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Good SEO Is Good Keyword Research


Research Before You Write

It has been said that what differentiates good SEO's from great SEO's is keyword research. As an owner of a small business you can probably think of one or two search phrases that sum up your business. You probably think that these phrases would make a mint for you if your website came up first for them when someone typed them into a search engine. While this may be true, chances are that you - as a business owner -look at your business differently than your clients. You may use industry jargon to describe your services, while clients think in terms of simple problems that they need solved and search the web describing them. For example, you may describe yourself as a "expert web designer", but chances are more people will search using terms like "I need a new web design" or "redesign my website" so you would do better to optimize your website for those words.

Where Can I Find User Centric Keywords?

There are many places to research keywords for your website. If you already have a website, ask your web host to look at your web stats. Chances are your web host has been collecting the search terms that were used to find your website since your site went live. These terms are commonly stored in the log files of your website, and most websites offer a piece of software like Urchin (http://www.urchin.com/), or Webalizer (http://www.mrunix.net/webalizer/) that makes reviewing your log files simple. Using one of these tools, look for referral reports such as "keyword phrases". Here you'll find a listener of the exact phrases people typed in the search engines to find your site and they say is without a dead the best place to start your keyword research.

Keyword Research and Suggestion Tools


Keyword Suggestion Tools

If you are just building your website, or need some help thinking outside the box, these are some great tools that will help you choose keywords to optimize your website for:

Wordtracker - perhaps the best-known keyword suggestion tool, Wordtracker makes finding and prioritizing keywords easy. It is a service and you can use it for 24 hours for about six dollars. Monthly and annual subscriptions are also available.

Digitalpoint - this tool is no substitution for Wordtracker, but it is free and may help get the wheels turning.

Google Sandbox - this tool can be useful, but is not as "effective" [in Anicon's opinion] as the tools previously mentioned. That said, using this tool to generate keywords that you will then test in a tool like Wordtracker is a great idea.

Overture Keyword Suggestion Tool - they move this resource constantly to prevent abuse. Like the Google Sandbox this tools is no replacement for Wordtracker.

Consult with Your Customers for Keywords

Another place to search for keywords is within your customer base. Go ahead and ask your customers how they found you, how they would describe your service and what search terms they would use to find your website. You will be amazed at what you find.

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