What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a word that has great significance to the topic you are searching in a search engine. Keywords are the base of how search engine work. Targeting specific keywords will drive targeted traffic to your webpage and will increase your conversion rate. You can determine the value and search volume of a keyword using an online tool such as the Google Keyword Planner. Now let’s dive into some keyword research!
Choosing Your Keywords
By using the Google Keyword Planner, you can get ideas on what keywords would be best to target on your website. Enter in a few terms or phrases you think people would search when looking for your business and services. Let’s say you are a dentist from New York City. Good search phrases and keywords to target would be ‘nyc dentist’, ‘top dentist in nyc’, ‘cosmetic dentist in nyc’ and so on. Together those keywords have a monthly search volume of 1,220! That’s 1,220 potential NEW clients each month if your were to rank for those keywords. Now are you seeing the power of SEO?
What Are LongTails?
In the previous example we used dental terms in the Google Keyword Planner to identify potential keywords to target for leads. Those keywords can be considered broad to long tail. Lets look at another example. Say we are a mechanic from Los Angeles and we want to find keywords to target on our website. So we choose ‘Mechanic’, ‘Fix my car’, ‘Oil leakage’, and ‘Flat tire’. Now these keywords have tens of thousands of searches each month but they are EXTREMELY difficulty to target on a national level. You would be competing against fortune 500 companies with million dollar marketing and SEO budgets and if you were to take on this challenge, you should be ready to spend years attempting to out rank those companies.
When utilizing SEO, you have to pick and choose your battles. Let’s focus on keywords that are more specific and will produce results at a more reasonable time frame. In short we will be focusing on targeting long tail keywords. These are phrases that people are more likely to search for. In example: ‘auto repair los angeles’, ‘car repair los angeles’, ‘oil change los angeles’, and ‘la car service’. These searches are less competitive and have a combined search volume of 710! If you target your website around long tail keywords, you will have an easier time ranking and retaining your rankings.
This is crucial. Once again, you need to be smart when doing your SEO. Pick and choose your battles. Your competition analysis will determine how successful you will be when going after your keywords.
The first step to analyzing your competition would be to download or use these three online tools; Majestic, Moz Open Site Explorer, and the Google Keyword Planner.
Majestic checks a website TF (trust flow) and CF (citation flow). Moz checks a website’s DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority). Going back to majestic, TF and CF can determine the quality of a website or webpage.
The trust flow metrics determines how trustworthy the website site is and the quality of the links pointing to that domain.
The citation flow metric determines how many websites or RD’s (referring domains) are pointing to that website or web page. As an example if a website has a 20 TF and 10 CF, which is a 2:1 ratio, that show that the website is very trustworthy and has high quality links pointing back to it. Now if another website had a TF of 10 and CF of 20, that shows that the links pointing to it are of lower quality and higher quantity. Ideally you want your website to have a 1:1 ratio or have the TF be higher than the CF. Moving on to Moz’s Open Site Explorer we can determine the power of a website or webpage using DA and PA. The domain authority shows how powerful the entire domain is for the website on a scale of 0-100.
The higher the DA, the easier a web page will be able to rank for a keyword and the same rules apply for PA. When using DA and PA, you want your competitors metrics to be lower than yours or less than 30. In certain cases a YouTube video may rank on the first page of Google for a keyword and have a DA of 100. Now that doesn’t mean that you cannot compete, actually you can outrank that video by better optimizing your web page because that video will likely have a low PA. Page authority gives you a better idea of how difficult it will be to out rank any given webpage.
By using these tools in your competition analysis you can avoid wasting time and money on your SEO campaign by choosing battles you are sure you can win.