November 2009 Archives

November 18, 2009

What's in a [Key] Word? Here's how to find out...

If Shakespeare were alive in today's Internet-based, search engine optimization (SEO) obsessed world, instead of asking What's in a name, he might well have had Juliet ask  "What's in a [key] word?"  Because when it comes to SEO, keywords matter, as Jay Fleischman emphasizes over at Legal Practice Pro.   But whereas Juliet idealistically believed that "that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," her observation wouldn't apply to SEO where subtle differences in terminology can yield less-than-sweet SEO results. 

So how can you determine whether the keywords will be effective in attracting traffic to your site?  Jay's Legal Practice Pro post offers a couple of starting points.  In addition, there's an even more recent post by Marshall Sponder of Entrepreneur that identifies seven free tools for evaluating the potential effectiveness of key words.

One tool suggested by Sponder is Microsoft AdLabs, which can help determine whether your intended service has commercial value based on the words you're using to describe it.  From the post: 

For example, "Ultra-Thin Insoles" is considered to have a 68 percent commercial value while "Comfortable Shoes" is considered by the tool to have a 96 percent commercial value. Finding the right way to describe what you're looking for will help you find it faster and cheaper, and help you monetize your offerings once your products or services are ready.

Other tools include Quantcast Marketing which you can use to obtain demographic information on customers which in turn, can inform keyword selection, and Wordstream Keyword Search, which will generate keyword suggestions.  For example, if you select "bankruptcy law," you'll see that many searches relate to the changes in bankruptcy law.  Since this term drives traffic, you may want to use it as a keyword and also target blog posts or web content to address this topic.

By using free tools to select effective keywords, you can create a rosy presence for yourself online without spending a bundle.  And that is sweet, indeed.