What is Keyword Research Verification?
Well, if you read my previous post (Keyword Research) you should have a keyword list, but the problem is you don’t know if those are really the words/phrases people use when searching for your product. The keywords need to verify. It used to be easy to check keywords using Overture’s keyword suggestion tool. Sadly its gone. There were other options like Trellian and Wordtracker, both cost money and use limited databases with questionable accuracy. However, Google now provides a keyword tool that shows the number of searches each keyword receives every month. So you can use your list and run it through their tool at Google AdWords: Keyword Tool. Now you know what are the top keywords for your industry. Cool thing is Google will even show you related keywords that you might have missed from your list.
SEO trick: If you highlight the keywords shown and paste them into a text file, it shows a hidden field that tells you how much money advertisers are paying for that particular keyword.
Deciding what keywords to target?
Now that you know that word 101 million searches/month, you might think that is the best word to target. Of course you would be completely wrong. Some keywords are just too competitive and you need to be realistic about what to target. Look at keywords that get between 10,000 and 50,000 searches/month. Test the keyword in a Google search and see what sites are ranking well. Look at their Page Rank (PR). Look at the words they use on their site. Look at how the keywords are used. Look at what types of sites are listed.
More detail on reviewing competitiveness of keywords:
Look at their Page Rank (PR) – sites with PR4+ mean the keyword is fairly competitive. If you PR is 0-2 range means should be fairly easy to compete on the keyword if you are trying to launch a new site.
Look at the words they use on their site – if the sites ranking for a particular keyword use the term repeatedly or the site looks themed to a keyword, it might be strong competition then the PR might suggest. If the site barely uses the keyword but has high PR it might suggest the opposite, that it is actually easier to compete against.
Look at how the keywords are used – do the keywords appear in the title meta tag? Are they in h1, h2, or h3s? Are the keywords bolded or large fonts? Are they in links? Are they at the top of the page? These are all important factors in determining the competitiveness of a web site. If you see a that answers yes to all those questions above then it might mean there is an SEO at work and that the site could be aggressively marketed.
Look at what types of sites are listed – If you see Wikipedia, MSN, Youtube or other media or portal sites listed on a keyword it could mean that is super competitive. Even if the keyword appears on a low PR page from one of those sites it still can be very hard to compete against. Another thing to watch for are serps where large corporate subpages are listed. Less you want to head with big players it is best to make your life easier and go for terms that take little marketing effort.
One last SEO tip: When you use a keyword in a Google search, sometimes shows related searches. Sometimes the related search keywords are really good ones to target.
For help doing keyword research, please feel free to contact me at 905-417-9470 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org