Have you recently bought a Website and are looking to optimize the same to generate more revenue? Or do you intend to sell a website you recently bought for a premium?
In any case, targeting better keywords and optimizing the website for the same is a good idea. But there are certain things you need to be aware of. Keyword research for an existing website is slightly different than keywords research prior to launching a brand new site.
Let me share with you the technique that I use in such cases. You can either incorporate it in your own strategy or just use the parts you like. In any case, here it goes:
Just in case you don’t know already – start off by understanding the website’s niche, the product/service being promoted (if any) and the target audience. What exactly is the website promoting? Understand how people search for it. What is the target demographic? Is it local or global?
Create a list of keywords for your niche that you can think of. I recommend the following keyword tools at this stage:
Put your keywords in either of these tools and hit search: Select the Exact Match type and note down the keywords that have a search volume greater than 1500
- Market Samurai (Keyword Research Module is Free)
- Google Keyword Tool (Free)
Take the most volume generating keywords from that list and enter those in Google and check out top 10 competitors. Make a note of keywords used in their Meta & anchor texts. Add them to the list if they meet the minimum search volume criteria.
By now you should have a list of 50-65 keywords in most cases,
Analyze the shortlisted keyword’s optimization feasibility by studying YOUR WEBSITE’S:
• Page name structure
• Meta tags
• Header tags
• Navigational structure
• Existing rankings
• Backlink anchor text focus
Shorten your keyword list further as per the above analysis
(This analysis would not count in case a website is being designed from scratch)
Analyze the top 10 competitor for the shortlisted keywords as follows:
• All in title test: Search allintitle:”keyword” in google and note down the number of results for each keyword
• All in anchor test: Search allinanchor:”keyword” in google and note down the number of results for each keyword
• Either install Market Samuria (you would need Full version for this) or free alternative such as SEOQuake for Firefox, SEO for Firefox etc. to Analyze the top 10 competitors in terms of:
- Page Rank
- Domain Age
- # Backlinks
- Anchor Text
- Edu/Gov links
- Keyword use in Title, URL, Description or H1 Tag
Finally, based on all of the above analysis, select the final list of keywords and note down the following:
- Column 1 = Keyword.
- Column 2=URL which is to be ranked.
- Column 2= Local monthly search volume Exact match.
- Column 3 = Global monthly search volume Exact match.
- Column 4 = # competing pages (allintitle).
- Column 5 = # competing pages (allinanchor) .
- Column 6 = Adword competition level (out of 10).
- Column 7 = # of backlinks required for top rankings (Take the average of top 10 sites’ backlinks).
- Column 8 = Page rank required in due time for top rankings (Take the average of top 10 sites’ PR).
- Column 10 = Authority links required in due time for top rankings (Take the average of top 10 sites’ backlinks).
- Column 11 = Existing Google ranking for the keywords (Use Rank checking tools such as Market Samurai or free one such as this: http://www.seoserp.com/google_page_rank/1000_serp.asp).
Get rid of the competitive ones. By the end you should have a minimum of 7-10 keywords to target. Remember you do not have to optimize the home page for all keywords, inner pages are equally good.
Estimate the effort & time required in order to achieve top 10 ranking for these keywords. in most cases, 3-4 months is enough for a medium competitive keyword for a 8-10 months old website.
Tweak and optimize the necessary on-page elements, followed by off-page link building (outsource or automate). Soon your website will be ranking on page 1 for good keywords shortlisted by you – either collect the revenue or sell for a much higher price tag than what you paid for it.