Meta Title Tags are Gold

•August 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

How to Write Compelling Page Titles

From an SEO perspective, the title of the webpage is very important. These are the words that describe what your page is about and are the first words that a search engine sees when it crawls your webpage looking for content to add to its index.

The page title is also what the searcher sees in a search result – so the page title is very important in describing what the page is about and if the title meets the searcher’s criteria, then it is more likely to be clicked on and your page opened.

It is safe to assume that the majority of searchers these days will be tempted to either click or ignore based on the content of the title. This is like your ad in the natural search section of the search engine results page.

Now that the impact of the title of the webpage is obvious, let me explain how to write an effective and powerful title.

First the basics! The webpage title aka the title tag is the synopsis of the content of the web page. So, as no two pages on your website are the same, hence why should their title tags be? Therefore, as a general rule, title tags for each page on your website should be unique. This is an added bonus from an SEO perspective, because now you can target many more keywords and spread your reach across search engine indexes.

The second thing to consider is whether you want to add your company name in the title tag? The answer is that it depends on your branding strategy. If your company name is a known brand, or if you want to promote your firm name as a brand or if your company name consists of keyword(s) that you want to target such as ABC Family Solicitors targeting the keyword “Family Solicitors”, then by all means add your company name in the title tag. If not, then use the limited but valuable space to add your targeted keywords. If you do decide to add your company name, make sure that it is at the end of the title. This is because you want search engines and your visitors to first read the targeted keyword(s) for that page and then the company name.

It is important to remember that since the title tag is the synopsis of the content of the web page, you need to make sure that the title tag is relevant. For example, the title tag for an about us page is “About Website Design Company – ECommerce Partners”. Hence, the title tag does its job of informing what the page is about. Now, you might have noticed that instead of “About Us – ECommerce Partners”, we added “About Website Design Company – ECommerce Partners”.

The reason is because “Website Design Company” is one of the key phrases we want to target and so, we replaced “About Us” with “About Website Design Company”. This brings out an important point. We need to do a keyword analysis before we write an effective and powerful title tag.

Keyword mining and analysis is a very important part of writing compelling page titles and is a part of the Search Engine Optimization service that First One On provides to their clients.

The next step after keyword analysis will be to write down title tags for each and every web page on your website.

Please be careful when writing title tags and don’t over stuff keywords in the title. Doing so will undermine the power of the title tag and defeat the purpose of better ranking in the search engines. The title tag is the title of your web page and so it must be relevant and meaningful. Remember, this is the title in your AD in the natural search listings of the search engine.

General Suggestion: You cannot promote all of your keywords in one page. Normally, you should promote 3 to 5 keyword phrases per page. The ‘Title tag’ should contain up to 3 important keywords that match to the body of the page content. If the keyword you are trying to promote is highly competitive, you can consider repeating the important keyword twice in the first 100 words of the page content.

Limit the length of the title keywords to 65 characters or less, including spaces. There’s no reason to have the engines cut off the last word and have it replaced with a “…” Note that some search engines are now accepting longer titles and Google, in particular, is now supporting up to 70 characters.

Use a divider when splitting up the keywords. We generally recommend the use of the “|” symbol aka the pipe bar. Others choose the arrow “>” or hyphen “-” and both work well.

Re-using the title tag of each page as the H1 heading tag can be valuable from both a SEO keyword targeting standpoint and a user experience improvement. Users who go to the page from the search result listing will have the expectation of finding the title they clicked on. Users will be more likely to stay on a page they’re reasonably certain fits their intended search query.

About The Author:
Peter Bowen is a seasoned marketing communications professional with an extensive web based marketing background, he won the 1994 Entrepreneur of the Year award for developing an online shopping mall when the internet was in its infancy. Passionate about internet search engine marketing and “converting clicks into customers” by applying proven SEO strategies.


17 SEO Tips for Your Marketing Campaign

•August 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment

When you begin your SEO campaign, it can be difficult to separate myth from truth. It seems everyone has different ideas of what works and what doesn’t, and even someone who’s been in the business awhile can get confused as SEO trends, tactics, and techniques change over the years.

While there may be much discrepancy, these 17 tips for SEO are something most experts seem to agree on. Following these rules, you can avoid some common mistakes and launch a successful campaign.

1. Perform keyword research. This is a very important step in your SEO campaign, before you even begin. Thoroughly research all keywords you may want to use – this can make a huge difference in your strategy.

