Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Overview >>Read an Excerpt<< 7
Looking For The Not-So-Obvious 8

Criteria For Keywords

Chapter 2: The Importance of Search Engine Marketing 10
(Or .... “Why Words Matter So Much”) >>Read an Excerpt<<
What The Experts Say 11
Side Comments: Know What’s Popular 12
Make Your Web Site Visible to Searchers 13
People Don’t “Surf,” They Target 13
Major Benefits of Keyword-based Search Engine Marketing 14
Two Facets of Search Engine Marketing 16
PPC Ads Magnify/Multiply Your Keyword Research 17
Keywords: The Foundation for SEM 18
Is This For Everyone? Am I Lost in the Crowd? 19
Keyword-based SEM is Important to All Sites 19
Billions and Billions Served .... But Not All of Them Compete With You 20

Side Comments: Google’s Zeitgeist

Chapter 3: How Search Engines Work: Why Words Matter >>Read an Excerpt<< 25
Search Engines vs. Directories 25
Directories: Edited by Humans 26
Hybrid Search Engines 27
The Three Elements of a Search Engine .... and How They Work 27
Element 1: The Spider 29
Element 2: The Index 29

Element 3: Search Engine Software

Chapter 4: The Principles in Choosing Keywords >>Read an Excerpt<< 31
The Six Basic Principles of Keyword Selection 32
Principle #1: Think relevance. (That’s all the search engines think about.) 32
Relevance Is The Name Of The Game 33
You Want Visitors Who Are Relevant to Your Site 33
Use Relevance To Your Advantage 33
Keyword Variety Is OK; Just Stay Relevant 34
Principle #2: Think like your customer/searcher. Anticipate their search patterns & intercept them. 34
People Take The Path Which Is Most Natural 35
What Paths Do Your Searchers Follow? 36
Wanting To Be Near That Special Someone 36
Anticipate Search Patterns, Then Intercept Your Searchers 37
Side Comments: “Go to where the puck is going” 38
Other Analogies: Advertising, Fishing, In The Spotlight 38
Search Terms May Change Throughout a Buying Cycle 39
Different Pages Catch Different Keywords 40
Principle #3: Use keyword phrases, not individual keywords. 40
Addressing Natural Patterns 41
Applying Our Instincts to Search Engines 42
The Searcher’s Thought Process 42
Specific Phrases Bring Searcher & Site Together 43
Example: Moving From The General To The Specific 44
Using Longer Compound Phrases 45
Word Order Matters 46
Putting Search Phrases in Quotation Marks 46
The Odds Are Against Single-word Searches 47
Some Words Are Too Popular or Generic 48
One Word, Multiple Meanings 49
Use Phrases To Target Your Relevant Audience 50
Principle #4: To form keyword phrases, use qualifiers to target your audience. 52
Turning Away Traffic 53
Additional Qualifiers Give a Tighter Focus 54
Higher-Qualified Visitors = Higher Conversion Rate 56
Describing Your Niche 57
Principle #5: Choose real-world phrases which people actually use and which logically relate to your site content. 58
Other Thoughts 59

Principle #6: Cast a wide net.

Chapter 5: The Process of Choosing Keywords >>Read an Excerpt<< 62
Make this YOUR Process 63
“Step One” 64
Remember the Six Principles 64
Objective: Find Each Other 66
Two-Step Process: Gather, Sift 66
Move From General to Specific 66
Both an Art and a Science 67
Look for Related Concepts 67
Words in High Demand, Low Supply, and Relevant 67
The Sources 69
For Starters .... What Comes To Mind? 70
Ask Other People For Ideas 73
Published Resources 74
Explore Online Resources 76
Side Comments: Spotting Top-ranking “Competitors” 77
Use Lateral Thinking To Find Related Concepts 78
Side Comments: Would you like bananas with that? 82
Use Lateral Thinking To Explore Word Families & Variations 83
Other Uses of Lateral Thinking 86
Screen for Keyword Popularity and Competition 88
Measuring The Demand For Keywords and The Supply of Matching Pages 89
Drawing Conclusions: Which Terms To Use 92

Use for SEO, PPC, or Both?

Chapter 6: The Tools for Choosing Keywords >>Read an Excerpt<< 96
Wordtracker 97
Overture and Google AdWords 98
Lexical Freenet 102
Thesauri 106
SearchSpell 107
Researching Web Logs: How Are People Finding You Now? 108
Moving from the Practical to the Curious 110
Search Voyeur Sites 110

Search Trends

Chapter 7: Example: Building a Keyword List >>Read an Excerpt<< 115
Sample Case: Water Feature Design Firm 115
Stay Focused 117
Initial Brainstorming 117
From the Business Description 119
From Internal Brainstorming 120
What Is A Good Match To Our Business? 122
From Marketing Materials 123
From Lexical FreeNet 125
What’s Useful, What’s Not? 125
Other Idea-Generators 126
Overture & Google AdWords Suggestion Tools 127
Wordtracker’s Variety 129
Building a Big List of Candidates 131
Looking at the Totals 134
Other Observations From the Wordtracker List 134
There You Have It 136

Also see sample pages from The Handbook of Keyword Selection


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© 2003 Charles K. Britnell