The first stage in search engine optimisation is keyword discovery. Nothing works better than a good ‘thought storm’ to choose target keywords and phrases and plan your strategy. Keyword planning ensures that you focus your resources on valuable keywords – not targeting keywords that are ineffective.
Mike Moran and Bill Hunt call this the Goldilocks principle. Try to find keywords that are not too hot, not too cold but ‘just right’. The next stage is to use keyword tools to find out words heavily used by searchers, reveal variations and find out keyword demand. I use several keyword tools to make better decisions as over reliance on one tool can be misleading. The most useful keyword discovery tools i have found are :-
- Google adwords
- Google insights for search (beta)
- Trellians keyword discovery
- Yahoo keyword tools
- Microsoft adcenter
- Xbercode Ad Word Analyser
The first stage of keyword discovery can be very time consuming and represents 20% of seo work. Solid understanding of the ‘just right’ keywords and phrases is the most important aspect of search engine marketing. There are many seo resources on the web. The best ones (in my opinion) are on my blogroll so check them out for more information.
The best books i have read on seo and search engine marketing are:-