How to find Good Keywords for SEO

The first part of the keyword challenge is to find promising keywords. The second part of the challenge is to accurately:
   Allocate the process based on what’s working and what isn’t
   Take into account unexpected success stories.
Remember, the initial keyword analysis is our attempt to determine which keywords will give us the best ROI on our SEO dollar. Once we actually have data that can tell us the ROI for each keyword, we’d be a fool not to use it.

How to develop an initial list of keywords

Before you start an SEO campaign, you need to figure out what keywords to do SEO for. We have an extensive process that we use. I’ve simplified the process and posted it here. I simplified it for two reasons:
   Most people don’t really want to read or understand the entire process
   I don’t want to give away all our secrets. I really like our keyword analysis and we don’t share it with everyone. We consider it a     competitive advantage that we have over our clients.

That being said, here’s a simplified process that we use to determine an initial list of keywords for SEO.
  1. Create list of major keywords (5-20). These are the most popular keyword that are relevant to the market
  2. Use the Google keyword tools to obtain all related keywords that people are searching for. We generally have over 1,000 keywords at this step
  3. Assess the level of competition for each keyword. This involves the
  a. Number of competing websites
  b. Quality of competing websites
  4. Use the data in (2) and (3) to rank the suitability of keywords for SEO. The goal here is to find keywords that lots of people are searching for and few websites are optimized for.
  5. Decide on list of keywords.

Here is a sample snippet of what the data might look like:

Monthly Keyword Analysis

After 2-3 months, we begin an iterative process to revise our list of keywords and to determine how much time to spend on each keyword. This ongoing, iterative process should be completed on a monthly basis.The time spent on each keyword should be proportionate to the expected monthly traffic that we think a keyword will give us 3 months from now. The expected monthly traffic is given by the present traffic plus three times the derivative (units are visitors/month as obtained from calculus) of the traffic and then divided by the hours worked on the keyword over the last 3 months.

All keywords that satisfy the criteria below are used in this calculation:
  a. one of the top 100 keywords,
  b. contribute more than 5 visits/month, and
  c. not contain the name of the website and/or company.

In addition, 0-5% of the monthly budget is used to experiment with additional keywords that we identified during our initial keyword analysis. We use the analysis above to maximize the ROI of the SEO investment that we spend on each keyword. 


The easiest way to traffic the performance of a keyword is via the traffic from said keyword.
If we’re presenting keyword info to the client we might want to do one of:
  Keyword rankings (current, initial, last 3 months)
  Data from the iterative process above
  Traffic from keyword
The derivative is the:
  Change in 30-0 days ago x 0.66
  Change from 60-30 days ago x 0.34
We calculate the traffic 3 months from now by current traffic + (derivative x 3).

I’m pretty happy with our keyword analysis technique.
  Our analysis of the SEO ROI for each keyword incorporates the work that we've done for said keyword.
  Our formula also provides a way to increase the number of keywords that we're doing SEO on while keeping the number of article topics for any one month manageable
  The way this formula works, we'll naturally end up doing SEO for all the keywords in the list if we just follow the formula. We don't need to make any decisions or know anything about SEO.

So, I think it's pretty good.


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