Tips For Organic Keyword Research And Selection

    March 19, 2009

In the session "Organic Keyword Research and Selection" the panel offered strategies for developing keyword lists for organic search engine optimization.

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Seth Wilde, Search Engine Marketing Manager, uShip, talked about keyword research methods.

Internal Data:
List of products/services
Current organic search queries
Site search box

Third Party Tools
Competitive Intelligence (Hitwise, etc.)
Keyword Research Tools (keyword tracker)

Know how well the search phrases convert to real business
Things to look out for:
Use exact match
Keep your ad on the front page

Use 3-4 keywords per page, but make sure you have content to back up keyword selections. Group keywords that Google sees as similar.

Refine Results
Adjust for growth and competition and do regular keyword research.

Craig Paddock, Managing Partner, Boost Search Marketing
Craig Paddock
Managing Partner
Boost Search Marketing

Craig Paddock, Managing Partner, Boost Search Marketing, said to research with and to use Hitwise if you are a larger company.

Defend your brand names/terms
Highest converting
Easiest to rank for

Let your customers decide what your key phrase is by referring to PPC data. Minimize impression for "broad" match terms.

"Your link quality must be similar to top-ranked sites," said Paddock.

Current Ranking:
If you are already getting traffic for a term you can still try and improve it. Take advantage of Google’s clustering.

"Keyphrase research is more than looking at keyphrase popularity," said Paddock.

Amanda Watlington, Ph.D., Searching for Profit, offered 10 rules for keyword research.

1.Keyword research is not a done and one process.
2. There are no "Swiss army knife" tools. (could be less, could be more? It just depends on your situation)
3. The tools are only as good as the analyst using them.
4. Boiling the ocean to get the "right keywords" is a waste of time.
5. Capture the head from the tail.
6. Content-centric keyword strategies are win-win solutions.
7. Segment/bin your keywords to sharpen your analysis.
8. Listen to your user feedback. Avidly mind your analytics. ("Listening drives. Your analytics are a gold mine of information.")
9. Take a forward-looking approach to all keyword analysis and research.
10. Build your own keyword list to study the engines

Always be watching for change.

Mark Jackson, President/CEO, VIZION Interactive, Inc., said the initial process for keyword research is brainstorming.

"Try to control CEO-itis. get involved with the marketing department in this process," said Jackson.

Competitive Analysis
Are you sure your site supports the keywords you want to target?
For example do you have content specific to that keyword phrase?

He uses to see the top 10 sites for search phrase.

Know what you want and plan accordingly.  You have to look at competitive analysis and have a roadmap to follow.

WebProNews Reporter/Anchor Abby Johnson contributed to this report.