SEO for WordPress: “How I hit page #1 of Google in 27 days!”
Chapter 2 - Keyword Analysis
In this chapter, I’m going to show you how to easily analyze your keyword list. You’ll want to analyze your keyword list for a few reasons:
See what Google is ranking for the keyword (videos, listings, etc.)
Check for fortune 500 companies
Check for small business owners
Look for a lot of Google paid advertisements
To get started, just enter one of your keywords directly into Google. Your “buying keywords” are the most important, so I suggest that you start with those first. As an example, I’m going to inset the keyword “dog training courses” into Google. Anyone searching for this keyword phrase is obviously looking to purchase a course, so it’s a perfect keyword.
After you click the “search” button, usually the first few results you see are paid advertisements, and you’ll see an orange icon that says “Ad.” If you don’t see any advertisements then that’s not a good sign. Fortunately, there are plenty of advertisements for this keyword (as seen below), so we’ll continue.
A keyword without any advertisements usually means that it’s not profitable, or the keyword is copyrighted. For example, one of my clients has a website that sells Instagram “likes” and followers. The word “Instagram” is copyrighted, so even though that’s a profitable business, you’ll rarely see any Google ads based around that keyword.
Once you’re past the advertisements, you’ll see the organic search results! The organic search results are sorted by relevance and are based on Google’s algorithm.
The first thing you want to look for are fortune 500 companies and huge franchises. If you see a lot of well known franchises in the organic search results, then you might want to move on to another keyword on your list. But for this example, I only see two franchises; PetSmart andPetco. PetSmart has position #1, and Petco has position #6.
As I look through the organic listings, the rest of the search results look like small business owners. I usually click on all the websites to size up the competition. You can tell a lot about a company by the way their website looks.
If your competition has a homemade looking website, then chances are they made it themselves. If they made the website themselves, then they’re probably doing their own SEO too. What makes them so different from you? Nothing! You can bump them right off the first page.
I don’t see any YouTube videos for this keyword which is interesting. I had to go all the way to page 5 to find a YouTube video in the organic search. So Google will actually rank a YouTube video for this keyword, but the video I found on page 5 wasn’t optimized correctly.
I also noticed that the websites listed were located all over the country. A lot of people will be looking for something local which is why Google prompts you to use the keyword “dog training courses near me” or “dog training courses online.”
That’s important feedback from Google. If you offer a local dog training course, then you should adjust your keyword to “dog training courses + your city.”
If you offer an online dog training course, then you can adjust your keyword to “dog training courses online.” The adjusted keyword may have a lower search volume, but it doesn’t matter. When someone lands on your website, they’re more likely to buy from you because you’re offering exactly what they’re looking for.
I think the keyword “dog training courses” is easy to rank for, so I’d add it to my list! Now just repeat this step for each keyword phrase that you want to rank for. You must analyze your competition first to make sure you’re not trying to rank for an almost impossible keyword phrase.
If every single search result on the first page is a fortune 500 company, then you might want to choose another keyword from your list.
Tools To Make It Easy
I realize that my process to analyze keywords might be complicated to some people. I have a solution for you to make the keyword analysis process easier.
You can use a free SEO Toolbar available at: http://www.seomoz.org/seo-toolbar.
I never use this toolbar because I don’t like to over analyze my competition. But if you want to really dissect your competition, then I suggest that you use the MOZ toolbar. The Moz toolbar is currently free to download.
Once you install the MOZ toolbar, you can scan through Google’s search results and this tool will analyze the pages for you at a glance. You can watch the video on their download page for more information.
You can also use a keyword analysis tool called “Market Samurai” if you feel like going into SEO ninja mode. They have a video on their website too showing you how the tool works here: http://www.marketsamurai.com
I personally don’t like keyword analysis tools because they don’t make sense to me. For example, some keywords will produce results from Yelp, Yellow Pages, YouTube videos, Facebook pages, and Amazon product pages.
When a keyword analysis tool sees these results, they’ll tell you that it’s an impossible keyword to rank for because they’ll think you’re trying to compete with those domain names. The tool doesn’t understand that anybody can create accounts at all those sites (i.e. YouTube) and just rank the individual page.
I don’t want to overwhelm you because after all, this book is called “SEO for WordPress.” But trust me, once you learn how to do SEO for WordPress, you’ll realize that the same rules apply to Amazon, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Images, Tumblr, Pinterest, Yellow Pages, Yelp, Facebook Pages, and everything else.
For example, if you type into Google “SEO Workshop Los Angeles” you’ll notice that my press release article on Yahoo Finance is on the first page. That link has been on the first page for the past 11 months. Search engine optimization is easy, you’ll see.
Summary & Action Plan
Manually type your keyword into Google. If you see a lot of fortune 500 companies on the first page for a keyword, then you know that it will be a difficult keyword to rank for. Just because a keyword is difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It might take you six months to rank for that specific keyword, so just set realistic expectations.
If you notice a lot of small business owners on the first page for a particular keyword, then you can compete! A lot of small business owners don’t hire SEO companies, so there’s a good chance that they’re on the first page by accident. It’s also important to note that a lot of SEO companies aren’t that good at SEO. Just follow my advice and you’ll bump them off the first page.
If you notice a lot of Google advertisements for a keyword, then that’s a good sign. As I mentioned earlier, advertisers will only advertise on a keyword that’s making them a profit. The more advertisements you see for a keyword, the better!
Keyword analysis tool: http://www.seomoz.org/seo-toolbar
Keyword analysis tool: http://www.marketsamurai.com
Update your keyword list based your research.
In the next chapter, I’ll show you how to set up your web hosting and domain names to rank higher on Google, Yahoo, and Bing!