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Search Engine Optimization: Choosing Search Engine Keywords

by David C. Chase

Are You Making This Million Dollar Mistake When Choosing Your Keywords?

Don't tell me you are one of those people who type in a keyword into software and just target the keywords that yield the highest search counts? You wouldn't waste your time doing that now would you? If you have, don't worry, this article is written for you.

Why you should listen to me:

I have spent literally hundreds of hours reading e-books and other relevant sources for this information. I work professionally as an SEO and have had success in some of the highest margin markets on the web. Over the length of this article I will be sharing with you a system I use to aid me through my efforts.

When doing keyword research you need to ask yourself these two very important questions:

1. What is the demand for the keywords I am researching?

2. What is the supply?

Most SEO professionals use their common sense and often try to find the answer; they just do it the wrong way. If you own a site that sells Wireless Vacuum Cleaners it's easy to type your market into Overture's Keyword Selector Tool and get a list of hundreds of relevant keywords and their search counts. What you do with this information is what's important. Some people think an expensive WordTracker subscription using the Keyword Effectiveness Index is the answer: they are crazy.

WordTracker is an amazing tool for building huge keyword lists, but its competition-research data is riddled with holes (KEI should be used only marginally, its data should be used amongst a bevy of tools).

Myth : The number of competing pages that show up in bold when running a search on any search engine is an accurate indicator of the keywords competition.

Fact: This has got to be one of the most common misconceptions in online marketing. Whether a keyword yields 99,000,000 competing pages or 100,000 it doesn't matter.

To find out the true competition of a keyword you should KNOW the following.

For the keywords you are targeting in Google:

  • What is the total quantity of back-links pointing to the top 10 ranked sites?

  • How many times is the ‘keyword' used in the anchor text linking back to the top 10 ranked sites?

  • How many sites use that particular keyword in their title tag? (you can use the allintitle:'keyword' search for this data)

  • Do the top 10 sites all have the ‘keyword' in their Meta description & keyword tags?

  • Do those top 10 sites all have the ‘keyword' in a header tag somewhere on the body of their page?

  • Do the top 10 sites use the ‘keyword' in the first and last 25 words of the page?

  • Do the top 10 competing sites bold, underline, or italicize the ‘keyword' somewhere on the page?

Once you gather all of this data you'll know EXACTLY how much competition is involved for the keyword(s) you plan on targeting.

Why you need to know this information:

Regardless of how much time you put into your efforts, if the top sites all have 10,000+ back-links with properly optimized websites you might find it extremely difficult or impossible to ever sniff the first page of Google. With the popularity of SEO these days, it is a complete liability not to know this information before running a SEO campaign.

As you can imagine doing this manually is a detailed & time consuming process. Researching the sites ranked 1-10 for all of your keywords relevant to your market can be an exhausting task. I use a WordTracker subscription and love its tools for building large lists; KeywordDiscoveries software had some nice features as well. I've used free tools like GoodKeywords and Overture Keyword Selector Tool but none really gave me the raw data I needed to truly gauge my competition.

For a while, I simply had to research each individual keyword using the search engines and click through each individual site. It was time consuming but nonetheless it was effective and very profitable. I thankfully now have access to software that automates the whole process for me. It gives me the information I need before I choose what keywords to target.

When all is said and done, I hope I have instilled in you the importance of going the extra length to research the competition and not just aimlessly target keywords. You cannot overlook this step; it can be the difference between a successful campaign and an utter failure.

David Chase is giving away his new, quick and easy SEO mini-course to the first 250 people who sign up. "The 7 Simple, yet Wildly Successful Strategies for SEO".

David Chase is a professional SEO Consultant. He has had success achieving top 10 rankings in some of the highest margin-markets; for some of the most competitive keywords on the web. You can find out how he does it, by subscribing to his free mini email course "The 7 Simple, yet Wildly Successful Strategies for SEO".