So far we have covered the basics, set out our stall, and began the process of keyword research. Today we roll our sleeves up and lay the foundations for a successful website.
OK, you now have a list of words that are relevant to your industry If you have used word tracker overture etc you will have ‘some’ idea of the potential importance/popularity of these phrases. Nothing is going to give you data however like a live advertising campaign will. The added bonus of running a live campaign is that you are going to be delivering traffic to your site which really should deliver sales. I always try to evaluate the potential ROI for keywords for the client, as you should not really rely on organic listings for your business.
Google is the most popular search engine, and with this in mind you should run your test data on a Google ad words campaign. The amount of money you spend will be directly relevant to the industry in which you work, that said so will be the returns. Remember now that one of the aims of this exercise is to find out how many searches there are for your chosen list of words, this will help you decide what phrases to attack later. Armed with this fact, you are going to have to make sure that your advert is appearing in the top 4 or so, certainly no lower than 6. Google delivers 8 ads per page, and by ensuring your ad is top 4 you can be sure that the number of impressions is going to 100 equate to the number of searches for that word.
It is important that you do not run the campaign just on a broad match basis, as this is going to skew your results. The way I do it is to run the list broad (without any operators) Phrased (you place the keywords into quotation marks “word” and also exact (you place it in Parenthesis [word] ). By doing this you will see which brings in the most traffic, which converts the best (if you use the tracking code).
Run the test for a realistic period on a normal time, i.e. don’t run it for three days that include only a weekend, as you will miss the traffic from people who connect at work. Try not to run a test over a holiday weekend, for the same reasons. The longer you run your test the more accurate your data is going to be, better to spend a few extra £$ etc now than to get it wrong and go for the wrong words. It is essential that you keep a close eye on your spend however, and, if need be split the words into groups of possibles probables, maybes etc. This will make it easier to control the daily spend.
I have my data, now what?
You now get to the fun part; you have to ‘grade’ your keywords. You know how many searches a phrase gets, but that alone is not enough. Right away you can dump the phrases that no one searched for during your test period. There is no point in attacking words that no one searches for is there!
Should you attack the words with the largest search volume? Of course you should, as that is going to bring in the most traffic right? YES it is right, but it might also be the most competitive word, and be one that is going to take 12 months 2 years or more to get a ranking for, in some cases you might never get it. The key here is to gauge the competition, but how do we do that?
Many people post in forums that they are working in a very competitive arena, as there are over 6 million pages returned for a search. WOW 6,000,000 competing pages? NO there are not that many, there are just 6m pages returned for that phrase.
The most basic piece of SEO is the page title, if a page does not have the phrase in the title; it is unlikely to be trying to compete for the phrase. You can find out how many pages compete by running a simple operator on google like this :-
Intitle:”your phrase here”
The above will tell you how many pages have those words in the page title. Putting it in inverted comas will give you how many pages have it in the phrase. E.G intitle:”your phrase”.
OK so we now know that x number of pages have that phrase in the title that is a better idea of the volume of competition.
Can we further investigate competition?
Yes we can, and in part 5 we will discuss it further.