Back in September 2012 Martin Hayman with SiteVisibility ran a webinar for ICMA about the challenges faced by classified sites. The feedback from the presentation was good but at the same time, there was also quite a bit of feedback asking for a follow up session that was a bit more hands on.
So Martin followed this up with a completely practical session on keyword research and wanted to share the key tips and tools with you all in this post.
Keyword research is an essential part of driving a campaign forward. Martin see’s it time and time again where people want to rank for a keyword that will either drive irrelevant traffic to their site, or even no traffic at all.
Most of the tools he spoke about in the webinar are used for gathering a large number of keyword ideas and we can then check these to see if they have any value.
Google Adwords Keyword Tool
Google’s very popular keyword research tool. A favorite for keyword research.
This is a great keyword suggestion tool based on Google Suggest. Übersuggest refer to their tool as Google Suggest on steroids!
YouTube Keyword Tool
Even if you’re not researching for video, the YouTube Keyword Tool is great for gathering more keyword ideas.
This is a great tool, particularly for classified sites. Great for combining sets of keywords and can save stacks of time on writing repetitive combinations.
This tool finds search patterns that correspond with trends. Great for finding alternatives to keyword ideas to add to your growing list.
Gather keyword ideas not just from Google but also from other top online sources such as Wikipedia, Amazon etc.
Quora and Yahoo Answers
Doing keyword research for content ideas? See what real people are asking and talking about and write content around those questions. You can even then go back and provide a great answer, linking to your new useful content.
When using these tools, there are a few key tips to bear in mind when gathering keyword ideas and checking these keywords:
- Is the keyword relevant and is it going to drive relevant traffic to your site?
- When you use Google’s Keyword Tool, always use ‘Exact Match’.
- Limit the keywords you put into Google’s Keyword Tool to about 10-20 so that you get a better variation of additional suggestions from Google.
- For terms that have high search volume and look like they have great, relevant potential, check page one of Google for that term. Who is ranking already? Is the competition really strong?
- Check your current rankings. You don’t want to ruin the chances of a term you already rank for or that is already driving you traffic. And if you’re currently on page 2 or 3, it could be a great opportunity for a quick win.
There are a number of great tools out there that can assist with keyword research. Whatever tools you use, just make sure keyword research is a high priority. This research will have a direct impact in how you optimise your onsite elements as well as give you a variation of terms to track and therefore a greater visibility of how your campaign is going.