Expert Keyword Research (2012 Revisited)
As the ever changing algorithms evolve, so must your SEO techniques. People often ask me, what’s your favorite SEO tactic? And my answer is always KEYWORD RESEARCH. It’s the foundation of any SEO campaign and therefore, the most important aspect. Here I will talk about keyword tools, longtail keywords, 2012 post Panda changes and various keyword analysis strategies.
1. First Things First What are Longtail Keywords?
Longtail keywords are those that are found toward the long tail of the bell curve. These keywords bring in less traffic and are less competitive. In the graph below I have mapped out two keywords, [free porn] and [free Asian milf porn] to demonstrate how long tail keywords work.
2. Studying Keyword Competition
The Google Keyword Tool gives you two pieces of data, monthly searches and competition level. The problem is that their competition ranking system is almost always inaccurate when determining the competitiveness of longtail keywords. The reason is because the true competitiveness of a keyword depends on more variables than the ones that Google uses.
Since I used to work in the Porn SEO arena, I’ll give this example [sex chat] gets 4,090,000 searches per month and Google gives it a medium competitiveness ranking while [Romanian Sex Chat] gets 490 searches per month yet it has the same competitiveness ranking. According to this metric, they have an equal amount of competition but common sense tells us this is not true. Instead of counting on their tool, I use my own little method to more accurately measure this. Using the number of monthly searches vs the number of results found when actually searching for the keyword (e.g About 4,220,000 results (0.19 seconds)) vs the amount of inbound links to the domains within the first 10 results vs the level of on-page optimization of those first 10 results. Lastly, you throw in a little bit of common sense. With these metrics, one can get a better idea of the competition level of the keyword and a better understanding of what type of content will be needed as well as how much link building will be needed to achieve 1st-page rankings.
3. The Best Expert Keyword Tools
While there are many keyword tools that require registration or even payment, the most trusted tool for adept keyword research is the human brain. Start by thinking of all the search terms that you would type in if you were looking for your product or service. The reason I suggest this is because you will always be able to think of search queries that would not and could not have been returned by automated tools. An example of this the fact then when I use keyword tools for the query strip clubs they should have also suggested girly bars or lap dance bars which also get tons of traffic but they didn’t so I had to use human intuition instead. My second most favorite is the Google Keyword Tool and it happens to be free and requires no signup as well. Once I use my own intuition to compile a list and I then plug those KWs into Googles keyword tool to expand on the list and to get the stats for each one. I still haven’t found a keyword tool or service worth paying for so save your money!
4. Use Knowledgeable Keyword Synonyms!
Prior to the year 2001, an expert keyword researcher could have simply placed the keywords on the web page hundreds of times and even hid the keywords in the background to trick Google. Then Google implemented an algorithm of around 2% keyword density as the suggested practice for proficient keyword placement within your text. Nowadays, even 2% is too much in this Post-Panda SEO era, as it disrupts the natural flow of writing and tends to look spammy. To become a true Keyword expert, use keyword synonyms or semantically related keywords because Google now loves synonyms. An example for this article could be expert keyword research, adroit search query research, keyword analysis expert or keyword inquisition. Using this strategy you can really get your keyword density up to 2% or higher without catching the attention of Google’s webspam team. Use an online thesaurus if you need help finding good synonyms.
5. What Keywords are Your Competitors Using?
Saving the best suggestion for last It doesn’t take an expert keyword researcher to find out what keywords your competitors are going after. Let someone else do all the work for you. You can easily see what keywords your competition is trying to rank for by looking at the keywords they use in their titles, meta tags, and other on-page attributes. You can also find information about what keywords your competition is ranking for by looking at SEMrush, Alexa, and Compete.com.