SEO Content: Choosing Keywords & Phrases

Yesterday, during our live webinar, Rosalind Gardner and I discussed creating websites for people - not search engines. What this means is that websites should be designed for the human visitor: provide solutions, easy to read, easy to navigate.

This is in contrast to designing around shady search engine tactics that promise server-crushing traffic, but in the end don't engage human visitors or result in decent conversion rates - and can ultimately get you delisted from the major search engines altogether.

The search engines prefer visitor-friendly sites. Human searchers are their target market, and their goal is to provide them with ideal results.

Does this mean you shouldn't write SEO Content? Not at all! In fact, choosing keywords & phrases very strategically will help you strike that balance between search engines and human visitors.

In this quick tutorial, I'll show you exactly how I do that...

Writing SEO Content begins with choosing keywords & phrases. Your target market (human visitors) will reveal exactly what they're looking for by typing keywords and phrases into the major search engines. Tools like WordTracker allow you to analyze the popular keyword phrases and their search volume:

http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com

That link will open in a new window, or a new tab. I keep it open in a separate tab all the time, and refer to it a dozen times a day or more. There are a number of keyword research tools and software programs you can use, and most are fine, but I find this free WordTracker tool to be simple and fast...

As an example, let's say you have a website all about bass guitars. You type in bass guitar into the field at WordTracker, and see these results:

This is a nice little micro-niche, don't you think? πŸ˜€

Looking over this list, we are choosing keywords & phrases that might inspire some good ideas for SEO Content. Any of these phrases will make for great pages on your niche website, but we'll assume you already have a website and you're looking for creative ideas for providing something new & valuable to your visitors.

The image above does not show the whole list you will see at WordTracker, but as I scanned down through those results a word stood out to me: chart. If we add that to our keyword search, we see these results:

A quick search on Google shows a good number of pages, images and even PDF files for bass guitar charts. This might immediately put most people off, but it's also an opportunity. Your target market is stuck wading through all of those options, so one idea is to help them out and write a blog post series reviewing the available charts and pointing out the best charts to use.

If you have a mailing list for your site (and you should), you could send them a download link to the best chart and also a link to your series of chart reviews. Would they appreciate that and look forward to future emails from you? You betcha!

A mailing list manager like Aweber will archive your newsletter issues or broadcast emails, which will also get indexed and show up in search results. Here's an example of one that I found on Google. That's an easy way to create relevant backlinks to your content pages.

That's just one idea of choosing keywords & phrases, and then leveraging the competition to create your own unique and valuable SEO Content.

Obviously free charts are not a commercial search, or the type of content you can easily monetize. If it were me, I would provide great value in the reviews and selections and then encourage visitors to subscribe to my blog or newsletter for more great resources. You might even provide a short report (a PDF file) listing the 10 best bass guitar charts as a bonus for those who subscribe. Great matching call-to-action!

Now let's look at keyword searches with more of a commercial intent.

Scanning through our keyword list again, I'm choosing keywords & phrases that show an intent to buy. One such phrase is "bass guitar accessories". One look at the Google search results shows that this phrase is pretty competitive. Without doing any major competition analysis, you can easily see that there are a lot of sponsored listings and well-optimized results:

Competition? Good! This means you can write up a nice little blog post, optimized for "bass guitar accessories" and expect decent payout on strategically placed Adsense. While it may take you awhile to compete in the actual search results for this phrase, established bloggers or website owners would do well to send a note to their list with a link to this post, using the title: Best Deals on Bass Guitar Accessories.

You could also use this in article marketing, writing SEO Content titled "Buying Bass Guitar Accessories Online" and linking back to your page or post. It would also make a great signature link in guitar or musician forums, of course.

Now if you actually sell bass guitars and accessories on your own website, this is not the best approach. Obviously that would work well for someone with a niche community or content website. So next we'll imagine that you have an affiliate site that promotes these physical products.

So You Want To Sell Products?

The best way to sell products online through SEO Content is by using longtail keyword phrases. Longtail phrases are keyword phrases with 3 words or more. In these phrases, your target market is telling you very specifically what they would like to buy. That being the case, these longtail keyworde phrases result in a much higher conversion rate than general search terms.

