When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), one of the first things you should think about when developing your site is the keywords you would like to rank for when people are using search engines. You could build an amazing looking site that blows people’s minds when they see it; however, if your website is not attracting organic traffic from search engines it will be more difficult and costly to obtain visitors. This is where the Importance of keyword research comes into play prior to even starting to publish your website.
1. Long Tail And Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) Keywords
While one might think it is a good idea to target a few heavily searched keywords such as ‘stop snoring’ or ‘dog training’, if you had a niche type of site that focused on either of those topics. The sad truth is targeting a highly searched keyword is extremely difficult to rank for. Sites such as Amazon and Ebay who have a ton of authority and trust will easily rank high for any snoring or dog training products almost by default. On top of that, other sites that have been around for a long time and have built trust will tend to keep their high rankings for those keywords.
So what is a new website developer to do if they want to jump into a completive niche? The best way to get going with keywords if you are building a new website is to look for long tail and latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords. Before we delve into how to find these types of keywords, lets break the two down. A long tail keyword is a long search phrase that one might type in that is related to your primary keyword. If your primary keyword was ‘stop snoring’, a long tail keyword could be ‘learn how to stop snoring’ or ‘ stop snoring solutions’. When it comes to LSI keywords, you are looking for words that are closely related to your primary keyword. In the same snoring niche, LSI keywords might include ‘snoring pillow solution’ or ‘anti snoring mask’, or you can take things even further and research actual products and include them as keywords.
So you might be wondering how can one find these long tail keywords? The easiest way is to just visit the search engine and start typing your primary keyword into the search box. The auto-complete text should popup and present you with long tail keywords that other people have typed in the past. See the image below as an example.
All of the auto-complete results would make for some good long tail keywords that you could use when you begin to build your website. While these keywords might not get as much traffic as your primary keyword, they will be easier to rank for. Getting targeted traffic for long tail keywords will also help build authority and trust for your website in the long run and help you eventually rank for your primary keyword.
If you want to get some ideas for some LSI keywords, again visit a search engine and search for your primary keyword. Scroll to the bottom of the search results and notice a section that displays searches related to your keyword. The search engine literally hands you some LSI keywords that you can use on your own site. See the example below.
2. Keyword Traffic Volume
If you click on any of the keywords that have a hyperlink from within the tool, you can see other keywords that are related to them. The keyword planner will also let you easily export the keywords you are interested in to a CSV file for editing in practically any spreadsheet software. The keywords along with their corresponding traffic data will be included for your reference when it comes to building your site to target those keywords.
3. Study your competition.
If you want to out rank your competition, one smart thing to do is see what they are targeting and go after the same or similar keywords. I recently read an article from a Sacramento SEO firm that mentioned using tools such as Majestic or Opensite Explorer to check on your own website’s link diversity. These same types of tools can be helpful for doing keyword analysis on your competition.
Typically when you review the inbound anchor text of a website you can find a treasure trove of information pertaining to what keywords a website is targeting and for which pages. Anchor text inbound link analysis will show you how many links a website has pointing at it, which pages, and the keywords the search engine spiders see when following the link to a specific page. If the anchor text is relevant to the actual content on that web page, it becomes a keyword factor for the search engines.
Find the top domains ranking for your keywords by doing a basic search in your preferred search engine, then document the top 10 domains ranking. Input those domains into the tools mentioned above to start researching the keywords that are being used as anchor text. Put them into the Keyword Planner and determine which ones are low competition and easy to rank for and use that as your starting point. Once you start to rank for the easier keywords, you can begin targeting the medium competition ones and have a better chance of ranking for them due to the trust you have built up within the search engines.
I hope these helpful hints have given you something to consider when planning your SEO strategy for your website. Just remember bigger search volume keywords are not always better. They are tough to rank for as everyone is targeting them. A lot of smaller monthly search volume keywords would be easier to rank for and generate plenty of traffic while you build trust and authority.