Determining Keyword Value
Identifying Relevant Keywords
Use terms that will convert to immediate action.
eg. "wedding pianist toronto".
Searchers are more likely to perform the corresponding action (ie. the intent behind the search)
Determining Conversion Rates
Any action a searchers does is considered a "conversion".
eg. call now, purchase now, etc.
Choosing which word to target depends on understanding the demand for that word/phrase, which is then coupled with the work required to achieve a desired ranking. This is summed up as keyword competitiveness.
This competition level depends on the following metrics:
1. Search demand volume (number of people searching for that word)
2. Number of paid search competitions & bid prices for top 4 positions
3. Strength (age,link power,relevance) of 10 top results
4. Number of search results
SEOmoz has a keyword difficulty tool that can give you all of these metrics & gives you a comparative score.
Testing Ad Campaigns & Third Party Search Data
Remember that data provided by keyword tools is not precise, because the data sources that search tools use is limited in itself.
However , if you make use of Google Adwords, you can get much more accurate data.
Simply take your subject words & do an Adword campaign. You want to target for a #4 or #5 position (word volume) which should be high enough that your ads run all the time, yet low enough that the collection costs won't be too high.
Next, you want to study the value of achieving certain rankings by using organic results. You can estimate this by leveraging what you know about about how click-through rates vary, based on organic search position.
Using the graphic to left,a term that is searched 52 times a day, the site that is in the #1 position will get 22 clicks per day.
Next, you can estimate your conversion rates as well, by extending the Adwords campaign to include conversion tracking, which is a free capability.
Be aware that, although paid search results get less traffic than organic ones, paid results have a higher conversion rate of 1.25- 1.5 times greater.
Landing Page Optimization
This is the practice of testing variations of a web page/website to see which gets the best results.
As in any testing situation, test only 1 element ( keyword,colour schemes, castle to actions etc.) at a time so you can pin point which variant made a difference.
Leveraging the Long Tail of Keyword Demand
As mentioned earlier, the long tail of the search is where 70% of search queries begin. In 2007, of all the search queries that Google was receiving, 25% of them were queries that Google had never seen before.
Here are a few ways off finding long tail terms.
1) Look for webpages that do well for searches that are relevant to your target market &
then extract the top 10-50 common search phrases at the head of the distribution graph for
- search Google, Bing, Yahoo for each term
- for each page of the top 10-30 results ,extract the unique text
- remove stop words & filter by phrase size
- remove duplicates of your keywords
- mine down as far as you feel is valuable
Although the terms you'll find using this method will have a lower search volume, they will be fairly relevant. Make sure human eyes are doing the work to ensure the "common sense" element.
2) expansion of #1 above
- text mine Technorati & Delicious
- use documents from specific results( local, academic etc.) to focus keyword mining efforts
- mine forum threads on your subject matter( use inure:forum to mine conversational keywords
This methodology is very effective,as your results will reflect your efforts
3) Editorial Content for Long Tail Targeting
- your chances of showing up for a long tail search are greatly improved if that long tail phrase,
or if all of the words that make up that phrase are on your page
eg. recording studios in downtown Toronto
Yes, keyword research is complex & time consuming, but, it returns high rewards.