Keyword selection is the first step in search engine promotion. It's vital that you choose the right keywords for your page before trying to optimize it to get visitors from search engines.
Pick the wrong keyword phases and everything else will be a waste of time.
Unfortunately, it can be a difficult process to decide just which keywords to focus on and emphasize in your meta tags, and which to avoid.
Choose the same keywords as everyone else and you risk being lost in the crowd. Use ones that are too obscure and you'll get no visitors. Plus there's the problem of formatting keyword phrases. Are you sure that people are really searching using the exact same phases and keyword combinations that you would? And what about spellings? Do more people search for 'e-zines' or 'ezines'?
Thankfully, there are a couple of free online services that help take the guesswork out of keyword selection and give you the facts you need. I've brought them together here to make the process of selecting your keywords both quicker and easier.
Both of these keyword tools give you vastly more keywords, offer more features, and are far more accurate because they check for keyword phrase usage at many different search engines. They also tell you how many pages you would be competing against in the search results, revealing frequently searched phrases with little competition that are relatively easy to get a top ten ranking for. Basically these pro keyword tools give you the keyword gold, and that alone is more than enough reason to use them. Highly recommended.
How To Use These Keyword Tools
- First of all, if you use a pop-up blocker you'll have to turn it off to use the tools. If you don't, nothing will happen.
- Use the Overture tool to compile lists of keyword phrases that incorporate your target word, e.g. all searches made that contain the word 'marketing'.
- Use SpellWeb to make quick checks on possible variants or synonyms and compare popularity. For example, you could check how often 'money' is used compared to 'cash', etc.
- Before designing a web page focusing on just one or two keywords and their synonyms, use SpellWeb to help you decide which you should be using.
- Cross-check results for your most important keywords using both tools.
- Once you have both pop up windows open, you might want to navigate to the Meta Tag Maker page. This will enable you to cut and paste keywords as you go along, and mail them to yourself using the Meta Tag Maker.
- I've designed the pop up windows so that you can still use your top menu bar when they are open. This is to enable you to quickly save all your Overture keyword suggestions to your computer. From the "File" menu select "Save as" and then in the dialog box that opens, choose the "text" option. Your search results will be saved for future reference so that you can analyze them further off-line, and perhaps combine keywords from each to form a 'master list' (as I do).
Access The Keyword Research Tools
Click on the links below to open a new window for each keyword tool. You may have both keyword tools open at once.
SpellWeb Keyword Comparison
Type two variations of a keyword into the form. This can either be two different spellings, (like 'e-zine' and 'ezine' for example), or a correct spelling and a common misspelling (e.g. 'business' and 'bussiness'), or two different words with similar meanings (e.g. 'money' and 'cash'). Click on the button for the engine you wish to check and you will be told the number of times each word is used.