Jayson DeMers

Thinking Like the Customer: How to Target the Right Keywords

With seemingly endless programs and tools available for doing keyword research, it can be frustrating to try to figure out the best ones to use in your SEO campaign. Certainly, keyword analytics tools like Google AdWords are extremely helpful, but a huge part of keyword discovery involves thinking like the customer. As you work to understand your target market, step into a potential customer's shoes and ask yourself, "What am I looking for?"...

Nick Stamoulis

New Keywords Can Bring New Business, So Why Are You So Afraid of Them?

A former client of mine, a B2B software company, had a list of 20 or so "priority keywords" that they wanted to be on page 1 in Google for. Every month, no matter what other numbers I showed them (organic visitor growth, social traffic, long-tail keywords moving up in rank, etc), they only wanted to know how those top 20 priority keywords were performing. And while I understand that rank is an important business metric for many site owners it cannot be the only thing that you care about....

Mike Moran

Translators aren't search experts

I run across clients every day that want to expand internationally, and naturally, they expect to use search marketing to do it. So, they carefully choose the Web pages they need to translate into local languages, they throw open the doors to the country Web sites, and hear the sound of...crickets. What went wrong? They carefully optimized their original Web site for search and they hired capable translators to convert them to other languages. But they missed an important step....

Stoney deGeyter

How to Find Core Keywords For Effective Online Marketing

There are many angles and avenues for researching keywords for your online marketing efforts. Some people focus on numbers such as search volume or keyword competition. Others might focus on the tools you use to dig up obscure keywords to target. While these may be good keyword metrics to consider, focusing on the keywords themselves should be the most important focus...

Mike Moran

Search Marketing Is Like Dating

From across the room, you see...THE ONE. Wow. Your heart goes pit-a-pat at the sight. Immediately, your thoughts start racing. You are ready to do anything, be anything to be attractive to that one person you are fixated on. Is that the right approach? You probably know that it's not the right approach in dating, but did you know that it fails in search marketing, too?...

Nick Stamoulis

No New Keywords Means No New Organic Visitors

If you are a site owner that is fixating on a short list of keywords, no matter how profitable they may be, here are 3 reasons why keyword diversity is so important for your SEO and long term online success......

Nick Stamoulis

Prioritizing Your Keywords

In my opinion, a priority keyword is based on several factors. First and foremost, your priority keywords should be based on some of the more profitable products your company sells. But you have to temper the most profitable products with keywords that provide you with the most opportunity for success....

Nick Stamoulis

A High Search Volume Doesn't Mean It's the Right Keyword for You

One of the most common mistakes I see website owners and marketers make when launching their first SEO campaign is that they let search volume dictate which keywords they should target....

Stoney deGeyter

The Value (or Lack Thereof) of Measuring Keyword Rankings

There are a lot of ways to measure the success of an SEO campaign and rankings can be a relevant factor, but that should not be the only factor. Heck, I'm not even sure it's one of the top 5 most important measures of success! But instead of just yelling, "ranking reports suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck" at the top of my lungs, let's look at how we can accurately measure the value of any particular keyword ranking. I think you'll find a lot more here than meets the eye.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 5: Broadcasting Your Message

So far in this series, everything we have discussed has to do with the set-up and creation of your online PR. All of the online elements need to be taken care of before you can push your story out online. Pushing it out before it's ready will lead to a colossal failure. However, how and where you push your message out is just as critical for it's success.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 4a: Crafting the Story p1

When taking your public relations strategy online, there are some similarities to the "traditional" way of doing things, but there are also a lot of differences. Going online opens up a whole new world of opportunities that, if leveraged properly, can make your PR campaign far more successful than the old-school ways of doing things.

Stoney deGeyter

Optimizing Your Online PR Strategy for Search & Social, Part 3: Background Research

The one thing PR professionals need to remember is that, when putting out online content, your target audience is not just journalists. Your online audience should be much bigger than a small group of people who may or may not be interested in writing about your PR.

Stoney deGeyter

Good SEO Starts with Smart Purchasing Decisions

When it comes to purchasing an SEO or SEM strategy for your online business, there are two things to consider: How many hours does it take to meet your expectations, and how much are you willing to pay for each hour that goes into meeting those expectations?

