Judging Keyword Competition

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No I am not talking about the infamous Google Page Rank meter. I am talking about the newer search volume meter shown inside Google’s External Keyword Tool.

You read in my last article on keyword research for local businesses, that Google’s tool was shown to be the most likely source of reliable keyword data when a local modifier is involved.

Let’s say you want to build a blog focusing on Denver restaurants. Of course it will probably take you a while to bust out the “sandbox” so you would be better off targeting some less competitive terms that are still highly relevant for your site. Typing in ‘denver restaurants’ to the Google Keyword Tool returned the following results.

As you can the relative volume of the search query is displayed. Now we need to pick some keywords with decent volume that are also a little less competitive. You can pick keywords by clicking the add link next to each phrase. This will create a running list for you on the right column of the page. If you click the “txt” link under “download these keywords” you can grab a quick text export of your list.
denver restaurant keywords

Take this list on over to Aaron Wall’s Keyword Competition Tool. You’ll need a Google API Key for this one so if you don’t have one try this tool which will help you create a manual report. Aaron’t tool reports, for the phrase, the number of results returned, the number of links with that exact anchor text, the number of pages with the exact phrase in their title tag, and the number of pages with both the phrase in anchor text and in their title together.

denver restaurant competition

Ok, now we know some relative volume data about a set of keywords and we also know about how pages are truely “optimized” for each keyword. So let’s pick some winners. (Hint, my winners are in green above).

First possible flaw in this theory: We don’t know how accurate those little green volume bars are. We just don’t know enough about them.
Second possible flaw: Many other powerful websites are obviously ranking for some of these terms, and even tough they may not be in their title tags or anchor text, they may still be hard to beat.

So good luck finding your local keyword “gold nuggets”!


Judging Keyword Competition
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About Mike Belasco
A thought leader in search engine marketing, Mike Belasco, president of seOverflow, began his journey in the mid-90's developing websites and studying search engine optimization when it was in its infancy. Mike continues to live and breathe all things search engine optimization ensuring that he and his staff stay at the forefront of the industry. He also regularly speaks at national industry events and conferences. Mike is a certified Yahoo Search Marketing Ambassador. His blog was named 'Best Local Search Blog' in 2006 by Search Engine Journal. Mike holds a business systems information degree from the University of Colorado in Boulder. WebProNews Writer
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