Recently I wrote about my top 3 onsite SEO ranking factors to help get your site in shape to receive traffic from Google. But, what good are title tags, page copy and internal linking if you don’t target the right keywords on your site? Often, the words you think people search for to find your site are not the ones they actually use. For example, in the case of ClickHOST, one might search for website related terms or WordPress related terms instead of hosting terms. There are tons of SEO tools out there to help you find the right words for your website, but the best ones are free, courtesy of Google.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
The grandaddy of all keyword tools and quite often the only one you ever need, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool generates keyword ideas based on words you type in. Not only that, it tells you whether the competition is high and the number of monthly searches. I tested the phrase, “wordpress hosting” and saw that an average of 14,800 monthly global searches were done by people searching the words-all potential clickhost.com visitors
Google AdWords Traffic Estimator
Just below the keyword tool, the Google AdWords Traffic Estimator lets you take your new keyword ideas and see how much they cost, assuming you want to bid on them in Google AdWords aka paid search. Knowing how much the words are going for in paid search lets you know how valuable getting visitors searching for them could be to your business. I couldn’t help but notice that our phrase from above, “wordpress hosting” costs a company like ClickHOST an average of $17.39. Now, that in itself is an argument for using SEO to get so-called free traffic.
Google Insights for Search (now Google Trends)
Want to know how many people in Atlanta, Georgia are searching for “wordpress hosting” vs people in California? The Google Insights for Search tool makes this possible! If you have a great many people in a certain part of the world searching for your website’s product or service, then it might be worth building a special page to capture traffic for those types of searches. This tool comes in handy for dealing with unscrupulous SEO salesmen who brag about their ability to rank for “web hosting in Antarctica.”
You can spend literally hours in these keyword tools getting ideas and checking their value. Keyword research can be fun at times, but can easily turn into a drudgery after a while. Many website owners simply don’t take the time or have the discipline to find their best keywords. Spending time in keyword research tools like the above will help you make smarter decisions, get more traffic and grow your website.
Thanks to Carel and the ClickHOST team for allowing me to express myself here and for the pleasure of working with the team on some exciting SEO projects. Stop by and visit me at Clickfire.