You stare blankly on your WordPress blog for over 30 minutes and you have absolutely no idea which keyword you should be using to crush your competitors. They are making tons of money (and traffic) and you are dying for that.
Yes, I have been there before one too many times. I tried to use the same keywords that my competitors are using but honestly, I'm no where near their success. I probably do more backlinks and wrote better than most of them but I'm struggling hard to hit the first page of Google, what else about the top 3 spot.
The biggest question is "What had you done wrong?"
Today, you are going to learn exactly how to spy on your competitors keywords and literally crush them (yes, you hear me out loud).
There are a zillion keyword tools out there including Long Tail Pro which I highly recommend. Why I would go for SEMrush this time?
The answer is really, really simple. SEMrush provides more information than any other tool out there. In the hands of a beginner, the tool is useless but imagine the power it holds when it is used by an advanced user.
Yes, it is like calling a knight in shining armor cook a full 5-course meals.
I use SEMrush for several reasons:
Advanced keyword research
Analyzing competitors keywords
Determine the keyword difficulties
Advanced keyword research using SEMrush
Let's assume that you're a complete newbie ... and you hate Google Keyword Planner until death makes you apart. This is where SEMrush comes into play.
On SEMrush search box, fill in the keywords you are interested in and within seconds, SEMrush would provide you a list of advanced data which includes:
Phrase match report
Related keyword report
Take a moment and compare to any keyword research tool out there. I don't think any of those can match what SEMrush can offer. Period.
Here's a little summary of the important functions only.
Keyword summary (importance: 6/10)
Providing a general outlook on the keyword you are searching for. The report is based on exact keyword search.
CPC distribution (importance: 2/10)
If you are not an Adword publisher, this is pretty useless for you. It gives you an idea on one thing and one thing only which is CPC.
Trend (importance: 7/10)
The chart will show you how that specific keyword is trending during a 12 months duration. I mark this 7/10 due to the fact that we need to know what's trending and what's not for better control and monetization.
Phrase match report (importance: 5/10)
Okay, this is important but due to the fact that the information is all about the number of phrase matches search based on per month basis, I give it a 5/10.
Related keywords report (importance: 8/10)
Love this. It gives you a detailed rundown on the keywords you can use to further enrich your blog post. By default, SEMrush will show only the top 10 keywords. Click on the Full Report button to see the full list or Export button to download the list.
SE keywords (importance: 9/10)
This is a simple chart that shows who is ranking for that keyword (root and article domain). Want to spy on your competitors or simply knowing who are your targets is extremely vital in this business.
I got eyes on you!
Ads & Ads history (importance: 1/10)
Another feature for Adwords publisher. Since I'm not using it, I would skip this part.
Here's an example of what SEMrush looks like when you search for keywords. Detailed reports are what you'll 100% get.
Analyzing competitors keywords with SEMrush
This is probably the juiciest part of SEMrush which I got to admit, I'm in love with it.
For any blogging business, you need to know your competitors and I would be assuming you know that too. Well if you don't, just refer back to the SE keywords by SEMrush and you get the top 10 and even top 20 results. Those are your competitors.
To kick start, fill in the domain URL (you can ignore the 'www') on SEMrush search bar and hit search.
And the magic happens. You will be spoilt with a HUGE report about the site you had chosen which includes:
And those are just the icing of the cake. You can further check on each categories and further analyze from it. For your information, it would easily take you a few hours to completely analyze your competitors.
How do you spy on competitors' keywords with SEMrush?
List down at least 3 competitor websites
Use SEMrush to determine the exact keywords they are ranking for ~ I focus on the top 10 keywords
Check on the Keyword Difficulties (more on this below)
With SEMrush, you are going to see what your competitors are doing exactly and how you can monetize them.
Let's take an example that you know your competitors are ranking on 'spy on competitors keywords' term.
Focus on how they are ranking this keywords (where they get the backlink from, what anchor texts are used etc)
Replicate (yes, copy them) and improve by further enriching them (build more backlinks, improve anchor text, using long tail keywords etc)
Now tell me. Do you think you can crush your competitors while they are sleeping? Yes, you certainly do thanks to SEMrush.
Determine the keyword difficulties with SEMrush
This is another good add-on for SEMrush; keyword difficulties.
For those who are wondering, this feature compliments the above (competitors keywords research) perfectly.
On the sidebar panel of SEMrush, search for Tools > Keyword Difficulty.
Fill in the keywords (one per line and max 100 keywords per time) and click Show difficulty.
