Keyword Research

By David | July 23, 2010 | Home | Blog Categories | Articles

keyword researchAs I read on webmaster forums about people that are pursuing backlinks through directory submission, blogging, and other means, I often see people who have missed an essential ingredient in their plan for growth. It is very common to people "throw" up a site, add about 5-10 pages of content, and then start pursuing backlinks to the homepage. Then those same people come back wondering why they are not getting enough traffic.

Important Tip #1: Keyword research is the first step toward building authority for your site, and authority is an important ranking factor.

Simply adding one article about the keywords you want to rank is not enough anymore. You need to have other related content on your site about related topics, and that will start to establish you as an authority on the subject, and make it easier to rank. Starting with long tail keywords that are easier to rank, and then building on that base is sometimes referred to as the Katamari Technique, and is an excellent strategy for getting the trickle of traffic started.

Important Tip #2: Keyword Research is Easy!

While there are other keywords tools around, Google makes it easy for you by providing the Search Based Keyword Tool. You'll notice they have two different search boxes. I recommend for our purposes you use the "With Words or Phrases" box and leave the domain blank. So let's take Keyword Research as our parameter. After entering this term I get a results page that looks something like this:

As you can see there are a variety of keywords write articles about or create categories that cover them. For example, I'm sure there are lots sites and articles devoted to PPC keyword research. So let's say we have a directory about Search Engine Optimization, and we have a category called Keyword Research. What we could do next is add links, articles and sub-categories based on some of these keywords. Maybe we want to write one article about PPC Keyword Research, and another about Organic Keyword Research. Since PPC Keyword research may involve various sources including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, we can start by writing a general article about that topic, and then we can get more specific with things like Google Keyword Research and Bing Keyword Research.

Important Tip #3: Assessing your Keyword Competition
Also in the keyword tool (see image above) you can see they list Monthly Searches and Competition. Starting with some keywords that have low competition and a smaller number of monthly searches can be a good place to start by allowing you to test your results. It may take a few days for your content to get indexed by Google, but you'll find that you can rank for some easier phrases, but more importantly, over time you can start to compete with more competitive phrases. It's all about how you build your site to establish authority and interrelate the content.

So as you can see, Google makes it pretty easy to get your brain ticking on what to build next on your site. You just need some motivation to build something worthwhile. As you expand the topics you have covered, and then interlink them, you are going to start to build authority on the topic. Note: you may want to consider some pagerank sculpting as you interlink your categories and articles. Finally, you might want to take some of the results from above and input them into the tool to get even more ideas.

We hope that you will be inspired to implement a plan for quality growth. Over time you will be happy you did the work. Also, as your site grows you will be able to involve more people, and start to grow in the area of user generated content as well. Good luck with your site!

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Publish date: July 23, 2010
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