5 Steps to Optimize Your Website Like a Pro

photo credit: Google via photopin (license)

photo credit: Google via photopin (license)

Everyone uses search engines to find products and companies these days. About 60% of all consumers use Google search to find businesses, and over 80% of online searches result in direct sales or in-store visits. You want to optimize your website so that you show up on the top of these searches. This should be a top priority for any business owner.

Unfortunately, search optimization is not a fix it and forget it type of task. Google’s search algorithm is constantly evolving as they attempt to provide the best results for their searchers, and, of course, make as much money as possible in advertising. Your website has to keep up. You can’t simply hire an SEO expert to optimize your website once and forget about it for years; you’ll begin to see diminishing results.

With that in mind, you should be doing these following tasks on a regular basis to continually optimize your website, and stay ahead of the search curve.

5 Steps to Optimize your Website

1. Keyword Research

All search optimization begins with keyword research. You have to have an understanding of the current search landscape and your keywords. This is critical to not only do at the beginning of any marketing strategy, but also occasionally re-evaluate. These numbers always change, and you want to stay up-to-date.

Using Google Keyword Planner, begin with your industry and location. The tool will then give you a wide range of search terms, how often they are searched, and the competition over those words (based on how many businesses are buying ads based on those search terms.) You’ll want to find as many relevant keywords for your business as possible that have low competition but high search numbers.

Once you identify those terms, write them down word for word. Any slight variations on your identified keywords will hurt your optimization. Use these keywords in all of your efforts to optimize your website moving forward.

2. Create Great Content with Keywords in mind 

Content is the basis for the entire Duct Tape Marketing approach, and posting regular content will help your website show up on more searches. When approaching content, you must keep the keywords in mind. The entire point of the content is to reach people who are looking for it.

Use your keywords as a springboard for content ideas, and try to work your keywords into the posts as often (but as naturally) as possible. For even more tips on optimizing each post for search, check out Kala’s post on post optimization.

3. Speed it Up

Google is beginning to punish slow running websites. You want to make sure your page is always up to speed. Luckily there is a tool to do just that. Google Speed Insights will not only tell you if your page is running slow, but it will give you suggestions on how to speed it up.

It is important to do this regularly and even follow up on those suggestions. Things you are doing on your website (posting new content, new products or pages) can slow your website down. You don’t want to be penalized for slow speed if you don’t know it is occurring.

4. Use Landing Pages

You want every single one of your landing pages to keep your keywords in mind. If you’re creating a landing page for a new product or promotion, try to work a keyword that is most relevant to your individual product into the title and body copy of the page.

If there are multiple keywords you think apply to this promotion or item, you may want to test multiple landing pages with each page focused on one keyword. Do this too often, though and you’ll slow your website down, so be sure to delete underperforming landing pages.

5. Update Your Page Titles

Quick question: what are the page titles of your website? Most business owners have their page titles as simply the name of your business. This is great if your business name is perfectly optimized, but most aren’t (the best search names usually follow the City + Service format, like Kansas City Auto Body for example.)

Try changing your page titles to include your #1 keyword. This can be something as simple as “Your business name + Top Keyword” but you can get creative. Try to incorporate a slogan that includes the keyword.

Optimal Results

With these five tips, your website will be consistently delivering you optimal results. Be sure to evaluate those results, find what works and what doesn’t. Also, this is not a complete list by any means. SEO is an incredibly deep and ever-evolving strategy, but that means there are tons of great resources to help you along the way.

Alex-Boyer-Photo-150x150-e1420769709443Alex Boyer is a Community Manager and Content Ninja for Duct Tape Marketing. You can connect with him on Twitter @AlexBoyerKC

Why is Local Search So Important?

Marketing podcast with David Mihm

In answer to the question in the title of this post, chew on a few of these stats:

  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP/comScore)
  • 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)
  • 61% of local searches result in a purchase (Search Engine Watch)
  • 59% of consumers use Google every month to find a reputable, local business (Search Engine Watch)
  • 37% of all searches are done on mobile (ClickZ)
David Mihm

David Mihm

If  you own a business that thrives on doing business locally, you must understand how businesses in local markets are found today.

Sure, a lot of people find local businesses by asking a friend for a recommendation and if you are lucky enough to have made a positive impression on said friend there’s a chance your business will benefit. But, as the stats above reveal, today you must show up strong when people inevitably turn to a search engine – even after a recommendation from a friend – to find local goods and services.

