Researching the correct keywords is arguably the most important, and definitely one of the most time-consuming, tasks to be undertaken when optimising your website.
Web owners may boast that they hold any number of Top 10 Search Engine Rankings; indeed some Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) agencies will “guarantee” top placing in the major Search Engine lists. This is all very well, but are potential customers actually searching for those particular key phrases?
When a website owner contacts a SEO professional they usually provide a number of keywords that they want their site to be found with. They would normally consist of brand names and generic terms for the products or services available on their site. Unqualified or unscrupulous web agencies may just take those keywords and build the web content around them, without undertaking any meaningful research.
The client may then wonder why they have had no significant increase in sales although the number of visitors may have risen. The SEO agency may respond, “ We have got you to the first page in Google for ‘best buy DVD's’” Great!! But how many web users are searching for that keyword?
Research indicates that, worldwide, there were four searches for “best buy DVDs” over a period of 90 days. On the other hand, a search for “discount DVDs” was made 207 times over the same period. So, you will see that it is important to choose the correct words.
Usual marketing practice dictates that you narrow your search term to a tightly focused keyword. This could be on a geographical basis, for instance. However, if we imagine our client to be running a mail order service, regionalisation may not be an issue. In this instance we will break down our search term to the type of DVD offered.
|The categories we have chosen are:||Number of searches made|
|Special interest DVDs||93|
|Classic vehicle DVDs||140|
Further research shows the numbers of competing websites targeting our keywords on Google.
|Special interest DVDs||83,400|
|Classic vehicle DVDs||33|
The idea is to identify the keywords searched for by most potential buyers, which are not being targeted by our competitors. We clearly have a far higher chance of success if we choose to optimise our site for the keyword, “classic vehicle DVDs”.
The above statistics were researched using Wordtracker Keyword Research Tool, a web based application that is available by paid subscription.
Other tools include Overture, which is free but is considered inferior to Wordtracker, favoured by the majority of reputable Search Engine Optimisation agencies.
The number of keywords you choose to target will depend on the size of your website. It is recommended that you target one keyword per page. You would ideally start with a set of fifteen tightly focused phrases which you would expand using a tool such as Wordtracker, to between 50 and 100 keywords. You should then select the most relevant to your site.
Once you have chosen your keywords, you can compose your web copy, dealing with a separate topic for each page, incorporating the keywords obtained from the above process.