Keyword Assessment

You should never tackle a list of keywords without first analyzing traffic and competition. Its a waste of time and resources to focus on keywords that are too competitive or dont get enough searches.

There is a specific formula I use to determine which keywords I want to focus on:

At least 1,000 monthly searches

No more than 30,000 pages in Google in quotes

No more than 10,000 results for allintitle

When you get your list of keywords from the Google keyword tool, it will tell you approximately how many searches each phrase receives each month. I dont generally use keywords that have less than 1,000 searches per month, because they dont usually bring enough traffic to justify the effort.

Next, you have to assess the competition. You want to make sure to target phrases you have a good chance to rank for, otherwise youre wasting your time, because you probably wont be able to rank on the first page if there is too much competition.

There are two steps to assessing competition. First, you need to find out how many people are using each keyword phrase on their pages. You do this by entering the keyword into Google in quotes. This will tell you how many other pages contain that exact phrase.

As you can see in the image above, the phrase keyword in quotes is used on about 6,090 other pages. This means you should have a fairly easy time ranking on the first page for that phrase.

Next, you need to see how strong those other competitors are. Google and other search engines usually give a tremendous amount of weight to the words appearing in the title of the HTML document, so you need to see how many of those pages are also using the phrase in their title.

This is done by entering this into Google:

allintitle:keyword in quotes

As you can see from this image, only 3 pages have the phrase keyword in quotes in the title. This is great news if you want to rank for that phrase, because it means you will almost certainly be able to rank on the first page for that phrase if you use the phrase in your title.

After you have used all of the keyword phrases you found that fit the main criteria, you can expand and use other keywords. Just stick to those that do fit the criteria in the beginning, because you will get better rankings quickly, so you can start seeing traffic and income sooner.

There are automated tools that make keyword research easier, but you will have to invest some money if you want to use them. For example, Market Samurai makes it very fast and easy to find and assess keywords, but it is pricey.

If youre interested, you can check it out here:

http://www.marketsamurai.com

How Keywords Impact SEO

Search engines give a lot of weight to text in the title of your document, so it is especially important to ensure that you place your keywords there. Of course, there are other places in your document that are almost as important for keyword placement.

Domain Name

Having keywords in your domain name can really help boost your sites rankings. If you wish to rank for buy golf clubs, you might wish to buy a domain like BuyGolfClubs.com or BuyGolfClubs.net.

In order, the best domain extensions for SEO seem to be:

.com

.org

.net

I dont generally bother with any other extension, because they just dont seem to work very well for SEO purposes.

URL

Its not just the domain that counts, either. You can also put your keywords elsewhere in your URL. For example, you can name directories after keywords, and you can name HTML files with keywords, too.

For example:

http://www.golfkeyword.com/golf-clubs/buy-golf-clubs.html

Heading Tags

Heading tags are used on websites to separate various sections of a page. The H1 tag is given the most weight, but it should be used sparingly. You should use your main keyword in an H1 tag once on your page. Then you could use a couple of alternate keywords in H2 and H3 tags.

Body Content

Obviously, you would want to use your keywords in the body text of your site, as well. Its a good idea to use your keyword phrase at least twice per page, but be careful not to overuse it. When you repeat the same phrase too many times on a single page, it can appear spammy and actually hurt your ranking.

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