Saturday, February 14, 2009

Natural SEO Tips - Keyword selection the easy way

(photo credit: .Bala)
Getting on your Natural SEO highway with easy keyword selection

Natural SEO really means finding what people are looking for/talking about and then putting an offer in front of them that's a real solution or improvement to their situation. Highways go somewhere - but with a map or not, you have to pick where you are going to travel before you get in the car and start driving.

I've covered before about using Ranktracker to find you top keywords cheaply and quickly.

In that method, I tell you to search for your keywords and then dump them into a spreadsheet so you can organize them better.

Just to recap how you organize these in that spreadsheet:
  1. Remove anything with a KEI (Keyword Efficiency Index) less than 2.0 or traffic less than 20.
  2. Sort by competition (low at top to high at bottom)and insert a row at about 3 million.
  3. Now, sort the fields above by traffic (high to low) and then insert a row at about 100.
  4. You now have three sections to your spreadsheet. Sort each of these separately by KEI, high to low.
This refines what I've laid out earlier.

Your first section is your prime search engine marketing niches. Not too much competition (in real terms, about 1 percent of your traffic on average is going to be anywhere near effectively optimized - and with social media promotion, you can quickly rise to the top of a 30K field) and sufficient traffic to make it worth your while.

Second section is the small niches which might add up to decent traffic at some point. You'll see here that the competition for these is much, much smaller. But if you have 20 visitors per keyword, you are going to need to keep up at least 5 niches in order to accumulate 100 visitors weekly. The trade off for lower competition is you have to invest more content.

Third section is the high KEI, high competition terms. Too much traffic to make headway with directly. But you target these by taking the smaller niches on one, by one.

How this works:

Once you've done many, many researches using Google Adwords KeywordExternalTool and RankTracker, you've now saved a lot of various terms for your product. All these keywords are somehow applicable to what you're targeting as a product. Take all these terms from these various spreadsheets and copy just the terms, pasting them back into RankTracker.

Do a new KEI update. Take anything over 100 and run through WordTracker Suggest (inside RankTracker) for any related terms. Now, weed out the obviously inapplicable terms while you still have them in RankTracker (I really have to do a video to show you how easy this is) and then copy the whole data set over into a new spreadsheet (or a new page on that spreadsheet).

Organize them into the three sections above.

Using your "Find" function, go down to the bottom section and start looking for the one- and two-term keywords with high KEI (and too much competition) - put that term into your Find and "Find All" occurances of that term. This will highlight all your niche phrases that contain that keyword. Here you can turn all these cells some light pastel color background to set them apart. (I'm doing this in OpenOffice, your mileage may vary in MSWord.)

Do the same for what you see as base keywords which are showing up in the two sections above. You'll probably have three to five base keywords which repeat several times in the sections above them.

Why you are selecting these is to figure out which niches you are going to write content for first. As you write killer link-bait for each of these long-tail niches and swamp the competition for that niche, you then start rising much higher for that Short Head keyword with all the competition sites.

This of course means that you are keeping in all the other basics of SEO, such as including your keyword phrase in title, headings, alt tags, and links.

Using these tools can actually start laying out how to approach your marketing - and make it easy in the process. Because you can basically ignore the items (at least for now) in that list which are great KEI, but don't add up to taking over a Short Head keyword.

How I found this was because I didn't feel I really had enough descriptive keywords for the product I was about to launch. But I had lots of spreadsheets laying around my hard-drive - so I gathered these up and ran them through the above sequences. By pushing all my keyword lists into one location, I could then talk about the same subject through different viewpoint - each content piece now designed to take over a niche keyword. (When do you quit writing on a specific long tail keyword phrase? When you run out of content, or your articles start taking more than one place in the SERPs, ie. you have achieved the top of that competition slot.)

Now I can lay out my publishing schedule and start creating the link-bait. (Means the next step will be to adjust my feed aggregators in order to get the precise data I need to create that content.)

You only probably have to do this once. But I imagine you will want to run this list through about once per quarter to make sure the KEI is steady - and to take advantage of seasonal swings. If you can find trends (Google Trends, Google Insight) for these long tail keyword phrases, consider yourself lucky. My experience is that they mostly won't show up, except for base keywords.

(And if you wanted to get real fancy, you'd copy these spreadsheets into a database so that you could start checking trends on these long-tail keywords - because they have such low traffic and competition that Google isn't going to show these very clearly, if at all. But databases are real left-brained and we don't need to go there to get started simply.)

Hope this helps you on your Natural SEO keyword highway.

And if you have a better route, or an easier way to find these - comment away...
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