2. Don’t use the same Metas for every page. All your Meta and Title Tags should be unique for each page. Also, make sure to use keywords and write an engaging title.

3. Don’t try to deceive the search engines. Don’t overuse keywords, hide text, or create doorway pages. These are unethical forms of SEO. With the current trend of search engines favoring ethical SEO, your best practice is to create a well-thought out web page, that has unique content, and is easy to navigate.

4. Avoid low quality links. Not all links are created equal. Instead of getting links from link farms, research the popularity of websites before getting links from them. Alexa ranks are a good way to check popularity, as well as page rank. However, if your own page rank is rather low, fret not, for this will be explained below.

5. Avoid using links with the same anchor text. Search engines do not like links that use the same anchor text and description that are repeated in short bursts.

6. Don’t overdo reciprocal links. Reciprocal linking can be valuable, but only when done in small doses, and if the links are relevant to your business. Also, make sure to have a diverse set of links, including links to blogs, forums, articles, social media bookmarking, and more.

7. Don’t become obsessed with page rank. Page rank is only a small part of your entire SEO campaign. The way pages are ranked is actually rather complicated, and is based on many factors. It is possible for a lower ranked page to actually be quite successful and get lots of visitors. So if your page rank is low, don’t freak out.

8. Do network with other Website owners. This is a great way to learn, get advice, and exchange links. These relationships can be mutually beneficial.

9. Make site updates regularly. Sometimes, an out-of-date website can be worse than no website at all. Make sure you update regularly with current information, news and events, and fresh content. If you want to catch the eye of the search engine robots, regular updates are a great way.

10. Don’t compete for single keywords. Instead, compete for keyword phrases. This will make it more likely that your site will show up as a relevant search result. For instance, if your company sells jewelry boxes, and you attempt to compete for the term “boxes,” many people who find your site will be looking for cardboard boxes, hat boxes, and other types of boxes, and will likely not stay on your page once they realize you don’t sell what they’re looking for. If you compete for the phrase “jewelry boxes,” it’s more likely that potential customers who are looking strictly for jewelry boxes will find you.

11. Research your competition. It’s always good to know what the competition is up to, including what they are doing on their website, where they are getting links, etc.

12. Design your Website to be SEO friendly. There is definitely an SEO strategy when it comes to website design. Avoid heavy Flash and lots of graphics, since search engine robots crawl the text, not images. Good Meta and Title Tags are a must, as well as fresh and engaging content. If you’re hiring someone to design your website, look for someone who is an expert in organic SEO.

13. Use text links instead of images. If using JavaScript, text links are important since spiders won’t follow JavaScript.

14. Keep localization in mind. There are several benefits to reaching out to the local audience. Aside from gaining local customers, including location-based keyword phrases, like “detriot auto body shop,” will help you because you will have less competition for that keyword.

15. Don’t ignore the power of content. Nothing drives a Website like good content. Make sure your content is engaging, original, and well researched. Use keywords strategically (so they fit in with the natural flow of text).

16. Always proofread. This step should be a given, yet it’s not uncommon to see typos and content mistakes on web pages. Aside from providing incorrect information, mistakes, as well as typos, make a web page and its company look unprofessional.

And most importantly…

17. Don’t Give Up! SEO is not accomplished overnight. It can be a long process and takes lots of work and sometimes trial and error. Keep up your effort and don’t give up!

About The Author:
Wendy Suto, President and CEO of Search Circus, has specialized in search engine optimization and search engine marketing, including SEO campaigns for over 10 years. Certified in SEO, Wendy Suto only follows natural and organic search engine optimization guidelines with proven results.

8 Link Building Strategies You Need To Know

•August 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Link building can be time consuming, frustrating and often confusing. However, link building is a huge part of SEO and necessary for your site to reach top ranks in the search engine results pages. Aren’t familiar with link building? No problem. Read on to learn why link building is important and how you can build links to your site, improve your link popularity and raise your search engine page rank.

Why is increasing links important? When other sites link to your site it directs visitors to it and also shows Google and other search engines that you are a legitimate site that’s worthy of some attention. However, the sites that link to you must be relevant to your site. The other site’s topic must be related to yours otherwise Google will see it as dishonest, black hat SEO or spam.

When you have a significant number of relevant links that lead back to your site, you build your online reputation which in turn, will improve your page rank on the search results pages. Increasing your page rank will allow potential customers to see you, rather than your competition, when they search for certain keywords that are relevant to your business. This will help grow your business and boost your profit. However, the question remains, how do you get relevant sites to link to you? Here are a few things you can do to urge others to link to you.

