SEO is much more than just meta data. It's a combination of things you do on each web page you have, how you structure your site, how fast it loads, and many other factors. Ensuring you're hitting all of these points can be a labor intensive process. With the right search engine optimization tools it can be much easier.
This post is going to be a two parter as there's a lot to cover. Today we're going to look at keyword research and on-site optimization tools. Let's take a look at each of these, along with an example of how to use them. For each example click the picture to see it full size.
Sadly many people are currently in debt. Let's do some research on that and see if we can help those folks out.
First up, keyword research.
This is where it all begins. But here's the catch – the terminology you use might not be the same for your customers. So before digging in with the following tools, be sure to catch up on the words your customers use. A few really good sources are niche forums, magazines, and newsletter.
Once you're ready to dig in, these will help.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool is a free tool that provides a wealth of information, and is the place to start all of your research. Enter in a word or phrase and you'll get back the level of competition for that term, global monthly searches, local monthly searches, and the search trends. If you're planning on using AdWords, you can also find out the estimated average cost per click, which tells you how much money you can expect to spend, and how much your competition is spending.
With a free Google AdWords account you can get up to 800 results which you can export to a CSV or other formats. Without the account, you get a mere 300.
The search here is for the term “become debt free.” The results tell us that this phrase has very high competition, 1,600 global monthly searches, and 1000 local searches. In this case local means the United States.
I'm happy to see that according to the trends, the number of searches for this phrase went down in November. I wonder how it is after the Christmas holiday…
Trellian's Keyword Discovery
For something with a little more punch, there's Trellian's Keyword Discovery. This is many tools in one, including research, competitive intelligence, keyword trends, tons of keyword tools, and more. For now we'll just use their research module. When using this module, Trellian uses data compiled from multiple search engines to show us the frequency of a search term along with it's most popular variations.
By default, I am using their Global Premium directory, but if you want you can target specific engines including Google, eBay, Yahoo!, and others. Here's an example from Google.
I've seen Wordtracker recommended many places, and it's both a great research tool and resource. They have paid and free options available. I'll show what you get for free.
Not many results here, but we do see the number of searches for our keyword phrase, along with two alternatives.
I signed up for the 7 day trial so I could see what you get when you give them you're money. Here's what that looks like.
Wordtracker gives us 4 pieces of information: the number of searches for the keyword (searches), the number of pages where the keyword appears in both the title tag and anchor text of a backlink (competition), the keyword effectiveness index (KEI), and KEI3, which is a comination of a keyword's popularity with it's level of competition.
For the most bang for your buck in one easy-to-use tool I highly recommend Market Samurai. I've been using this for months and months and love it. Market Samurai is a $149 desktop app that runs on Mac and PC, with these modules:
- Keyword Research – find additional relevant keywords and all the stats
- Rank Tracker – monitor multiple sites and webpages across all major search engines
- SEO Competition – analyze the SEO competition around the top 10 webpages
- Domains – help finding keyword optimized domains)
- Monetization – find out how to turn traffic into dollars
- Find Content – find keyword relevant articles
- Publish Content – publish content to your site and others
- Promotion – building backlinks
- AdWords (coming soon)
Here's a pic of all the stats you can get in the Keyword Research module. I've turned on everything do you get a feel for the wealth of information it delivers.
I've been using the keyword research, rank tracker, and seo competition modules a lot. The others I haven't used, but I imagine a lot of affiliate marketers are. Either way, for $149, you can't beat it as this will save you huge amounts of time. And they offer a free trial to help with your decision.
On-Site Tools For WordPress
Once you know the keywords you want to target, you want to write keyword rich content that brings in the traffic. I use WordPress for everything and hope you do too. Here's 4 free plugins that will help make your blog SEO much easier.
WordPress SEO by Yoast
I was using the All In One SEO Pack until a friend recommended WordPress SEO by Yoast. This plugin goes well beyond allowing the managing of meta-data like titles, description and keywords. What's real bad ass about this plugin is it will show you how your post will look on Google, and help ensure that your target keyword is in all the right places.
Here's a shot from my post – Want To Know How To Really Do Blog SEO?
It also has tons of advanced options like finding related keywords, meta robots control, and sitemap prioritization. This is badassery manifest, and it's unreal that you get this for free.
This is a free plugin and a must-have.
Headline Split Tester
Without a great headline, no one will read your posts, or link to them. But how do you know what works? Test two and see which gets more clicks. Make it easy with the free headline split tester plugin.
W3 Total Cache
Speed is so important, not just for SEO, but to keep people on your site. The W3 Total Cache is a free plugin that helps with that. Without getting too technical, what this does is cache your content on many levels, making pages load super fast. Also, it has built in content delivery network (CDN) support, so visitors from all parts of the world will be able to see your pages in record time.
That's It For Today. Any Questions?
That's it for today. Tomorrow we're going to look at off-site tools, speed tests, and measurement.
Do you have any questions about what was covered here?