02 Dec SEO Step-by-Step Tutorial, Part 1: Keywords
I am sure that there are various ways of creating optimized content for site development, but I hardly think that a lot of them result in positive ROI given by the “click here” verbiage, lack of quality search terms, and untargeted search phrases that are predominant in most sites and advertisements I have seen. Below you’ll find a method I use that really helped me in differentiating keyword weights and defining a targeted search engine marketing infrastructure. I wrote a response to an SEO question in my LinkedIn account that is similar to what I am writing here, and basically outIines a more complete basic SEO guide. I hope that this tutorial will help ease the content development process for you.
For the purpose of this tutorial, the business in question is an independent record label named Rawk Fist, and its summary is as follows:
1) Rawk Fist is a new record label with a new web site and a budding following.
2) Rawk Fist is looking into conducting mostly guerrilla marketing tactics and online marketing initiatives to offset their modest marketing budget.
3) Rawk Fist’s artist base and target market are mostly unsigned bands, musicians and artists that are predominantly online but also offline-based.
RESEARCH KEYWORDS AND KEY PHRASES
Google Keyword Tool and SEOBook Keyword Tool
1) Have a list of keywords to research. The first thing to do is to determine the best possible key phrases that will produce better ROI and search engine exposure for Rawk Fist. I suggest writing down words and phrases that you want to include or want to research and keep notes on them. Some of the notes I usually take down are the search volume data for each keyword and/or key phrase, the average volume, competitor use, and so forth.
2) Use Google’s Keyword tool or SEOBook’s Keyword tool. There are a few free tools that I like using to find key words and phrases that have great search engine weight: Google Keyword Tool and SEOBook’s Keyword tool are 2 I will focus on for this tutorial.
Using Google’s Adwords Keyword tool, typing in “record label” will net these results [See images to the right]. I have recorded the metrics for both October and November. For both metrics, notice that the advertiser competition for this search term results in a very high amount for a broad generic “record label” term, generating over 90,000 search queries (more if plural), and averaging between 110,000 to 160,000 search queries throughout a 12-month period. That’s a lot for a monthly search query, especially if the goal is for Rawk Fist to reach the 1st page and/or top 3 search positions.
What this means is that there are WAY too many people searching for that “record label” phrase at any given month. Moreover, it will take a lot of effort to even compete in generating a positive ranking for that phrase due to the high volume. Generating positive ranking (or in other words, positive return on investment, or ROI) requires a lesser search volume and average search volume to: 1) increase chances of the company and search terms being searched, 2) increase chances of search terms being positioned and company being ranked, which leads to 3) an increase in branding power, search quality and integrity (how Google defines and values your company and your value as a search entity), deliverability, and prolonged search exposure that leads to direct (and indirect) business revenue growth.
3) Target your keywords. In order to gain better ranking positions in search engines, the search phrase “record label” needs to be more targeted. Targeting keywords and phrases results in a smaller, more refined search volume which gives your keywords a better search positioning. While it is ok to include the generic keywords to your site, it is more important to include targeted keywords and phrases, as these will be the driving force of your organic search results. In this case, the phrases “independent record label,” “independent record labels,” “music record label” and “indie record label” are more likely to generate a more positive return because of the level of search frequency. You will also note that the advertiser competition box for each keyword and phrase show different levels of advertiser activity. The differences in levels will be need to be addressed when you’re trying to find keywords that fit for your company. In this case, while the advertiser competition is high on some of Rawk Fist’s potential phrases, it shouldn’t be a deterrent to choosing that keyword nonetheless. Using it will help expand into other territories and give other businesses a run for their money.
The keywords and phrases to start off are as follows: record label (s), independent record label (s), music record label (s), and indie record label (s).
Outside of “record label” and “independent record label,” Rawk Fist wants to be more diverse in its genre and musical audience. There will be a need for musical genres to be infused in the keywords and phrases for Rawk Fist. Examples include “hip hop record label,” “rock record label,” “pop rock record label,” and “funk record label.” Going back to the Google keyword tool, add the words “hip hop,” “funk,” “rap,” “rock,” and other genres you want to put in the mix and press enter to see the results. To show you a more detailed example of a genre, let’s focus on the word “hip hop.”
The phrase “hip hop record label” shows a high advertiser competition rate, with a search volume of 1300 search volume for the month of November and average search volume of 1000 for a 12-month period. Its plural version (“hip hop record labels”) show double the monthly search volume and at least double the average search volume. The results of both term’s search volume show a great starting point for building organic search engine credentials and integrity from the ground up. Why? Because there is enough search volume to warrant the work to conduct optimization without drowning in heavy search volume, and at the same time, having enough volume to climb up the search positioning and ranking with the keywords being searched on.
4) Expand on your targeted list. Now that we have established the keywords further, we can add hip hop record label (s) to the mix. To research other genres, keep adding phrases and words on the Google keyword tool to find positive results in mid-size search volume and average search volume. To include more targeted versions of these keywords, add other market audience parameters of choice, such as city, state, geographic location, more defined genres, etc. Some examples can include: los angeles underground hip hop record label, seattle grunge rock record label, new york indie hip hop record label, etc. Adding mixtures such as the examples I mentioned will create more refined and funneled search structures for your marketing initiatives.
That’s it for this tutorial. Are you exhausted yet?? The next few tutorials will be built on this keyword tutorial, focusing on creating meta codes such as titles, keywords, and descriptions, naming convention infrastructures, and diving into more detail on content development, with examples of proper image optimization, in-text linkings and more!