Baseline for any SEO effort is the keywords you are targeting for. A keyword can be a single word like “cars” or can be a phrase like “sports car in Miami” what we also refer to as “long-tail keywords”. Your primary keyword or keywords is the first thing you think about before you start your online business. What niche you are targeting? Which sector you are going to work in? Which clients you are going to entertain? Once you answer a similar set of such questions between you and yourself, that’s where you start formulating your “keywords”
First use of a keyword in your online business is in your DOMAIN name. Most of the keywords have already been taken, so you have to find something closer to your main keyword or by adding an extra word or two before or after your main keyword. Having your main keyword in your domain saves you at least 30% of SEO effort during your internet marketing and organic traffic campaign. Having your main keywords in your domain also helps in branding and makes it easier for people to understand what is this site all about.
There are different tools and procedures to search for keywords online, but the best of all is Google Keyword Research Tool. The good news is its 100% free keyword research tool. In Google keywords tool, you can find the actual keywords people are searching related to your business in different regions. Keyword search volume is a good starting point to measure targeted traffic for the keywords you are planning to do SEO. Be careful to notice “Match Type” on the left side column where it says, broad, exact or phrase. You must click on “Exact” button to get you the exact traffic for your given keyword or keyword phrase as broad and phrase gives a broad idea of related searches and can be deceiving. Compound domain names are priced based on the exact search volume of the domain keywords.
Google keywords tool brings you not only the global and regional monthly search volume, but also gives you an idea of how competent this keyword is based on a scale of 1-10, ten being the most competent. The more a keyword is competent, the more SEO and linkbuilding efforts it requires to appear on the first page in search engines. Best keywords to go for are the ones which have high search volume and low competency. These keywords can bring you good daily traffic with minimal SEO effort and you can earn from the site by placing ads from Google or other CPM networks.
As an SEO expert before you quote a price to your client, you need to have a close look at the targeted keywords and see how competent it is. You will also need to evaluate how many websites are already competing for this particular keyword and a more detailed backlink analysis of top 10 sites. This should give you a fair picture of SEO efforts you will require to rank that keyword. Google keywords tool give you an option of searching about 100 keyword at one time. Once you have these keywords searched, you can download the list in excel sheet with monthly searches and competition level and then you can plan your SEO strategy.
If you have more than 100 keywords and want bulk monthly searches then you need to use Traffic Estimator instead of Keyword Tool. You can search about 2500 keywords in one go. Keyword estimator is a good tool to provide you valuable information on what keywords to continue and what to discard if you are targeting thousands of keywords. Once you sort out all your keywords, you can choose the top ten traffic generating keywords and concentrate on them instead of following hundreds of less traffic generating keywords.
Google has developed Keyword Tool mainly for the advertisers who want to place their ads in Google adwords and want to know which keywords are being searched based on the region. However, this tool is largely used by SEO companies and webmaster to measure their keyword traffic and develop their SEO strategy. There are many paid keyword tools but I believe the source is still the Google database as who knows about daily searches better than Google?
With recent changes in Google keywords tool, now you can search related keywords by either using a website address or the category of business. This should give you plenty of keywords ideas for your new online business. If you are targeting a local market, like UK, or Australia for example, then you will need to check these regions from advanced options and filters. This will give you local monthly searches for this keyword in that country as well as global monthly searches.
Keywords also play an important role in your linkbuilding strategy. If you want to rank a keyword high in search engines, you need to get a backlink to the desired URL using that keyword as “anchor text”. This gives search engines hint that the given URL is an authority site for that particular keyword. Linking back using just your domain name, will not much benefit your keyword ranking effort. That’s why it’s important to have your keyword in your domain name to make it easier during linkbuilding process using the similar anchor text.