Scrolling back through my original keyword list for "bass guitar" I find the word "beginner" in the mix. I decide to explore that a bit, so I click on it to see the results with that word included:

Hmm. There are only 47 searches total on this topic, and only 22 searches for the main phrase "bass guitar for beginners". I guess it's not really worth creating a blog post or a web page for that phrase. Right?

Wrong! πŸ˜›

A quick look at the Google search results for this phrase shows that it is not at all competitive. The top search result only has 11 inbound links outside of it's own domain, and another of the top 10 results only has ONE backlink (and it is an internal link from their own domain at that), and there is even one link in the results that goes to a placeholder page.

See: Analyzing Backlinks

Bottom line: It would be VERY easy to rank in the top 10 on Google for the phrase "bass guitar for beginners" (yes, without quotes).

While it's true that phrase is only searched approximately 22 times a day, that means that it is searched more than 600 times a month - or close to 8,000 times a year. Would you like 8,000 opportunities to sell a bass guitar with an easy top ranking? Would it be worth a couple of hours working on a nice piece of SEO Content for your site or blog to be in this position? Of course!

Most of your competitors are fighting for top placement with broader keyword searches, or more competitive keyword phrases. Choosing keywords & phrases that are less competitive and more specific not only make for easier rankings, but they also convert better for you!

What about the other phrases in that list, with only 1-8 searches a day? Again, it's worth 10 minutes or even 2 hours of your time to write the SEO Content once, and let it work for you forever.

All you have to do is invest a little time upfront (or outsource the writing, even) and that little piece of content could trickle traffic in for years.

Using Keyword Qualifiers in your Keyword Research

I like to have a little fun with my keyword research, and try adding various qualifiers to the phrases to see what I come up with. They will vary between niches, but some of my favorite "keyword qualifiers" are: buy, order, get, find, products, download, deal, best, reviews, compare - just to name a few.

By the way, "bass guitar reviews" is another phrase that is not very competitive in the top 10 Google search results. πŸ˜‰

Speaking of qualifiers, like the word "buy", did you know there are over 1,500 searches a day for... buy mini muffin pans? And did you also know that the #1 organic result for that phrase (without quotes) is an article on articlebase.com? Yeah... I'm serious. If you don't believe me, take a look for yourself.

See: Using Keyword Modifiers to Qualify Visitors

Let's say you want to sell designer handbags. Take a look at these keyword results:

If I were choosing keywords & phrases to optimize my page, I would choose #3: "buy womens designer handbags online". Talk about qualifying their intent! Cha-ching! πŸ˜‰ That is one beautiful 5-word longtail keyword phrase.

And guess what? The #1 organic result on Google... only has ONE inbound link (excluding their own internal links). The #2 result is a blogger blog with less than 15 inbound links (total).

See? It's Easy!

Writing web content your visitors will love is not rocket science. It's all about choosing keywords & phrases that match what you offer, to the people who are searching for it.

Creating properly optimized SEO Content will make both search engines and visitors happy, and will turn your blog or website into a passive profit generator.

Best,

p.s. Like this SEO Content tutorial? Subscribe below for more great tips & tutorials in the ongoing Web Content Writing series. πŸ˜‰

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn’s unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews…moreΒ»

Discussion

  1. Dream House says:

    nice info. I'm from indonesia. I'm a new blogger. I'll try this to my blog. I want my blog to be popular. thanks for share.

  2. This is really great Lynn and super helpful as I continue to work on my niche. How did you know how many inbound or outbound links a site has?

    • Hi Kimmoy,

      I should do a screencast video and walk through the process to show you how easy it is. I'll queue that for a future post. πŸ˜‰

      Here's what you do to analyze backlinks:

      Click through the Google result and view the web page.
      Copy the URL from the address bar.
      Go to Yahoo.com and use the search bar...
      Type in "link:" (without quotes) and then paste in the URL.
      (example- link:http://www.clicknewz.com/1993/how-to-write-a-blog-post/ )

      That will take you to Yahoo Site Explorer and will show you the total number of inbound links to that specific web page (URL). Once you're there, you can use the drop-down box to select "except from this domain" to exclude all of the internal links and see only the inbound links from other domains/sites.

