Keywords Analysis & Selection

Part 1 and 2 in this series dealt with stages 1 to 3 of successful search engine optimisation (SEO). Part 3 will review stage 4 – Keyword Analysis and Selection.

To summarise, the best practice approach to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is as follows:

Site Performance Audit
Objectives Setting
Project Plan
Keyword Analysis & Selection
Content Development
Site Structure Optimisation
Link Building
Search Engine Submission
Reporting & Analysis
Maintenance & Improvement

Step 4 – Keyword Analysis & Selection

Don’t skim read this section if you think it’s good enough to get your keywords from your Google Adwords account or Overture’s Suggestion Tool. Although useful, the information is far too basic to provide really intelligent information to guide a SEO campaign. Always remember that this stage is ‘THE’ most important stage of your SEO campaign, so it’s vital to get it right.

Search phrase analysis is a critical part of an SEO campaign and forms the backbone of future stages; Site Optimisation, Link Building, Content Optimisation and Copywriting. You can use the following resources for finding relevant search phrases:

  • Review of current web site content
  • Researching competitor sites
  • Research and reference live real time searches
  • Specialist Tools: Altavista’s PRISMA search, Teoma search, Wordtracker’s lateral & thesaurus

The outcome of search phrase analysis should give you a comprehensive list of search phrases relevant to your products/services for each search engine.

Here are some golden rules when doing your search phrase analysis:

  • Do not simply choose Keywords that generate the most impressions or relevant searches
  • Remember that there will be hundreds or thousands of search phrase combinations
  • Take into consideration the competitiveness of each keyword. Trying to achieve rankings for phrases that have 10 million competing sites will be difficult, if not impossible
  • Look for niche keywords that generate good impressions that have relatively low numbers of competing sites
  • Assign % relevancy scores to each keyword in order to create a list of highly relevant phrases that you know will generate quality traffic

How We Do It?

This might not seem like a simple task (and off course it is not). To begin with try experiment with the likes of WordTracker.

As an agency, ClickThrough put so much effort into Keyword Research because it is the most important stage of successful Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). We use a range of research tools including Altavista’s PRISMA search, Teoma search, Wordtracker’s lateral & thesaurus – as well as referencing live searches and searching competitor sites.

Our reports show the popularity and the level of competition for each phrase and an assessment of how difficult it will be to obtain a top ten ranking. The research reports contain 5 major components, each designed for a specific purpose. Together, they provide a comprehensive set of keyword metrics to guide search term selection.

To see a sample, go to

Our March newsletter will review Step 5 – Content Development.

This SEO MasterClass series is based on our 18 page ebook titled ‘How to Implement Successful SEO’. This paper is available to download from

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About the author:

Phil Robinson is an online marketing consultant with over 17 years experience in marketing planning, internet strategy and online acquisition. In 2004, Phil founded ClickThrough, an ethical search marketing agency. He gives best practice training for businesses, runs seminars and writes books on digital marketing.