Keyword Research is a process of selecting
the most "optimum performance"
keyword phrases that can help visitors find
your site. Keyword research is always first
step towards successful search engine optimization
of your website. Without it you are shooting
from the hip. Therefore, the foremost step
in any SEO campaign is identifying your
target audience and researching what keyword
phrases they might be searching in the search
engines to locate a site like yours.
If you would like to create a website about
traveling you could optimize your site for
the generic term "travel", but
how well is that going to perform ? Well
according to Overture there there are 2195206
searches were performed for "travel"
in Dec 2005. Now in order to rank high for
this term you would have to compete with
high end websites such as travel. com, travelocity.com
or travel.yahoo.com. Now that might be your
ultimate goal but if you are just starting
there is little to no chance you will be
ranked high enough to receive any traffic
for the term.
If you were to do a little keyword research
you might find more specific terms with
much less competition like "group travel"
15002 - searches or "travel destination"
- 16706 searches"travel inn" -
13338 searches. Now obviously the number
of searches is much less with these phrases
but your chances or ranking will be much
greater. Its always a good idea to start
off with several low competition terms and
as your site builds start optimizing for
the larger terms.
Searching Keywords : One way of
searching for keywords is to focus on identifying
as many keywords as possible that are related
to your website and target audience. It
is an an good idea to start with identifying
100 to 150 keywords related to subject of
your websites. Alternatively you can start
with 10 t0 15 generic terms (e.g., ticket,
travel, hotels, guide, cruise, etc., could
be generic terms for a travel website) and
latter expending them into keywords with
the help of Overture or Worldtracker. Now
narrow down your range by identify good
15 to 20 keywords from starting out keywords,
tightly focused on your website theme.
The most generic keywords are the most widely
searched, but also the most competitive
and sometimes bring mediocre conversion
rates. So my take is to search for little
less competitive keywords tightly describing
theme of your website.
Keyword Research tools like Wordtracker
and Overture can be used to expand on your
initial list of starting out keywords. These
tools allow you to find the number of searches
being made on a particular term and also
look for all related terms that include
your search term.
Wordtracker and Overture are the two most
widely used services that give you the ability
to research and find out what people are
actually searching for on the major search
engines along with information on how popular
a search term was in the last 30 or 60 days.