Create and Maintain a Blog

A blog is a way to write about industry news, engage readers about your business and speak to your customers and potential customers in a conversational tone. When you write a blog, link keywords back to your business’s Web site. The more blog posts you write, the more relevant links are going back to your site. Also when you post great content on your blog, others will come across it and want to link back to what you wrote. Link to other relevant blogs and comment on them to urge those blog owners to view your blog. This increases the chance that they will link back to you.

Submit Your Site to Link Directories

A big part of link building in the SEO world is submitting to link directories. Many link directories are free to submit to and as long as you submit to a relevant category the link directory will accept your request and link to your site. You can also use Craigslist to place a classified ad. Another link building tool is a topical Squidoo page, where you can link to expert documents and other useful tools in your field and also create a link back to your site. You can also submit a story to social bookmarking sites like Digg or Delicious that links to an article on your site. Another easy link you can get is from a forum. Many forums allow members to leave signature links or personal profile links. If you make good contributions to a forum, some people might follow your links, read your site, link to your site or buy products from your site.

Create Lists on Your Site

People love lists and they’re easy to link to. If you build a list like “10 easy tips to help you __,” people will read and link to it. Just make sure the list is relevant to your industry or business. Create a resource list on your site. If it’s good people may link to your resource list, or your resources might put you on their resource list.

Use PPC as a Link Building Tool

You can buy relevant traffic using PPC, which will get you visitors to your site and more brand exposure. When people come to your site, regardless of how they found it, there is still a possibility that they will find something they like and link to you.

Make Your Web Copy Easy to Understand

This will make people want to spread the word. People won’t link to information they don’t quite understand themselves, which is why this is very important. Put extra effort into making sure your content doesn’t have spelling or grammatical errors. This will make you look like a more professional and reliable source. Have an “About Us” section on your site so people can see who the information is coming from. This will make it look more trustworthy so they are more likely to link to it.

Submit Articles and Press Releases

If you submit articles to an industry news site the article will have a link back to your Web site. Making the article relevant with quality information will entice readers to visit your site and possibly use your service and recommend it to others, or link back to your site on their blog or site. Send out a press release to journalists and bloggers that you think will appreciate it. They are likely to link to your site on their blog or news site.

Gain Easy Local and Business Links

Join the Better Business Bureau and get a link from your local chamber of commerce. Submit your link to a relevant city or state governmental resource and list your site on your local library’s resource page. Use LinkedIn or other social media networks to develop relationships with other non-competing businesses in your industry. You can recommend each other through linking to each other’s sites.

Use Link Bait for Link Building

Link bait is anything on a site that makes people want to link to it. It could be interesting content, funny videos, shocking photos, etc. It should have some association with keywords you are optimizing for. Then once you have your link bait ready to go, promote it on social media networks, through blogging and with article writing.

Link building takes a lot of time and effort, but in the end it’s worth it. Gaining links is the key to getting noticed by the search engines and increasing your rank. You should not stop link building. It’s an on-going process that takes commitment and drive. However, when your site begins moving up in the rankings until you’re above all your biggest competitors, you’ll see your efforts paying off.

About The Author
Wendy Suto, President and CEO of Search Circus, specializes in search engine optimization and search engine marketing including link building for over 10 years. Certified in SEO, Wendy Suto only follows natural and organic search engine optimization guidelines with proven results.

Google’s Mayday Update and the Power of Long-Tail Keywords

•July 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Before 2010, May Day simply referred to May 1st, a celebration of the beginning of Spring, or International Workers’ Day (Labour Day), as practiced in many countries, most notably in Russia… The alternate spelling Mayday was a signal used by ships’ captains and airplane pilots to announce “Come and Help me!”, as derived from the French word, “m’aidez”.

Google’s Mayday Update

Beginning in May 2010, Mayday became the code word for a major ranking change in Google and new attacks of “Google paranoia” by webmasters everywhere.

As webmasters, we should leave the paranoia to those who truly have a reason to be paranoid, like my ex-wife and her family. 😉

Google has always advised that we, as webmasters, should focus on giving searchers what they are trying to give Google’s search users: the most relevant, useful results possible for searchers.

As for myself, many of the new ranking factors included in the Mayday Update are things that I have expected the engineers at Google to include for a long time.