You will a report like this:
SEMrush keyword difficulty is shown in percentage where bigger percentage would be harder to compete compared to smaller percentage.
At the same time, you will also see the number of searches (volume tab), number of results, trends and SERP results.
Personally, my rule of difficulty recommendations would be anything below 70% (competition is tough with anything above 50%).
SEMrush in a nutshell
In short, I can't imagine life without SEMrush. It is probably one of the most comprehensive SEO keyword research tool I ever seen until date.
You can grab a free SEMrush account here which will give you limited access for life and you find this useful, you can easily upgrade to Pro plan which costs $69.95 per month or Guru plan which costs $149.95 per month.
There you go, my summary wrap up on how to spy on competitors keywords using SEMrush. Tell me what you think using the comment form below and feel free to share this around with your friend!
Want to give SEMrush a run? Click on the banner below and create your free account today!
Top 10 SEO Tools And Plugins You Will Ever Need In 2014
There are a lot of tools in the SEO industry and over the years, we had learned that these SEO tools are used more than just increase website ranking; majority of us use these SEO tools for analytics and data collection.
Last year itself, we seen the departure of specific data which we use dearly for ranking a website and this made us extremely vulnerable when it comes to planning our godly SEO strategies.
SEO in 2014 would be slightly different from previous years as we will be facing extra challenges ... which is collecting the right data. This is why it is important use the best search engine optimization tools to get the job done.
A quick rundown on Google and you may find dozens of tools out there but just like a majority of us, you will most likely puzzled and wondering which is best and of course, save you the most money (a.k.a. easy on your wallet).
You could easy get your hands on free SEO tools (and plugins) like Yoast SEO for free or premium ones that could easily cost hundreds of dollars monthly.
Either way, you need to find the best combination for all your SEO needs and honestly speaking, free online tools doesn't always make the cut.
There is nothing called as the best SEO tools. The best are always the tools which best fit into your SEO strategy.
In this article, I will be sharing my search engine optimization strategy using various free and paid SEO tools which are divided into several categories:
I got to admit that the above might sound a little challenging especially if you are just a novice blogger. As much as I recommend you to have a list of tools at your own disposal, make sure you are financially ready as some of these tools are really costly.
Top 10 SEO tools for 2014
1. General research tools
Google Webmaster Tool
The above are my first go-to tools when it comes to SEO planning especially when I am doing SEO services for my client.
These are tools which gives you the first sugar coating for your SEO strategy. Consider it as the base of your project.
Google Webmaster Tool
Powered by Google, you must be out of your mind if this is not one of your SEO tools for 2014!
Google Webmaster Tool gives you an idea on:
Manual spam action
Under 30 minutes, you would be able to determine factors affecting your website ranking and possibly keywords which your website are ranking on search engine.
One of the best SEO tips is to ensure your website is SEO-ready even before you start engaging in any projects.
A huge part of Google Webmaster Tools are focused on on-page SEO and thus, it is always good to ensure your site is physically ready for any SEO plans.
Another power SEO tool which is powered by Google and is in fact, one of the best tools out there when it comes to providing analytics data.
Google Analytics (some call it GA) offers truck load of stats and data for your 'digestion'. GA fit nicely into my best SEO tools 2014 with the Search Engine Optimization feature (Acquisition > Search Engine Optimization).
In this category, you will be spoilt with not one but three important stats which are Queries, Landing Pages and Geographical Summary.
Geographical Summary is only useful if you are running SEO campaigns based on locations.
While Google is fond of removing even more data from various tools, both Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are still able to provide sufficient information which will affect your overall SEO strategy.
2. Competitor research tools
If you are thinking of ranking your website, it is a no brainer that you need to know who are your competitors. A friend of mine did told me that ranking the website is easy; All you need is to do 'that' slightly better than your competitor and you have the edge already.
Competitor research tools are used to understand how your competitors get their ranking and reverse engineer it until certain extend. This means that forget about copying exactly but instead, focus in building something better or more explosive than theirs.
My personal favorite due to looks and user interface. Seriously.
Ahrefs provides better analytics data especially when it comes to finding external and internal backlinks. As much as Ahrefs is great for checking on your own site, I uses it to check on my competitor.
My overused features would be anchor text, domains and top pages.
With just the above 3 information, I could easily determine (roughly) what are my competitor's SEO strategy and how it is working out for them.
The only issue with Ahrefs is that the free account comes with limited SEO requests and reports. To solve this, you may opt for the premium plan which starts at $79 per month.
If you are running an SEO agency, Ahrefs is one SEO tool you must have in your arsenal.
