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June 30, 2010

Keyword Research and Analysis

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Keyword research is the first piece of analysis that any SEO practitioner should embark upon in a search engine optimisation (SEO) project. It’s an extremely important component in the overall analysis since it is from the keyword research that we determine the optimum keywords to rank for.
You really need to study the website you are optimising for and its business competitors to get a feel of the industry and get an idea of how to build the IA for the site once you complete the keyword research. You need to understand the audience you will be marketing to and the relevancy of these keywords to that audience. There are also other subtle differences such as whether your business markets to the consumer or to other businesses.


Dynamic Serenity

Photo by papalars via Creative Commons

There are many keyword tools available both free and paid. A selection of free tools I find extremely useful in keyword research are as follows:

Make sure you open an account with Google and login when using the Google Adwords Tool or Google Search Based Keyword Tool. You will get additional results not normally provided without a login. Also make sure you select phrase search and have the appropriate geography and language for the website you are optimising for. Data that you will be interested in is Local Volume, Global Volume and competition.
The more important keywords you will be looking for will have the following attributes:

  • Extremely relevant to your site: You want terms not too broad, and it could be useful to categorise the relevance into high, medium or low
  • High search volume: what’s driving traffic, you want to attract visitors to your site
  • Competition: You want to select keywords you can compete on

One thing to note is the differences in approach to keyword research when our client is marketing B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer). Generally the goal of B2C is get a conversion (whatever that may be defined as). However this is usually quite different for a B2B site. For a B2B the goal of SEO is not always an immediate sale, but about being found and then about the offline and online sales process which may follow.
Getting your keyword selection and keyword strategy right is critical upfront. It is not a good outcome to have to revisit keyword research due to “missed” keywords, especially if changes have already been made to the site. Keywords drive many aspects of the website, from competitor research to the IA (information architecture) through to ranking monitors and ongoing content strategies. Get your keyword selection right upfront.

Keyword Research and Analysis was originally published on BruceClay.com.au, an SEO services and SEO tools provider.

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