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How to Create a Highly Effective Keyword List

Posted on May 17, 2007

By Herman Drost

Recently I was asked to optimize a site selling Spanish T-Shirts to attract lots of traffic from the search engines. Without traffic your site won't make any sales. Of the other hand getting lots of traffic does not guarantee sales if your web copy is lousy.

There are many factors that should be considered when you optimize your web site. For my example site to optimize I chose Wild Lily Designs, a site that specializes in selling Spanish Shirts.

Here are the steps I took to optimize the site:

1. Create a keyword list

Write down all the keywords related to the topic of your site. Try to also include keyword phrases. ie T-Shirts, Spanish Shirts, Spanish Apparel, Spanish Clothing.

There are probably millions of web sites selling T-Shirts; therefore you need to narrow your focus. This is why Spanish Shirts or Spanish T-Shirts would a better niche because it wouldn't be as competitive. If your niche is too competitive you will have a difficult time getting high rankings. Ideally you want your site to appear on the first page for one of the major search engines...Google, MSN or Yahoo.

2. Find related keywords

These are words that are similar to the main keyword list you created above. You may be able to incorporate them into the content of your site as it grows. Keywords that have a very narrow focus ie Spanish T-Shirts, may not be a popular search term. If I broaden my search to include "Spanish" or "T-Shirt" I will find hundreds of words that relate to these topics.

Use a theosaurus dictionary or to find similar words besides your main keywords. Another great free tool to brainstorm related keywords is the Google AdWords Keyword Tool (

Here is the list of similar keywords generated when I inserted "spanish shirts" in the Google AdWords Keyword Tool:

madrid shirts
language tee shirts
spain shirt
spanish shirt
shirts in spanish
spanish shirts
spanish t shirts
real madrid shirt
spanish english dictionary
spanish apparel sign language shirt
language shirts
madrid t shirts
shirt in spanish
hispanic t shirt
spain t shirt
language apparel

hispanic shirts
sign language t shirt
madrid t shirt
real madrid t shirts
language t shirts sign
language shirts
language shirt
shirts spanish
sign language t shirts
spanish t shirt
real madrid merchandise
i love shirts
hispanic t shirts
long sleeve shirts
spain t shirts
t shirts in spanish
madrid shirt

Social Media Optimization

From this list you get both the singular and plural forms of the keywords. You may also want to include madrid shirts, madrid t-shirt, spanish shirts.

To find out how often people are searching on these keywords you need to use keyword tools. I use a combination of both free and paid tools.

KeywordDiscovery is the most popular and effective SEO tool used by search engine marketers. KeywordDiscovery allows you to do a comprehensive search for related keywords, provides the number of searches for your keywords, then compares their popularity in the search engines with how competitive they are. Ideally you want to use keywords that receive a high number of searches but don't have many competing web sites for the same keyword.

Using the free trial at KeywordDiscovery my search for Spanish Shirts generates this list:

1. spanish t shirts
2. spanish club t shirts
3. spanish shirts
4. spanish christian shirts
5. spanish phrases t shirts
6. shirts in spanish
7. shirts spanish
8. spanish foorball shirts
9. spanish renaissance shirts
10. designs for a spanish club t shirts

The enhanced version would display 117 keywords here. If I click on spanish t shirts I can drill down even further, finding related long tail keywords such as "monty python t shirts spanish inquisition"

The search count results mean how many a particular keyword has appeared in the database.

E.g. The global premium database holds over 4.4 billion keywords. A count of 55 tells you that this particular word has appeared 55 times over the past 12 months. The keywords are taken from KeywordDiscovery's user panel (a clean and pure source without skews caused by automated agents like rank checkers).

Analyzing the results will provide even greater data.
Occurrences = 1,980. This is an estimate of the number of pages in which each search term appears.
Predicted Daily = 3. This is the average predicted traffic for all of the major search engines today.

If you subscribe to the paid version of KeywordDiscovery, you will get access to all search results, project management tools and many more. You also have the choice of digging even deeper on each of the keywords above if you want to view words related to the one you chose.


Doing keyword research before you write the content for your web site will help you to identify what angles you can use to attract the search engine spiders. If you create different pages that include these keywords you gain extra traffic because they receive a high number of searches.

About the Author

To receive more of the author's in-depth articles subscribe to his "Marketing Tips" newsletter at:

Herman Drost is a Professional Web Designer, SEO Specialist, Writer and Publisher.


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