The direct competitor to Ahrefs and I had used Majestic SEO for over 2 years now.
Data from Ahrefs itself is not enough and thus, I merge them (on Excel) with the data collected from Majestic SEO.
Basically, Majestic SEO offers pretty much as what Ahrefs (and a dozen more SEO tools out there) in terms of features. However, since Majestic SEO and Ahrefs use different methods to measure the data, it is a great move to have a wider data.
Just like its competitor, Majestic SEO offers free accounts and premium ones would start from $42 per month.
Debate all you want; keyword research is still important when it comes to SEO.
My keyword research strategy lies in several phrases and tools such as general keywords and specific, long tail keywords.
While choosing the right keyword is one thing, using the keyword(s) is another important task as well. This is probably why I uses not one but two SEO tools just for keyword research.
Google Keyword Planner
Every keyword research strategy starts from here. Google Keyword Planner or GKP in short provides a list of keywords which we can use to rank our website.
Not only that, you can also use GKP to search for keywords your competitors are trying to rank as well. You may refer to this article which I wrote about Google Keyword Tool but the concept is very similar to the current Google Keyword Planner.
All you need is Excel and copy-pasting all the information into the list and sort them out. After sorting, you would have around 500 relevant keywords to kick start your SEO campaign.
For bloggers or content writers who are tight in budget, GKP is free and thus, is definitely the top 5 SEO tool for majority of us.
Personally, I consider Long Tail Pro or LTP as an advance version of Google Keyword Planner. You can search up to 10 keywords at one time and check for the competition level.
Long Tail Pro is a great SEO tool as you can easily save hours in keyword research. With data collected from Google Keyword Planner, you can easily minimize the list into several high value keyword groups to increase the chances of ranking.
This is easily done by Long Tail Pro as it provides competition analysis and keyword ranking as well. With a one time fee of $97, this is an absolute must for bloggers and niche writers.
When it comes to SEO planning and strategy, tracking and monitoring keywords play vital roles.
Blogging is always a business and you need to think like an SEO strategist to compete with your competitors. This means that you need to plan not one but multiple SEO marketing strategies to achieve results.
Tracking tools are extremely important when it comes to SEO keyword strategy. Looking at the above, you will notice that a huge chunk of your time are used to find quality keywords for your site.
And the next step is to ensure your hardwork pays off.
So, if you are not tracking your keywords now, you better do it right now!
I got to admit; SEMrush isn't the best tool for tracking keywords. The main purpose of SEMrush is to track Google Adwords keywords.
However, you can actually use this to your advantage ... yes, by tracking related keywords on your blog.
On a free account, you can create up to 10 keywords for tracking. I usually set up long tail keywords. Choice of keywords can be taken from Google Analytics, Google Keyword Planner, Google Webmaster Tools or any research tools of your choice.
SEMrush will then populate the keywords which you are planning to rank and the stats will be updated once every day.
And you might be wondering, "Okay, I am lost. How can SEMrush possibly be one of the best SEO tools available to mankind?"
Allow me explain a little more in detail.
SEMrush is one of the SEO tools for 2014 as I consider it as an all-in-one SEO software that monitors nearly everything. For example, it offers:
Domain vs domain
I do know a few serious (and experienced) bloggers who use SEMrush to cater for all their SEO needs but personally, I use it for organic research and position tracking only.
One of the top 3 ranking tools I ever use. Extremely useful (and fast) when it comes to following up on your keywords rankings. If you are planning to do mass keyword ranking check or multiple domains, it is best to use private proxies to avoid temporary ban from Google.
While it offers a whopping keyword ranking check on over 346 search engines, I only check on Google, Bing and Yahoo for obvious reasons.
When a client of mine ask for SEO services, this is the number one tool I use to check for on-page SEO. If you want to check ever corner, worm hole and tiny 404 errors, this is one tool you need to use.
Trust me when I tell you this is one of the best website auditing tool I ever ... ever used!
Want to check if your robot.txt is working? Done!
Want to build robot.text but no idea how? Do it with Website Auditor!
Want to check if your website have crawl issues? Done!
Don't get me wrong. I am not trying to hard sell Website Auditor (okay, maybe a little) but seriously, this is seriously one bad-a*s tool to use.
The only issue you may face is that when you are generating a report for every tiny bit of problem with your site, it could take hours. My longest experience was 18 hours.
Welcome to the new era (after Google Penguin update). You have probably heard some websites got a huge Page Rank boost and I know one who had a superb boost, from a PR 0 to a PR 4!
Let's get back to topic on the relationship between content optimization and search engine optimization, shall we?