Call me strange if you will — my ex-wife and her family do — but I have always tried to plan my website optimization based on what I thought Google should have been doing already.

So, when Mayday finally came, I was ready.

Unlike many of my peers, I was not crying in my beer in the aftermath of Google’s Mayday Update.

About the Mayday Algorithm Update

An article on Search Engine Guide, about Google’s May Day Update, suggested that Matt Cutts, of Google’s Webspam Team, said at Google I/O 2010, “this is an algorithmic change in Google, looking for higher quality sites to surface for long tail queries. It went through vigorous testing and isn’t going to be rolled back.”

So if your website was hurt by the Mayday Update, you should pay attention to this article, because “the way things were” is gone forever.

Vanessa Fox, formerly of Google, in another article at Search Engine Land suggested that the update primarily affected e-commerce websites that rely upon a product manufacturer’s product description. In other words, if a webmaster uses the default product description given by the original product manufacturer, then the product sales page will have taken a hit in Google’s search listings.

Fox also said, “Before, pages that didn’t have high quality signals might still rank well if they had high relevance signals. And perhaps now, those high relevance signals don’t have as much weight in ranking if the page doesn’t have the right quality signals.”

It seems that a lot of webmasters dismissed Fox’s view as just plain wrong, but I side with Dave Davis, who said, “I believe she was right on the money.”

As the questions about Google’s Mayday Update spiraled, Matt Cutts did a video for the Google Webmaster Central Channel at YouTube , about the Mayday Update. In that video, Cutts emphasized that Mayday is only one of more than 400 tweaks that Google does to its algorithms each year, and he further emphasized that Mayday has been fully tested and is a permanent change to Google’s search algorithms.

What Mayday Means For Google Search

The Mayday Update was primarily focused on changing how Long-Tail Keywords were handled by Google’s search engine.

To make sure that you and I are on the same page, Long-Tail Keywords are those search phrases that contain more than 3 words. For example, as I was researching this article, my search query at Google was: “Google long tail keywords mayday”.

My five-word search query is a great example of Long-Tailed Keywords.
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In the Matt Cutts’ video noted above, Cutts defined Long Tail Search Queries in contrast to Head Search Queries, with Head Queries being the one-, two- and three-word search phrases.

I found it odd that an article at Small Business Computing suggested that this Google algorithm update was simply a reflection of the changing habits of search engine users, who employ more long-tail keywords in their searches today, than they had in previous years.

To be honest, I find it hard to believe that long-tail search queries are a new trend… I suspect the truth is that Google finally acknowledged the importance of long-tail search queries… and in doing so, they fixed their weakness in that area.

Long-Tail Search Queries Were The Red-Headed Stepchild of Google

Maile Ohye, senior developer programs engineer at Google, announced at the Search Engine Strategies (SES) Toronto 2010 conference, “For long-tail queries, we now just consider them as all other queries and place as much value on them as we do into shorter queries.”

Myself, I am blown away by that statement.

Okay… Let’s see if you and I see the same message here. Until the Mayday Update, Google had always treated long-tail queries with a different algorithm than “head of demand” queries (1-3 word queries)?

And now, Google is treating both with the same algorithm?

No wonder I wasn’t ever satisfied with long-tail search queries at Google. No wonder I had been looking elsewhere for some of my search results. Google was using two algorithms, and most of my search habits were met with their other not-as-good search algorithm.

Digging Deeper Into Mayday Update

I came across the May 11th edition of the Search Engine Facts newsletter . The newsletter stated, “It seems that this is not a penalty but a change in Google’s ranking algorithm. Google might now be able to index longer keyword phrases more accurately. There’s a new Google patent that deals with this topic.” (United States Patent #7693813)

So the story is becoming a bit more clear… Before Caffeine, then Mayday, Google did a poor job with long-tail keywords, because its main algorithm did a poor job with long-tail keywords.

How To Protect Your Search Engine Rankings

•July 16, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Your website’s ranking on search engines is a vital element of your overall marketing campaign, and there are ways to improve your link popularity through legitimate methods. Unfortunately, the Internet is populated by bands of dishonest webmasters seeking to improve their link popularity by faking out search engines.

The good news is that search engines have figured this out, and are now on guard for “spam” pages and sites that have increased their rankings by artificial methods. When a search engine tracks down such a site, that site is demoted in ranking or completely removed from the search engine’s index.

