Before we all dove into the holidays, I, COLIBRI, wrote a post about how to choose keywords for search engine optimization (SEO). Take a minute to refresh your memory here before you go onto learning how to test keywords.
Okay. Now let’s move onto to how to test the keywords you worked so hard to find!
How To Test Keywords In 3 Easy Steps
Testing keywords is actually the fun part. It’s surfing the internet with a good excuse.
You will learn about your competitors while getting ideas and inspiration. So be sure to have Evernote, or a good, old-fashioned pad of paper on hand to record your ideas.
Step 1: Download an SEO App
I use SEO Quake.
Once you have installed your app, you can begin to actually test your words.
Step 2: Search Google
Enter your keywords, one at a time, into the Google search box (found in the upper right hand of most computer operating system interfaces):
- Releveance. Relevance means the searches that give you expected results and results that match your site. For example, if you search for yoga pants you expect to get yoga pants. However, if you search for something trickier, like community management, you might get a list of housing development associations instead of social media managers. You want words that help people find what you are actually offering.
- Low competition. You want competitors with lower PageRanks.
Time Out! What Exactly Is PageRank?
In a nutshell, PageRank, not named, as I, COLIBRI, thought, after web pages, but after Larry Page, one of the key contributors to Google’s search algorithm. Algorithm is, I know, a fancy word. What it basically means is the math behind how links and websites are valued by Google.
You probably know everyone wants to be on the first page of Google search results. Well, Larry is a clever guy and he and some colleagues figured out a way of taking all of the millions of links you find on the web and deciding which links are most important.
Just so you know, experts don’t think that PageRank tells us, really, which links or websites are actually best. PageRank has to do with, among many other things, how many sites link to yours.
How To Increase PageRank will be covered in another post. So don’t worry! I, COLIBRI, have your back.
For now, look at the left side of this screenshot to see where you can find PageRank. Yoga Journal’s PageRank for this link is PR: 5.
If you want all the gritty details of how Larry and his friends created PageRank, follow this link and learn the history and the mathematics behind it all. (But then come back so you can get down to business!)
Ready? Let’s get back to business.
- Traffic. If no one is searching for your keyword, you may have a problem. In general, you need to choose terms that at least some people putting into that little Google search box.
- Highly targeted. On the other hand, if very few people are searching for your keyword, but it is highly targeted to the needs of your audience, you may have a search engine hit on your hands.
- Commercial value. You need to choose words that appeal to people who are looking to buy (or take whatever action you would like them to take, such as sign up for your email newsletter).
Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say I, COLIBRI, am a certified yoga teacher (I am) and am launching a yoga related e-commerce shop (I am). If I optimize for the keywords ardha candrasana (one of my favorite yoga poses), do you think people expect to be sold yoga pants?
No. Most likely they are looking for information such as how to do this pose or what ardha candrasana means in English (FYI, it means half moon pose).
Although the keywords ardha candrasana have some traffic, they don’t have commercial value because ardha candrasana is not something people buy.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about. Take your time and select keywords you think fit into the above considerations.
Step 3: Use Your Intuition To Make Decisions
I know it seems a little confusing and you wonder how you will get it down. Here’s what you need to remember:
Testing keywords is part science and part art. That means you can use your common sense and your intuition. Do you your best and then take an educated, intuitive guess.
You are learning, so it’s okay to make mistakes. See my post on iteration to learn why bright and beautiful women like you get going and make corrections as they go.
Questions? Comments about choosing and testing keywords? Let us know!
SEO COLIBRI Style is a how-to series created especially for Project Eve explaining SEO (search engine optimization) for beginners like her. COLIBRI is consulting with fellow Project Ever Wanda Anglin of SEO Buzz to make it happen.
Anna is a Contributing Editor at Project Eve as well as a solopreneur and the founder of ANNACOLIBRI, an e-business specializing in tech savvy coaching for women and internet publishing. She knows and loves writing about content marketing (with an emphasis on values-based marketing), web presence, solopreneurship, alternative healthcare, spirituality/yoga, (single) parenting and topics related to older adults. Community building is also an important to her; she is a founding member of the San Francisco Eves. She believes some of her best ideas grow out of offline conversations. If you have story ideas or tips, please e-mail her at: [email protected] You can also follow her at @annacolibri. at: www.twitter.com/annacolibri