      It's easier than it sounds once I type it all out - give it a try and you'll see it's actually very simple. πŸ˜€

  3. Wow Lynn! That's some great step-by-step advice right there. You always offer such meaty content.

    Off to see what I can find for my site now :-).

    Omar

  4. Mohammed Safi says:

    What a great post! Truly informative and sincerely helpful. Thanks a lot!

  5. Fantastic post.

    If doing keyword research the right way there you can find lots of micro niche blogs that are profitable. Just by getting a few quility links can get you on the first page of Google. Also placing ads and affiliate link can generate good income.

  6. Thanks for walking us through keyword research and usage. I had wondered if I was doing it right, because honestly it seemed too easy. But you confirmed that I am right on track. Thanks.

  7. Jeffery Wood says:

    Showing the inbound link tip was worth it's weight in gold. Not many people talk about doing it that way.

    - Jeffery

  8. Thanks for the great step by step explanation of keywords for blog posts. I have read a lot about keywords for overall sites, but had never considered targeting different specific keywords in my blog posts. Awesome! Time to start writing! πŸ˜‰

    • Hey Jennifer,
      I loved your blog post! (below) Optimizing your posts is great as Google tends to rank blog posts fairly quick, particularly for longtail keyword phrases. That is the exact strategy I've used to grow my readership here at ClickNewz, alongside the use of Social Media.

  9. Lynn, can you please say something about the difference between using this Wordtracker Tool and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool? Obviously, Wordtracker is counting daily searches, and Google is doing monthly, but even taking that into account, the Google totals are so much more. It just doesn't seem to compute. I'm trying to figure out which is the best one for selling products on a niche site or hubpage/squidoo lens?

    • Sure. I can't speak from personal experience because I've only dabbled with the keyword tool at Google. So I have not compared them in a true traffic test. That is the only real way to know which one is more accurate in terms of search volume. I will say that the WordTracker results have been pretty spot on for me in regards to expectations from top (1, 2 or 3) rankings.

      Some people say that Google keyword numbers are inflated, some people use them religiously. People tend to be married to their favorite tools and defend them at all costs. Me? I'm just a creature of habit and have been using WordTracker for years with good results.

      One of the things I like best about the free tool I linked to is the simplicity. The lack of distraction. And since I am not doing pay-per-click, but rather seo, I am looking more at the depth of a niche and general search volume than I am trying to make it a mathematical science.

      There are so many ways to get distracted and derailed. I suggest choosing one of the mainstream tools, and sticking with it, and moving forward.

      One of these days I'll do a traffic test between 2 or more of the more popular tools - that should be fun. But in the meantime I'm busy creating content and making money on the sales πŸ™‚

  10. Thanks, Lynn, for your prompt reply. I understand what you're saying. I've spent a lot of time scratching my head trying to figure out the Google tool. I think I'll follow your example and focus on Wordtracker.

  11. That was a very helpful blog post Lynn, and I really appreciate it. Thanks!

  12. Neil Ferree says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Your model is right on! I used Tracker for a long time, then I learned about Micro Niche Finder and use it for all my KW research, especially when I am looking for micro niches and longtail KWs that have little to no competition but a good amount of search volume. When I build a mini-site on 3-4 longtails, the end result is better than most.

    • Most of the software programs consider the number of results to be the total competition. Does this software actually return the number of inbound links, and differentiate between internal links and links from external domains?

      I haven't found a program yet that accurately matches the results I get doing it manually (which only takes a minute or two tops, without ever loading a software program).

      I'd be interested in hearing more.

  13. Hey Lynn,

    Great Post! I have been trying to figure out how to find how many backlinks a site has and you just put it in plain english for me. I had tried this trick in Google, but it didn't work right. Now, that I know I have to go to Yahoo, hopefully that will get me on the right path now. Thank you so much!

  14. I love this how to, it is so helpful right now. I've read SEO Fast Start, and this is pretty much what I'm doing for the new niche site I'm building as my side project .... but, seeing laid out step by step like this is super helpful.

  15. Frank Dickinson says:

    Thanks Lynn -

    I truly need to check out and use Wordtracker. The free stuff I've always used is the Google keywords tool. I use Market Samurai as well.