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization or also known as SEO, is regarded as the most important thing for a blogger or web developer when it comes to ranking.
In easier words, search engine optimization refers to the process in making blogs and websites selected as the best information provider by search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
There could be one hundred million websites (I am just making up the numbers) now on the world wide web and search engines are not able to show all the results.
Therefore, blogs and websites which are highly optimized for search engines will be featured in the search engine result pages (SERPs).
Higher and better search engine optimization = More visibility for search engines = More chances of ranking better on result pages = More traffic to blog = Better chance of making money through blogging
Guys, pay attention to this as content optimization one of the best search engine optimization techniques after Google Penguin Update.
Content optimization doesn't mean making your content as short as possible or reducing the number of words. Instead, it means that shifting your focus on several parts to make your article standout.
Sounds crazy? Sounds like lots of work? Definitely, if you want to have good ranking then it is worth your time. I used to write 3 to 5 articles a day. When I started doing content optimization, I only manage to write one article per day. So, give me a break ya?
Content optimization focuses on several important SEO practices (which I will explain in a minute or less):
Density of keywords
Using alt tags
Using H1 to H3 headings
Use both internal and external link building methods
Content optimization: You want your content to be filled with your focus keyword. Period.
For bloggers who are using WordPress SEO by Yoast, this term will be very familiar for you. I always consider focus keyword as the main objective or title of the website.
When you are aware of the focus keyword, you would then be able to write and create better blog post. Trust me on this.
Basically focus keyword plays a huge role when it comes to search engine optimization is because it allows bloggers like you and me to be very focus in the topic we are writing. You can actually consider that as niche writing if that helps you to understand further.
Not to forget, focus keyword is usually short and very descriptive. The more precise your focus keywords are, the better the chances you are going to increase your blog rankings.
2. How keyword density affects content optimization and SEO ranking?
Thinking of getting your content optimized? Get your hands dirty with keyword density and you will see your website or blog grow. When I say your website will grow, I mean growing in both traffic, SEO ranking and make more money online. Seriously.
When we talk about keyword density, it usually means the amount of focus keywords used in that particular article. I heard many people saying that it is best to have focus keywords to be nothing more than 5% density.
For me, I prefer to have a 3% keyword density for my main keyword. Why? Self preference and no obvious reasons! Throughout my years in doing various research on optimization techniques, I concluded that I wanted my article to be a little different from the rest. My SEO practices in my websites are slightly different especially when it comes to keyword density.
Basically, I try to have 3 keywords in all my blog posts. Here's how the 'layout' and my search engine optimization blueprint:
2% - main keyword
1% - secondary keyword
< 1% - secondary keyword
My main keyword is usually very focused, two to three letters keyword while the balance two keywords are usually slightly phrase keyword or general keyword (high competition keyword).
3. Using alt tags in content optimization techniques
Again and again, I see bloggers and many webmasters leaving this important optimization factor out and honestly, I have no freaking idea why!
Where you can find alt tags? You can find alt tags only in images (especially when you are uploading them). Screen shot as below:
You can fill up your important keywords in the Alt Text column
So, why alt tags are important in terms of search engine optimization? Google and many search engines doesn't only look at your content description but also, alt tags.
The rule is...drum roll please...the important SEO rule in alt tags is to always insert your selected keywords into your alt tags.
Why amigo? Why?
Read the above again. Search engines such as Google do index these images and check on their alt tags. Make sense? Go figure!
4. The H1 to H3 roles in search engine optimization
Before you read what I have to say about the famous H1 to H3 heading tags, this is what Pearson had to say. If you are wondering who Pearson is, he is the one of the important figures behind the famous WordPress theme, Thesis Theme from DIYThemes.
Pearson's idea on the different headings for a blog or website
Yup you see and read them correctly! Here are three things you learn from the image above:
You should only focus using H1 to H3 heading tags in your blog or website
You should use H1 to H3 heading tags to boost your SEO ranking
You could use H4 to H6 but they doesn't really matter much in terms of SEO
Don't believe? Take a moment to scroll through this blog post. Do you noticed that I uses H1 heading for my main blog title followed by H2 and H3 headings for different sub headings?
For me, the reason behind this is rather easy. Google loves the fact that we (bloggers and writers) are trying to make website navigation easier. With these different heading tags, readers (especially skimmers) are able to browse through the whole blog post and searching for the right headline or subject to read instead of reading the whole article itself.
Using the different heading tags actually makes your article or blog post more organized and in terms of SEO, it means optimized. Yes, you got it right now! Hello content optimization.
