Get More Search Traffic With Keywords Optimization

If you have been blogging for a while, chances are you’ve been getting some traffic from search engines. For example, based on Google Analytics my personal finance blog received 12,707 total visits via 8,513 keywords in the past 30 days — of which, the top 50 keywords produced 4,876 visits (or 38%).

Traffic
Photo by Spiritokko via Flickr

What can we derive from this information?

  1. It’s a mistake to focus on a few keywords. I often see new webmasters trying to rank for a handful of specific keywords that describe their sites. For example, I could’ve tried to rank Moolanomy for “personal finance blog” or “investing blog”, but that’s not where traffic will be coming from.
  2. Long tail keywords and search traffic are powerful. There are limitless numbers of search terms and you’ll not be able to anticipate them. So one of the best search engine optimization (SEO) strategies is to write as much high quality content as you can. Think of content as fishing net, and more content is like having a bigger net that allows you to capture more search engines traffic.
  3. Top 50 keywords give you the most return for your effort. It’s likely that a major portion of your search engines visitors found your blog through one of the top 50 keywords, so there’s a good opportunity for keywords optimization in this area.

How To Choose Which Keywords To Optimize

If you have to choose just 10 keywords to optimize, how would you do it? Personally, I don’t have unlimited resources so I try to focus on efforts that provide the best return on investment. In this example, I will show you how I identify the top 10 keywords that I feel will provide me with the most search engines traffic.

1. Identify your top 50 keywords and the amount of traffic for each

This is an easy exercise if you use Google Analytics. Just a few clicks and you’ll have access to this list. You can simply copy and paste the result into a spreadsheet. Here’s a small sample of my top 50 keywords.

Keywords Hits
passive income ideas 204
frugal ideas 179
extra income 103
larry swedroe 99
dave ramsey 93
frugal tips 92

When you are doing this, you’ll be doing it for all 50 keywords in order to get the final 10.

2. Identify current search engines ranking for your top 50 keywords

Next, I am going to add the search engines ranking for each keyword into the spreadsheet. For this exercise, I usually stick to Google search result since it’s my biggest source of search engines traffic. Moreover, to simplify the task, I recommend Digital Point Search Engine Keyword Tracker & Keyword Ranking Tool.

Updated 4/19/2009: You may no longer be able to get Google API needed for this application to work. If that’s the case, you’ll have to track it manually. You top keywords tend to be in the top 20 SERP positions so this is just a bit of extra work.

This is what my spreadsheet looks like after I add search engines rankings:

Keywords Hits Rank
passive income ideas 204 1
frugal ideas 179 3
extra income 103 10
larry swedroe 99 1
dave ramsey 93 18
frugal tips 92 16

If you run into keywords that you cannot identify the rank — i.e., not in top 100 — you can simply enter 999 for the purpose of this exercise.

3. Calculate the Keyword ROI Score

To calculate the keyword ROI score, you just multiple the number of hits by rank. The logic behind this is to focus on keywords with highest traffic hits, but lowest ranks.

Keywords Hits Rank ROI
passive income ideas 204 1 204
frugal ideas 179 3 537
extra income 103 10 1030
larry swedroe 99 1 99
dave ramsey 93 18 1674
frugal tips 92 16 1472

Note: With 50 keywords, the easiest thing to do is sort the list by ROI and look at the top 10 rows. You should skip any row with rank of “999” to find the top 10 with the best chance of improving.

Based on the example above, I should work on keywords like “dave ramsey”, “frugal tips”, and “extra income” instead of “frugal ideas”, “passive income ideas”, and “larry swedroe”.

How To Optimize Keywords For Better Search Engines Ranking

Now that you know the top 10 keywords you’d like to work with, there are a few things that you could do to improve your search engines ranking. For example, since I know that my article Extra Income Guide rank #10 in Google for “extra income”, I could do a few things to optimize it for better search ranking. Here are a few things that you could do to improve your blog article:

  1. Install All in One SEO plugin to optimize the title. Also it will add META keywords and META description to your post.
  2. Change the title of the page to include the word “extra income”
  3. Add headings — i.e., H2 and H3 — to include the word “extra income”
  4. Write custom META description for the post. Note, All in One SEO will use the first few sentences of your post, but this is not always the best META description.
  5. Add and/or modify tags in your post. Note, All in One SEO uses your tags as META keywords
  6. Search for the word “extra income” within the blog and link to your targeted article
  7. Ask your friends to link to the article using the keyword as anchor text

So there it is…a basic strategy on how to get more search traffic with keyword optimization.

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12 Responses to “Get More Search Traffic With Keywords Optimization”

  1. PT says:

    This may be a basic question, but I cannot determine how to get my Google API key, which is needed for registration at the keyword site you mention. How do I do that? I already have a Google account.

  2. Lali says:

    This is a good tip. I always find SEO overwhelming. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Patrick says:

    You know, I haven’t tried doing much like this in the way of increasing where my articles end up in the SERPs. This is a very methodical way of getting results. I love it. 🙂

  4. Pinyo says:

    @Lali — You’re welcome

    @Patrick — Ha, talking about teaching the Pope how to preach. You’re already doing so much better than me, there’s no need for you to follow this process. 😀

  5. […] Get More Search Traffic With Keywords Optimization […]

  6. ChristianPF says:

    Well put pinyo – good article…

  7. Peter Lee says:

    Pinyo,

    This is a very good post which you so clearly show how to identify and improve on your top keywords to get you the traffic you want. I think keyword ranking seems a lot easier when you explain it with such visual tables and explain how you were able to do it for yourself. Thanks so much for sharing such an excellent post.

    Peter

  8. […] Get More Search Traffic with Keywords Optimization via Blogthority […]

  9. Great article – I am reading your suggestions and working to apply them to my blog:

    http://nandugreen.typepad.com/chasing_the_wind

    I thought I understood keywords, but your post focused in on the problems. Thanks!

  10. MoneyEnergy says:

    Thanks Pinyo. I’ve done a few of these steps but did learn a couple new ones in here, which I’ve made note of. Like PT above though, I’m not sure what I need an API key for google for – maybe this is related to my not having adsense integrated with my analytics? Also, another very strange thing is that between sitemeter and google analytics – (I use both for visitor tracking) – google always shows much,much lower numbers on everything and I’m not sure why. Eg., it will say I only had 5 visitors come through on a certain day from search when the sitemeter clearly shows many more coming in from google. Am I missing something? Still a newbie, I guess…:)

  11. Pinyo says:

    @MoneyEnergy – If you can’t get the API, which I believe you no longer could based on some of the comments at DP forums. You will have to track the SERP positioning manually. I’ll update the article to reflect this change.