My guest for this week’s episode is one of the world’s foremost local SEO experts and Director of Local Search Strategy for Moz.com, David Mihm.

Questions I ask David:

  • What is the difference between local SEO and traditional SEO?
  • What changes do you foresee in local SEO in the future?
  • How has content marketing affected local search?

What you’ll learn if you give a listen:

  • How location changes your search results on Google
  • How reviews, even industry specific reviews, are affecting search results
  • What is a knowledge card, and why it matters now and in the future

Check out Moz.com’s local search learning center at https://moz.com/learn/local

If this topic seems appealing join me for a live webinar – How to Win With Local Search – Thursday, May 28th – Noon CDT (GMT-5) – Enroll here

This episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast is brought to you by Hostgator, where you’ll get 24 hour live support via chat, phone or email, 1-click WordPress installs, easy-to-use website builder, design services, marketing services like SEO and PPC, and for my listeners: a 30% Discount. Go to www.Hostgator.com/promo/ducttape

21 Blogs I Turn To When I Need to Learn How To Do Stuff

No shock in this statement – I’m a big fan of blogs and blogging as a core marketing, content and SEO practice.

Blogs

photo credit: via photopin (license)

I subscribe to many blogs, read blogs daily and generally find that when I search for things blog posts offer the most useful solutions.

I read many different types of blogs – some for inspiration, some for thought leadership and still some for personal growth.

Today I want to present a list of blogs that I turn to on a regular basis when I want to learn something practical and useful.

This list of 21 blogs isn’t top list or ranking or any other of the link bait kinds of lists you see out there. The blogs on this list are tools for me as I market and grow my business and attempt to expand my knowledge in an ever changing world.

I frequently get asked about resources I turn to and, for today, here they are. I placed them into a handful of categories, but many of them could cross over into multiple categories and often do in the range of topics they weigh in on. Most of these won’t be new to regular readers as I reference them often, but it can be helpful to see them all in one place. Subscribe to this list and you’ll always have ready access to tips, tools and techniques you can take action on today.

Feel free to share blogs you find utterly useful when you need to learn how to do stuff.

Video
Reel SEO – http://www.reelseo.com/
Video Brewery – http://www.videobrewery.com/blog/

Podcast
Podcast Answer Man – http://podcastanswerman.com/
Entrepreneur on Fire – http://www.entrepreneuronfire.com

SEO
MOZ – http://moz.com/
Search Engine Watch – http://searchenginewatch.com/

Social Media
Social Media Examiner – http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/
Buffer – https://blog.bufferapp.com/
Razor Social – http://www.razorsocial.com/blog/

Facebook
Jon Loomer – http://www.jonloomer.com

PPC
PPC Hero – http://www.ppchero.com/
WordStream – http://www.wordstream.com/blog

Conversion
Kiss Metrics – https://blog.kissmetrics.com/
Unbounce – http://unbounce.com/blog/
QuickSprout – http://www.quicksprout.com/university/

Analytics
Occam’s Razor – http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/
Crazy Egg – http://blog.crazyegg.com/

Content
Content Marketing Institute – http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/blog/
Copyblogger – http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/

WordPress
WP Beginner – http://www.wpbeginner.com/category/wp-tutorials/
Yoast – https://yoast.com/

 

 

5 New Realities of SEO

Back in the day, SEO was more technical and less, well, semantic. Now I realize that for most a term like semantic query relevancy might as well be the name of computer programming language, but the fact is Google’s customers, the searcher and the advertiser, are no longer content with results based on related page keyword content. This Wall Street Journal article explains Google’s take

google search

To improve accuracy Google and Bing both are attempting to understand what is actually meant by a search and refine results based on things like recency, location, context and of course relevance.

For example if you search “best place to buy a MacBook Pro” there was a time when search engines would return results of blog posts about good places to buy a MacBook Pro or maybe even computer reviews. From that you might have been able to find what you were looking for, but with semantic knowledge graph built in Google is more likely to think – oh, you want to buy a MacBook Pro and I know where you are and I know the inventory levels of the nearest stores with sale prices, so here are your results.

What this means for website owners is they can no longer count on writing content about a subject, optimizing it and going to work on links to the page. Sure, that stuff will always play a role, but there are other significant factors at play today.

