Monday, July 13, 2009

Keyword Research - The How 2 Guide.

by Michelle Dale

Keyword research is an essential tool. It gives you the ability to find and research specific search terms which people individually enter into the search engines when performing any sort of search for information, products or services. This is extremely useful for optimising websites, because if you know what people are trying to find, then you can easily structure your site and its content so that the search engines index your chosen keywords. This will make all the difference in driving traffic toward your website. It's not complicated, and there are a few really easy to use applications out there to help you perform this kind of research.

As a Virtual Assistant, you'll want to optimize your own sites, and it's also more than likely that several of your clients will ask you to carry out research for them too. If you find that you're undertaking regular keyword research, then you may want to invest in a program that will do some of the legwork for you. However, you should always know how to do it manually, as these programmes aren't infallible, and it's always good practice to check the results you're getting periodically.

Here's a simple guide on how to perform a keyword search using Google:

1. Go to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. You don't need to be signed up for AdWords to do this. It's an external search that you can carry out for free.

2. Enter the Keywords that you want to search for - in this case I am using "Virtual Assistant", then type in the captcha character text (if necessary) and press the Get Keyword Ideas button.

3. You will be given a list of suggested keywords and related keywords from the starting keyword that you entered.

4. As you can see, the tool has returned a list which I have sorted by local search volume for April. This tells us that there is very high competition for the word Virtual Assistant, and it also tells us that there were 135,000 searches against this term in April. We're looking for a word that we can use to get ranked high up in the search engines so we can get more traffic to our site. So if we view this list, a good target is to locate a word with at least 100 searches per day. The competition for Virtual Assistant Services is still fairly high, but if we now go over to Google, we can take a look at our potential competition.

5. So, let's do a search on "Virtual Assistant Services", and make sure you use the quotations marks or you'll get results returned for any combination of those words.

Here, as you can see this page tells us that there are 57,700 pages ranked for this combination of words. This is not too high for you to be able to compete to get your page ranked for this word - with a little work of course.

I'm not saying that this is the ideal term for you to attempt to rank your Virtual Assistant business. This is just an example of what you might want to look at. Be creative and 'think outside the box' with your ideas. What terms do you think your clients would search for? You're going to want to repeat this process to find several keywords that you can utilise for establishing your Search Engine Index niche.

About the Author

Michelle Dale is The Managing Director of Virtual Miss Friday, an Experienced Executive Virtual Assistant who collaborates with businesses and individuals with the sole aim of accomplishing their professional goals. Want to learn more about these comprehensive online business building success strategies? Join the Campaign for FREE Virtual Assistance right now! http://www.virtualmissfriday.com