching for the exact phrase within double quotes. With AllInUrl Competition, the search function is allinurl:”keyword analysis research”. This is just another option to get some ideas on the competitive levels. You can explore this more with Google’s Advanced Search features and get more data. (http://www.google.com/advanced_search)

 

Keyphrase Global Monthly Searches Google Competition AllInUrl Competition
free keyword research 390 1,360,000 31,900
google keyword research 1,900 1,780,000 22,300
keyword analysis 3,600 4,580,000 45,500
keyword analysis research 210 170,000 3,440
keyword research 74,000 12,400,000 753,000
keyword research and analysis 170 518,000 4,370
website keyword analysis 390 108,000 5,960


Comparing the Data

By now you will have a list of keywords from both sources and its good to compare the data/numbers in a table. I find using excel and also incorporate the competing number of websites for the exact phrases a great help as well. The more sites that are competing for a certain keyword phrase, you can get somewhat of an idea of how hard it will be to achieve rankings.

Using PPC Campaigns to Test Your Findings

For this article, we’ll use Google Adwords. You can use all the keyword phrases (or which ones you want) and test them out in Google to see what keyword phrases actually are getting searched for more. The great thing is that over a period of time, you can see the searches, and you can also see what is working best for your site with the click thrus from your ads. Writing proper ads leads into a different topic that we will touch on later, but for now, you are able to see what people are searching for, and you can include this into your findings along with the data you have already found.

Conclusion

With an approach such as this (or something on a similar level) you will be better equipped to make a better educated decision on choosing the best keyword phrases for your site. Also, if something ends up not working, it is as simple as changing the keywords on your content/copy and waiting for the results in the search engines.