SEO keyword analysis
January 15, 2012 1:42 PM   Subscribe

How do I perform SEO keyword analysis without using a 3rd part or agency?

I have been asked to perform some SEO work, keyord analysis, and competitor analysis. Whenever I try to research proper techniques on how to perform this all I find are companies offering to do it for me.

I want to research who might be bidding on our brand name, and some related terms that only apply to our company.

I also want to find out what terms they are bidding on generally.

Is this really that difficult? What other aspects/stats could I easily add to make the data even more useful?
posted by anonaccount to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
If you create a Google AdWords account (free) you can use their keyword tool to see what relevant search terms are currently being "bought" and for how much. This will only get you Google's ad data of course but I'm guessing that's a pretty big slice of the pie...
posted by bizwank at 6:49 PM on January 15, 2012

You're not going to see who is bidding on your brand name, although one way to check if someone is, is to Google yourself (using Incognito Mode) and see if any paid ads come up using your brand name as a keyword.

Doing keyword research is just the first step in a continuous, iterative process. You kind of have to figure out what search terms people are using to search for your product or service on the web. Input those into the Google Adwords Keyword tool, and then get Google to come back with more recommendations.

For the time being, just worry about the SEO - rather than the Adwords campaign - aspects of the results. Generally speaking, you're going to want to identify high-volume search terms, and assign those to specific pages on your site. This is very general advice. The geographic criteria is really just a rule of thumb that is a good indicator of volume.

The challenge with high volume search terms is that everyone is using them. A good strategy is to find "long tail" terms that still have a fair amount of clicks. If the Adwords tool is indicating a longtail combo is getting, say, 50 clicks a month, and you need to "convert" 5 people on the page in order to make 1 sale (and 1 sale per month on the page is your goal), then try going with the longtail result that gets 50 clicks, versus the high volume keyword combo that gets 5000 clicks (unless you are really sure you execute better SEO than your competitors in order to dominate the first page of Search, and therefore get more clicks to your website).

For competitor analysis, you're really looking at a) what keywords your competitors are using b) who is linking to them, and can you get such sites to link to you c) how well their websites are optimized for SEO d) how well their websites are optimized for conversions

The good news is, outside of a couple of extremely competitive verticals, such as downloadable software and computer hardware, hardly anyone does SEO well.

So if you can figure out how to do SEO well without hiring a professional, you've got it made.

But hiring a professional is probably a good idea. In the meantime, try reading sites like SEOMoz and SEOBook for more
posted by KokuRyu at 10:53 PM on January 15, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you want to see what terms your competitors are bidding on, look at their page titles.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:54 PM on January 15, 2012 [2 favorites]

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