Monday, September 20, 2010

SEO: How To Research For Free

The first step of any online campaign is deciding what you want to be known for, particularly when aiming for a stronger presence on the search engines. These terms or search phrases that you wish to be seen for are called ‘keywords’. Researching and implementing these keywords into your website is crucial to the success of your website. It is vital that you look into both the search volume of each keyword and also the competition levels. By conducting a bit of research first you will gain a good understanding of how your market looks online, and also what keywords you could realistically achieve good positions for.
There are many ways you can conduct keyword research. The internet offers different tools, both free and paid for, and in addition to that there are some commands on the search engines that will also give you some clues. Free tools such as Google’s Adword’s keyword tool give you a basic look into monthly search volumes and competition levels, however it is sometimes questionable as to how accurate these figures can be. If you want to step it up a notch, you could try paying for software such as Word Tracker. Word Tracker will give you a much more thorough analysis of each word and ultimately give you a better view of the market.
For most people, using the free tools and search commands are enough to give a good idea of what keywords you should target with your website. Listed below are a few useful search commands that you could use to do a little research:
1. “In URL : ‘keyword’”
By typing this into a search engine and replacing the word ‘keyword’ with your keyword, you will get a list, and more importantly a number, of websites that are using your keyword in their URLs. This will give you a solid idea of how many websites are directly targeting your keyword.
2. “In title: ‘keyword’”
2nd most important to the URL, the meta title is vital to targeting a particular keyword. By using this command you will be able to see how many websites are using your keyword in their meta titles.
3. “In text: ‘keyword”
This command will give you a really good rounded view of the market. It will produce a list of websites that are talking about your keyword. The perfect keyword is one that has a substantial amount of traffic, yet a relatively low competition level. Of course, the keyword must be highly relevant to your website and business to ensure that any traffic that comes from the search engines is looking for exactly what you offer.
You will probably find that when you start to look into keywords, by varying the phrase slightly you can find keywords with high traffic levels and low competition…this is exactly what you are looking for. Also, don’t ignore keywords with low search volumes; if these keywords are relevant to your website the traffic they could bring could be a lot higher in quality if you are targeting a niche area.

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