Keyword Explained Part II

This is the second part of our keyword article. I hope you have learned something on the first part. So here's the second part.

Where and how to look for keywords

In order to find the best keywords for our website we need to gather information from a variety of resources. Some of these resources may include:

Brainstorming: Getting your brain to go on a magic carpet ride is one of the best ways to find relevant keywords for your website. Don't just settle for asking the obvious question, what does my website sell? Ask questions such as: "What is this product made up of?" or "Who is using my services?" or "What problems do my products solve?"

Finding the main and secondary keyword phrases should take less than a month for even 2 or 3 websites. This does not mean your keyword research has ended forever, but finding the 4-5 word long secondary key phrases can be done with the free keyword research tools if your budget is tight.

Free keyword research tools: You can gain access to the powerful and free Google external keyword tool to expand your keyword list. Unfortunately the Google external keyword tool only gives a search volume indicator instead of the actual search numbers. Another very valuable feature in Google external keyword tool is the "Site-Related Keywords" finder. By simply entering the website URL of your competitors, you can find out in seconds which keywords they target on their web pages.

Another free keyword research tool available without creating an account is the Overture keyword inventory . As of now, August 2007, this tool only shows the January 2007 search volumes as it's being phased out, but Yahoo! is promising a replacement. If you have a Yahoo! Search Marketing account you can still gain access to their keyword tool albeit without the search volume numbers.

Related search terms suggestion tools: One of the fastest ways you can find hundreds of related keywords is to use online lexical or thesaurus tools.

Creating a large initial keyword list that includes a large number of synonyms and acronyms is essential to effective keyword research. Discovering related phrases that are not simply stemming from the original keyword term is a cornerstone of semantic latent indexing . Semantic indexing can be described as the grouping of related documents based on not only direct relationship between words, but the meaning of the words as well.

Some of the search engines provide a related search command list in their search results. Try Clusty by entering a search command and take a look at the "clusters" side bar. You can get dozens of ideas from the keyword clusters by playing with different combination of keywords. You can also visit Technorati a well known blog aggregator and social media tagging site to help unlocked your brain and generate new keywords. Enter a search term and observe the "Related tags" section directly under the search results.

Visitor statistic reports: These can be generated from web server log files or from script based visitor statistic programs. This can help you uncover new keywords for your website by discovering what the visitors are typing into the search engines to find your websites. In some cases, you'll find keywords you didn't expect to come up for in the search results. You should further research those keywords and uncover new keyword niches.

Site search engines: This can be a great source of new keywords and a potential data mining source. As well as further analysis of the average number of keywords, keyword length and other important keyword metrics.

Top ranking competitors: These websites are already well optimized and contain keyword rich web pages. Why not leverage their efforts and harvest the best keywords for your own website? With the help of the SEO Studio keyword analyzer you can extract hundreds of keywords from their META keywords and HTML page content in seconds.

A few examples of good keyword selection practices

Selecting the best keyword takes experience and a little know how, but it's always helpful to see how the pros do it, so here are a few basic steps for keyword selection.

Using your favorite keyword research tool Wordtracker, Keyword Discovery or the Keywords Analyzer, type in the main keyword phrase. Start with the broadest possible search terms, this way there is less chance of missing keywords that might otherwise be overlooked.

Look for 2-4 word key phrases that have at least a daily search volume of 200 or more. Since the top 3 sites will receive 60 of all searches, it follows you can expect at least 120 or more unique visitors for those keywords phrases. In some cases, you may want to lower the minimum search volume threshold to as low as 50 if the search term is well targeted for your business.

At this point you should have at least 20-30 really good secondary keywords in your basket.

Hopefully most of the keywords you have selected will have little competition. Some of the keyword tools we have recommended will also tell you the amount of competition for each keyword, but you can also verify these numbers manually by typing the search terms into the search engines with quotes.

It's very important that you use quotes around the keywords to let the engines know you are looking for an exact match. The rule of thumb we use to assess keyword competitiveness is around "100,000" websites. Anything above a hundred thousand results is fairly competitive and requires a fair amount of optimization and link building.