Mike Moran

Search keywords are market segments

I often am asked to explain search marketing to people with no digital marketing background, and it helps to have some shortcuts. I've found over the years, that an especially helpful kind of shortcut is to categorize a particular kind of technique in terms that veteran non-digital marketers understand, because once you do that, they bring all sorts of knowledge to a subject that they thought they knew nothing about. One of my favorites is to explain how search keywords are market segments....

Mike Fleming

Dynamic Keyword Research - Keeping Your Online Marketing Aligned With the Rest of the World

Last time, we talked about a revolutionary tool in keyword research called Google Insights for Search that allows you to gain competitive advantages by doing dynamic keyword research instead of static keyword research. Static keyword research is using a keyword tool to get volume "numbers" at one point in time and then using that data to perform long-term marketing campaigns. The problem? Things change. Therefore, we need to incorporate dynamic keyword research to keep our campaigns aligned with what's actually happening on the web....

Mike Fleming

Dynamic Keyword Research - Stay in Front of Your Competition

Google has this tool called Insights for Search.  At first glance, it looks like a pretty simple, fairly unsophisticated tool that just tells you if search volume is going up or down for a particular keyword or group of keywords.  Not many insights there, right?  I mean, all you really have to do for search engine marketing is keyword research with one of the many tools available to you out there and you can easily line up the keywords that you want to go after by search intent and volume, right?...

Stoney deGeyter

Why You Should Never Duplicate Your Competitor's SEO Strategies

It's not too difficult to be so inundated with info. that you get information overload or conflicting advice. That leads to decision paralysis. You don't know the right course of action to take, or you can wind up using good information to make bad judgment calls.

Stoney deGeyter

15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever (Q's 11-15)

As much as the title is vastly overstated, these questions will at the very least help you ponder SEO in a way you hadn't pondered before. At least that's my theory.

Stone Reuning

Dig a Little Deeper in your Keyword Research to Really Learn What Your Prospects Are Looking For

We all can get a little lazy sometimes - web writers are no different.When researching keywords, it's natural to just want to grab some keywords in high demand and put those into our copy. But you have to think about those who have no idea what you do or offer. With this in mind, web writers need to better study keywords and use others that may not look like they're in high demand but would be something a total novice might think of.Not digging deeper into your keyword research could hinder your website's potential and not attract the best leads....

Stoney deGeyter

15 Questions That Will Change The Way You Think About SEO Forever

There are a lot of factors that go into a successful SEO Campaign. There is content, keywords, titles, descriptions, usability, architecture, and link building. All of these play a significant role and cannot be ignored. But, to narrow this down into a single thing that is THE most important element to make a campaign successful is tough. We will start here with 5 of the 15 questions to help break it down.

Stone Reuning

Can I Use Frames on My Site and Still Have High Rankings?

Any experienced search engine marketer knows that Frames spell doom for your site in terms of search engine rankings. What's the point of all those pretty flash graphics if they can't be found? But don't remiss - there's a way you can safely use Flash and still get the content crawled and indexed by the search engines. Continue reading for more.......

Mike Moran

Singular and Plural Keywords Are Not Always the Same for SEO

I received an interesting question the other day from a student in a class that I am teaching on SEO. He's in the process of optimizing a landing page for the keywords "waterproof jacket" (singular) and "waterproof jackets" (plural), he is noticing that each keyword produces different organic search results across multiple search engines. His question is whether he should optimize his landing page for both of these keywords or just one of them? As you might suspect, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question (even thought the actual waterproof jacket might come that way)....

Stoney deGeyter

Try a Little SEO Romance

Love at first site is very rare. In many cases even "like" at first sight is rare. Build a good site, and Google gets interested. But, you'll still have a lot of romancing to do to get them to really like you. And, you have to commit to get them to love you. If you're not willing to commit to the process, then maybe you're just not worthy of Google's love.

Stoney deGeyter

How Not To Ruin Content With SEO

There are a lot of different ways to say the same thing. Anyone who has performed keyword research knows that people search for a lot of the same things using very different phrases and terminology. For example, if you're looking to build your online business, you could search for: internet marketing, website marketing, online marketing, website promotion, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, SEO, and a dozen other variations.