Wait! Alt tags doesn't only help in SEO but it also makes reading more fun and at the same time, reduces the bounce rate for the website.
Whoa! Isn't that one hell of an advantage with just one optimization techniques? You bet...you bet.
5. External and internal link building strategy
This is what Google says about link building on Ranking Help Article:
In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.
From the above, it is clear that Google prefer to see websites being promoted and shared around. So, what does this do with link building?
When it comes to search engine optimization, everyone talk about building external links and that's where everyone is so wrong! Link building is not about building external links but as well as building internal links.
That wasn't enough and I did extra homework. After finding reviews and several opinions from larger SEO websites, I realized that the correct link building strategy is a healthy combination of internal and external links.
So, the moral of the story is pretty simple. If you want to perform good content optimization or you are searching for a good search engine optimization technique, make sure you practice building both internal and external links to your websites.
That is the bottom line when it comes to optimize your website correctly.
What do you understand about content optimization now?
With the latest Google Penguin Update, content optimization had become more important than ever. Do you practice any other content optimization? I am looking forward to hear from you and feel free to contact me or reply to me using the comment form.
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Best SEO Tool To Use For Website Optimization
Before you read this, here are three reasons why you definitely need to use at least one SEO tool today:
Using the right SEO tools are equivalent to 10, 30 and even 50 manpower
Search engine optimization tools save you time and effort when it comes to website optimization and keyword research (to name a few)
Now, do me a favor and ask yourself, "Are you using any SEO tools right now?"
Well if you are not or even planning to, I certainly hope this article will help you in your decision making. You are not obligated to buy or even try it out but I am sure when you finish reading this, you will be very have some knowledge when it comes to optimizing your website.
One thing I got to stress out is the fact that many people thought that it is either not needed to buy SEO tool or those SEO tools on sale are not worth it. This is a very common misunderstanding.
Okay, here's the reality guys. There are lots of unworthy SEO tools which claim to be the 'so-called' best SEO tool out there. Buying those are going to burn a hole in your pocket. That is something I will not deny. However, you got understand that there are still some great tools out there which can help you with keyword research or even search engine optimization, and they are really worth it.
I got to stress that the right tools could also come in handy in terms of SEO analysis, website optimization and content writing.
It doesn't matter if you are a copywriter, SEO writer or just a blogger trying to rank well on search engine result pages (SERPs). With the competitions you are bound to face, it is always better to have some SEO analysis tools backing you up from behind.
Focusing on the right keywords is very important when it comes to search engine optimization.
And yes, you probably got it right again! CopyBlogger are serious with this product and they want to make it stay for good. Maybe this is why I always see Scribe as a very potential SEO tool which helps a lot in when it comes to keyword research.
I came across Scribe Content Optimization by accident when I was surfing the web. I had absolutely no idea what it was except that it was a keyword research tool and highly recommended by others.
Just like you now, I really wonder if Scribe could really perform that good as what others are saying or it's merely a hype?
* Scribe is my personal writing assistant. I create content the way I want, and then Scribe steps in to help me optimize it for the social media and search engine audiences I'm after - Jon Henshaw (Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Raven Internet Marketing Tools)
* Scribe allows for creative content marketing that gets attention, while keeping content creators focused on business goals. It just works - Greg Boser (President, BlueGlass Interactive)
* Scribe allows for quick and easy optimization, and your content still performs well in social media channels. Scribe seriously rocks - Rae Hoffman-Dolan (CEO, Pushfire)
Now, take a moment to read the above. Noticed the big names commenting on Scribe? I am not sure about you but they really convinced me to try Scribe out even thought I had no idea what Scribe really was (yet). Amazing huh?
Scribe Content could be the best SEO tool for keyword research. Why?
Scribe offers great flexibility and many content optimization techniques for users
The biggest misconception about keyword research tool is many bloggers thought these are SEO tools who will 'spoon feed' them with quality keywords. A big, hell NO!
I used many free and paid SEO tools in the past and honestly, I love what Scribe Content does to me. It offers a great SEO analysis on my content ONLY after I finished composing my article.
I basically fell in love with Scribe the moment I purchased it. Yes, it is rather costly for a started blogger but once using it, I knew I made the right choice.
Scribe provides detailed explanations and SEO reports on:
The chances of me ranking that specific keyword (we all love forecast, don't we? - keyword research
How optimized the website is for that keyword? - keyword research (again x 2)
How optimized the article is for that keyword? (see the different with #2) - keyword research (again x 3)
The current trend on social media (Gogole+ and Twitter) for that keyword - keyword research (again x 4) OMG!