Google officially rolled out a new search algorithm recently that employs a great deal of their progress in semantic search. The update is called “Hummingbird” and while traces of it have been coming in previous updates, this one is significant and lasting.

Search has been heading this way for some time now. So, no SEO is not dead once again, unless you mean quick SEO – SEO that doesn’t contain relationship and authority building. Bottom-line though – quality, frequency, depth and authority matter more than ever.

Below are five realities that site owners and SEO professionals must address in order to remain relevant.

Social signals matter a lot

One of the biggest factors baked into search results are signals that search engines can receive about content quality based on social interactions. How many +1s a page has matters greatly as do shares, likes and retweets. My guess is that it’s nearly impossible to get most content to rank without it.

In depth is the new snack sized

One of the things blogs ushered in was the ability to create small little bits of content frequently. While readers seem to enjoy this, often the content lacked much depth and certainly did not engender many retweets and shares (unless you are Seth Godin and you’re followed by 113,000 people on Google+ even though you’ve never shared anything on Google+)

Many people still throw out thinly disquised lists as link bait, but nothing gets shared and strongly indexed today like long, in depth narrowly cast articles. Google has even created markup standards for in depth articles as long as 2000-5000 words.

Who writes it matters too

Authority based on authorship has grown to be a major ranking factor. Claiming your own Google+ Authorship for your content is vital. This includes telling Google other places where your content appears.

While there is no “kloutlike” scoring system as of yet, understanding whose content is thought of authoritative because that’s your relationship building hit list!

Link building is networking

Past Google updates with names like Panda and Penguin were different than Hummingbird as they we updates to fix stuff, mostly artificial link building. Like it or not the more sophisticated algorithms become the harder it is to fake link relationships. Link building in the old school SEO fashion is going the way of the compact disc so you better get good at writing high quality content, sharing high quality content and building authoritative relationships with people that Google thinks matter when it comes to content.

In case that sounds like good old fashion networking that’s because it is.

Keyword not provided is the new deal

Site owners long ago made a deal with Google – let us crawl your site and we’ll tell you who is visiting your site and why – just kidding – take a look at your Google Analyitcs these days and see if your “keyword not provide” or what terms someone searched on that brought them to your site is hovering in the 100% range like mine is.

There are some clever ways to hack together this data (future post on that) and word on the street is Google may find a way to sell it back to you through some sort of premium analytics, but look for some 3rd party tools to fill this gap and get used to a world without the ease of knowing why someone came to your site. (I suppose this is actually a step back into the more technical SEO need.)

Tomorrow I’m going to give you a look into my top 5 recommended action steps for addressing the new realities of SEO today.

 

7 Ways to Attract Lots of High Quality Links in the Age of Authority

Links back to your site from other sites give Google a potentially important signal – “Hey, I’m a human being and I think this is good stuff.” – that’s something Google can’t do with a spider and even better if the site in question is already known to Google as a trusted source.

Google

photo credit: dolescum via photopin cc

Links have always been important, but in the past it was just about getting lots of them. The “more is more” approach led to gaming and buying and other unnatural types of acts.

There was a time when SEO folks and site owners seemed more concerned about getting links than producing anything worth actually linking to and visiting.

Recent changes in the Google algorithm addressed this aspect of their ranking system in dramatic fashion.

Links still matter, but the emphasis has been placed squarely on the quality and authority of links and not on numbers of links. You could see this coming with every new tweak and pronouncement from Google folks like Matt Cutts.

Link building in the age of authority has more in common with effective networking than some sort of magic SEO art.

Below are eight tactics I’ve employed to effectively build and continue to build high quality, relevant links.

One word of caution – none of these tactics supplant the need to be link worthy and none involve tricks of any kind. You draw high quality, relevant links the same way you develop networking relationships – by focusing on the needs of your link partners and your readers.

1) Snack size influence

One of the best ways to get some very high authority links (and this includes RT’s +1s and Likes from high authority folks as deemed by Google) is to publish quotes, advice and answers from influencers in your industry.

The above statement is pretty obvious of course, but the key to getting said content from influencers is to make it as easy as possible for them to provide it. Ask one question, for example, of a dozen people, publish the answers in a thought-provoking and link to each participant’s site.

Many times this approach can produce a very high quality, or at least interesting, piece of content that others, including your influential guests, may think worthy of linking to and socializing.

