Analysing the keywords and keyphrases associated with your business or industry and creating a basic strategy based on volume can be helpful in a lot of ways. Here are 3 things I have been thinking about recently.
General Search Volume
Simply put, search volume refers to the average amount of times a word or phrase is searched in a given period of time.We’ll use domain name selection for our first discussion. Search engines, as far as I know, still use domain names as an indicator in determining what a website is about. This is used to judge the relevance of a web page to a particular person’s search engine query. Thus, choosing a domain name that incorporates words that are relevant to your business and industry is typically good for SEO…. but not always. And this is where a basic keyword volume analysis can help.
Let’s say you are a workout instructor who specializes in a new field of strength training that focuses on the elbows. It’s called Elbow Strength Training (….. look.. I’m just makin’ this up as I go). You might think that registering a domain name like ElbowStrengthTraining.com is an awesome name for your website because… you know… it’s what you do. A keyword analysis, however, might show that a monthly average of 10 to 100 people NATION WIDE are searching for “Elbow Strength Training” or any other related search term. It stands to reason then that only a very small handful of people in your state are searching for your service. Thus, it isn’t likely to help your SEO for any relevant search term or help generate business in the near future. You may want to seek out terms for your domain name that are more relevant to your general industry and have a greater search volume. You can always tailor some of your content to focus on the elbows.
It is worth noting that it might not be a bad idea to register the ElbowStrengthTraining.com domain name and set up a blog site separate from your main website. You can start blogging about the awesomeness of Elbow Strength Training on the chance that it becomes more popular down the road. That way, if it does, you are already ahead of the SEO game for that search term and you are helping to promote something that you believe in.
I would like to stress that I am NOT advocating the purchase a domain name that you have no intention of using… just so someone else doesn’t take it. I personally think that’s a douche move.
Pre-Conceived Notions: Keyword and Keyphrase Variations
A search volume analysis can also shake up your pre-conceived notions about terms used in your industry. For example, a person offering couples therapy might choose (unthinkingly or for some specific, industry-related reason) web page titles with the words “therapy” or “therapist” over “counselling” or “counsellor”. A keyphrase analysis (conducted at the time of this blog post) indicates that people search for psychoanalytical services with phrases that include “counsel” and its variations over “therapy” and its variations by a considerable amount. Thus, naming a page “marriage-counselling-services.html” has a better chance of building greater SEO value than a page titled “marriage-therapy-services.html”.
Focusing Web Page & Blog Content
Remember that SEO is largely about optimizing individual web pages for individual topics. I regularly see website copy that is unfocused, seemingly random, or all over the place topically. Another issue I see is webmasters seeming to try to optimize their entire website for a single topic. Keep it simple: One page, one topic.
The process and documentation of a simple keyword and keyphrase volume analysis can help you avoid these issues. A printout of your analysis with the keywords you want to use can focus the mind and help dictate web page topics, hierarchy, and structure. This should, in turn, make your website easier to navigate, easier to read, and more SEO friendly.