How to Do Keyword Research The Right Way
The keywords tag is another way to educate search engines about your website. There are a variety of thoughts out there today about the importance of keywords and keyword tags. My belief is that keywords themselves don’t carry significant weight in isolation, but analyzed in conjunction with the overall theme of your page, they signal Google as to the legitimacy of your content.
The keyword tag should include your main keywords, those you’ve chosen as the main focus of your website, as well as those associated with the theme of your web page (we’ll be covering keyword research in just a few short pages).
Note: Avoid keyword stuffing. When users place keywords on their web page or within their meta tags over and over again in an effort to improve SERPs—search engines (like Google) actually discredit the value of the web page.
When listing keywords in their meta tags, some sites choose to separate each keyword with a space or comma. I prefer using a comma followed by a space to separate each keyword. Also, I like to make sure that I’m not repeating the same keyword consecutively. For example, if I was listing marketing-related keywords like marketing, marketing resources , and search engine optimization, I would NOT list them in that order because marketing is followed by another instance of marketing when I use the second term marketing
The right way to list these phrases would be as follows: <meta name= “Keywords” content=“marketing, search engine optimization, marketing resources”>. This creates a division between like keywords, resulting in a more neutral approach and avoiding potential issues related to keyword stuffing. If you fail to implement this properly, some search engines won’t fully index your page.
The more I learn about search engine optimization, the more I’ve come to rely on effective keyword research. Finding the search phrases that your website or blog should be optimized for is essential to any search engine optimization campaign. The goal is to find relevant, high traffic keywords that will be less competitive from an optimization perspective. Less competition means that you’ll have a much better chance of achieving number one rankings for your chosen keyword phrase. Doing this takes a little work but is well worth it.
The value of selecting keywords strategically is very high. The “right” keywords allow your optimization efforts to happen quicker and produce the best organic result. Many of the companies I’ve consulted for over the past few years didn’t pay much attention to keyword research. As a result, they were either trying to optimize their websites for keywords they could never achieve number one rankings for,
because an authority site like Wikipedia held the top position, or for keywords that had next to no search volume.
Not too long ago I had a conversation with a potential client. We were introduced through a mutual friend and sat down to dinner to discuss his online marketing needs. I started to ask him questions about his online marketing strategy, website, and so on. About thirty minutes into the conversation, he said, “I don’t need SEO. I’m already ranked number one for my keyword.” When I asked him what the keyword was, which I’m excluding for privacy reasons here, I looked it up on my phone’s web browser. I wanted to see how much search volume this particular keyword phrase had on a monthly basis.
Not surprisingly, the keyword that he was so enthusiastic about was getting less than four hundred searches per month. That’s it! It’s pretty difficult to build a business on only four hundred searches per month. He was surprised and said, “But in my industry that’s how everyone refers to our service.” I responded with, “That’s clearly not the case.”
After we started working together, I showed him the proper way to do keyword research and find the actual keyword phrases that people in his industry were typing into Google to find services like the ones he offered. With thorough research we found keyword phrases that his website could realistically rank well for in the short term and at the same time had enough traffic to sustain his business.
Before covering keyword research in detail, you must first understand the factors that are involved in proper on-page optimization and some off-page factors that influence website competitiveness. When I updated this book, I originally started with a complete chapter on keyword research but quickly realized that unless you have a firm understanding of the factors that influence rankings, you would never fully grasp the various components of effective keyword research. Therefore, we’ll be covering basic on-page optimization components followed by a thorough overview and deep dive on keyword research.
If you already have a basic understanding of SEO best practices and are eager to start your optimization effort, you can always skip forward to the keyword research section which appears later in this book. Keyword research will be the place you start any optimization effort once you’ve acquired a fundamental understanding of SEO. Armed with this knowledge, you can choose the right keywords for optimizing your website, blogs, affiliate landing pages and other online assets, resulting in a very quick rise to the top.
Let’s start with important on-page optimization factors and then I’ll show you exactly how these factors will help you choose the right keywords for your website time and again. You can manage many of these on-page factors using your website editor (WISYWIG) or an html editor like PageBreeze, FrontPage, or Dreamweaver. If you don’t have HTML experience, you can outsource this work but still need a basic understanding of what to do and how to do it. I cover everything you need to know about outsourcing later in this book so take a deep breath and relax. Effective SEO is easier than you think.
You will notice from the example above that I’ve used four primary meta tags. These tags include the Title tag, Description tag, Keywords tag, and Robots tag. More meta tags exist but these are the basic ones you’ll need to use when thinking about improving your SERPs. Let’s discuss each one separately and make sure you understand how to create each individual tag.