It’s been a fun week here at Name.com and even more fun writing about SEO today on the blog. This week, I wanted to briefly talk about one of the fundamental points of SEO and that is keyword analysis using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. It is a good tool to take a quick look at your target keywords for your particular SEO campaign because it shows you a “rough” view of how many visitors are searching a particular keyword on any given month.
Quick-N-Dirty Keyword Analysis
Now, since we are looking at the “quick” method I won’t spend a lot of time today looking at definitions, filtering options and additional analysis which you can do with the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (which you should do on your own). Rather, I’m going to show you a quick-n-dirty method to help find some keywords you may want to target.
Let’s say you are a new ophthalmologist in denver and you want to target the keyword “denver ophthalmologist.” Sure it’s a hard word to say, but you just spent a boat load of money getting through med school and you want people to find you with this keyword. Let’s plug this into the Google Analytics keyword tool:
The first thing you notice about the results is that your keyword “denver ophthalmologist” doesn’t get too many visitors. However, you quickly can find several other strong keywords such as “denver lasik eye surgery, denver eye surgery, denver lasik eye surgeon.” In fact, you see some keywords on the list that get over 100,000 monthly searches…you should target those, right? Definitely not.
The goal here again is to target the area that you specifically serve because you are most likely not ever going to get ranked on page 1 for “laser eye surgery” unless you invest as much money or more than the cost of your medical education (well, maybe not that much). There’s just too much competition with these broader keywords.
One “quick-n-dirty” method of looking at competition is to view the search results pages for a particular keyword. In the keyword results in Adwords, you can click on the keyword and you’ll see that keyword displayed in the results. Let’s click on “denver lasik eye surgery” for example. Look for the number of results on the page:
Now, you can’t get everything you need to know by looking at the keyword results number. However, it is generally a good indicator as to whether or not you should be targeting a specific keyword (anything under 500,000 results usually means the competition isn’t too high). If you take a look at some of the higher traffic keywords, you’ll see what I mean. Here are the results for “lasik eye surgery”:
With the broader term, we see a lot more competition. Now, there aren’t 7.5 million lasik eye surgery centers. However, there are that many web pages indexed by Google that your site hast to move through in order to rank near the top of page 1 – not an easy task.
Google Keyword Suggestions – in the Search Bar
Now, many of you may be hating Google’s new instant search and the keyword suggestions that are built into the regular Google search bar; however, many SEO experts actually use it to find additional keywords that the Adwords Tool doesn’t give you.
For example, if we just start typing some keyword into the Google search bar, we want to pay attention to the suggestions it gives us in the drop-down list. For example, here is a search for “lasik eye surgery” with the suggestions drop down that Google provides:
What I see are other good keywords to help me formulate some of the content I might create on my site (like lasik eye surgery cost). But, for me what’s really interesting in this example is that lasik eye surgery “Boulder” pops up in the results. Hmm..this gives me an idea. Why not take a look at how much traffic is going to that keyword “lasik eye surgery Boulder”…(I start seeing dollars in my mind). After taking a look at the traffic on that keyword, however, I quickly get discouraged:
The keyword tool says there is no traffic for that keyword, yet Google suggested that keyword when I started typing out “lasik eye surgery” in the search bar. Why would Google suggest that keyword if there is no traffic going to it? Well, the fact is there IS traffic going to that term. In fact, there are a lot of terms that you won’t find in the Google Adwords Keyword tool so start paying attention to the instant search terms in the regular Google search bar.
In summary, you should 1) use Google Adwords to get a rough idea of what keywords people are searching for related to your target keyword; 2) take a quick look at the search results for your target keyword term to make sure it’s not too competitive (if the results are under 500,000 then you can somewhat-safely assume that it’s not hypercompetitive); 3) Pay attention to the search terms that Google suggests.
If I were personally creating this site, I would create a unique page of content targeting every major city in the area – Boulder, Centennial, Englewood, Highlands Ranch, Northglenn, etc. Each page would target the specific city and then I would create additional pages of content based on other keyword suggestions I see in the Adwords tool such as “eye surgery cost, lasik eye procedures, lasik safety,” etc. This will help build trust and relevancy to the site so that it would rank well for the target keywords.
Good luck to all of you eye surgeons in Denver, and for the rest of you…use the Google Adwords Keywords tool and regular search bar to get a quick-n-dirty analysis of the keywords you want to target!