Keyword Research: What is a Keyword Analysis?

What is a keyword analysis?

A keyword analysis is an early, critical step in search engine optimization (SEO.) It's the difference between guessing what your prospects are searching for and knowing what they are searching for.

If you're a plastic surgeon writing great copy on “rhinoplasty” but everyone is searching for “nose jobs,” you're not helping anyone. If you provide “environmentally friendly office supplies” but businesses are searching for “green office products” you're not going to sell much. Depending on your business, your search engine visibility could be worth thousands or tens of thousands of dollars each year.

How do you find out what people are searching for?

The first step is to generate/brainstorm a list of keyphrases. I often recommend approaching the brainstorming session with five perspectives in mind, including:

  • products & services
  • prospects problems or pain points
  • actual or perceived benefits
  • features
  • competition

I have a more detailed article on this called “Keyword Research: Five Ways Your Prospects Search for You.

Next, you need to test your keywords to see if they're actually the phrases your prospects are using.

There are a number of paid and free tools available. Some of the paid tools include WordTracker, Keyword Discovery and Raven SEO. Raven SEO is especially powerful and is currently one of the tools we're using at flyte. Yes, I said “one of the tools” because no tool is perfect. And, many of these tools don't have access to Google's results, so you're not getting a full picture of search activity.

These tools will generate additional, related keyword phrases and measure them all for their keyword effectiveness. This number, often called the KEI (keyword effectiveness index or indicator) is based on how many searches have been done for that phrase and how much competition from other sites you'll have for those phrases.

We also use a few free tools, the most important of which is probably Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Although this tool is ostensibly for paid search, it gives you access to Google search numbers and volume, as well as how competitive each phrase is.

Using multiple tools, along with your own experience and the customary “gut check” will give you a good idea of what words you should be using at your web site, on your blog, in the titles of your online videos, and other places throughout the web.

How to you use your best keyword phrases to increase your search engine visibility?

More on that in another post.

Rich Brooks
SEO for Small Business