A list of suggested tags or keywords to use - keyword research (lost count)
Recommendation on words or sentences which could be good anchor text for hyperlinks - anchor text assistance for link building
Fair reading capabilities (Google point of view) - SEO analysis
Internal links that are related to that specific keyword you chosen for link building - building links between articles
Site connections capabilities which users can create external links to boost traffic - building links between websites
Honestly, I have not came across a SEO tool which offers more than five really good features. Scribe Content nailed it any time of the day as the above nine factors are more than enough to wow-ed me. For me, Scribe is more than just a keyword research tool.
What does Scribe Content do best?
Scribe works as a SEO tool which helps bloggers and content writers to optimize keywords in their article writing.
Okay, don't take my word for it. Seriously.
Take a look at this video created by Copyblogger Media team on what Scribe Content it all about - Scribe Video Demo
What you must do right now is to request for a free SEO report from Scribe Content. Okay, if you think you like Scribe Content and want to give it a go, you can sign up using my affiliate link below. It WILL NOT cost you extra but instead, it will give me a little incentive from your sale.
Besides that, Scribe Content also offers a full, 30 days money back guarantee if you want unhappy with that SEO tool, no question asked.
Are you using any SEO tool or keyword research too for your blogs or websites? I am very eager to hear and do tell me if you are planning to use Scribe Content.
I will be writing another post later on how to use Scribe Content Management. So, it is highly advisable to bookmark this page for reference.
Before you leave, take a moment and sign up for the FREE SEO newsletter as well! That is one of the best way to connect to me and get updated with the latest SEO strategies.
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3 Killer SEO Tips When Using Google Keyword Tool
Take a moment and think what your favorite SEO tool when it comes to keyword research? Could be some paid SEO tools, so called 'best SEO tools' or the famous Google Keyword Tool? For me, I use Google Keyword Tool nearly every day of my blogging life and I am pretty sure you can't find a free SEO tool better than the Google Keyword Tool.
Now, if you are a beginner or have not heard about Google Keyword Tool, you probably should visit the site once you finish reading this. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page, head over to Google Keyword Tool website (which is called Google Adwords by the way), scout around and come back here to continue reading.
So, what is Google Keyword Tool?
It is a God send, heavenly free and probably one of the best SEO tools which offers many (and I really mean many) functions for bloggers. Want to perform some keyword research, search engine optimization techniques or simply find a profitable niche and don't want to fork out a single cent? Google Keyword Tool is your best friend!
Google Keyword Tool is one of the best SEO tools for beginners and webmasters
Not convinced that Google Keyword Tool plays a huge role on search engine optimization? See the image below:
Google Keyword Tool is the best SEO tool for bloggers
Google captures roughly 246,000 exact search queries monthly and 90,500 searches originated from the United States alone. This easily means that the term Google Keyword Tool is receiving at least 8,200 searches in a day! I wish my blog can get such traffic. Okay, I's dreaming here.
*p/s Kindly ignore the term 'exact search' as I will be explaining below.
Now, do you believe that Google Keyword Tool is probably the best SEO tool (and on top of all, free) for bloggers like you and me?
What is Match Types?
When you are performing keyword research on Google Keyword Tool, it offers three very distinct reports which extremely useful; broad, phrase and exact. Don't worry, Google isn't going to leave you in the dark. Here's what they meant:
Broad: The sum of the search volumes for the keyword, related grammatical forms, synonyms, and related words
Phrase: The sum of search volumes that include the whole phrase or near variants of the whole phrase
Exact: The search volume for that specific keyword and close variants
Makes any sense to you?
I didn't get it at first either. Like it or not, these three different keyword research reports are the ones that make or break your website SEO.
Let me give you some examples to further increase your understanding (taking 'dog collar' as an example)
Broad keyword will always have the highest search queries
Broad keywords are selected by default and this research will tell you how many people are searching for words related or closely related to the keyword 'dog collar'. Broad keywords usually have a highest number of searches as it is very general and not a focus keyword. Example of broad keyword for 'dog collar' are 'pet collars', 'dog harness' and 'dog tag'.
Phrase keywords plays a huge role especially when it comes to choosing tags and keywords
Phrase keywords on the other hand, will always be the second in the ladder. Phrase keywords means that searches are done with regards to the keyword 'dog collar'. In phrase keywords, it is not that general compared to broad setting and each keywords are closely related to the word 'dog collar'. Example of phrase keyword for 'dog collar' are 'yellow dog collars', 'designer pet accessories' and 'dog leather collars'.