    What I'm reading in a few of your recent posts is your targeting of the niche keyword depth and no some much the numbers game that it is so easy to get into with a toll like Market Samurai.

    I might be over thinking my keyword research.

    • I think it's pretty common to overthink it, or to over-complicate the process. Now when I'm doing pay-per-click advertising, such as Google Adwords, I get nitty gritty with the numbers.

      But with the model of affiliate marketing I do, using SEO & longtail, it is such a LOW investment and low risk that I don't waste a lot of time beyond my "5 minute research method" before I grab a domain, add it to a current hosting account, and get it up & running.

  16. Frank Dickinson says:

    Holy cow it's getting late

    My typing was horrible on the last post - I think you'll catch the general flow.

    *time for bed!*

    • I caught your meaning, Frank πŸ˜‰ And I agree - most of the time this process is completely overcomplicated, from choosing a niche to optimizing a web page. It truly is simple stuff.

  17. Awesome tutorial Lynn! I thought I already knew everything there was to know about keyword research, but your advice to add qualifiers was new to me.

    Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge. I'm looking forward to find out how you do other SEO-related stuff, like building backlinks to your site. Which strategies do you use, exactly?

    This looks like another material for a special report πŸ™‚

  18. So helpful! You know me, I have had to read it over and over to grasp some of it but SEO becomes more clear each time I learn something about it.

    Can you explain organic search results? Also, when we are looking for backlinks via yahoo what is the purpose and what numbers are we looking for? I plugged in my blog domain and it shows 7,508 links (except from this domain). Is that number high? too low? So much more to learn ha ha

    Thanks for all you do Lynn!

    • Organic results are the non-sponsored links, and web pages that appear in the search results based on relevancy to the search query. They stand apart from paid results and also shopping & book results.

      For example, if you search "biblical history" you see 10 organic results, 3 paid results in the right column, and at the bottom - after the 10 organic results - you see Timeline Results and Book Results for the query:

      http://www.google.com/#hl=en&source=hp&q=biblical+history&aq=f&aqi=g10&oq=&fp=2755c6b3e9b2e9

      It may appear differently depending on your location.

    • The number of backlinks you are looking for are the number you need for that page to rank in the top 3 for it's associated keyword phrase. So if you need 80 quality backlinks with specific anchor text for a page to rank #1 for a certain keyword phrase, then that is what your goal is. Make sense?

  19. Lynn,

    Lately it seems like you been reading my mind. I find a problem that I'm having and lo and behold, in the next day or two, there is a post from you on a that particular problem or something related.

    I really appreciate this article. It helped me solve an issue with my current site content and to also refine an outline that I was making for a new site. You are as always...awesome

    • Ha! Well if you ever have a question, or even a topic suggestion, and I don't publish on it right away - feel free to tweet me on it and I'll add it to the topic queue. πŸ˜‰

  20. james steiner says:

    Hi Lynn,

    Absolutely STELLAR!!! While people will continue to argue this point based on "tactic results" I am in complete agreement with both YOU & Rosalind! To actually give "users" what they want or need in an honest "easily obtained" environment should not be such a foreign concept lol; Yet it seemingly is to many marketers out there! Again, GREAT STUFF!!

    I have almost completed that "three-fold" website report SEO analysis I communicated a few weeks ago regarding where to best service our and other's clients! I would very much like to contact you outside the blog posting format regarding those results and some other topics/ideas we are currently pursuing here at Central Net.... jamespsteiner@gmail.com. Thanks Lynn & I look forward to it should time permit you.

  21. Jeffery Wood says:

    Keyword Builder, made by the same people who make Good Keywords, does include the link: from Yahoo, but if there's a way to make it differentiate between external and internal links, I haven't figured it out yet.

    If anyone is interested, it's free software. http://www.goodkeywords.com

    - Jeffery

    • Have you tried Yahoo Site Explorer and compared the usability between the two? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on that since I haven't used Good Keywords.

      • Jeffery Wood says:

        Actually I haven't used Yahoo for much of anything. Good Keywords is actually a pretty full featured program, more along the lines of Market Samurai than Yahoo Site Explorer. Keyword Builder is their "free for now as long as you join their mailing list" software and has a few more features than Google Keywords. I *think* the Yahoo links is only in Keyword Builder.