Stoney deGeyter

What Can Brick and Mortar Teach You About SEO?

Operating an online business has a lot of advantages over brick and mortar shops. But, contrary to what many believe, being online is not the holy grail of business success. Brick and mortar stores have been successful, to varying degrees, for millennia. Comparatively, the web is barely a twinkly in Al Gore's eye.

Stoney deGeyter

Is Your SEO Chasing Algorithms or Chasing Analytics?

As an SEO, I understand the need to keep up with what's going on with the major search engines as a prerequisite to being able to perform solid optimization strategies. However, there is a point where you start getting diminishing returns from chasing every nuance in the search engine algorithms vs. building a solid, well-optimized website that performs well for both search engines and visitors coming through search.

Stoney deGeyter

You WANT Rankings, But What Do You Really NEED?

If you're in the market for a (quality) SEO, you're going to find providers that go well beyond services aimed at achieving top search engine rankings. In fact, if your SEO only knows how to throw keywords you want to rank for onto your site pages, I can tell you that you're NOT getting your money's worth (even if you are only paying a few hundred dollars a month).

Stoney deGeyter

What's that SEO Worth to You?

Pricing out SEO services can be a challenge for any business looking to invest in their online marketing efforts. It's difficult because there is no one-size-fits-all pricing metric. It seems that, no matter where you turn, you're comparing apples to oranges when it comes to pricing and services offered between SEO companies.

Sage Lewis

Do Keywords In Your Domain Matter?

This is a question I get asked all the time. Get the final answer right here....

Stoney deGeyter

How to Train Your Content to Get Your Audience's Attention

Most people who visit websites scan them first, then skim the text. But, they only skim read if they get intrigued by their initial scan, and they read it only if they find something compelling and interesting that warrants their full attention. There are four easy ways to train your text to be scan-able.

Stone Reuning

11 Ways you Can Maximize Keyword Exposure without Sacrificing your Content

Following these steps will go a long way toward maximizing the amount of keywords on your page without creating copy that's repetitive, boring and gets you penalized by the search engines....

Stoney deGeyter

Who Told You THAT Was a Good Keyword?

Choosing single-word terms is tempting due to the search volume those terms have. Clients often choose these words on that basis alone. They are tempting targets for business owners who see dollar signs in every potential visit. But, instead of creating dollars, these keywords steal profits away through efforts that are better invested in other places.

Mike Moran

Why optimizing your pages for search doesn't work

I am constantly running into people who are frustrated with search engine optimization. "SEO doesn't work," I've heard them say. "I optimized my pages and I am not getting any more search traffic." Why does this happen? Perhaps it's because a critical step in search engine optimization has been skipped....

Stone Reuning

Mayday Update Confirmed by Google

A hot topic of late in the SEO forums centers on what's been dubbed Google's "Mayday" update...we explained in our blog previously that many site owners were experiencing dramatic drops in their long-tail keyword (phrases over 3 words) rankings. Now Google has confirmed the "Mayday" update with Matt Cutts saying at Google I/O that "this is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn't going to be rolled back."...

Mike Moran

Search marketing gets specific

Remember when everyone wanted the #1 position for one-word searches? Time was that more than half of searches were only one word, but searchers have grown a lot more sophisticated since then. One-word searches rarely found what searchers were looking for, and comprise far less of the mix nowadays. It's just one way that search marketing is getting more specific....

Stone Reuning

Choosing the web address for a new website

Our online marketing clients often ask us to help select domain names when setting up a new website. Indeed, there is an argument that the domain name may impact search engine rankings for the site. But we also think that this decision deserves a lot of attention to how it will impact the website's user experience, from the impression it creates when it's first noticed to how easily it's remembered. I'll share with you a few of the things we tell clients here....

Sage Lewis

Top Search Queries - Totally Changing the SEO Game

Google recently made changes to Webmaster Tools that, I believe, changes the entire way we think about search engine optimization. They are now featuring extensive information with the Top Search Queries report. I recently did an in-depth class explaining this new resource and what it means to the search engine optimization industry. This is a 40 minute video of that class....

