What is a keywords ranking analysis, and how will this help the engine search visibility of your web site?

Anyone who values search engine traffic, should know the most effective keyword phrases for their web site content.  It may surprise you to learn that the highest traffic keywords might not necessarily be the most beneficial ones to promote your web site.

Keyword phrases are like coins that have two different sides.  One aspect is the traffic level, and the other equally important side, is competitiveness.

Most free keyword tools will tell you approximate daily or monthly search volume, but do you know how competitive your keywords are to rank well on the search engines?

If there are thousands of other web sites trying to rank highly for the same keyword phrases as you are, what are the chances that your site will end up on the front page of any of the major search engines?

Most bloggers know that top page listings for a specific search on any major search engine, get the lions share of traffic volume.  The level of traffic, as well as the competitiveness of your keyword search phrases, will determine the likelihood of your landing on that coveted top page position.

Unfortunately, wrong keyword phrase selection, is one of the most common mistakes made in SEO today.  Let’s find a simple solution to this problem, right now, and avoid this common SEO pitfall.

A keywords ranking analysis perhaps the best starting point of Search Engine Optimization.  It is a list of the best keyword phrases for your web site, in order of effectiveness, for which you would like to gain good search engine positions.

How do you order your keyword phrases on this list?  Let’s use a simple formula, that anyone can use, without having to resort to paid keyword tools.  We need numbers to quantify both traffic level and competitiveness.

Traffic volume is rather easy, but we will have to scratch our heads a little, to come up with a good metric for  competitiveness.

First, use your favorite keyword tool to determine either daily, or monthly search volume.  Type a list of at least six, two, or three word keyword phrases into a spreadsheet program like Excel, or Open Office Calc.  List them in order of search volume, highest to lowest.

Next we need a way to determine competitiveness of each phrase on the list.  As a search engine marketer, think about how you might do this.  Although any Google search will reveal how many web sites contain your keyword phrase, (in small text under the search box), this large number of sites is not your competition.  The vast majority of these sites merely mention the phrase in passing on their web site, and are not really trying to rank for the term.

Good SEO copywriters know the importance of using keywords in their title tags.  Title tag creation is an SEO art unto itself, that I will not try to explain here.  Your main competition for any keyword search phrase should at the very least, incorporate that phrase into their title tags.

Now that we have some idea how to determine competitiveness, let’s use Google to determine how many serious competitors we really have.

You may be aware that Google has a search operator that can help us.  For example, if our keyword phrase was “WordPress tips”, we would type the following into the Google search box.  [allintitle: WordPress tips]  You would type this without the brackets, (they are just for emphasis).

A simple Google search for WordPress tips reveals 85,500,000 results, but the allintitle: WordPress tips, lists a much smaller subset of 91,400.  Of course, this is merely an example, and as you might imagine, there are many, many sites that compete for this particular keyword phrase.  Take the keyword phrases on your list, and add a column for the alltitle values after you look them up on Google.

Now make a fourth column on your list that we will call “Keyword Effectiveness” or KE.  Note:  some keyword tools use a term called KEI, keyword effectiveness index – the specific formula varies depending on the tool.

How do statisticians relate two numerical values?  They use a ratio, of course.  Take each of the values for searches, and divide by the alltitle results.  It’s not too hard is it?  Put this value in the KE column.

Ok, now we have a better measure of the value of each of your keyword phrases for your web site.  When your are finished, sort the results by KE from highest to lowest.  Your best keyword phrase will be on top.

It is not the same as your list before, is it?  This should be a clear indication to you that KE measures effectiveness, not just traffic alone.  This method stands up to logical analysis, as well.

As search volume goes up, and allintitle results goes down, your KE increases.  If there is a limited number of searches and a large allintitle number, the KE ratio will decrease.

The larger the KE value, the more effective your keyword phrase will be, and the lower the value, the less effective your keyword phrase will prove to be in your promotion.

Simple, isn’t it?  Consider both traffic and competitiveness in your keyword searches.  Take the time to make your own keywords ranking analysis.  If you do, you will see much better results, than using traffic volume alone.

If you use an SEO professional to help you, make sure that a good keywords ranking analysis is provided.

There are more sophisticated tools that SEO specialists use to find dozens, or even hundreds of different keyword phrases, but their methods are similar to the ones used here.

Best of success in all of your web site promotion efforts to achieve the engine search visibility you desire.

Guest Post Authored by John Lombaerde

The Web Site Promotion Blog