 

Here’s an example of this approach that produced multiple high quality links – How I Write and How I Decide What To Write

2) Guest content

I know you’ve heard lots of people talking about guest blogging and with reason – one of the highest quality links you can get is a link back to some page on your site from the body of a blog post on an influential blog. So, get over to Topsy and do a search on your key terms + guest and find yourself some great opportunities to draw links from your guest content

But, don’t forget two other potent variations on this theme – a) Ask others to write a post on your site. You can get some tremendous content and likely as not they will link to that content once it’s published. Here’s a guest post written by my friend Chris Brogan. He linked to this post from his various profiles.

 

b) Interview guests for a podcast – Authors love to do this around new book launches and many influential folks in your industry may want to do the same. Not always, but more often than not, your guest will link to this content. Last week my friend Lee Odden linked to the podcast interview he recently gave for the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

3) Promote an event

Events are another great way to draw links. If you host an in person workshop or even online seminar you can likely attract links by listing your event on local event pages, MeetUp and Eventful.

In some cases you can get some pretty terrific links from the event space – I hosted a free talk at the public library in my community and got some terrific high domain authority links from local media calendars and the library .org link

4) Repackage across mediums

I write lots of blog posts and speak frequently for organizations. Just about every word I write or speak is fair game to be repackaged into eBooks, turned into videos and pitched to media outlets in one form or another.

The net effect is that one piece of content might be a source of link generation in many ways. For example, here’s my library talk from above posted to YouTube.

Organizations love to share free eBooks. Here’s a very high influence link from PRWeb.com to one of my free eBooks.

5) Your partners

Yet another reason to work hard at establishing a formal strategic partner network. Last week I wrote about ways to use content for referrals and many of these ways involved linking opportunities.

In a way this is the updated version of the linking networks that were in vogue before Google slapped them down. The big difference is these should be, by virtue of how you build them, far more natural.

Over the years I’ve acquired links from HP, Dell, Microsoft and Sage Software through partnering efforts.

6) Build something useful

Want to know the easiest, fastest, more productive way to draw tons of links? Create a highly useful free tool and tell people about it. People love to find and share stuff that’s useful and, of course, even better if it’s free.

One of the most linked to pages on my site is for a free press release generator called Instant Press Release that I created years ago. The tool also generates hundreds of newsletter sign up each month even though I never do anything to promote it and you can’t even find it without searching for it.

And I wonder how many millions of people have shared tools like Hubspot’s Marketing Grader?

I know this one might be easier said than done, but this is so powerful it is worth investing in having something built.

7) Real world networks

What organizations do you belong to? What alumni directories publish links? What business groups? What non-profit committees?

These may not seem like great places to get high traffic links, but they can often be terribly industry relevant and carry high authority signals for Google. They still like .org and .edu domains.

Most of the options above require real work, I realize that, but Google has said loud and clear that the days of buying links in farms are over. Keep creating great content, sharing great content, working on building your own authority and networking and links, the kind that won’t ever go out of fashion, will come.

The Future of SEO

Marketing podcast with TopRank’s Lee Odden

photo credit: Simon & His Camera via photopin cc

photo credit: Simon & His Camera via photopin cc

Does it makes sense for companies to invest in SEO as an independent activity? Can you influence search without content and social?

Those are some of the questions I asked Lee Odden, author of Optimize: How to Attract and Engage More Customers by Integrating SEO, Social Media, and Content Marketing and founder of TopRank Online Marketing for this week’s episode of the Duct Tape Marketing Podcast.

I think it’s easy to say SEO is dead. Certainly it’s not practiced the way it once was but does it still have a place as a stand alone marketing practice.

The practical matter is that when you’re in a competitive environment it’s not enough to put up good content. There’s still a need for content and digital assets to align with keywords and that takes intention. Social media participation and authority are increasingly important so as Odden shares in this interview – “you’ve got to be doing it all.”

Content marketing is perhaps the future of SEO right now, but it’s not just content – it’s content marketing. The implication being that the content has a purpose and a specific intent.

Odden’s recent blog post titled – The Truth About Content Marketing and SEO makes this distinction very clear.

5 Simple Steps for Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization

Thursday is guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest is from Aaron Houghton  – Enjoy!

Image Credit: Qole Pejorian Flickr CC

Throughout my career I’ve run my own small businesses, consulted with small business owners, and built software for small business users. I’m one of the biggest small business advocates you’ll ever meet. The passionate entrepreneurs who decide to launch and run their own businesses are the force that drives this world forward.