Exact keyword research will help to pinpoint keywords which could worth a lot when it comes to finding the right keyword
Exact keywords are the keywords that bloggers and content writers should focused on. Usually, the search results for exact keywords are the lowest among all. The number of searches represents the number of people searching for that specific keyword, 'dog collar' or words that have 'dog collar' in them. Example of exact keyword for 'dog collar' are 'toy dog collars', 'best dog collars' and 'fashion dog collars'.
Let's take a quick, 5 minutes break. A little quiz for you to keep you occupied:
From the above article, what have you learned about Google Keyword Tool?
Do you know how to differentiate broad keywords with phrase and exact keywords?
Are you using Google Keyword Tool for your keyword research?
Now that you are ready, let's head over to the next section, shall we?
How to use Google Keyword Tool correctly?
Ever wonder what makes Google Keyword Tool the one of the best SEO tools?
I beat you are using Google Keyword Tool as well but the question here is, are you using Google Keyword Tool correctly? I'm not sure about you but for me, I try to avoid any mistakes as much as I can when it comes to doing search engine optimization.
What are the three best SEO tips when using Google Keyword Tool?
SEO tips #1 - Always use the Exact Match keyword search
Let's assume that you read the above (if you have not, then scroll up half a page and read what I wrote about the match criteria). When it comes to searching for the right keywords, always...always use the Exact Match keywords.
Simply because you want your keyword search to be as close as possible to the real deal. In the world of search engine optimization, having an exact match keyword (or at least Phrase Match keyword) could easily differentiate you between the top 10 ranking and top 100 ranking on the search engine result pages (SERPs).
It is a known fact that search engines such as Google gives ranking priority to exact match keywords first before others.
Do you think you think that you need to change your keywords now? You probably should!
SEO tips #2 - Healthy match of keywords for the best search engine optimization
This is one part I got wrong in the past. There is absolutely no point stuffing your article, blog or websites with just quality keywords or in this case, exact keywords. Instead, you want to have a healthy dose of keywords!
Firstly, you got to understand that you are going to rank well when you use exact keyword ONLY when people search using that exact term. Out of the millions and billions of people out there, how many would actually key in the exact keywords?
Don't ever put all your eggs in one basket - English proverb
It doesn't matter if you are a blogger, content writer or a SEO writer. The bottom line is you want to grab as many opportunities possible to have some 'limelight' on your website.
If you are doing the right content optimization technique, then you would probably be ranking especially well when people are searching for the exact keyword. Now, you need to mix and match your keywords (phrase and broad keywords) to further enrich your website.
Personally, I would go for 25% exact keyword match, 50% phrase match and 25% broad keyword match. And so, my question to you now is what's your mix and match keyword ratio that you use for your website?
SEO tips #3 - Use Google Keyword Tool to 'spoon feed' you with quality keywords choices
Know what your competitors are ranking for using Google Keyword Tool
What you need to do is key in your competitor's website in that box and with a click of the button, you got yourself a list of keywords which your competitors are trying to rank. Not only that, the results also includes the keywords which your competitors are buying on Google Adwords.
The below are one of my search engine optimization techniques to farm quality keywords for my blogs:
Find my closest 20 to 50 competitors
Use Google Keyword Tool and collect a list of 20 keywords each competitors are using
Compile the list of keywords and search again on Google Keyword Tool and my list of personal paid SEO tools
Shortlist the set of keywords to 10 to 30 keywords to rank for (the bigger the website, the more keywords to rank for)
Yes, this is a very lazy way of farming keywords but trust me that this is very useful. The results you collected are raw data which you would need to enrich them further using more SEO tools (optional).
If you are wondering why it is stated optional, it's because you could still rank well on search engines if you are doing the right SEO strategy but why don't adding in a little bit of hard work to get the top rank on SERPs right?
Over to you
Go get yourself a cold beer or a simple pat on the back. I am pretty sure you learned something here today. If yes, good for you!
Do you use Google Keyword Tools for other purposes and do you have any tricks you want to share with us? I am very eager to hear your reply!
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Complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Dummies
I talk about SEO, think about SEO, eat with SEO and bathe with SEO but I am no SEO expert. And if you are looking for a SEO guru, I am not your man. Why?!
Because I am not going to lie to you what I know about search engine optimization techniques and how you can use SEO for your own good. And, this is not a sales thread...not now, not in the future in my books.
If you're reading this, then good as we are on the same page now. So let's go with our first lesson (and my first SEO post here) on search engine optimization, shall we?