Dave Cosper

New SEO Practices for a Google Caffeine World

It's not going to be easy to fool Google anymore. To rank well in the new Google algo, you need to think about how you can encourage other people to want link back to you within a meaningful context across a broad number of sources....

Stoney deGeyter

How to Optimize a Single Web Page For Over 15 Keywords and Get Ranked On All of Them

We are often told you can't optimize a single web page for more than two or maybe three keywords at a time. Many say you can't truly be effective optimizing for more than one. But what if you could successfully optimize a single web page for 15 or more keyword phrases at a time and get rankings for all of them? You can, and here's how.

Stoney deGeyter

SEO 101 - Part 9: Everything You Need To Know About Keyword Core Terms

Learn how to find, prioritize and organize your core terms. These will be the basis of all your future site-optimization efforts.

Mike Moran

Listen to Your Customers to Adjust Your Keywords

You probably use many sources to brainstorm your search keywords, but how do you know if your customers are starting to change the way they search for your products? Have you listened to what your customers are saying? Time was that listening to customers demanded expensive focus groups and surveys, but that time has passed. Nowadays, you can listen to social media conversations and analyze them for any number of purposes, including search keywords....

Stoney deGeyter

SEO 101 - Part 8: Everything You Need to Know About Keywords

Keywords are the blue-prints from which all your marketing efforts are built upon. Keyword research tools provide valuable insight into what words people are searching on the major search engines. But research tools are just the first step in a thorough and well-planned keyword research process. Great tools like Keyword Discovery and Wordtracker or even Google's tools don't tell you the intent of each search, however that information can be deduced with a bit of analysis and keyword organization....

Mike Moran

Search Keywords Are Your Market Segments

People who know how to do offline marketing are often mystified by how to get started with search marketing. They know how to think about their market segments in terms of demographics, so they know which magazines to buy ads in and which industry trade shows to attend. But search seems somehow different, because there are no demographics to latch on to. When I talk to them, things often become clearer when I explain that search keywords are their search market segments....

Jeff Howard

When Should I Build a New Website & Invest In SEO

The Holidays are no further than one week away, and on the other side of everyone going bonkers is a new year. Chances are at this juncture new budgets will be set, taxes paid, and 2010 business goals established. If you're on the fence about SEO, or whether or not to build a new website here are objective methods packed into two PDF guides that can assist in the decision making process....

Sage Lewis

Interview with Larry Kim WordStream Founder - 2 of 2

Interview Part 2 of 2 - WordStream continues to push the boundaries of key phrase research - how to use it and how to advance the effectiveness of key phrase research. You'll want to watch both of these videos to see what WordStream is doing and how it could effect your overall keyword campaigns - in both organic and in paid....

Sage Lewis

Interview with Larry Kim WordStream Founder - 1 of 2

WordStream continues to push the boundaries of key phrase research - how to use it and how to advance the effectiveness of key phrase research. You'll want to watch both of these videos to see what WordStream is doing and how it could effect your overall keyword campaigns - in both organic and in paid....

Jeff Howard

Going Down The Long Tail of Local Search

As the growth of local search continues, companies who serve large regions by remote service, warehouses, or otherwise should not feel disadvantaged from an obscure physical address. These companies can naturally optimize across a region by discovering how searches for niche areas occur within a larger region. Because so many searches are now localized a long tail of local phrases are emerging within major metropolitan areas. By drilling down for the names of towns, neighborhoods, municipalities, counties, and zip codes that receive search volume businesses serving larger regions can take the long tail approach to incremental increases in local search...

Mike Moran

The missing step in keyword research

I speak to many small businesses working on organic search marketing. They usually understand the concept of keyword research, but often they miss a basic step that makes the difference between a successful search program and one that just bumps along without creating much of an impact....

Sage Lewis

WordStream Free Keyword Tool

WordStream has recently released a free keyword tool that is fast, handy and useful....

Eric Brown

Focus on Your Core Community

So, You have a Company Blog, are your getting the results you expected? And, what about when your company blog is NOT about your core product. Perhaps a company blog that has nothing to do with your Core Product, but everything to do with your Core Community is the best choice....

