With any blog or website that is trying to increase their traffic there has to be a keyword analysis done. What is a keyword analysis? Well, it’s a check of what keywords people use to search on the web. If you don’t do this, you are losing on some valuable potential traffic. Imagine spending hundreds of hours optimizing your site for a keyword you think is good and you find out that another keyword or phrase gets two or three times the traffic. I don’t know about you, but that would tick me off.
What to do first
Identify the obvious keywords. Start by brainstorming the keywords that first come to mind. When brainstorming, include keywords that you have already thought of, or, if you haven’t started yet, the ones that come to mind first. After you write them down, take a few minutes and look the list over. Is there anything else you can add? What similar terms come to mind? Add them, too.
When you do your analysis, you’ll find that some of the initial terms you think of aren’t searched for very often, but that’s okay. This list is just the start, what else are brainstorms for right
Look at your site’s access logs. Take a quick look at your web site’s access logs (this is usually found on your stats program. It is often called hit logs). You may not realize it, but most stat tracking programs show you the keywords entered into a search engine that brings people to your site. Write these keywords and phrases down because they are the ones that are bringing people to your site.
Here’s an example:
If you look at the Query, that is what someone entered into Google before coming to Daily Web Ideas. This is great because I know what people are searching for and I know what keywords to target. From this example, I would consider using “Web Idea” and “Network” as some potential keywords for this site. And having Web Ideas in the domain of this website, that can only help.
Examining competitors’ keyword tags. You probably know who your competitors are, if you don’t you should. Know what is popular in your niche and what to emulate. What you want to do is go to their sites and open the source code of a few pages at each site. You do this by choosing “View Source” from your browser’s menu bar to get a sneak peek. Look for the <META NAME=”keywords”> tag and see if you find any useful keywords there. If the blog has an All-in-one SEO plugin, this is where you will see it. Often the keywords are garbage, or simply not there, but if you look at enough sites, you’re likely to come up with some useful terms you hadn’t thought of.
Here is an example of what a source code and keywords looks like (if you can see it):
As you can tell, this information isn’t seen on the actual web site, but only in the coding. So a human eye can’t see these keywords, but robots sure can.
Brainstorming with colleagues. Another method of identifying keywords is by talking with friends and colleagues to see if they can come up with some possible keywords. Ask them something like, “If you were looking for a site (what ever site you have), what terms would you search for?” That should get you to a good start.
How do some of you identify your keywords and how do you do your keyword analysis?
I will be continuing this post in Part II. Stay tuned.