Thoughts on SEO Keyword Research & Keyword Research Tools

Keyword Research and SEO

Keyword Research for Organic SEOToo long since my last blog post. Blog Fail no more! Let’s roll.

Alright, the topic of this blog post is keyword research for organic search engine optimization. How totally basic could I get, right? I mean most SEO’s and other Internet marketing professionals know the importance of keyword research for SEO. To us, it’s a no-brainer! It’s usually the first step (if not one of the first steps) of conducting an SEO analysis.

SEOmoz has quickly become one of my favorite resources for all things SEO. Trust me, there are a TON of SEO related resources out there. In fact, too many to name in just one blog post! But what I like about SEOmoz is the fact that not only do they offer wonderful SEO tools (yes, the premium ones WILL cost you), but they are more than willing to share their wealth of information. They give everybody access to a variety of SEO articles – from SEO beginner’s guides all the way up to advanced SEO training, tips, and tutorials.

Another recent keyword research discovery tool is Raven SEO Tools. In addition to organic keyword research, they also assist in a variety of website optimization and online monitoring activities – including Social Media monitoring. That’s very important to me because, as an SEO consultant who is passionate about Social Media Marketing,  I consider monitoring Social Media an integral part of SEO research. Other marketing automation tools are now offering this as a very premium service, but I think Raven is probably one of the few truly seeing Social Media for its SEO value. That’s the same reason I like HubSpot. However, I think for most small businesses, HubSpot’s price range is not in the budget.

Whatever you choose to use, please remember the following about keyword research:

  1. Keyword Relevance – Is the keyword or phrase even relevant to your business? If the keyword can answer a question about who you are and what you do, then it is relevant and should be used on your site and the web content.
  2. Keyword Search Frequency – Are people actually searching for this keyword phrase in the search engines? So often when I’m doing keyword research, I find there are keywords that are very relevant to what a client does, but there are no search strings across the major search engines. While I don’t recommend NOT using the keyword, I suggest exploring other keywords that are relevant, yet have more actual searches.
  3. Keyword Competition – How competitive is this field? Is it even a feasible target? Yes, competition matters. You need to realize that there are now over 50 billion (maybe more?) indexed pages on the web. You are competing with that many pages. You need to carefully choose your words;  But more than that, you need to choose where they are on your website – in page titles, meta descriptions, alt tags, anchor text, internal links, and those ever important backlinks.

Don’t take keyword research for granted. It’s probably the most important investment you’ll make in your SEO, Internet Marketing, or Web Development efforts. It comes down to this: know what your target market is searching for and make damn sure you get in front of them in their time of need. Whether it’s through organic or paid search means, make sure you know the market triggers. Thanks to the lovely search engines themselves, and the tools I noted above, there’s no guesswork anymore.

“Knowing is half the battle”, they say?

Let me help you with the keyword research battle. Contact me by Sunday, January 31st to conduct a keyword research analysis on your website FREE of charge.

Organic SEO vs. PPC

PPC vs. Organic SEO = Fight!

PPC vs. Organic SEO = Fight!

While I don’t think PPC is a complete waste of time, I also don’t think it’s for everybody.  It costs more because you pay for every click on an ad.  This doesn’t necessarily guarantee your return on investment; it doesn’t always mean those clicks will convert!

According to a study, 4 out of 5 search engine users report that they never click on PPC results.  I can attest to this.  I have put on blinders to most ads and I rarely click on those I do see.  Most users of the Internet today are pretty savvy.  They know an ad when they see one, and only 30% of those folks will actually click on it.

However, there are benefits to PPC programs and paid search certainly can work for some businesses – if done correctly.  If your bid for the appropriate targeted key words is successful, you’ll land on page 1 of a Google search. This can drive a lot of relevant traffic to your website all at once.  But ultimately this is where usability, good copywriting, and calls to action really need to kick in!  You still need to entice and encourage people to contact you or to purchase when they’ve landed on your website.

In summary, I feel a decent balance of good old fashion SEO and internet best practices, in conjunction with a PPC campaign, can drive targeted and qualified traffic to your site.