Finding Targeted Keyword Phrases Your Competitors Miss
Posted on October 15, 2003
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Finding Targeted Keyword Phrases Your Competitors Miss
By Daria Goetsch
Finding keyword phrases your competition is missing is
easier than you might think. Combinations of two and three
word phrases are often overlooked by your competitors when
vying for the top competitive terms. This missed opportunity
may be a benefit to you to overcome your competition in the
search engine rankings.
Think Like A Searcher - Study Your Target Audience Really look at the audience you want to bring to your
website. Are there terms you might not ordinarily use, or
that your competitors use, that would work for a small
portion of visitors? Remember that single words tend to be
more competitive. Find two and three word phrases that would
work for a searcher looking for your website topic. If your
visitors usually search on "vertical widgets", look at
"horizontal widgets" as well. Dig deep to find terms that
might not be obvious to you. Be sure to focus your terms on
the actual topic of your website, and terms that people
would really search for. Have another person compile a list
of keyword phrases used to find your website or product.
You'd be surprised at the number of variations two minds can
come up with instead of one. Think like a searcher - not a
View Your Competitor's Source Code And Content For Keyword Phrases Viewing your competitor's source code is very easy and a
good way to see what keyword phrases (if any) they are
using. Using your browser, view the source code of their
page. The title and meta tags should contain the same
keywords or variations of keyword phrases if the
competitor's website is optimized. Look over the web page
content as well as for keyword phrases worked into the text,
image alt text, headings and hyperlinks of the pages. If
their pages are not optimized you may gain an even bigger
edge on the competition by optimizing your web pages.
Using Keyword Tools To Find Variations Of Keyword Phrases The Overture Suggestion Tool will provide keyword
variations. You can find the tool at
Clicking on the suggestion tool link will bring up a window
that allows you to search for terms and variations of terms.
Begin with your list and see how many variations come up
with the results. You might be surprised at the popularity
of some of the search variations you see. Be sure to add you
new keyword phrases to your list.
KeywordDiscovery is a keyword tool as well, you can purchase a
yearly or monthly subscription. Learn
more about it here: KeywordDisocvery's Keyword Research Tool
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Search On Keyword Phrases In The Search Engines Using your expanded list of keyword phrases, search for
those terms in the search engine databases. Note the number
of search engine results. The more results, typically the
more competitive the term. See the differences in number of
search results for plural versions as opposed to singular
versions of your keywords in each engine. Note the
descriptions that the search engine results bring up - are
there any keyword phrases there that might apply to your
website? Don't forget the ads Google displays in their
search results. Study the ads that come up with your search
terms as well. While you are searching on your keyword
phrases, check your competitor's ranking, along with the new
keyword phrase variations you come up with through the
Overture Keyword and KeywordDiscovery tools.
Add Keywords Reflecting Your Local Cities And State You can also target local areas by including them in your
title/meta tags and text of your web pages. List only the
cities and state you reside in and/or provide services to.
You never know who will be looking for a local contact
producer of "blue widgets" in your city or state. Some
people prefer to work with a local company. Adding in those
type of specifics, even on your contact page with your local
information, can pull in traffic your local competitors are
Check Your Site Statistics Last but certainly not least, check your search engine stats
program or raw server logs to see what terms your visitors
are using to find your website. There may be combinations of
words your visitors are using you have not thought of or
that may not be in the content of your pages.
Incorporate Keyword Phrases Into Content Of Your Web Pages Once you have your list of varied keyword phrases, work them
into your web page. Incorporating these terms into your web
pages should "make sense", in other words, they should read
well and not sound "spammy". Most of all, they should
realistically be part of the content of the page, not placed
there only because you need them in the content. Have
another person read your copy to see if it sounds reasonable
Keyword Variations Make A Difference Don't miss out on the keywords your competitors might miss.
Those extra keywords could translate into profits and
increased viewing of your website by visitors who might
otherwise not find you.
About the Author
Daria Goetsch is the founder and Search Engine Marketing
Consultant for Search Innovation Marketing
(http://www.searchinnovation.com), a Search Engine Promotion
company serving small businesses. Besides running her own
company, Daria is an associate of WebMama.com, an Internet
web marketing strategies company. She has specialized in
search engine optimization since 1998, including three years
as the Search Engine Specialist for O'Reilly & Associates, a
technical book publishing company.