Keyword research, one of the most essential facets of good search engine optimization can also be one of the easiest tasks to do wrong. Here are five ways you can improve the effectiveness of your keyword research. Then, I'll show you Drupal's "easy button" for better keyword research.
1. Analyze your content for keyword ideas
One of the primary objectives for the search engines is to serve the most relevant content for a particular users query. Search engines determine what web content is about through a variety of factors (this is what we spend time optimizing in SEO), some of these factors include your meta page titles, keyword usage within your page copy, and backlinks to your website. So it would make sense that you would want to begin your keyword research by first figuring out what keywords and concepts are already prevalent on your webpage.
You can do this in two ways. You could go through your content by hand, and pick out what you believe to be the most relevant or most used keywords on the page. Or, you can put it in the hands of web software that can make this analysis for you. In Drupal, both the Alchemy module and Scribe SEO module can help you with this analysis. Alternatively, you can try the Scribe SEO module demo, and input your own content to analyze.
Once you find your keyword ideas, plug them into a keyword research tool like Wordtracker to get more related keywords.
2. Start broad
When you're first starting keyword research, you always want to begin with broad (root) keywords, then work your way to long tail variations. For example, if your website is an e-commerce retailer for custom bicycle seats, you may want to start your keyword research with phrases like "bike", "bicycle", or "bike seats".
3. Use long tail modifiers
As you do your keyword research, you'll start to see variations of your primary (root) keyword pop up. For example, your search for the phrase "bicycle" might return results for "used bicycle for sale" or "buy bicycles online". "Used", "for sale", "buy", and "online" would all be considered modifier keywords, and the entire phrase (used bicycle for sale) is what we would consider a long tail keyword. A long tail keyword by itself provides less traffic then your root keywords (bicycle), but in aggregate, there are many more relevant long tail searches then there are for your root keywords. Long tail keywords tend to bring more qualified traffic, convert at higher rates, and are less competitive.
4. Look at your competitors for inspiration
Use your competitors as a guide for your keyword research efforts. Look at their meta page title tags, headers, and page copy to see what they may be trying to optimize for. Sometimes this can even lead to inspiration for a new niche market to go after.
5. Look for uncompetitive niches
One of the biggest mistakes people make in keyword research is assuming it's about finding the words with the most possible searches. Really, good keyword research is about finding those keywords that not only get a large volume of searches, but are also uncompetitive, and deliver qualified traffic. I frequently tell clients that I'd rather they get 500 qualified visitors per month who convert, then 5,000 who don't.
6. Localize your keywords where possible
One of the easiest ways to long tail your target keywords is to add local modifiers to them. For example, instead of optimizing just for the phrase website design company, we can add the "Dallas" to the phrase, making "website design company dallas", and be optimized for local searches as well.
The Drupal Easy Button!
As promised, here's the easy button for keyword research in your Drupal website. Our Keyword Research module will help you easily perform keyword research right within the page you're trying to optimize. Be sure to combine it with the other modules found in the content analysis suite to unlock the true power of the keyword research module.