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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases


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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)

with Jill Whalen

Video: Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases

I've gone ahead and done some addition keyword research for some of our main topics on the Kindle site. We now have a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for Electronic Book Readers, Classic Books, Kindle accessories and ebook readers. Now it's time to start figuring out the competitiveness of each phrase so that we have a better idea of which we should we should optimize for. Every keyword phrase that you research has a specific level of competitiveness tied to it. Competitiveness is simply how difficult or easy it would be to see results when you optimize for that particular phrase.
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  1. 1m 33s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      29s
  2. 6m 20s
    1. Understanding how search engines work
      3m 50s
    2. What is SEO?
      2m 30s
  3. 25m 3s
    1. Introducing keyword phrases
      1m 21s
    2. The keyword research process
      4m 42s
    3. Performing keyword research
      4m 43s
    4. Winnowing out ineffective keyword phrases
      1m 58s
    5. Performing additional keyword research
      2m 44s
    6. Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases
      5m 42s
    7. Finding keyword gems
      3m 53s
  4. 12m 49s
    1. What site architecture means to SEO
      2m 1s
    2. Brainstorming main categories and subcategories for the web site
      4m 4s
    3. Creating a keyword phrase-to-page map
      3m 33s
    4. Using keywords in domain names and URLs
      3m 11s
  5. 18m 10s
    1. SEO in HTML tags
      1m 57s
    2. Title tags
      1m 56s
    3. Meta descriptions
      1m 33s
    4. Header tags
      1m 12s
    5. Anchor text
      1m 43s
    6. Alt tags
      1m 36s
    7. Writing effective title tags
      4m 42s
    8. Writing meta-description tags
      3m 31s
  6. 11m 44s
    1. What good content is and why it's needed
      1m 27s
    2. The different types of content pages
      3m 47s
    3. Using keywords in existing content
      1m 53s
    4. Writing new content for users and search engines
      4m 37s
  7. 16m 37s
    1. Understanding link popularity and why it's important
      2m 43s
    2. Introducing Google's PageRank
      2m 38s
    3. Knowing the best way to get links
      3m 12s
    4. Content creation and promotion as "link bait"
      3m 34s
    5. Real-world link bait ideas
      4m 30s
  8. 12m 7s
    1. Introducing social media marketing
      4m 3s
    2. Getting started with social media marketing
      2m 25s
    3. Participating in social media communities
      5m 39s
  9. 26m 31s
    1. Why rankings are a poor measure of success
      3m 13s
    2. Determining conversions and setting up goals in Google Analytics
      5m 37s
    3. Measuring search engine traffic
      11m 5s
    4. Measuring success beyond the search engines
      6m 36s
  10. 9m 19s
    1. Reviewing top techniques for SEO success
      1m 58s
    2. Additional resources
      4m 19s
    3. The future of SEO
      3m 2s

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Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010)
2h 20m Beginner Mar 31, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started, author Jill Whalen explains the importance of site rankings and why search engine optimization is necessary for increasing web site traffic. The course covers choosing the best keywords, performing keyword research, augmenting keywords with search-friendly site architecture, creating social media networking strategies, and measuring the success of an SEO campaign.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how search engines work
  • Researching and selecting keywords
  • Adding keywords to web pages, URLs, and HTML markup
  • Writing web page content based on selected keywords
  • Link building
  • Social media marketing without spamming
  • Setting up Google Analytics to track conversions
  • Measuring search engine traffic
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web SEO
Author:
Jill Whalen

Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases

I've gone ahead and done some addition keyword research for some of our main topics on the Kindle site. We now have a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for Electronic Book Readers, Classic Books, Kindle accessories and ebook readers. Now it's time to start figuring out the competitiveness of each phrase so that we have a better idea of which we should we should optimize for. Every keyword phrase that you research has a specific level of competitiveness tied to it. Competitiveness is simply how difficult or easy it would be to see results when you optimize for that particular phrase.

What makes a keyword phrase competitive or not is the number of other pages that are optimized for the phrase. So you might think that you could learn this by typing your phrase into Google and seeing how many pages show up for that phrase. So, let's put one of our research phrases. Let's take kindle reviews. I'll just copy and paste it. Copy and go over to Google. I'll paste it in here and it's okay if we have the brackets in there, they just ignore them and we'll do a Google search and see what happens.

So, it looks like there are 28,800,000 other pages that show up. But these are pages that use any of those words, kindle and reviews, on their page somewhere or it could even be in links pointing to the page. This doesn't mean that those other pages are actually optimized for the phrase. So we don't have to let that number scare us quite yet. So, now let's put the phrase kindle reviews in quotes, I'll get rid of the brackets and put quotes and do a search for this.

This is an exact match search and what it tells us is how many pages Google knows about that are using this exact phrase somewhere on the page. So, now we see 70,300 for kindle reviews in quotes. Still looks like a lot of competition, but even the exact match doesn't necessarily mean that those pages are optimized for the phrase. It means they have that phrase somewhere on the page, but it doesn't mean they are optimized. So, there is one more little trick I have up my sleeve that gives me a better idea of the competitiveness of any keyword phrase.

