The last word on keywords… almost

I’m going cross-eyed from working on keywords right now, so soon I will jump back up to 10,000 feet and talk about how strategy maps can be a useful tool for non-profits that need to ensure their sustainability and think carefully when planning for growth.  I need the break and you probably do, too.

But I came across an article on keywords that addresses something I’ve been wondering:  how do you choose the best keywords, the ones you should concentrate on first, if you don’t have an experienced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) person who can devote lots of time and energy to ensuring you compete well against other sites and pages?

Ken McGaffin has an 18-month old post — an article, really — on WordTracker’s academy forum, Choosing Your Best Keywords.  You don’t have to buy WordTracker to review the article.  He offers three strategies to choosing the best keywords:

1.  Include the most popular keywords in your website copy, even though you may not rank well for them.  He suggests that, by doing so, you lay a foundation for the future so that your rankings will rise as you add content.

2.  Use the most popular words along with “qualifiers”, either geographic or sector specific.  In my last example, an organization might try to own:  “charities for children Sacramento”  or “children’s charities Sacramento.”

3.  He says to look for niche keywords or markets that others haven’t yet found.  For this, you would have to use a keyword analysis tool, which will cost you $59 right now for a month’s access to WordTracker.  WordTracker includes the keyword effectiveness index (KEI) in its product, and it helps you identify keywords (usually phrases) for which there are searches, but few (or fewer) pages competing.

Even if you don’t want to spend the time or money to pursue his tip #3, his other two ideas are helpful.

In the words of Colbert, “That’s the word.”

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