Posted on June 20, 2008

When it comes to search engine marketing, both in PPC and SEO, your campaign is only as strong as your keywords. That’s why Keyword Analysis is a mission critical, make-or-break concern. After all, if you’re not focusing on the right keywords, you won’t reach the right audience and you won’t see results.

So how should you conduct a Keyword Analysis? What questions should you ask? What answers should you demand? Not sure? Keep reading to find out more about Keyword Research.

In putting together a list of target keyword phrases (KWPs), the Fusionbox SEO team utilizes a range of tools to gather data depending on whether a campaign will have an organic search focus, a paid search focus, or a combination of both.

Begin by asking yourself, “How would my audience search for what I’m (or the client) is offering?” You need to make sure you align your keyword focus with what’s going on in reality. For example, a friend of mine worked for a company optimizing a site for the phrase “bathroom tissue,” which is the standard term in the industry; to the rest of us, however, this is simply toilet paper. So ask yourself how searchers are searching, or you’ll be missing the point and losing potential traffic.

After you’ve gotten inside the head of visitor to analyze their search behaviors and motivations, it’s time to check the historical search data and keyword permutations. Remember that subtle variations in word order make a huge difference. There are a number of tools that will provide you with past search data, giving you an idea of which keywords are more frequently searched. For example, the phrase “”http://seo.fusionbox.com">Denver Interactive Agency" gets a lot more searches than does “Interactive Agency Denver,” so we focused more upon that phrase in our optimization efforts. You can imagine how critical this knowledge is to the ultimate success of a campaign, especially when products and e-commerce are involved.

A few of our favorite tools for predictive data are Keyword Discovery, WordTracker, Google Adwords, Google Trends, and of course the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). We then use this data, along with information provided by you, to strategically select keyword phrases that we predict will be successful, relevant, and long-term targets for connecting users with the types of content, products, and services being offered on your website.

Still, this data isn’t enough to properly perform keyword research. It’s essential to consider competing websites and advertisers and other vertical specific tools to gain a complete picture of the competitive landscape for any given keyword.

For example, even if a given keyword gets twice as many searches as its counterpart, it still may not be the best keyword for you. Why is that? It’s an issue of competitiveness; if you’re competing with 20 other sites for the same keyword when you could compete with 3 for a lower volume keyword, you may want to reevaluate your priorities as you consider your strategy moving forward.

Search engine marketing campaigns are inherently unique; no two are ever identical. That’s why keyword research is such a huge component of success. When you skimp on keyword analysis, you’re cheating yourself by building a shoddy foundation. A good SEO builds his website out of bricks to withstand the huff and puff from wolfish competitors, while an unwise SEO rushes to throw a bunch of sticks together that won’t stand up in a gentle breeze.

For more information on Keyword Research or to ask a question about SEO, contact Fusionbox or visit our SEO Resources section.