        I'm still learning it myself and was pleasantly surprised to find that it had a section for the Yahoo links. The developers have said that they are going to include the ability to exclude links from the domain in a future release.

        - Jeffery

        • Ahh gotcha. I just can't bring myself to try to learn a software program when it's so simple to do it by hand. I had tried quite a few several years ago, but always ended up going back to my quick 'n easy method as each program left out something important and I had to go back to my method anyway.

  22. This is a really sweet post, Lynn-- even for you and your stuff is normally great. You make it sound so easy. An 8000 searches/year keyphrase should yield 2600 blog views, and if you do it right, that should convert 25-50 sales and earn $500-$1000 if you make $20/sale. With a reasonable work ethic, one could probably do that once a day.

  23. Super duper great post Lynn. This is definitely a great how to do seo step by step in layman terms ~ thx!

  24. Another great post Lynn. I agree the way many talk about keyword research and SEO makes it seem so much more complicated than it really is. The hard part is creating lots quality content quickly.

    The realization I've come to over the past year or so is that the search numbers actually matter less than the competition numbers because that's what really determines how easy it will be to rank well in the SERPs. Your approach certainly confirms that. Even with relatively low number of searches you will target keywords if you can compete easily, yes?

    I also really appreciate your comments about depth. Over time, having lots of keywords to target has much greater potential than the one shot wonders doesn't it?

    As for tools, I never found Wordtracker that helpful or accurate, so tend toward Google's Keyword Tool and Market Samurai. It does seem to me that Wordtracker may be the better tool for determining depth.

    Thanks again Lynn.

    Susan

    • I prefer it for it's simplicity, to be honest. It's hard enough to stay focused on the task at hand without your tools overwhelming you, lol. That said, I'm not opposed to trying & testing new tools, and actually plan to do a comparison test between Market Samurai (awesome tool), Google Keyword Tool and the paid & free versions of WordTracker.

      But yes - I like to go both deep AND wide, and of course show up for pretty much any query my target market is using at Google. My strategy is a long-term one, of course - but it also works fast, so I get super quick results and then long-term exposure.

      I agree that creating content should be where you focus most of your time, whether in creating it or in outsourcing it. On that note, I just shared some of my most-used resources in a new post, which you'll find here:

      http://www.clicknewz.com/2081/web-content-writing-resources/

      Along with tips for coming up with new topics consistently:

      http://www.clicknewz.com/2058/web-content-writing-tips-and-inspiration/

  25. Lydia, Clueless Crafter says:

    I see the benefit of writing good content and optimizing its accessibility is worth my time now. Thanks!

  26. What a fantastic post - I have several niche sites I plan to launch in 2010 - and now have this information bookmarked for future reference. I use a different keyword research tool - but really like technique you demonstrated so clearly here.

    Thanks for sharing!

  27. Laurie Neumann says:

    Hi Lynn,

    When checking the number of competitive sites in Google, I am assuming you enter the keywords with quotation marks around them?

    • No, I don't use quotes in my searches. And I don't pay attention to the number of competing pages for any given search - only the Top 10. Those are the only pages I'm ever planning to compete with for placement. πŸ˜‰

  28. Laurie Neumann says:

    Thanks Lynn. One more question - I saw in the forum you reference being able to tell how many backlinks are actually coming from within the site itself. How do you do that? There must be a post on that somewhere here:-)

  29. Laurie Neumann says:

    Thanks again, Lynn.

    Have you noticed how the browser you use most often gives you inaccurate results for the sites that come up? For example, I use Firefox most often. When, I put in my keywords to find out where I am in Google, I may show up in number 1-3 because I get into my own site most often.

    If I check it on someone else's computer, I show up in a different place on the page.

  30. Laurie Neumann says:

    Ok, one more thing and then I will leave you alone:-)

    There is quite a difference in the number of backlinks shown in google and yahoo. Do you know if Google "counts" the links in yahoo toward your site placement in the search results? Or are you only competing with the number of links shown in Google?

    Thanks so much for your help.

