More on keywords now folks.
We’ve discussed this before in Lesson 3 but its such an important factor in bringing you the right traffic ( and hence more business ) that I’m going to outline a more scientific approach to getting the right keywords. Remember, the objective here is to get you high rankings in the most appropriate and effective keywords and this will lead to more web based business. Well start discussing where to put these keywords in your website next month but for now let’s concentrate on identifying the best ones.
We’ll use a fictional company involved in furniture removals. (Incidentally I use the word ‘keyword’ and ‘keyphrase’ interchangeably to mean the same thing in the following discussion. ‘Keyword analysis’ is the generic name for this process; referring to ‘keyphrases’ accepts that nowadays people use multiple words when seaching)
There are four stages to the process:-
1. Identifying the popularity of certain keyphrases ( ie How many people search for the phrase each month)
2. Identifying the competition for the keyphrase (ie how many web pages out there include the exact keyphrase)
3. Working out the KEI factor ( the ‘keyword effectiveness index’ has been discussed in Lesson 3 and is a measure of the importance of the phrase for optimisation – the higher the KEI the better)
4. Prioritising the keyphrase list.
The example I’m going to give you relates to the UK market, but the same process is equally applicable to any market. Fortunately, the Overture Keyword Assistant ( see the detail of how to use it in last months posting) allows us to be country specific when researching keywords so this is an ideal tool for us to use.
STAGE 1 – Estimating the Popularity:
Lets take this company involved with furniture revovals. If you go to the Overture Keyword Assistant ( The UK version at www.content.overture.com/d/UKm/ac/index.jhtml and listed under ‘tools’) and start trialing a few keywords you think may be relevant to searchers of such servivces – eg ‘removal services’, ‘furniture removal’, ‘removal services uk’ etc. You’ll come out with a list of keyphrases (some suggested by Overture) and their corresponding ‘count’. Count is the estimated number of searches per month for the phrase. (It is based on all search engines except Google, so a good rule of thumb is to double this for the actual number on the basis that Google accounts for around half of all searches)
As an example, you’ll see that you get counts of 906 for ‘removal services’ and 1616 for ‘furniture removal’.
You may like to construct an Excel spreadsheet when carrying out this analysis with columns for ‘keyphrase’, ‘count’, ‘competition’ and KEI, so eventually when you have your complete list you can do a simple sort to get them in order of importance.
STAGE 2: Estimating the Competition:
This part of the process is a matter of going to Google and checking for the competition for each of the keyphrases you have identified.
At the Google search box type in the keyphrase in question. Enclose the keyphrase in quotation marks since we are looking for exact matches, check the ‘pages from the uk’ button since we are looking just to focus on the UK market in this example.
For the two examples above – ‘revoval services’ and ‘furniture removal’ – you will see you get figures of 77500 and 7380 ( You will see these figures in the top right hand corner of the Google results page, for example, Results 1 – 10 of about 77,500 for “removal services”. (0.06 seconds) . These are the number of pages in the Google index with an exact match for the phrase, that is, a measure of the competition.
Fill in the relevant part of your spreadsheet with this competition figure for all your keyphrases.
STAGE 3 – Calculating the KEI:
The detail and rationale behind the KEI calculation is included in Lesson 3, but here it is a simple matter of calculating the figure. This is achieved by squaring the ‘count’ and dividing by the ‘competition’. So for ‘removal services’ we get 906 times 906 divided by 77500 that is a KEI figure of 10.6.
For ‘furniture removal’ the figure you get is 353.8. Clearly ‘furniture removal’ is a far better phrase to ompimise around than ‘removal services’.
STAGE 4 – Prioritising yor Keyphrases:
If you use a spreadsheet you can obviously include the KEI formula to perform this calculation automatically, then its a simple matter of using the sort facility to get all the phrases in ascending KEI order.
That’s it! you now have a list of keyphrases ordered in importance for effective optimisation.
Incidentally you will see that ‘removal services uk’ has a KEI of 720.5 showing that a phrase which is less popular in terms of searches can still be very effective for optimisation since there is far less ‘competition’, in this case only 19 competing pages.
For many situations this is as rigorous as you need to be to find the best keyphrases and will work very well for you. It’s certainly a more scientific process than the vast majority of companies engage in. There are some situations however that are very competitive areas and for these we need to go into more detail and look at other aspects of competition.
For example using the google ‘intitle’ command to see how many sites out there have included the keyphrase in their title tag, and using the ‘inanchor’ command to see how many links to websites include the keyphrases as anchor text. These are measures of much more serious competition and we can work out KEIs relating to these figures also. Give me a call if you want more info on this but as Ive already indicated the process above will be more than adequate for most of you and will help you get much more web based business.
Best of luck and as always, if you want any help on this, please consider our ‘Traffic Builder’ service as a cost effective alternative to doing it yourselves.