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What Is Your Keyword Selection Process?
Posted 13 September 2004 - 01:30 PM
Mine is a work in progress as I learn more info (I'm still a newbie) but this is how it is going:
1) Overture - I hammer all the words I can think of remotely related into Overture (I'm using Good Keywords) to get a rough search estimate. Weeding out the ones that don't apply. I also pull words that I know I am getting search hits from the server logs and add them to the list.
2) Wordtracker - I search for the more popular phrase in Wordtracker (using the free edition...limited I know) to see if I'm skipping useful synonyms and getting Wordtrackers search figures and KEI.
3) Checking Lycos and/or Teoma for other alternative phrases.
4) Google - Search Google for how many hits on a keyword then running how many hits for keyword in the title, singular and plural.
5) Running these numbers in an Excel document, sorting by searches, amount of competing web sites, etc., and finding the highest ranking words in each category. I divide Overture searches by Google hits to get a relative number for the applicable catergories (yes, I know those numbers don't directly related to each other but I guess it is somewhere to start. I know some people multiply and/or divide the Overture number to get an estimate for Google...if you want to share yours, please do). Picking primary broader terms and secondary more specialized terms.
6) Finding the words that do best in multiple categories and check Google PR for the top 10 listing with the keywords and backlinks in Yahoo, etc.. Of course, words I'm already getting traffic for get priorities as well.
I'm using Google mainly because my sites seem to be getting 75% of their traffic from Google already. I'll probably also start searching for anchor text and checking Overture's regular search to see what bidding prices on keywords are to help determine competitiveness.
So, anybody want to tear my process to pieces or post your own superior process?
BTW This is mainly a hobby/obsession for me. I'm webmaster for a non-profit that I get paid for very cheaply, but after having success with SEO, I'm getting into it. I'm working on a couple of sites for my spouse's computer business (talk about keyword competition). If it isn't free or very cheap, chances are I can't afford to do it. I also can't spend 24/7 researching, although I would want to because I'm so obsessive.
Posted 13 September 2004 - 01:41 PM
Nobody has any trade secrets here or they wouldn't be posting!
Dan has a very good post on this subject pinned in this category which you may want to browse though.
My keyword research is pretty simple.
1.) Brainstorm keywords and phrases.
2.) Run them through Wordtracker (paid-version) to see which ones are actually searched for, and to find other ideas that I may not have thought of.
3.) Take the resulting list and cross off any that aren't relevant enough.
4.) Figure out where the rest can go on my site (which pages they'll work for).
I would also suggest running a Google AdWords ad to confirm the choices, although it's not something I've been doing in the past.
Posted 13 September 2004 - 02:13 PM
For particular projects I may also run a PPC campaign to get the number of impressions over a 24/48 hour period (I use a very unattractive advert for this 'cause I don't what to pay more for this than necessary).
Then I check the competition, predominently on Google. When checking for competition I use three main searches:
A basic "phrase" search
An allintitle:"phrase" search
An allintitle:"phrase" inanchor:"phrase" search
I take that, then run a variation of the KEI calcualtions used by Wordtacker against the results, using my findings from the above competative searches.
If any of this was a secret, I guess it's not now!
Posted 13 September 2004 - 02:31 PM
1) Search Overture for keywords, pick out all of the popular ones
2) Search Wordtracker for more keywords, pick out all of the popular ones
3) I'm not sure exactly how accurate this tool is, but I use it to get a general idea of what the difficulty is - [http://www.searchgui.../difficulty.pl]
4) Input all the words into an Excel spread sheet
5) Choose top keywords, then find top sites for each of the keywords
6) Analyze the sites and figure out what I need to do better to rank higher than them
Posted 13 September 2004 - 02:35 PM
We like it when lurkers come out in the open! Thanks for contributing.
Posted 13 September 2004 - 04:12 PM
Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:55 PM
Posted 13 September 2004 - 07:17 PM
I confess I've been a little discouraged ever since I learned--from Jill and y'all--that KEI isn't a silver bullet. Yes, I know, I know--no such thing as a silver bullet. But...I can dream, can't I?
I still love the Wordtracker free trial, limited though it is. Today I discovered that "running shorts" has good KEI, leastwise on AltaVista, supposedly. Also "men's basketball shorts." Who knew? :tooth:
We're having a big SEO brainstorming meeting at work later this week. I'm hoping that we'll agree to get a year's paid subscription to Wordtracker for the research wonks. My own dep't (creative) is on a super-tight training budget, but the other dep'ts seem to have more funding latitude. WT paid-version seems like a bargain for the $$$ anyhoo.
And BTW, icy--I can relate to the obsessive part. SEO is addictive! Unfortunately, because I was born without a left brain, I don't understand most of it. So I focus on the part I do kinda-sorta understand--the art of weaving keyphrases into copy seamlessly. However, gotta get the right keyphrases to begin with--ay, there's the rub. That's where the research wonks come in...but maybe, based on the tips in this thread, this right-brain artsy-fartsy type can give 'em a few suggestions....
Posted 13 September 2004 - 07:33 PM
Posted 14 September 2004 - 03:39 AM
Posted 14 September 2004 - 05:24 AM
My research, which seems rather basic compared to everyone else's is the following:
1) Scour client's website to see what they're trying to do
2) Imagine I'm a customer looking for what my client has to offer.
3) Search in google on those keywords
4) Write a list down in notepad of immediate inspirations
5) Utilise KwMap.net for finding out missing similar words
5) Use paid version of word tracker to see the popularity of now long list of ideas
Chose only a few and concentrate on those in the copy. Simple.
Too simple? Don't know. Am I missing anything really important out?
Posted 14 September 2004 - 05:49 AM
I've experimented with Digital Points tool before and found it very confusing. The WT daily numbers seem to be very different from the monthly ones, to the point I was afraid it wasn't accurate. Does anyone using the tool know why the discrepancy?
Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:44 AM
Edited by JamesW, 14 September 2004 - 06:49 AM.
Posted 14 September 2004 - 11:12 AM
Posted 14 September 2004 - 07:14 PM
With the exchange rates, it's closer to $9 right now, but it's worth it. The free "trial" version (how many people use it repeatedly without ever buying?) only has a limited version of *one* of the tools. You don't get access to compressed, comprehensive, multisearch, PPC bids, etc.
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