When you set up your own website your biggest challenge will be in getting visitors to come to your site. One of the more successful ways of doing this is through what is known as search engine optimisation (SEO). Some search engines list their content on the basis of keywords contained in the website. These keywords are picked up by a search engine crawler. Google is a crawler based search engine which automatically places the various websites in an order of preference based on the strength of its keywords. It is your aim to have your site listed on the first page of any search engine result when your potential visitor types in your particular keyword, preferably at the top of that page. When you make changes to your website the crawler will eventually run across these changes and adjust your listing to reflect the changes.
Finding the most effective keywords is one of your biggest tasks if you are going to be successful in getting a high listing and this is where the Google keyword tool comes into its own. It assists you in seeing the search volumes, any estimated cost per click and the keyword competition. Carrying out keyword research in this way means that you can check the search volume of any specific keyword you might have in mind. For instance if the keyword you are thinking of using only gets eight or nine searches a month it will be of no value to you.
The Google keyword tool will also tell you the amount of competition your keyword might have to contend with. If it happens that your competition is going to be quite high then it indicates a lot of hard work before you will be able to get to the front in any listing. This means you will have to attach more information to the keyword to make it stand out better. For instance if you are selling vacuum cleaners, you would probably find a million other people are already using the words vacuum cleaners. If you want to target your particular sales to a certain area you would be better off prefacing your keywords with ‘your town’ vacuum cleaners, replacing the words ‘your town’ with the name of your own city or suburb. To get this type of assistance all you need do is to sign up to a Google account where you can see the keywords with the most value for your specific type of interest.
Using the Google Keyword Tool
Once you have successfully opened your Google account all you need do is to log in and take the following steps:
- Choose your country and language. Open the Advanced Option and Filter tab and choose whichever country you want to appear in. This cuts back the competition from other countries around the world for which you would be wasting your time competing with for a higher listing.
- Choose your keywords. If you are starting out and not quite sure at this stage what keywords would suit you best you can ask Google to do this for you. You do this by opening ‘Website Option’. This allows you to type in your URL and Google will come up with the keywords it thinks would be most appropriate for your site.
- Matching your keywords. Your next move will be to target your keyword or keywords more precisely. After you click on search you will see a list of all your keywords come up on your screen as well as some others that Google thinks would also be of benefit. On the left hand side of this list you will see a box which has ‘exact match’ as one of the options. Click on this option. If you don’t do this you will be stuck with a broad search that will pick out your keywords wherever those words come up in the millions of websites out there. By refining the search to exact, only the words you have chosen will be picked up on. For instance ‘your town vacuum cleaners’ as against ‘vacuum cleaners.’ You will now see your exact keywords appear in brackets. The broad keyword option is better used if you are fishing around in the market and not quite sure how you want to target your site into any specific niche. For instance if you want to be listed more widely than being restricted to your own locality in selling your vacuum cleaners you will broaden your market, as every time someone uses the words vacuum cleaners, no matter what other words are used before and after, your keywords will be activated.
Open Site Explorer
Open Site Explorer is an independent site where you can easily check if your keywords are working for you and find out how your competitors are going. All you need do is to enter your URL and click on ‘search’ then click on ‘anchor text.’ The page that now comes up will display all the anchor texts being used, a feature you might be able to use to give your site a better chance of beating the competition.
The best way to learn how you can use the Google Keyword tool to your best advantage is to open an account and put it to use. You will become more competent as you become more familiar with its many advantages in helping to get your website a higher listing where it is exposed to more traffic.