Manoj Jasra

New Free Keyword Research Tool

When conducting keyword research, it's important to look for both the deeper, mid- and long-tail variations of keywords - and also other adjacent ways of searching for similar things, such as related terms and synonyms. Last month, WordStream invited me to participate in a private beta of their Free Keyword Tool, which was released as a public beta this week. One of my favorite features is its ability to suggest related terms....

Sage Lewis

WordStream Interview with Tom Demers

I sat down with Tom Demers to talk about WordStream. WordStream looks to organize and update your key phrases in a new way. This is a very affordable tool that might help you continue to expand your key phrase universe....

Manoj Jasra

Interview of Larry Kim of WordStream

Yesterday at Search Engine Strategies in San Jose we caught up with Larry Kim and got his insight on his new keyword research product, WordStream. Larry is the VP of WordStream and he provided a lot of the early vision behind the technology....

Sage Lewis

Microsoft Advertising Intelligence Key Phrase Research

Microsoft's Key Phrase Research tool is now officially in beta. It's a really powerful tool and offers a ton of great information. I highly recommend you check it out!...

Mike Moran

One keyword per page: once more with feeling

I promise to let go of this one after this week, but there have been so many upset people that I feel the need to revisit this subject once again. There have been many comments about my original post that you should primarily target one keyword per page. I followed that up with some explanation of why. But one commenter called the advice "utter nonsense" (which is even worse that that regular nonsense I usually spew), so I think I'd like to give the explanation one more try, in hopes that perhaps we can at least live with each other...

Mike Moran

Targeting one keyword per page--controversial?

Last week in this space, I urged organic search marketers to focus on optimizing for one keyword per page, rather than taking a scattershot approach where they are trying to shoehorn many keywords into the same landing page. I knew that it wasn't the normal advice that people hear, but I wasn't prepared for how many comments and questions I got, so I thought it was worth revisiting the topic this week. If you're still unpersuaded about the approach of targeting one keyword per page, I want to take another shot at it....

Mike Moran

How many search keywords can I target per page?

I'm sometimes asked this question, usually by someone savvy in search marketing. After all, it's expensive to create and optimize pages for search, so you'd want to amortize that investment over as many keywords as possible right? Actually, no. The number of organic search keywords I recommend you target per page is one....

Stoney deGeyter

Why You Can't Trust Keyword Research

I'm a big fan of keyword research but I know that the data provided from any keyword research tool has its limitations. For the most part, these tools can only provide you information on what is being searched. What they can't do is tell you which searches were relevant, which results were quickly discarded in favor of a different or more refined search, or which searches actually provided the visitor with exactly what they were looking for.

Mike Moran

How do you find keywords in a specialized industry?

I am frequently asked how to find search terms in a specialized industry—the other day I was asked specifically about the Biotech and the Medical Device industries. I think part of the reason this question comes up is that we search experts always use popular examples, such as "digital cameras," to demonstrate keyword research. But what if you sell apnea monitors? Surely a product that specialized needs a different approach, right?...

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part XII

The process of organizing your keywords is similar to the process of splitting a single core term into multiple cores, only its done in a much more fine-tuned scale. With core terms you were dealing with multiple themes, or different ways to search for the same product. In this phase we are working with only a single core term and deciding how to segment literally hundreds of phrases into manageable groups that are similar in nature.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part XI

Organizing your keywords into an effective marketing strategy is the most important of the four phases of keyword research outlined in this document. While most often SEOs and keyword researchers focus on the research phases, organizing your keyword properly can truly help you create a vastly more successful optimization and marketing campaign.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part X

The most important aspect of analyzing and eliminating keywords is to fully understand what the customer is looking for. We often see keywords through our own lens of understanding. You think about things a certain way because you are educated and trained that way. But the customer may not be educated in the same way, or at all, in terms of industry related jargon. So you have to step outside of your own thought processes and learn to look through the lens of searchers who think differently from the way you do.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part IX

As you sort through your lists of keywords, you want to be sure to eliminate phrases that won't deliver converting traffic. Whatever keywords that you keep for optimization, you want each to be able to drive the most qualified traffic, giving you visitors that are most likely to buy your product or services.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part VIII

After having researched through your relevant core terms and search phrases, it's time to start the process of looking more closely at each phrase. What you want to do is separate the good keywords from the not-so good. You need to find the search phrases that will ultimately provide you with the greatest benefit in your marketing campaigns, and eliminating or sidelining the rest.