One of my favorite things about small business owners is that they’re natural do-it-yourselfers. As a small business owner yourself, you’ve probably learned that in order to get something done right, you oftentimes have to do it yourself.

In this article I’ll show you how to take your web marketing results into your own hands.

Although it’s common to assume that web marketing should be handled by the techies, don’t make this huge mistake. Your knowledge about your business make you the person most capable of generating big web marketing results – more sales leads and new customers for your business.

Small business owners who use this process acquire new customers at drastically lower costs than buying visitors through cost-per-click ads. Our research shows that following this process over one year produces high quality free website traffic equal to that from a $100,000 paid search engine advertising campaign.

Let’s get started.

Build a Website that You Control

You probably already have a website for your business, but if you don’t, it’s critical that you set one up immediately. A business website is the digital representation of your personal expertise. It’s where you build your authority as an expert on the topics you know best.

To establish your expertise you’ll write blog posts and articles using keywords that are important to your prospective customers. In order to do this, you need to have access to quickly and easily add new blog posts and pages on your website.

Websites built on simple editing platforms like WordPress or SquareSpace allow you to edit existing pages and add new ones at any time.

If you can’t easily edit your current business website, just create a new website right now. Imagine that you’re starting a little online magazine. Register a domain name that explains your primary topics of expertise, for instance home-garden-talk.com or makeup-for-weddings.com and set up a hosting account with GoDaddy that gives you the ability to edit and add pages to the site on your own.

Choose the Right Keywords For Your Business

In web marketing, keywords are the building blocks of success. Having the right web marketing strategy really just boils down to having the right list of keywords. It’s that simple.

Your best keywords are the words that your customers are already using.

Ask a few of your customers how they describe your business when talking with friends. Pay special attention to the words they use and write them down.

Think about the problems that your prospective customers are experiencing that your business can help them with. Add descriptions of those problems to your keyword list too. For instance, if you are a locksmith, you would write locked out of my car or need to change the locks on my house.

If your business serves a local region make sure to include all of its names too. For instance Chapel Hill, North Carolina is also referred to as part of the Triangle Area of North Carolina, and Central North Carolina. Create multiple versions of each of your existing keywords by adding the region names at the end, like locked out of my car chapel hill north carolina and locked out of my car triangle area north carolina.

You should have 25-50 words or short phrases in your list now (each on its own line). Copy your list and paste it into the Google Keyword Tool to see which keywords have the highest volume of searches and lowest level of competition.

Find the ten keywords that have the highest search volume and the lowest level of competition. You now have the perfect web marketing strategy for your business. Let’s get started implementing it.

Create a Content Schedule

You need to begin writing blog posts and articles about each of your top ten keywords. Don’t expect to do this today. It’s actually best to add these new pages to your website steadily over time.

Take a look at your schedule and add a recurring weekly event to remind you to write at least one new article each week. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Ask employees, friends, business partners, or customers to contribute. Give them a topic from your keyword list and tell them to take any angle they would like.

A good blog post or article page is three to four paragraphs in length, is focused tightly on a single keyword from your list, and is written in a friendly, conversational tone.

Write your article, or edit an article submitted to you, and then add it as a blog post or new page on your website. Include links in the article, where relevant, to product or service pages on your website.

Optimize Your Pages

Give your new blog posts and articles the best chance possible to pull in new visitors by making sure they’re optimized for the search engines.

The search engines pay special attention to certain page fields so you can gain a better search engine rankings just by putting the right words in the right places. Check for basic optimization by making sure that each page’s keyword (or keyphrase) can be found in the page title and meta description and is also used several times within the article’s text.

Use free tools like BoostSuite or SEOMoz to automatically scan your website and see where changes need to be made. Most optimization fixes are just simple text changes so you can optimize each new article in only a few minutes right when you post it online.

Commit to the Process and Get Started

Our research shows that adding one new optimized article to your website every week for one year generates an amount of free search engine traffic that would have cost around $100,000 if purchased through paid search engine advertising.

Now that’s a competitive advantage! But you actually have to follow this process to generate these results.

Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Are you willing to do the work required to grow your business and have new customers knocking down your door?

Start back at the top of the article and work your way through the process. Find your best keywords, write your first article, optimize it then add it as a new page on your website now. Your website will start receiving new visitors in just a few days.