    • Make sure you are not logged in to Google when you are doing your research. πŸ˜‰ The reason we use Yahoo Site Explorer for an accurate backlink count is because Google doesn't give an accurate count. They do that on purpose. But yes, the real number of backlinks (as shown by Yahoo Site Explorer) is used in Google's ranking algorithm.

  31. Laurie Neumann says:

    Didn't know that. Thanks for clearing that up.

  32. SEO Wanna Be says:

    Hi your post is amazing, It's incredible, I learned a lot about SEO and Man, this thing's getting better and better as I learn more about internet marketing. Also as part of my ongoing mission to find the absolute best tools to make money, this is without a doubt at the top of my list. Everything happened so fast!

  33. I see the benefit of writing good content and optimizing its accessibility is worth my time now. Thanks!

  34. I'm getting it.... slowly, but I am beginning to understand all this back linking stuff. Thanks for writing in a style that even I can understand. LOL

    • Good to hear, Steven πŸ˜‰ When it comes to SEO, which can be over-complicated and analyzed to death, it's best to UNlearn everything you may have heard and just stick to the basics of finding keywords and writing content... and getting quality inbound links. It really is that simple.

  35. OMGoodness!! I think I finally got it through my THICK SKULL about SEO and optimizing posts/pages/sites. etc using long tail keywords. I even read this post several days ago and for some reason "avoided" trying to understand it because when I see the phrases "SEO" "KEYWORD RESEARCH".....I head for the hills! I just realized how very SIMPLE this process really is.

    Both you and Rosalind have talked about it forever and have been in this business about the same amount of time, but yet I kept getting distracted by other SEO gurus, complicated guides, software, etc. So, I have essentially avoided SEO altogether except for my SEO plugin on WordPress (which I have been using blindly by pulling phrases out of my butt) NO WONDER my sites get no traffic. Plus, I waste so much TIME trying to get traffic by classified's, traffic exchanges, dumb luck, etc.

    Now that I SEE how simple it is, I can now incorporate this when I make blog posts, etc. Maybe after years of trying to figure out HOW to actually MAKE money with the affiliate marketing I have so unsuccessfully dabbled in....I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel and finally start seeing traffic and sales. I love to write, but I have been so STUCK with this traffic issue.

    I struggle and cry and struggle some more and cry some more. I NEED to succeed with my affiliate marketing efforts after getting sick last year and losing my job. Essentially, this has become a full time effort for me instead of a side project. I see now that if I properly optimize what I'm writing about.....then the visitors will find me naturally through the search engines.

    Someone mentioned in an earlier comment that you are reading their mind lately with the timeliness of your posts. I have noticed that for myself as well. This is the 3rd post of yours lately that I was MEANT to see. Thanks for making this post and all your posts.

    • I am really glad you found this post helpful, Lynn - great name, by the way! πŸ˜‰ I think that it makes a big different that you are now in a position where you're forced to make this work, which puts you in a whole different mindset vs just dabbling in it on the side.

      Now that you see how simple it really is, give it a try for yourself and watch the results. I'm doing a challenge with my private group this month, and the challenge is for them to get a Top 3 ranking in Google for a specific keyword phrase within one month - I think everyone is both shocked and pleased at how easy it really is!

      If you have any questions along the way, I have a discussion forum where you can get help: http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/members/

  36. OMG....I am so glad I found your blog. Its been so helpful. I just had an AHA moment while reading this blog, specifically about writing blog content for unpopular searches. It makes so much sense. Thank you, Julianna

  37. Clay Franklin says:

    Thank you Lynn,

    The way you have outlined how to do keyword research and finding a niche are so easy to follow and implement without spending any money is totally awesome. I took notes on the keyword modifiers and have a new memory of exactly how you "do it". I have found your blog and forum as one of the best resources on the internet for answers to my questions about how to "do it" regarding selling on the internet. I just come over here or to your forum and do a search for what I am looking for. Thank you very much for being you and providing the resources to ensure success for those that follow your advice.

  38. Mark Henry says:

    really huge and useful tips..Thanks..
    This post gives complete info needed to find out the necessity of tags.
    It would be mainly useful if you are doing social bookmarking and article submissions related to seo aspects

    • You lost me there, Mark... This post is all about choosing longtail keyword phrases, and optimizing pages or posts for those phrases. Nothing to do with tags or social bookmarking - ?

