Anyone can select relevant keywords for website optimization.
However, it is the astute webmaster who is able to find multiple keyword goldmines among the tens of thousands of possibilities.
A popular strategy is known as the “long tail.” In this strategy, you target three-word phrases in an effort to reduce competition. The primary issue with this strategy is that the majority of people overlook its second aspect. The second and most important aspect of the “long tail” strategy is that you are more likely to directly meet the needs of the user with longer, more targeted phrases. Despite the fact that this may seem obvious, many people disregard or improperly apply it. This is because they do not comprehend the significance of the purchase cycle of their clients in relation to search engines.
The Purchasing Process:
Prior to beginning keyword research, the “Purchase Cycle” is the first concept you must comprehend. The primary steps are:
Attention trumps Interest, then Desire, then Action.
Understanding your customers’ purchasing habits is the key to discovering a wealth of low-competition, high-converting keywords. When they are engaged in action, you will want to be present.
Let me give you some examples. Suppose you are a new Real Estate Agent in the competitive but lucrative Los Angeles real estate market. You have had a website up for almost six months and have performed some SEO, but it has generated almost no traffic and no leads. The issue is almost certainly the phrases you are seeking. Everyone will compete in the search engine results pages for obvious terms such as “Los Angeles real estate.” Now, there is nothing wrong with competing for the best phrases, but the purpose of this guide is to train you to focus on the areas that your competition has ignored and that are at the end of the buying cycle. Trust me, great opportunities are available in every single market.
Consider Your Customers
Consider yourself a customer using Google to buy or sell Los Angeles real estate. A typical search might consist of the following steps:
Real estate (too general, what was I thinking?)
Term of Search: 2 “Los Angeles real estate” (Many options; perhaps I need a local agent?)
Three results found for “Real estate agent in Los Angeles” BINGO!!! If you are a Los Angeles real estate agent, this is one of your many keyword goldmines.
Let me now demonstrate how the customer’s increasingly refined searches have resulted in a reduction in competition for Google rankings. I want you to recognize the magnitude of the opportunity when you comprehend the process your customers undergo.
The Title tag is a simple but extremely important SEO factor for gauging the level of competition for a particular keyword. Using Google, we can easily determine how many websites contain our exact search phrase in their title tag. This is an excellent preliminary indicator of the competition you will face.
My Google search query is “real estate” (returns results with the exact phrase “real estate” in the title tag).
in “real estate” More than 59 million pages were returned in the search for “Los Angeles real estate.” Less than 25,000 Pages Returned in “Los Angeles real estate agent” 57 Results with only 7 listed Domains!!!
This keyword with a high conversion rate is just waiting for you, “our new real estate agent,” to rank for it. If you perform the necessary SEO work and direct a few high-quality links to the page, you should start to see an increase in highly qualified traffic.
Allow me to provide one more illustration, and then we will move on. Let’s say you sell luxury condos right on the beach in Hawaii, which is where I reside (Its OK to feel sorry for me). The condo market in Hawaii is extremely competitive, so any advantage you can gain is invaluable. Again, all you need to do to find these keyword gems is to understand how a potential customer searches and to be familiar with your own product.
Intitle: “Hawaii Condos” – 11,100 results found
Intitle: “Hawaii Condo Rental” – 147 results found (Great action phrase)
Search 3: “beachfront condo in Hawaii” intitle – 0 pages!!!
I could go on and on identifying excellent marketing opportunities for these two markets. I guarantee that if you invest the time, you will also discover these all-too-simple keyword gems in your market. Using action phrases, let’s take what we’ve learned to the next level.
Utilize action words.
Suppose you sell the newest PC video cards at competitive prices. You have done your research and are aware that many consumers conduct extensive research on specific video cards in order to find the ideal one for them. In “purchase mode,” they then look up the specific model of the video card they desire.
Geforce 6800 is a popular video card series from Nvidia at present. However, a Google search for “Nvidia Geforce 6800” returns more than 40,000 results. This is where action verbs are useful. Some excellent action words include Buy, Lowest price, Purchase, and Free delivery. All of these terms are used during the customer’s purchasing phase, which is precisely when you want them to find you.
in “Buy nVidia Geforce 6800” there are three sites!!!
in “Buy nvidia geforce 6800” there are 0 sites!!!
0 sites!!! in “Lowest price nvidia geforce 6800”
You have the concept. Now that you have an understanding of the concept, I can recommend a few keyword research tools.
Now let’s put you on the path to discovering 20 to 40 money-making keywords you are not currently using.
Researching Keywords Steps:
Step 1 – Logs: Your weblogs are a valuable asset that you may not be maximizing. Always mine your blogs for niche keyword phrases and use them to determine the types of queries your users are entering into search engines. If you have never done this before, it can be extremely enlightening. You will not only gain a deeper understanding of your audience, but you will also obtain a wealth of keyword “goldmines” for your organice SEO campaign. If you have the time, I suggest doing this once a month or every two weeks.
Step 2: Competitors: Competitors can be an excellent source for keyword research. Check the keywords in their Title, meta tags, and body text to determine if you have missed anything.
Step 3 – Keyword Tools: Check out the SEO Books online keyword tool at http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword/, http://www.goodkeywords.com/, which is a free desktop download that uses Yahoo data, and http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/, which queries both Yahoo and http://www.wordtracker.com/ (a top tool if you’re paying). These three tools are extremely useful, and for the price, who can complain?
A word to the wise: only use these tools as guides. They are heavily skewed toward PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertisements and susceptible to distortion due to automated queries.
The primary concern with any Yahoo-powered tool is that it does not separate plurals. It shows Condo and Condos as the same results. When conducting research, be sure to utilize the Word Tracker tool at digital point, as the MSN version will show you how a phrase performs in its singular and plural forms. While search engines are still refining how they handle plural queries, it is crucial that you choose the correct one. Sometimes, you may decide to pursue a less common singular or plural form of a keyword because it has less competition.
Don’t forget to include hyphenated or potentially hyphenated words.
If you are researching a term such as “increase online traffic,” don’t overlook hyphenated variations of the phrase. Word Tracker indicates that “increase online traffic” is searched for 186 times per day on MSN alone. The non-hyphenated version has more than 1,000 pages listed in a Google in search. While the hyphenated version lists only 21 locations.
Utilize slang or insider terminology when and where appropriate. Hawaii provides an excellent example of this. Locals refer to the largest island in Hawaii as the “Big Island.” A phrase such as “big island real estate” is entered several thousand times each month. Google reports that only one website contains the phrase in its title.
People frequently enter keyword phrases as a single word. Therefore, they will type “hawaiicondos” instead of “Hawaii Condos.” Then, search engines return different results for these two phrases, and guess what: the kwkw version is typically MUCH less competitive!
I must mention that just because you find great keywords that others are not using in their title tags does not mean you can create a new title and rank immediately. In some instances, this will be the case, but in the majority of instances, you will need to perform well with your on-page SEO and acquire a few relevant links. In any case, you will position yourself for success with minimal competition and the highest possible return on investment.
I hope I’ve gotten your mind churning about the countless opportunities in your local market. If you follow these steps, you should be able to quickly generate a fantastic new list of keywords for your website so that it can dominate the “Action” phase of the purchase cycle. Once you position your site at the end of the purchase cycle and away from the hordes of competition, it is relatively simple to find keyword gold.