Keyphrase Research

The success of your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is based on spending time on keyphrase research, so you can channel your efforts, time and money in the right direction.

The whole emphasis of SEO is to get traffic to your website and that traffic has to be relevant to the products or services that your business offers. Your SEO will be targeted at individual people and they will be using specific words in the search for what you offer. It is these words that will help them to find you.

Imagine a situation where you have 10,000 people who search for a keyphrase that’s got absolutely nothing to do with what you do. Let’s say they search for this every month and that you decide that due to the volume of traffic, you will optimise your website for that keyphrase. Of the 10,000 people searching for that phrase a percentage of those 10,000 people will click through to your website, so you boost your website visitor numbers. Within seconds they will see that your content is not related in any way to what they are looking for, so what is the chance that your efforts will generating any business from any of those 10,000 people? It is far more productive to attract 10 visitors who actually want what you offer.

So with your keyphrase research you are looking at really focusing on very specifically targeting the individuals who most want what you offer, in order to achieve the most effective results.

There are two key numbers that you need to look at in keyphrase research. First of all is the level of competition. This is fairly easy to find. Choose your desired keyphrase, go into Google, search that keyphrase and analyse how many results arrive. This is a great way to find out what your total competition is. As an example, if you go into Google and search for Web Design Company, the number of results that is shown tells you the total competition for that keyphrase.

The next step is to find out the strength of the competition. To do this, add inverted commas to either side of the phrase: “Web Design Company”. In doing this you are requesting an exact match search. This is particularly useful in keyphrase research because you start to see how many pages on the web are optimised for the exact phrase that you are considering using.

The level of competition shows you the potential difficulty of getting your web pages listed on page one of the search engines. What is equally important is the number of people looking for the search term that you’re intending to use. This is often where there are some real differences between what you believe is a good phrase and a phrase that people are searching for.

You need to apply some common sense at this stage and really think through all the possibilities, so you can find the most relevant option. Let’s imagine you’re a Pick Up Truck leasing company and you want to be number one for all of the phrases that will bring people who want to lease a Pick Up Truck to your website.

You may start off with the keyphrase “Pick Up Truck.” which is generic and is referred to as a short tail keyphrase. Another option is “Pick Up Truck Models”. If you’ve got a variety of models and makes of truck this may be considered a good keyphrase to attract your target individual. But, what I want you to think about is who might type in this keyphrase?

If I wanted to buy a Dinky Toy of a Pick Up Truck, would I use the keyphrase “Pick Up Truck Models”? The answer is yes. But, am I in the market to lease a Pick Up Truck? The answer is no. What if I want to make a model, paint it, put in a motor and make a remote-controlled Pick Up Truck from a kit form? I might also use the term Pick Up Truck Models. If I want posters of models stood alongside Pick Up Trucks…the picture that I’m trying to paint is that lots of people with different requirements may use the term “Pick Up Truck Models” and only a small percentage will be looking to lease a vehicle.

In comparison using “Pick Up Truck Leasing” as your keyphrase has less alternative meanings. It may not attract as many visitors to your website, but they are far more likely to be looking for what you offer.

You may be advised to take it a step further and add in a geographical location or additional specific information, such as “Ford Pick Up Truck Leasing in Lincolnshire”. This forms a very specific search term, known as a long tail keyphrase. The number of people searching for this is likely to be much lower, but also more targeted. It is more likely that you will generate business from these visitors that the thousands searching for “Pick Up Truck Models”.

So, what I want you to think about is be specific and laser targeting your keywords. Use common sense to consider all the potential alternatives. Remember that the objective is not to get visitors to your website. It’s to get the right visitors to your website so that they will convert into customers.