Posts Tagged ‘keyword research’

Keyword Examiner Review

Keyword Examiner

Keyword Examiner

This week has seen the official launch of another piece of SEO time saving software called Keyword Examiner. Its Developer says “Keyword Examiner is a piece of software designed to take hours off your keyword research for search engine optimisation (SEO).” I have known about Keyword Examiner’s imminent release for a while now, so when I got the opportunity to review it, I was very excited.

What does it do?
In a nutshell Keyword examiner looks at the search volumes for your keywords or key phrases. It gets these figures from Google’s AdWords External Keyword Tool. Once it has these it then looks at the number of competition sites within your niche and is then able to calculate a KEI Score or Keyword Efficiency Indicator. The KEI score tells us how efficient a keyword is and enables us to make the right decisions about which keywords to target.

How is it to use?
As I did not have any outstanding keyword research to perform in this review experiment, I decided I would use some keywords I had researched towards the back end of last week. Now the research I had done was in the Mortgage sector, so it’s quite a competitive market and therefore imperative that I get the keywords right. What I decided to do was to run the Keywords through Keyword Examiner and compare them to the results I had got last week calculating the KEI score manually.

When you go to start the process you are asked whether you would like to choose global or local results. As the research I did last week was global I selected ‘All Countries & Territories’. Next you are prompted to enter your keywords. For this I added a handful of the most obvious ones. At this point you can choose whether you want the keywords as Broad, Phrase or Exact. I left this as Broad. After entering the CAPTCHA code, Keyword Examiner returns the AdWords search volumes for your keywords, but it also returns the search volumes for other suggested keywords.

The Next process is to obtain the competition data. Simply make your selections from the check boxes along the top and click the ‘Get Competition Data’ button and Keyword Examiner will return the results along with the KEI score for the keywords. That really is all there is to it, job done in just a couple of minutes. I need to point out at this stage, that for all you WordTraker fans out there that Keyword Examiner will ingrate with WordTraker, however you do need a WordTracker subscription for that.

The Results
One of the great features about Keyword Examiner is that the results can be exported to a spreadsheet allowing you to sort by size, thus making your decision for choosing your keywords easy. In my keyword research for this niche, I had chosen 4 key phrases. When I filtered the results from Keyword Examiner the top 4 were the same four that my manual research had come up with. Results 2 and 3 were in a different order but their scores were very close and there are a number of reasons why that may have been. What I also noticed was that result number 5 on Keyword Examiner’s results, was a keyphrase that Keyword Examiner had suggested, and that I had missed in my initial research. Now imagine if this had been the top result! I could have missed the most efficient keyword out there for my niche!

Is it any good?
Quite simply, “yes”. As busy SEO’s we all know that there are just not enough hours in the day, and anything that saves us time is worth its weight in gold. My keyword research last week took me the best part of an hour. Keyword Examiner came up with the same results, and highlighted a lapse of concentration on my part, in less than 5 minutes. So is that worth $29.95? Without a shadow of a doubt. Keyword Examiner is one of the most useful, cost effective, and time saving products I have ever used, and I hope you find it as good as I did.

Ten Steps of SEO: Step 2 Keyword Research

In my previous article Ten Steps of SEO: Step 1 Initial Analysis we looked at assessing whether there the market is out there to be attacked. Now we have established that there is, we will look at which keywords we are going to target.

Keyword research is probably the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is an area you should pay extra care and attention to. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get this right. All too often I see people dive into to an online marketing campaign targeting keywords that are far too ambitious. Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t be intimidated by competition, but equally you need to be realistic about where you can expect to rank within the search engine results. Remember, we are going to be up against some established authority sites.

The first thing we need to do here is produce a list of all the keywords you can think of relevant to your niche. I find it easiest to put these into a spreadsheet, as it allows you to filter the results later. Once you have listed all the ones you can think of, we will look to our trusted friend Goggle for a bit of guidance. Google has a very useful tool called the Keyword Suggestion Tool . This tool will suggest alternative keywords we may have overlooked. There are many other programs designed to do this, Wordtracker is amongst the best.

