how to choose keywords for your site

To get high rankings for ads and organic search, you need to focus on a set amount of keywords. Four places to find keywords you want are the Yahoo keyword tool, the Google keyword tool, google search results, and referral data.

1. The Yahoo tool can be slow, but it is good for quick-and-dirty keyword searching. The numbers they show you are how many people searched for that keyword last month throughout the Yahoo/Overture network. DO NOT believe these numbers- they are vague estimations at best, and fanciful at worst. I use this tool to get other keyword ideas once I have a couple of keywords already decided on.

2. The Google keywords tool is superior in that it is easier to use, and tells you additional data like how much competition their is in relation to search volume. Again, do not trust these numbers- they do not reflect reality. But it is good for getting more keywords.

Notice here those keywords where there is a lot of search volume but little advertiser competition. This does not mean this is a good keyword- but it might be. Search for that word in google and see what comes up- any of your competitors? Are those results in the same area as you? Take everything with a grain of salt.

3. Search Results can be helpful- input a keyword you know you want, like ‘blankets.’ Of the results there, go to each and see what other keywords they think are important. WARNING, this is highly inaccurate because most websites do not have a good idea of what keywords to bid on, BUT this is another quick-and-dirty way that requires very little net savvy to work.

Go to the first result, and view the source code for the page. In Firefox, it is CTRL-U, in Internet Explorer, it is VIEW->SOURCE. You are looking for something that says

(bracket)meta name=”keywords” content=”firefox, mozilla firefox, foxfire” /(bracket)

or the like. Those words inside are the other words that site thinks are important. Now don’t take these too seriously, they are just to give you more ideas.

4. Referral Data is best because it is based on hard data. Either from google analytics, the analytics you have on your blog, or some other analytics tool, look to see how people are getting to your site. I can tell you that, a few days back, three people reached this blog by searching for ‘hacking youtube,’ because I once wrote a post on that.

In google analytics, under Dashboards->Marketing Summary->Top 5 Keywords it will tell you the 5 top keywords people used to get to your site. To see a more complete list, go Dashboards->View/Marketer->Overall Keyword Considerations. If that does not make sense, give me a call and I will walk you through it.

I like this data because it is real. Maybe you misinterpret it, but the basic data is sound.

Once you have your list of keywords, the fun begins with search engine optimization (SEO) and pay per click (PPC) campaigns, but both of these depend on a keyword list.

Best of all worlds, do these 4 steps yourself, make your list of 100 keywords, with 5-10 that you really care about. Then go to an internet marketing agency. Ask them what keywords they think are important. Compare their list to yours, and you will have a good view of the possible keywords for your site.

1 Response to “how to choose keywords for your site”

  1. 1 building the knowledge base « All For You Trackback on January 9, 2007 at 2:55 pm

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I'm now blogging about internet marketing at

Red Beard Consulting

At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.

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