WordPress Beginners Series — December 16, 2013
Presenters: Nick Batik, H. Sandra Chevalier Batik
Sane Approach to SEO was the sixth in our WordPress Beginners series sponsored by the Four Corners Chamber of Commerce and hosted by the Austin Baptist Church. This final meeting of 2013 had a great turn out and attendees contributed to a lively conversation about how to use focused action steps and consistency to build great organic SEO into your site without driving yourself crazy.
Below please find the reviews and URLs for the Keyword Research tools we discussed during presentation and links to the Sane Approach to SEO class notes as promised.
Sane SEO Research Tip
When researching your competition for a given keyword, make sure you take a look at your top competitor’s back-link profile. This can give you an idea of the time investment and link building effort that may be required to be successful.
Your next step is to start digging through your preferred keyword research software. These are some of our preferred tools to drill down to a useful set of Keywords.
Keyword Research Tools
Keyword Spy allows you to quite literally “spy” on keywords. There are several features of the free version of this tool, but the one of the most useful is the Domain spy tool. Just type any domain into the search box, make sure the radio button for “domains” is selected, and you can get reasonably accurate data on how much that site is spending in paid search, who their competitors are, and what keywords they spend the most money on. Keyword Spy is a great tool to study, model and profit from your successful competitors keyword research. The tool can give daily database updates; estimate your competition’s AD Words expenditures. It can even suggest highly successful (profitable) Keyword+ad copy combinations. Keyword Sky offers a free trial so you can test the program to see if it is a good fit for your Sane SEO Campaign.
FreshKey is an effective, yet inexpensive ($20) go-to keyword research tool that allows you to see beyond the regular Google Instant suggestions and predictions that appear when you start typing things in on Google. Not only does it give you new keyword ideas, variations, and synonyms, it also sorts the keywords depending on popularity. Instead of just getting four new keywords from the Google suggestions drop-down, you can now potentially get an unlimited amount of keywords if you keep adding small letter variations to the end of your keyword root. FreshKey exports the keyword results as a spreadsheet or copy them directly to your clipboard. You can also use FreshKey tool to get Amazon search box suggestion terms.
Soolvie is a free Keywoord research program that is a perfect tool for researching multiple channels. It allows you to explore the most typed in keywords on multiple search engines based on the keyword root you give it. It even includes Amazon and eBay. Not only is it a great keyword research tool to use, but it’s also a very handy brainstorming tool as you can slowly start typing in your ideas and allow it to auto-generate its own ideas.
Ubersuggest is another very powerful free keyword research tool. It takes any keyword you give it and immediately gives you an almost unlimited list of alphabetized and numerical keyword variations of your original keyword.
Google Keyword Planner (free)
Many SEO professionals regard Google Keyword Planner as the beginning and end of any discussion about keyword research tools. You must have an AdWords account to access it. However that doesn’t mean you have to pay anything to use the tool, it’s still free. The Google Keyword Planner will show you some pretty neat stats like average monthly searches, competition level (high, medium, or low), the average cost per click, and more.
It doesn’t give you exact keyword suggestions like FreshKey or Ubersuggest, but it actually takes it a step further and suggests more synonyms and variations than many other tools available.
Common sense is the best practice when using any keyword search tool
When using any of these programs, use some of the core terms you already found and scan through those results for additional terms that you hadn’t thought of or added to your list. Many of the core terms will end up producing the same, or similar, results, but you’ll often find one or two (or perhaps more) new core terms with each search. Server logs provide keywords already people use to find your site and show low volume/high converting phrases.
Tip: Sorting Core Terms
With any of these research tools, sometimes you get junk — other times you find treasure — excellent core terms. Just keep sifting and sorting and eventually you will find relevant core terms you can use to build your SEO strategy.
Note: Core terms research is an ongoing process. You can never find too many keywords, so just keep adding new words and phases to your core term spreadsheet.
Sane Approach to SEO Class Notes
The Sane Approach to SEO class material was based on a series of a Search Engine Optimization articles I’ve previously written and posted to my blog. Rather than summarize those articles here, it seemed more efficient to give you the links to the individual blogs, so you can read the topics that interest you, in their entirety.
You might also find the following articles helpful when considering how to optimize your site’s content.