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Choosing Keywords

Most people do not consider choosing keywords when they create their first website. Usually this is because they do not realise that getting a domain name with your keywords in it can really help you to rank better in the search engines. When I started this website back in 2004, I didn't have a clue and didn't even think about keywords. I've managed to get my site ranked very well in the search engines now, but this took time and may have been done a little quicker had I considered choosing keywords as my first step.

If you have already got your website up and running, don't despair as you can still get a lot of benefit from choosing keywords and optimizing your website for your chosen keywords.

First things first, what do I mean when I talk about choosing keywords and keyword research? It's simple really... I am just trying to find out which keywords people use when they are searching for information in Google or other search engines. If I can get ranked for a keyword that people are actually looking for then I have a very good chance of getting targeted traffic (visitors) to my website.

When you are doing keyword research keep these things in mind:

  1. Be sure to choose keywords that people are actually searching for. It is pointless to optimize your site for keywords that people rarely search on.
  2. Be sure to choose keywords that are not too highly competitive - unless you are experienced in SEO.
  3. Be sure to choose keywords that are related to your site. Otherwise people will simply hit the back button when they realise that it is not what they are looking for.

If you keep these three goals in mind when choosing keywords you will have the best chance possible of getting good targeted traffic and making sales.

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So, what's the best way to do keyword research? I've tried many different tools, but my favorite by far has to be the combination of the free Google Adwords Keyword tool to do the initial keyword research and Stealth Keyword Competition Analyzer to do the competition analysis.

You can start off with the Google keyword tool typing in a few keywords related to your chosen niche. The tool will then return you a list of 100 related keywords along with the approximate number of searches per month. This can help you a lot when you are choosing keywords as you can easily identify the most popular phrases.

After you have identified some keywords you then need to check the competition. You need to make sure that you don't pick something that is too competitive for you. I recommend typing your keyword into Google.com and looking at a number of different things to help you analyze the competition:

  • Page Rank or Number of backlinks of the sites in the top position - this will help you to see how well establi
  • Total number of web pages returned by Google for that keyword - this gives you an indication of how popular the competition is
  • Adwords ads - if there are a lot of adwords ads this indicates that the keyword has a good commercial value

It can take a while to do all of the above, so I use Stealth Keyword Competition Analyzer to do all this for me. It can take an hour or so to analyze 100 keywords, but it will return all the necessary competition data for each keyword and rank the keywords with a rating to help you see which ones are the easiest to rank well for.

Once you have found a good keyword phrase for your site, go ahead and get a domain name that contains these keywords or take a look at my free SEO course to learn how to rank highly for these keywords.

An alternative keyword research tool is Wordtracker. You can sign up here for a free trial of Wordtracker. This is a good way to try it out, but you are limited to 30 keywords and only 1 search engine in the trial version.

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