Jennifer Laycock

Where to Go for Keyword Ideas?

If you've been enjoying Stoney's series of articles on keyword research and organization, you may have found yourself rethinking your own keyword strategy. If so, you might be looking for some more ideas on how to start building out those lists.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part VII

As you research out your core terms you'll notice that there are three types of results produced. The first will be a core term that returns a very small list of search phrases. Almost too small to do anything with. The second is one that produces a healthy list of phrases that you can easily organize for optimization. The third produces an extremely long list of phrases that can be broken up into several other sub-core terms and groups. We'll discuss this latter in detail.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part VI

A core term and search phrase are similar in that both will be searched and both can provide potential traffic to your site. Core terms, represent a broader topic while the search phrases are simply core terms with added qualifiers, therefore representing a narrower focus. Both core terms and search phrases will be optimized into your website to drive traffic and hopefully, be instrumental in generating strong conversion rates.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part V

There are four different factors that you need to analyze in determining the relative importance of each core term:

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part IV

Site owners often begin the research process by first going to the available tools. But you can't really use these tools effectively--or to their fullest potential--until you have some information in which to actually research out. In this step we want to take core terms that we've already discovered and plug them into the tools to help us find core terms that have still remained elusive.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part III

Today I'll show you the research steps involved in finding good, strong core terms that will be the basis for the rest of our research, and provide us some actionable intelligence that will be used throughout the keyword research process.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part II

Because keyword research is so crucial, a more organized approach to it is essential. Instead of starting the research process looking for words you essentially already know but are just in an unknown order, you must start the process looking for what is unknown. In order to find those unknown phrases, you have to start with a foundation that will guide you from where you are to what it is that you're trying to find, a list of keywords that can be optimized into your site.

Stoney deGeyter

Comprehensive Guide to Keyword Research, Selection & Organization, Part I

A start to finish guide on how to find, analyze, prioritize and organize your keywords. How to create a solid keyword foundation for your SEM campaigns, whether SEO or PPC, that puts you in a stronger position for success and gives you a significant advantage over your toughest competition.

Jennifer Laycock

Tweaking Your Copy for SEO Purposes? Tweak it for Message too!

One of the things you should be doing on a fairly regular basis for your web site is running a quick check on your keyword phrases so you can make tweaks to your copy. Just because a word or phrase was popular when you first optimized your site doesn't mean it is now and regular keyword research can help you spot "holes" in the search results that you can fill by creating new content.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: No Good Web Design Idea is Original, So Use It!

Today we're taking a look at a stock photography website selling the rights to gorgeous photos in a niche topic. The website has a great product to sell, and a decent process for doing it. However, the site design and usability could use a little work prior to taking the next step in online marketing. When you are offering a niche product in a common area, IE stock photography, it's helpful to take some cues from other successful industry websites....

Jennifer Laycock

SEM Bootcamp: How Search Engines See Keywords

One of the questions I hear over and over again when I teach a search marketing boot camp is "How do search engines know which of my words are my keywords." These folks believe Google has a "list" of keywords and they come to your site hunting for them. While I can understand their line of thinking, the idea that search engines dub certain words on your site as your keywords isn't really true.

Mike Moran

Free Ways to Estimate Keyword Demand Redux

You've probably heard me advise marketers to "do it wrong quickly," allowing feedback from customers to help you improve your marketing. I am using feedback from my June 24th post on "Free Ways to Estimate Keyword Demand" (and a fortuitous announcement by Google) to improve the procedure I documented just a few weeks ago. (In case you're wondering, "keyword demand" is the number of searches on a particular search keyword done in a period of time, such as "3,000 U.S. searches per month for the keyword AAA Plumbing"—which you can use to help project the traffic you'll attract to your...

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: You've Got Great Usability, Now Start Optimizing.

Before search engine optimization can be successful in driving conversions, not just rankings, you first need to ensure that your site is usable and compelling. has done a great job of creating a clean, simple, well-organized website and their visitors will have no trouble finding the products they want and getting through the checkout process. With a website in good shape, their next step is to perform optimization so that they start ranking for relevant keywords....