What is search engine optimization all about?
I am no SEO guru but at times, it is cool to call myself a Search Engine Optimization Ninja
The term search engine optimization or SEO is already a household name for many bloggers and webmasters today. Now let's go with some simple language course on what SEO really means.
Search engines literally refers to Google, Yahoo and Bing to name a few.
Optimization means the process of improving or increasing the optimal result from a certain action.
Make any sense? As I said below (on my profile), I am not a techie person. So, I will be explaining what SEO is all about in simple terms so that it is easily understandable to both beginners and professional bloggers.
Why search engine optimization is important? What's so important about SEO?
I get this all the time and I even asked myself before in the past. Good search engine optimization techniques will actually improve the chances of you ranking well on result pages.
This means that the better your SEO methods are, the better chance search engines will see your website. Of course, the more your articles are featured on result pages, the better and more traffic you will get.
Here, we can conclude that good SEO techniques will increase your website ranking on search engines, boost traffic to your website and ultimately, increasing the chances of affiliate sales or making money through your website a reality.
How to SEO correctly? What are SEO best practices?
Using right SEO techniques will increase and improve website page rank
Regardless which website I visit, I keep seeing bloggers asking the same questions over and over again. Before you continue reading, take 1 minute off and think what you really know about SEO...don't worry, I will wait.
Welcome back and I really hope you didn't take more than one minute though.
The biggest perception I ever seen in my life about SEO is many bloggers believe that SEO can be learned and mastered. Hint: Just Google and see how many SEO gurus you can find out there.
Perceptions on search engine optimizations:
You can master SEO
SEO is straightforward and easy to follow
Learning SEO will help me for tomorrow, next week and the future
The real deal about search engine optimization are:
SEO is a practise and guideline for bloggers
Learn what SEO is and modify each search engine optimization techniques to gain the maximum advantage over others
Understanding how search engine optimization works is more than just important
What are SEO best practices?
I am not going very detail in this as I will be creating separate topics on this. Yes, I want to go into detail and make sure you understand everything about SEO. And I do it for free.
1. Content is king but focus keyword is God
You hear me right. Good content will not bring you to the top spots of the search engines but focus keywords will.
Don't get me wrong as I know how important content it. What I am trying to say is good search engine optimization or good SEO strategies are to use as very specific and focused keywords.
The biggest mistake here is bloggers tend to stuff hundreds keywords into one article. Don't ever stuffed all those keywords you can think of into one article as you are going to give a hard time for search engine bots to figure out what your content is all about.
SEO strategy 1: Rank your blog with very specific keywords (between one to five keywords)
SEO strategy 2: Rank your blog with a bigger range of keywords (more than five keywords)
As for the record, both are equally good when it comes to finding the best SEO strategy. However, the paths of both these SEO best practices are very different.
SEO strategy 1 will lead to a better page rank or SERPs ranking within a shorter time frame. Here, your blog or website can even rank better even when you do not have an upper hand in domain age.
One the other hand. SEO strategy 2 will take a longer time to build a good SERPs ranking compared to the above. The SEO process here is long but what makes it worthwhile is it will also produce good domain authority for your website.
Never underestimate both of these SEO practices as they are be very lethal in the hands of a good blogger.
3. Choosing the right SEO tools in your SEO projects
Choosing the right SEO tools will either improve or break your website ranking
I bet you heard about others saying that they ranked their website faster and better without any SEO tools. This is particularly true and I am not denying the fact.
However, we are in the technology era for Christ sake! Do you think that you can compete fairly with other bloggers or websites without using any SEO tools?
I am also not denying that there are many premium SEO tools that worth your every buck. And for beginners, I do not recommend them (unless it has a trial period) as there are also many free SEO tools which can help you in your search engine optimization project 101.
Of course, I will be writing more on this topic as well so stay tune.
*p/s One of the best way to stay tune is to subscribe to my newsletter (yes free for life as well) at the end of this post or on the box on the right sidebar.
What I'm trying to say here is if you want to compete in this SEO world, then you have to compete in the smart way. I am sure you will be amazed on how many free SEO tools there is which many bloggers do not use at all. Such a waste right?
Okay folks, give yourself a pat on the back (or a beer treat) as you have completed the first part of my SEO best practices.
Wait! Don't click on the Close button yet!
Test your understanding on search engine optimization knowledge (after my post above):
Do you understand what Search Engine Optimization really is right now?
Are you practising the right SEO methods?
Are you using the right SEO tools for your blogs and website?
Talk to me and share with me using the reply form.
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