  39. Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for making choosing the right keywords for different purposes-esp for affiliate marketing. I use webcompanalyst to check for backlinks, it has saved a lot of my time. Now i know the mistake I made when doing KW research, kw too general and not targeted.

    I have a question on when writing articles for directories or to be posted on other webmaster blogs, do I have to include the keywords that i want to rank for in the title? of course i must use the kw as my anchor text to link back to my landing page right?

    Cheers

    • Right, you definitely want to use your keyword phrase in the anchor text of the backlink. You don't have to use the same phrase in the Title as you may not want to compete with your own page, so I often use related longtail keyword phrases.

      This allows your article or content elsewhere to rank for one phrase, and your own page/post to rank for the other, giving you two potential ways to reach your target market in the search engines.

  40. nice article you have there. it really helps a lot on choosing the best keywords and how to opitmize pages.

    writing quality content would give better rank than spamming right?.

    thanks,

  41. hmm nice tips.. thanks..

    but think if I give a nofollow link to them and get a dofollow link from their homepage how is that?

    And what do u mean by contextual link(I know relevant)?

    • Google still sees and follows links with the nofollow attribute, they just don't pass PageRank. Personally, I wouldn't risk it.

      A contextual link is a link within the content area of the page, vs the sidebar or other static area of the page.

  42. james, advanced internet marketing says:

    The line between SEO and visitor usability is
    so important. It's sometimes easy to forget
    that we are dealing with people not just
    viable statistics!

  43. Striking the balance between SEO and human visitors is something my company has been wrestling with for a while. Some keywords just don't lend themselves to being both SEO- and human-friendly. πŸ™

    • There are a lot of ways to work around that. Punctuation is my favorite, and you'll see me using that one a lot. Punctuation doesn't dilute a keyword phrase πŸ˜‰

      • Hmm. I was looking at your example and thought, "how am I going to repeat that whole keyphrase again in the content of my page without making it look like I'm stuffing keywords?" I tried adding a period after "buy". BAM. I feel like an idiot. πŸ˜›

      • Hi Lynn,

        That's something I have noticed too with punctuation. What about HTML coding? Can your keyword stretch beyond paragraph tags? Would love to get your insight on this.

  44. hi

    love the blog

    How come mini muffin pans shows up as over 3,000 on wordtracker but on the google keywords ad tool I normally use it ranks as "not enough data" . Is the wordtracker more reliable?

    • Google has alluded to this problem its own posts, and tutorials.

      What ever the reason for apparent Google filter on volume, this search yields a number of results. allintitle: mini muffin pans.

      If you look at the results, you will see that Amazon is running SEM ads around mini-muffin pan, which would seem to indicate that they see the long-tail opportunity (Chris Anderson, Wired).

      Keep blogging and let the web spin.

  45. Great summary Lynn. I use the method above and refine it(th
    em) with Market Samurai. When you say punctuation doesn't dilute SEO are you meaning that you can also have a hyphenated domain name and get full results?

  46. I think so many people have this idea that doing some SEO work on your website is some kind of magic trick. I think Google is far more intelligent than people give it credit for. Focus on content first, content, content, content! The on-page SEO should only come after everything else.

  47. I've taken note because choosing good keywords is the most important part of doing things properly really. A lot of work can be put into trying to get a site off of the ground, but if the starting point (keywords) is off, then it's really an uphill battle.

  48. Wilton Musto says:

    Finally, I located the information I was looking for. I have been doing research on this subject, and for four days I keep finding websites that are supposed to have what I'm looking for, only to be disappointed with the lack of what I wanted. I wish I could have found your website sooner! I had about 40% of what I needed and your web-site has that, and the rest of what I had to have to finish my research. Thank you and keep up the good work!

  49. Keyword research is really important. Last time I made the mistake of writing so many articles without doing keyword research and all the efforts are wasted. Now I know what to do πŸ™‚

  50. I can't believe I just now stumbled onto this article. Thanks for the great practical advice on keyword research. I really like the methodology in the "Analyzing Backlinks" linked info as well.

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