Karri Flatla

SEO Bonus Night: Keyword Research Just Got a Little Bit Easier (and Cheaper)

Have you ever been walking down the street just sort of minding your own business, staring at the cracks in the sidewalk, when you suddenly spot a fiver just laying there on the pavement?  My fiver on the sidewalk of search engine marketing was NUMBERS. Yes, Google showed me numbers, glorious numbers. Not just the "1 through 4" types either. Big ones and little ones. Odd ones and even ones. It was neat. It wasn't Bob Barker calling my name or anything. But it was neat....

Mike Moran

Projecting Keyword Demand for Free

Is search marketing old enough to have a good old days? If it is, then I remember them. Ah, the days when you could fire up the Overture keyword tool to see how many searches were done in the U.S. on Yahoo! for a particular keyword. Add a little math, and you could estimate the number of searches done across all U.S. search engines in a month. But then Yahoo! crippled that free tool, and we've been left with no way to project keyword demand, until now....

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Beat Competitors With Better SEO And Backlinks

This week we are taking a look at, an agency that plans golf vacations in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. With a well-organized website and great customer service, they are poised to become a leader in the golf vacation industry - with a few website tweaks and online marketing strategies....

Jennifer Laycock

Two Handfuls of Tips for Picking Keywords

If you've been reading about search engine marketing for more than, oh...about five minutes, you know you need to pick and target keywords and phrases as part of your campaign. You might even be familiar with some of the popular keyword tools and know about concepts like the keyword long tail. Heck, you might have already picked your phrases, optimized your site and moved along to other projects. No matter what point you're at, you need to read Christine Churchill's latest article over at Search Engine Land about selecting your keywords.

Jennifer Laycock

It's a Toilet not a "Biological Waste Aquatic Removal System"

Ben McConnell has a short little post over at Church of the Customer this week that serves as a perfect example of why keyword research is so essential. McConnell is talking about companies that rely too heavily on jargon in their marketing materials. In the world of search engine optimization, we call that "PR speak."

Jennifer Laycock

Targeting Conversions and Traffic with Long Tail Writing

As personalized search and universal search continue shaking up an industry that used to be dominated by "top ten results," more and more small businesses are learning the value of focusing on the keyword long tail. While there's no doubting the value of bringing in highly targeted traffic, many companies still don't quite get how to target the long tail in their copy. They also don't know that long tail friendly copy is also user friendly copy.

Jackie Baker

Site Clinic: Content Is Key To Attracting Customers

Today we begin the first installment of a weekly site clinic column, where small businesses are invited to submit their websites for review. Can't beat a little free advice, right? I'll be looking at the design, copy, usability, SEO, marketing, and any technical issues that may prevent websites from drawing loyal, active visitors and meeting goals. Each week, I'll give the top five issues the website owner/manager can address to significantly improve performance. ...

Diane Aull

Unleashed: Keywords and Content

Continuing with coverage of the Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference, here's Heather Lloyd-Martin's presentation on keywords and content....

Jennifer Laycock

Missed the Early Bird Price on Unleashed? No Worries!

No doubt some of you looked at your calendars last week and realized you'd missed the $850 early bird price for our upcoming Small Business Marketing Unleashed conference in Houston. Don't sweat it, we've got you covered. We've spent the last six months building the perfect conference for you. We know how busy you are. Do you think we'd let you miss out on this great show just because you forget to set an alert on your calendar?

Jill Whalen

Changing URLs

Another reason why people wrongly assume that keyword phrases in URLs are a factor in getting a page to show up in the search results is because the top results do indeed often use keyworded URLs! But (and this is a big but) websites that use keyword-rich URLs are using them because someone, somewhere is attempting to optimize the pages to show up in the search results — which means they are doing a lot more than simply putting keywords in URLs as part of their website optimization.

Scott Buresh

What Every Search Engine Optimization Company Should Know about Keyphrase Choice

There are many keyphrase tools out there, but any quality search engine optimization company should know that they are in no way replacements for true market research. When one is embarking on a campaign of marketing on the Internet, it is important to select keyphrases that represent an understanding of one's audience. In this article, we'll discuss two crucial aspects of keyphrase research that your search engine optimization company should be taking into consideration: knowing the prospect and knowing the company.

