Picking Killer Keywords

Choosing suitable keywords is a vital part of any search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign and is made much easier with the help of a keyword selector tool.

When designing a website, you need to determine what keywords you want to target. Then you must optimise your web pages so that you rank as highly as possible in the search engines whenever someone searches for your chosen keywords.

When picking your keywords, the first decision you need to make is whether to:

a) go after the most popular, but also the most competitive, keywords or
b) choose slightly less competitive keywords

The sensible choice is to go for option (b) and here’s why.

Let’s say you have a website dedicated to selling clothing online. Probably the most obvious keyword to try to optimise your site for would be “buy clothes”.

That would fall firmly into option (a). “Buy clothes” is a very broad search term and there will already be lots of competition for it from other sites. Even if you did a fantastic job of optimising your web pages for that keyword, you would be unlikely to get a number one ranking in the search engines simply because so many other sites would already be using that search term.

Instead of going after something so wide-ranging as “buy clothes” you should concentrate on more specific search terms and keywords.

Look at your website page by page. You’ll probably find you have one page dedicated to mens’ shirts, another to ties, one to trousers, etc, etc.

So already we have found some more specific keywords to work with: buy trousers, buy shirts, etc. You could then work on optimising the trousers page for the keyword “buy trousers” and the shirts page could be optimised for “buy shirts”.

But even that is a bit broad still. So break it down even further. If you have a page that features solely or mainly one brand of shirt then optimise that particular page for that specific search term – for example “buy Ralph Lauren shirts”.

Find the most specific/narrow keywords you can for each page on your clothes site and then optimise the page for those keywords.

In the example above we looked at an online clothes store, but the same theory holds true whatever line of business you are in - The best keywords are those words and phrases commonly typed in by your potential customers, but which aren't used much on your competitors’ websites.

In other words, if you optimise your pages for keywords your potential customers use a lot, but your competitors haven't thought of, you’ll win.

But there's a catch - you'll never get to know which are the best keywords for your website simply by guessing. If you attempt to optimise your pages for words and phrases that are just your best guesses, you’ll be losing potential customers and wasting valuable time.

To make sense of the time and money you spend on search engine optimisation, you need to KNOW that the keywords you use will deliver results.

Fortunately, there are a number of online keyword selector tools to help you do this.

The first of these is Wordtracker. Wordtracker's suggestions are based on over 300 million keywords and phrases that people have used over the previous 130 days. In other words, there is no "guessing" when you use Wordtracker. Everything is based on the keywords millions of people have actually typed into search engines.

Best of all, Wordtracker’s competitive analysis tool enables you to find those "best keywords" - the ones your potential customers use, but which your competitors don't know about.

You could also try the Overture keyword suggestion tool. This will tell you the number of searches for a given keyword (and some variations) but it won’t tell you how much competition there is for your keywords.

If you want to get the Overture results together with details of the competition, then you need to use Nichebot.

If you’re doing a lot of work with Google AdWords then it’s well worth taking a look at The AdTool. This handy utility takes the hard work out of setting up your Google AdWords pay-per-click keywords and can cut the costs of your Google AdWords campaign by 30% or more. Click here to find out more.

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