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Effective Keyword Research: Locating and Organizing Your Target Keywords

Updated on September 9, 2011

Keyword research and organization are two of the most important aspects to successful affiliate marketing, whether it be on your own website or through a domain such as Hubpages. These processes are necessary for their own reasons: one being because its the only way to predict and successfully improve the overall traffic of a website through search engines, and the other because any ongoing keyword targeting project will always require some amount of organization or documentation.

Understanding How to Target a Keyword

You will have to understand how performing research into a keyword can help you to increase the visitors you receive, so working your way through the processes will first require a basic understanding of the concepts involved. Search engines determine which website appears first in a list of search results by checking written content, file content (picture, video, etc.) and link base.

  • Page Content: Using the keywords you plan to target in the actual writing is an obvious necessity. Picture and video files with file names and sub-texts that also target keywords can greatly increase the effectiveness of your content in determining your placing in search results from Google, Yahoo and other search engines.
  • Linking: The link base of any given page on your website essentially consists of the amount of links that appear on other websites that point towards that page. The strength or "value" of a link is determined by the content of the linking page, as well as it's current position for key terms on search results from it's own link base. In other words, a page that ranks well for terms relating to "oceanography" and consists of content that is keyword-focused towards oceanography will provide the largest amount of "value" in a link for the term "oceanography". Keep in mind that you will very rarely target single words like this, instead focusing on longer strings of key terms (ex. "oceanography testing facilities" "oceanography San Gabriel Valley" "Oceanography College Study England" etc.)

The amount of other webpages that link to your page is the main way search engines determine which websites are the most relevant for any given keyword or phrase. The anchor text used for the link should always be the keyword you are targeting. For example, If you were placing a link on an oceanography website to promote your own oceanography domain, the link may look something like this:

"You can find more information on Oceanography in San Gabriel Valley at the above mentioned link."

If the above shown example was placed on a website that was relevant to oceanography, and the link pointed towards one of your articles or webpages that focused on Oceanography in San Gabriel Valley, then that link would contain a large amount of value for the given keyword, effectively increasing your position in search results for that key term.

Keyword Research

After acquiring a basic understanding of why you need to focus on the proper keywords and key phrases, the importance of keyword research comes into place. Using the Google Adwords Keywords tool, a free service provided by Google, is the most efficient way to determine which keywords are searched most often and the amount of money you can potentially make per click on one of your advertisements with Adsense.

The keyword tool on Adsense.com allows you to input virtually any word or phrase and view the amount of times it is searched per month, as well as the average cost per advertising click. Once you have gathered keywords that you feel you can cover and are searched a good amount of times, you then further your research by checking to see which websites already appear in the search results for the key phrase. Using the SEO toolbar for Firefox you can easily check Pagerank and linking domain for any website, so consider using this tool to determine if you can realistically compete with the relevant results.

Organizing Your Keywords

As you gather keywords, it's a very good idea to organize them in some way for later reference. Use Microsoft Excel or any other spreadsheet software to place Keywords together with their cost per advertising click and amount of times searched.

A separate spreadsheet may also be made to remind you which specific web address targets which specific keywords. This reference will come in extremely handy when you are building links between your own pages, or external links from websites that will accept a guest post from you or link to you in any way.

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    • Lizolivia profile image

      Lizolivia 

      5 years ago from Central USA

      Gaining an understanding the Adword tool is useful for all authors, I question, however, the difference between the adword and google general keyword tools and and whether publishers should choose high or low competition.

      Some say high, meaning they're sought after by advertisers, and others say low, meaning there isn't much published material to compete with. Do publishers choose high or low competition? Thanks

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