Finding the best keywords to optimize your web pages for requires comparing various keywords (or search terms) to find the ones best suited for your particular needs. Typically, the two things often considered when researching keywords are search volume and keyword competition.
A look at Keyword Research
A keyword is another word for a search term, or key phrase. It’s the word or phrase that someone enters into a search engine when looking for websites to visit.
An example of a keyword would be “car insurance”.
An example of a keyword phrase would be “best car insurance” or “car insurance deductable”.
Keyword research is the process of determining which keywords are the best to use. The definition of “best” however depends on many factors including your personal experience and abilities in SEO, the ability of your website to compete for various keywords and the purpose you have for your SEO campaign, such as whether the keywords will be used to market your main site or a supporting site.
The goal of most internet marketers is to get as much traffic (website visitors) as possible, in which case the most searched for keywords would be their definition of “best”. But the most searched for keywords, or the keywords with the highest search volume are not always necessarily the best ones for all purposes.
The best keywords are those with the highest search volume for the level of competition that you can manage. By finding this balance between traffic and competition you increase your chances of ranking well.
Finding this balance is where keyword research comes in.
There are a number of tools you can use to perform keyword research. Below are two popular options.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
Google’s own keyword tool is the largest and most active keyword database in the world. It is used by most SEO’s and is also used by all of the major SEO software companies. These companies pull keyword data directly from Google’s database and process it for display to their own users. You can access Googles keyword tool by going to http://adwords.google.com
In the screenshot below, notice how “quick weight loss” is a better keyword phrase than “fast weight loss”, it gets more traffic and has less competition.
Market Samurai has been around for many years and has a user base of over 400,000 internet marketers. It’s my personal tool of choice since it provides so much valuable data and presents this data in an easy-to-analyze format. Market Samurai can do far more than just keyword research. It can help you research competitors, find keyword-targeted domain names, find affiliate programs to help monetize your traffic, find relevant content for your website and can even help you manage your website.
Keyword research is one of the most important steps in any SEO campaign. You can do everything else right including your page optimization, your content optimization and your link building. But if you blindly choose a keyword phrase to target, or worse, do not choose one at all, you can very well end up with no search traffic.