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Essential Tips on Keyword Research

[ad#Google Adsense]Choosing a list of keywords to target is one of the most important steps that an Internet marketer needs to go through when planning his online business. The keywords he chooses should be strongly representative of his niche, popularly searched by his target audience and involves just the right amount of competition that can be taken on realistically with available resources.


The following is a list of tips and strategies that you can use to build a viable and profitable keyword profile for your website:


Choose a Number of Keywords Proportional to Your Project Size – Plan your website carefully and determine exactly how much time and resources you can allocate to it. When you determine the number of web pages that the site will contain at launch, find out how many distinct topics those pages will talk about. From there, you’ll have an idea of which core keywords you’ll be using and how many of them there will be. Include only the ones that you’re sure you’ll be able to work on and set the others aside for later when you start expanding.


Choose a reliable keyword research tool – When it comes to keyword research, there is no room for guesswork. You’ll want to base your decisions on facts or very educated estimates. Use a keyword tool that can tell you how many people search for your target keywords in a given time frame. The tool should also be able to make suggestions as to what keywords you should be using based on different criteria like traffic, competition, PPC costs, local searches, etc. A keyword tool that can tell you which keywords your competitors are using, how well they rank for them and how much they pay for them on PPC is even better. Off the top of my head, I would suggest WordTracker, Google AdWords Keyword Tool, SEM Rush, Market Samurai and the Magic Bullet System.

Spawn long tailed keywords from core keywords – Long tailed keywords are those four-word-or-more phrases that are strongly related to your core keywords. These phrases are very specific and are searched by fewer people with more precise motives. You can target these long tailed keywords by creating new content and pages talking about topics that are relevant to your core keywords. You can also observe which topics related to your keyword are trending in social networks and write about them to get a piece of the long tail pie.


Identify keywords that you are ranking for – Knowing which keywords you are already ranking for in search engines is a nice way to gain a headstart. Most SEO practitioners will tell you that it’s easier to improve a keyword rank than to start from absolute scratch. Tools like SEM Rush and Rank Checker (a Firefox extension by Aaron Wall) can help you find out which keywords you already have a search engine footing in. This is not to say that you shouldn’t target keywords you’re not ranking for. I’m just saying that it might suit you better to get the quicker wins first.


Refine the list with analytics data – over time, your analytics data will reveal which keywords are driving the most traffic and conversions to your site and which ones aren’t yielding much results. Based on the resources and effort spent on optimizing for each keyword, you’ll have to make decisions as to whether you should maintain the status quo, drop the keyword from your priority list or to rethink your strategies on optimizing weak keywords. Remember, you as the business owner are in the best position to tell whether it’s a battle worth fighting or if you’re better of diverting efforts in other areas of opportunity.


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