Day 109 - SEO Check Keyword Popularity - don't waste your keywords and phrases choose ones that will work for you and bring more visitors
As an experiment Google 'Art'. How many results does it return? Do you really think you stand a chance with that kind of competition and how many people searching on that single word will find what they want in amongst so many different types of art? Do people really search with a single keyword? No they might start that way but quickly realise that to really find what they are looking with they need more.
To find what they want people narrow down their searches with 3, 4 or 5 words so you need to put together keyword phrases of 3, 4 or 5 words that accurately describe you, your processes and your products. But in 107 - Brainstorm SEO Keywords & Phrases and 108 - SEO Don't Reinvent The Wheel you will have identified lots of them so how do you choose which ones to optimise your website pages for and which to discard? Well that is a very good question and one that people often get wrong. You can only answer it well by first of all identifying the amount of people likely to use that phrase, looking how competitive it is and then seeing if you can optimise your website well enough so that you build that phrase into key components and it ends up on page 1, 2 or 3 in Google results. You should be able to quickly spot things you can be affective with and things where there is too much competition but there will be lots of grey areas in between where there will be some trial and error. More about that later, for now just collect the information that you can use to make some of your decisions.
In 108 - Don't Reinvent The Wheel I introduced Google Keyword Planner. You can use this tool to track the average number of times per month somebody is likely to use your selected keyword or phrase in Google searches. Be sure to select whether you want to be region specific or get figures for worldwide searches before you start so that you are comparing like with like or your decision process will be flawed. While you are new to this use the 'discover new keywords' feature to get your data one keyword / phrase at a time but once you become more familiar later you can use the 'get search volume and forecasts' option later to upload a whole file and have it analyse historical results for you.
Enter your keyword or phrase in 'discover new keywords' in the 'start with keywords' section ensuring that you have set it to search for 'all locations' then press 'get results'.
This is a good example of something that is likely to come up when you do this. Lucy was focusing on fun animal prints but doing the analysis 'funny animal prints' was a much more popular term so she decided to focus on that term instead. Here you can see there are between 100 and 1000 searches per month worldwide for this term with high competition. Repeat this process now for each of the terms you put together earlier so that you arrive at something like the following
There are a number of important things that happened as I was building this list. Firstly there are a number of keywords and phrases that I thought might be good for Lucy but Google suggests that between 0 and 10 people search for that phrase each month and the phrase is not particularly competitive. On the one hand this means that it will probably be easy to optimise some of her webpages to appear in page 1 on Google results for that phrase, possibly even page 1, however it will bring a very small number of visitors to her website. She needs hundreds or thousands of visitors in order to get consistent sales and therefore will likely ignore these very low value phrases.
She will probably concentrate on the 10-100 and 100-1k phrases. If she has only 1 page that might fit these phrases she might try to optimise it for the highest value one. If she can only get to page 4 or higher she might choose to reoptimise that page for a lower value phrase but hope that she can get that to page 1 in results instead as that might bring as many if not more visitors than ranking on page 4 or higher for a more popular phrase. If, however, she has several pages that are relevant to these set of phrases she could nominate a phrase for each page and spread them around multiple web pages so that she catches multiple searches with at least one of her webpages. I will be showing you how to match to a page in a later post.
One final thing to note here is that my original set of phrases contained 'funny animal canvas prints' and didn't contain 'funny animal canvas art'. When I entered that phrase into Google Keyword Planner, however, I found that Google told me that that 'funny animal canvas prints' is searched for 10-100 times per month but it suggested 'funny animal canvas art' to me suggesting that it is searched for 100-1k times per month ie 10 times more searches. It is therefore a stronger phrase to use if I can get it to rank well in Google for Lucy's site.
Complete your search volume analysis for each of the phrases you have established so far. Keep the phrases you decide not to use in your spreadsheet rather than remove them so that you do not end up adding them again later. In my next post I will show you how to choose which of your website pages you should optimise with those phrases then in a later post how you actually go about doing that as well as measuring the results.
Have you been through this exercise yet? How many keywords and phrases did you start with? What surprises did it bring up?