Knowing how to do proper keyword research is very important in ranking sites, and I've done that with a number of my own sites. Following are what I've gathered from a couple of leading experts all over the internet (I'm sorry if I forgot to give due credit - there are simply too many sources I've extracted my information from).
1) Keyword Research
• Answer this question: What do people really call your website, product or service?
• Then develop some keywords and/or keywords phrases and list them in an excel sheet by relevancy, competition, search volume etc.
• Our aim – to choose 10 keywords per SEO campaign (perhaps one brand name + 4 additional keywords).
• Best keywords are 2- to 4- word phrases.
• Consider word variants and word order e.g. plural vs singular word forms, “werbsite” vs “web site”, and “cotton white t-shirts” vs “white t-shirts cotton”.
• Do not use single-word terms.
• Avoid terms that are too broad and not focused on what you offer.
• Avoid terms that are too specialized which nobody searches for.
• Avoid terms which are highly competitive which you can’t rank for.
• Find keywords from various sources such as Google Analytics (Traffic Sources SEO Queries), Google Suggest (Google search bar), Ubersuggest (keyword + an alphabet e.g. t-shirt + b).
• Use exact match terms in your analysis tool (the new Google keyword planner’s search default is using exact match anyway).
• Always try to find and rank for a buyer keyword (when people are ready to buy) rather than a research keyword – which people type in when they are still researching for something.
• Can try to find two lines of terms – 1) keywords which are general (e.g. t-shirts) 2) keywords with a focus on your product/service which targets the real buyers (t-shirts suppliers). Combine the two for a long tail keyword might give you a better chance at ranking in lesser time.
2) Search Volume and Competition
• Our target: Targeted keyword phrase with high search volume and low competition.
• Experts advise to choose keywords with search volume of about 3,000 to 10,000 per month.
• Anything that is less than 3,000 may not be worth pursuing (for very niche keywords, we can go for 1,000 exact searches).
• Localize the search to US, as if there are high searches there, and low competition, it could well be a good keyword.
• The only way to check out the competition for a phrase is to search for it (search results are personalized and may not be the same for everyone). Remember to log out of Google to do this.
• Do not bother too much about numbers but do deep research. For e.g., if there are no authority sites (e.g. wiki or eHow), can go with even 200,000 searches.
• Note: The “Competition” column lists competition within AdWords and not organic search results.
• Estimate your odds of ranking based on Domain Authority and the keyword search volume (Source: Orbitmedia).
• Take a look at the SERP (search engine results page) for the keyword phrase. It is likely to be competitive if:
- There are 10 pay-per-click ads on the page (3 on top and 7 on the right).
- There are millions of results and many pages on that particular phrase.
- Top ranking sites are popular, authority sites (e.g. wiki, eHow, ebay, Amazon)
- Top ranking sites have the target phrase at the beginning of their page titles or their links.
3) Putting Them All in the Website – How Do We Do That?
Now that we’ve found our keywords, they should appear in several places on our website, in order of priority:
1. Page Title / Title Tag
2. Meta Description
3. H1 Tags
5. Sub Header
6. Body Paragraphs (about 4 to 6 times preferably)
7. Image Alt Tags
8. Hypertext Links (links to this page from other pages of your website)
Usually, target different keywords on different pages - the main key phrases will be optimized into the home page, while the other inner pages will be optimized for more specific phrases. Also try to sprinkle some LSI keywords around your content. These are synonyms that Google uses to determine a page’s relevancy (and possibly quality).