Keep it up week after week and you’ll build a powerful web marketing system that produces thousands of website visitors and a steady flow of new customers for your business throughout the year.

Aaron Houghton is a serial entrepreneur who builds web marketing products for small business owners. Aaron is currently co-founder and CEO of BoostSuite.com. BoostSuite is a product that helps small business owners get more marketing results on their own. Formerly Aaron was co-founder of email newsletter leader iContact.com that was sold to Vocus in 2012 for $180M. Aaron was an Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner in 2008, was listed to Inc Magazine’s 30 under 30 list 2010, and was named as a Top 10 Most Influential CEO in 2010 (behind Zuckerberg, Andrew Mason, and Matt Mullenweg). In his free time Aaron is an avid wakeboarder and outdoor adventurer.

 

How to Stay Focused On Producing Your Highest Payoff Content

Today’s post is a direct answer to a question I receive frequently.

Writing optimized content

photo credit: madamepsychosis

First, the question – “I get that I need to produce lots of content but what should I write about?”

And now, the simple answer – “Write about things that your customers and prospects want to know more about.”

It really is that simple. Of course, the challenging part is understanding and staying focused on the most important, otherwise known as highest payoff, topics.

Today it’s not enough to simply write brilliant stuff. Yes, that’s certainly one aspect, but you’ve also got to write brilliant stuff that addresses what your prospects want to know in ways that search engines and searchers alike find relevant.

A little bit of research can go a long way when trying to develop a content strategy based on winning search results for phrases and topics related to what you do.

For this I’ll turn to a primary SEO routine.

Keyword research is a fundamental practice in the search engine optimization and marketing world. It’s how you determine what your pages need to say, it’s how you determine what your competition for important search terms is doing to stay at the top of the rankings and it’s how you determine what search terms and countless variations you want to bid on in your pay-per-click campaigns.

It’s also a great way to develop a body of primary topics for your editorial content calendar.

Below is a routine I’ve used over and over again to help sort out the precise body of topics that will produce the highest payoff in terms of search engine results. (If you want to read my thoughts on how I use these phrases once I discover them check out – The 7 Most Important SEO Factors for Bloggers)

List of 30 – 5 groups

The first thing I do is brainstorm a list of key search terms based on my own analytics, my sent email box and questions that clients routinely ask. I try to produce a list of suspects that reach thirty or so.

Then I try to group them into five or so major themes.

Google Keyword Tool

Next I take this list to a free tool like the Google Keyword Tool or a paid service such as WordTracker.

I run the words or phrases into these tools and quickly start working on revising my brainstorming list based on actual search volume, competition and a host of related phrases that these tools feed me.

Volume and competition prune

I revise my list, sometimes greatly, based on an initial analysis of the amount of search volume and how competitive a search term is and land on a group of phrases somewhere between perfect world and extremely long tail.

The more specific a search phrase is the more valuable it may be in terms of conversion. In other words, someone searching “small business marketing” could be looking for a lot of things, but someone searching “small business marketing growth strategy” might likely be looking for that killer course you’re selling – less volume, more relevance.

Conduct searches

Now I take my revised list that is probably no more than ten phrases, to the Google. I plug each phrase in and note the page one results. (These days it might make sense to do this logged in and out of your Google account as the results can vary greatly.)

I analyze the top results to make sure this is a place I want to land and create a list of what I now call my “competition” for these phrases. I then employ a few competitive research tools, such as the free Open Site Explorer or SEO Toolbar from SEOBook or the paid Raven Tools to learn a great deal about why these sites or pages are ranking well for these terms.

Website content feature

google keyword tools

Using the website feature you can easily learn what search terms Google thinks a page or site is optimized for.

One last step I like to use is to return to Google Keyword tool and use the website content feature that allows you to run a keyword analysis not on a search phrase but on an actual URL.

I do this with many of the competitive sites to learn why Google thinks what they do about this page and drum up more related search term candidates.

From all of this research I can generally come up with a meaty list of topics that I know I need to blog about in a very optimized way. My only task now to is find ways to say some of the same things over and over again in highly interesting ways. I also employ a tool like Scribe in my writing to help keep me laser focused on the content strategy.

This isn’t the only way to do keyword research and I’m sure many of the SEO folks have great strategies and routines for accomplishing what I’ve described here, but this is a way that works for me and helps me naturally balance the need for content with the need for optimization.