Jennifer Laycock

Deliver the Goods to Sway "Social Researchers"

According to new data released by the e-tailing group and PowerReviews, nearly two-thirds of online shoppers now spend a significant amount of time reading consumer reviews before making a purchase. Dubbed "social researchers," these shoppers rely on advice and feedback from others to help them decide which products or services to buy. 86% claim these reviews are "extremely important" to their buying decisions.

Ross Dunn

Keyword Research for PPC

Although researching keywords for SEO is similar to that for PPC there still are many core differences. In many cases using the generic targets with high searches can be very costly in the world of PPC. While they can offer a good return, often long tailed, very specific phrases can offer more qualified traffic at a lower price

Jennifer Laycock

Five Reasons to Aim Low When You're Just Learning SEO

One of the first bits of advice I give to those who are new to search engine optimization is to stop trying to rank for highly competitive phrases and to focus on the long tail of search. Hamlet Batista disagrees. In fact, he wrote a post yesterday explaining exactly why he feels the suggestion to aim for less competitive phrases is a bad one. I understand what he's trying to say, but he's missing the point.

Ross Dunn

Keyword Research for Organic SEO

So you have decided to venture out into the world of SEO. The first thing you will need to do is determine the direction of your campaign in relation to the key phrases you are choosing to target. This article will focus on how to find keywords for your organic campaign, as the process is slightly different for PPC....

Lisa Barone

Five Steps to Effective Keyword Research

Keyword research is a vitally important aspect of your search engine optimization campaign. If your site is targeting the wrong keywords, the search engines and your customers may never find you, resulting in lost dollars and meaningless rankings....

Robin Nobles

The Use of Muscle Words on Your Web Site. . .148 Power Words Designed To Draw Your Customers In

We all know how crucial it is to create captivating titles and descriptions for our Web pages. Those titles and descriptions should contain our keyword phrase, of course, but the true value of titles and descriptions is the clickability of them in the search results....

Stoney deGeyter

Mining for Keyword Gold!

Much has been written on the topic of keyword research by other SEOs. Without trying to restate anything that has already been written, (at least by me) let me present a few ideas that can help you identify all of the possible keyword phrases that you could benefit from....

Matt Bailey

Book Review: Chris Anderson's The Long Tail

With great anticipation, I pre-ordered Chris Anderson's The Long Tail two months ago. I received it last week and have read it through fairly quickly. I enjoyed the book as it was much more of a social commentary than a business manual. I like this approach, as the long tail is not a "how-to", but a "because why"....

Matt Bailey

Keyword Strategies - The Long Tail

In most cases, the top 10 terms provide a lot of traffic, but not nearly as much as the total terms after the top 10 or 20 most popular. Add up the terms that refer 1-3 visits during the month, and chances are, they will add up to more total visitors than the top terms....

Daria Goetsch

Buzzwords vs Effective SEO Keywords

Don't let business jargon get in the way of getting your message across to your audience. Yes, buzzwords may sound cutting edge, but the bottom line is, traffic and sales are what you really want to show for your hard work....

Daria Goetsch

Finding Targeted Keyword Phrases Your Competitors Miss

Finding keyword phrases your competition is missing is easier than you might think. Combinations of two and three word phrases are often overlooked by your competitors when vying for the top competitive terms. This missed opportunity may be a benefit to you to overcome your competition in the search engine rankings....

Andy Beal

Search Engine Optimization Basics - Keywords

In the same way traditional advertising agencies survey their demographic audience, search engine marketers must ensure that their SEO campaign targets the correct keywords or search phrases....

Robin Nobles

KeywordTool, a New Web Marketing ROI Calculator

What is the return on your investment for your search engine efforts? Recently, I was introduced to a new ROI calculating service called KeywordTool. It covers both pay-per-click engines and regular engine results....

Andrew Gerhart

Keyword Testing for Increased Search Engine Conversion Rates

Keywords are the most important part of your search engine optimization campaign. How will you know if you are targeting the right keywords if you don't research them, refine them, and more importantly, test the keywords and keyword market?...