Thursday, 14 May 2009

Keyword Research

Plenty of my clients ask me to get them to the top of Google. The question I find myself asking is, what do they want to be at the top of Google for?

The reply is usually something like 'These 50 different keyword phrases of course'.

The plain fact is, there's no point trying to get to the top of Google for every possible keyword phrase in existence. It's far more useful to find out what keyword is likely to generate the best result, and focus all your efforts on that.

In my case, I'm interested in being top of Google for the keyword lead generation. I put all my personal SEO effort into getting onto page one for that term in the UK. This term wasn't chosen at random. I used the Google Keyword Analysis Tool to make sure people in the UK were actually entering 'lead generation' into Google.

I suggest you also use this tool, and select a suitable keyword for yourself. The ideal keyword is one that costs a lot to buy in Google AdWords, and generates more than 20,000 searches per month. If you're really lucky, there won't be too much competition.

If the keyword doesn't cost much to buy in AdWords, your SEO efforts are best focussed on an alternative. Why? Because you can buy clicks with AdWords (if the price is low), and use your time to work on a more expensive alternative (i.e. achieve twice as much benefit).

If there's a lot of competition for the keyword phrase, it's worth considering something more achievable. For example, I started out trying to achieve page one for 'lead generation london'. Once I'd achieved that, I switched focus to the more difficult 'lead generation'.

If you have a new site, it will be harder to get Google to pay attention. So it pays to shoot for something easy, and gradually move up to more challenging keyword phrases. You'll learn a lot by doing this, and probably uncover some of the techniques we professionals like to keep to ourselves.

Here's an SEO tip worth knowing: The title tag is important in SEO. It should contain the keyword phrase you want to rank well for.