The next stage is to find out how efficient a keyword is. For this we use a tool called a Keyword Efficiency Indicator (KEI). There are lots of tools out there for this most of them you have to pay for but many have free 30 day trials. Again I find the one in Wordtracker good for this. Run your keywords through the KEI tool and put the search volumes, competition & KEI score into the spreadsheet.

Now if we sort the results in order of KEI, high to low, we can start to pick the best keywords. A keyword with a high KEI is better than that of a low one. However do not just go for the highest KEI’s. The reason being that if a keyword or search term has very high competition but also has very, very, large search volumes, the excessively high search volumes will throw the KEI results and and give a very high KEI. This may look an attractive score but in reality it’s just going to be too hard to crack. Best thing to do here is get rid of the keywords with high KEI that seem to have a much higher search and competition volumes.

Equally we also want to get rid of KEI’s with low score. Also at this point we should look at search volumes and get rid of anything with very low search volumes. After all there is no point targeting a keyword if nobody is searching for it. We should now be left with a number of keywords with mid-high range KEI’s of these we should take 5 to 10 keywords with the highest KEI score. I wouldn’t recommend working on more at the moment, but concentrate your effort on these. Once you are getting good results for these you can always add more. Now you have your list of keywords. Not the easiest and quickest of SEO strategies, but the effort you have just put in will be more than worth it.

Ten Steps of SEO

Ten Steps of SEO is a series of articles written to give you an insight to the basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Many people seem to be under the impression that there is some secret formula to SEO. In reality this is not true. There is no hidden secret, there is no one process that that will get you to the top of the search engine results. Good results are achieved by gradually, over time, using ethical (white hat) methods, to grow your website organically. Follow these Ten Steps of SEO and you will be on the right track to improving your online visibility.

  1. Initial Analysis – Online Marketing is just the same as any other marketing campaign. To be able to monitor the progress of your campaign you must first know where you are starting from. It is also a good idea to check that there is actually a market out there in the first place.
  2. Keyword Research – This is one of the most important aspects of SEO. My advice would be to spend a long time on this. If you get this bit right the marketing of your site will be a whole lot easier in the long.
  3. Competitor Analysis – Knowing what your competitors are up to is essential, it allows you to plan your strategy. Look who is linking in to your competitor’s site and put these sites on a list of possible link partners. By getting these companies to link back to your site, you eliminate advantages gained by your competitors with these links.
  4. On-page Optimisation – You may have heard the cliche “Content is King”, well search engines love good quality unique content. Mix in well a written meta title & meta description and you are off to a good start for a well optimised page.
  5. Search Engine & Directory Submission – This is an easy way to get lots of initial links back to your site. Register with the search engines and this will encourage them to visit your site and index all of your pages. Some directories have good PR (Page Ranking) which means you will be getting relevant link backs from respected sites.
  6. Blogging/Content Updates – Adding good quality content to your site on a regular basis will encourage search engines to keep returning to your site. Visitors to your site will also show the same loyalty. If you release interesting content on a regular basis, people will start to look out for updates and re-visit your site. The easiest way to do this is to set up a blog or news section on your site.
  7. Article Marketing – Article marketing is a very effective aspect of SEO. Submitting articles to article sites such as EzineArticles has 2 key benefits. Firstly it allows you to build links back to your website. Secondly, as the articles are free to republish, if your article gets used by anyone, they will need to include the original links from your article.
  8. Strategic Link Building – Links are vital to increasing your search engine rankings. However it is not just a case of building as many links as possible. Avoid building links from sites that are not relevant for your niche as these will potentially do more damage than good.
  9. Social Media – There are many forms of social media. I amsure you have all heard of sites like Myspace, Facebook, & more recently Twitter. Social Media is great for driving traffic to your site and getting your website in front of your target audience, at the same time as building back links we know to be vital to your search engine positioning.
  10. Web Ranking & Link Reporting – Reporting on where you are ranking for keywords, and who is linking back to you will allow you to monitor your online campaign closely. You could also run these reports on your competitors to know how your online marketing campaign

We will go into more detail for each of these points in coming posts so, be sure to keep an eye out for updates. You can subscribe to updates via our RSS feed or alternatively subscribe via email and we will send updates direct to your inbox. And, if you don’t fancy doing this yourself, we are more than happy to step in and help.

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