What we do is it's an advanced command operator called all in title. So right before we have our phrase in quotes we put, allintitle, one word and a colon and then the phrase in quotes. Let me search for that. This little command will tell us how many pages Google knows about that are using the keyword phrase in their title tag. Title tags are one of the most important places to use keywords. So, if the page is using a phrase there then it's likely to be your competition. Now this search shows 6,060 pages with the exact phrase of kindle reviews, which is still a lot, but not as daunting as those other numbers we saw.

Since that phrase, kindle reviews, is really exactly what our website is about, it's within reach. So you'll also want to browse with the other pages that show up when searching for that keyword phrase to determine if you want to use it. How we do that is go back and just do the regular search for kindle reviews, because regular people don't search with quotes. So, it looks like we are competing with CNET, which is going to pretty tricky because they've been around a long time, and sites that have been around a long time get pretty entrenched in the search results.

I have got iReaderReviews, CrunchGear, so there is some pretty tough competition. PCWorld. So, I mean, there is definitely some competition here, but that doesn't mean that we don't have a chance for it. Since it's very specific to our site that's a good keyword phrase and we're still going to use it. You can also take a look at the sites themselves and see how optimized they are for the phrase and click through and see if it says kindle reviews on here. We can do a search. See they don't even have that phrase on the page at all.

So, most likely this page has a lot of links pointing to it that say kindle reviews. So, we could have a chance to show up for this phrase. What you want to look at when you look at these pages is to see are they optimized. Are they on topic? Can you make your page more relevant than those others? These are different questions to really answer and sometimes it just comes down to experience. It's important to also remember that this is just one keyword phrase. We are going to make you go through our process with almost all our relevant keyword phrases.

So, I want to go down our list of previously researched keywords and do allintitle searches for them. I find it easiest to add another column in my keyword spreadsheet for allintitle, then later I review the entire list comparing the allintitle numbers to the number of searches each keyword has. So we can change this, just call it Searches, and then we are going to put in Allintitle here.

And we just did for kindle reviews here, so I am going to put this one in here. These can take a long time as you can see to put all of these allintitles in. So, you might want to be discriminatory about which ones you choose. Make sure you choose those that are highly relevant to your site, because otherwise, it could take you many weeks of work just to add allintitles in for each keyword phrase. So knowing how to assess the competitiveness of your targeted keyword phrases will help you spot keyword gems later, for which you should optimize the pages of your website.

Knowing how to assess the competitiveness of your targeted keyword phrases will help you spot keyword gems for which you should optimize the pages of your website.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Search Engine Optimization Getting Started (2010).


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Q: In the “Determining competitiveness of keyword phrases” tutorial in the SEO: Search Engine Optimization Getting Started course, the author details the use of the “allintitle” advanced search operator in Google.  While the operator works in the example given in the tutorial, Google will not allow usage of the “allintitle” operator for more than two keywords at a time.  Is there any workaround to this problem?
A: Google’s policy on the “allintitle” operator has become a major problem in trying to do some competitive keyword research. There is a workaround, although it makes searching slower. Follow these steps:
1) Click on Google's Advanced Search link, then add the desired keyword phrase to the Find web pages that have... "this exact wording or phrase." Then click the "+Date, usage rights, numeric range, and more" link.
2) In the "Where your keywords show up:" dropdown menu, change "anywhere on page" to "in the title of the page."
This should allow the use of the “allintitle” search without Google thinking the user is a robot. To do the next one more quickly, just hit the back button of the browser and change to the next keyword phrase.


Q: Allintitle searches on Google seem to yield wildly inconsistent results. How does the author handle such inconsistent data when looking for good keywords? Are these results a recent phenomenon? Can can allintitle searches still be used reliably?
A: Unfortunately, Google has recently made it difficult to do the allintitle searches. It is still useful to a certain extent, but only because there currently isn’t anything better out there to judge the competition of a site.
Q: As a result of Google changing the "select previous interface" function, the methods in used for the Keyword Tool in the tutorials no longer work. Is there a method that can be used with the new keyword search tool that will produce the same results as shown in the training course?
A: Unfortunately, Google switched to the new Keyword Tool and also removed many keywords that aren't "commercially viable" from the database, so the methods in this title will not work exactly as described. You can still change from broad match to exact, but it is, unfortunately, harder to find. Right now, there does not appear to be a more effective way to do keyword research. Unfortunately, the other vendors that provide keyword research tools for a monthly fee are no better than Google's free one. The best advice for now would be to not focus too much on the keywords and just pick those that seem to be the most relevant for your site.
Q: Google AdWords looks different on my Mac than it does in these tutorials. Can you help me find the option for "How would you like to generate keyword ideas" (either  "descriptive words or phrases" vs. "website content") that you show in the video on using the Keyword Tool?
A: The Keyword Tool has changed slightly in appearance since this course was published, but the functionality is essentially the same. Under the "Find keywords, Based on one or more of the following", you can choose to enter keywords, have them restricted to suggestions based on a certain website, or even based on a category, such as Apparel. You can use one or more of these options.
Q: Where can I learn more about internet marketing?
A: Discover more on this topic by visiting internet marketing on lynda.com.
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