The bad news is that some high quality, completely above-board sites are being mistaken for these web page criminals. Your page may be in danger of being caught up in the “spam” net and tossed from a search engine’s index, even though you have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment. But there are things you can do – and things you should be sure NOT to do – which will prevent this kind of misperception.

Link popularity is mostly based on the quality of sites you are linked to. Google pioneered this criteria for assigning website ranking, and virtually all search engines on the Internet now use it. There are legitimate ways to go about increasing your link popularity, but at the same time, you must be scrupulously careful about which sites you choose to link to. Google frequently imposes penalties on sites that have linked to other sites solely for the purpose of artificially boosting their link popularity. They have actually labeled these links “bad neighborhoods”.

You can raise a toast to the fact that you cannot be penalized when a bad neighborhood links to your site; penalty happens only when you are the one sending out the link to a bad neighborhood. But you must check and double-check all the links that are active on your links page to make sure you haven’t linked to a bad neighborhood.

The first thing to check out is whether or not the pages you have linked to have been penalized. The most direct way to do this is to download the Google toolbar. You will then see that most pages are given a “PageRank” which is represented by a sliding green scale on the Google toolbar.

Do not link to any site that shows no green at all on the scale. This is especially important when the scale is completely gray. It is more than likely that these pages have been penalized. If you are linked to these pages, you may catch their penalty, and like the flu, it may be difficult to recover from the infection.

There is no need to be afraid of linking to sites whose scale shows only a tiny sliver of green on their scale. These sites have not been penalized, and their links may grow in value and popularity. However, do make sure that you closely monitor these kind of links to ascertain that at some point they do not sustain a penalty once you have linked up to them from your links page.

Another evil trick that illicit webmasters use to artificially boost their link popularity is the use of hidden text. Search engines usually use the words on web pages as a factor in forming their rankings, which means that if the text on your page contains your keywords, you have more of a chance to improve your search engine ranking than a page that does not contain text inclusive of keywords.

Some webmasters have gotten around this formula by hiding their keywords in such a way so that they are invisible to any visitors to their site. For example, they have used the keywords but made them the same color as the background color of the page, such as a plethora of white keywords on a white background. You cannot see these words with the human eye – but the eye of search engine spider can spot them easily! A spider is the program search engines use to index web pages, and when it sees these invisible words, it goes back and boosts that page’s link ranking.

Webmasters may be brilliant and sometimes devious, but search engines have figured these tricks out. As soon as a search engine perceive the use of hidden text – splat! The page is penalized.

The downside of this is that sometimes the spider is a bit overzealous and will penalize a page by mistake. For example, if the background color of your page is gray, and you have placed gray text inside a black box, the spider will only take note of the gray text and assume you are employing hidden text. To avoid any risk of false penalty, simply direct your webmaster not to assign the same color to text as the background color of the page ever!

Another potential problem that can result in a penalty is called “keyword stuffing”. It is important to have your keywords appear in the text on your page, but sometimes you can go a little overboard in your enthusiasm to please those spiders. A search engine uses what is called “Keyword Density” to determine if a site is trying to artificially boost their ranking. This is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Search engines assign a limit to the number of times you can use a keyword before it decides you have overdone it and penalizes your site.

This ratio is quite high, so it is difficult to surpass without sounding as if you are stuttering – unless your keyword is part of your company name. If this is the case, it is easy for keyword density to soar. So, if your keyword is “renters insurance”, be sure you don’t use this phrase in every sentence. Carefully edit the text on your site so that the copy flows naturally and the keyword is not repeated incessantly. A good rule of thumb is your keyword should not appear in more than half the sentences on the page.

The final potential risk factor is known as “cloaking”. To those of you who are diligent Trekkies, this concept should be easy to understand. For the rest of you, cloaking is when the server directs a visitor to one page and a search engine spider to a different page. The page the spider sees is “cloaked” because it is invisible to regular traffic, and deliberately set-up to raise the site’s search engine ranking. A cloaked page tries to feed the spider everything it needs to rocket that page’s ranking to the top of the list.

About The Author
Nelson Tan is the webmaster behind Internet Mastery Center. Download $347 worth of Free Internet Marketing gifts at

SEO Secrets – Fighting Against the Domain Age Tide

•June 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So you’ve bought your Dreamweaver, an eternity later worked out how it works, started to build your site which is targeting your chosen niche or promoting your affiliate product and after what seems like forever you have added quality content. You’ve bust a gut to get this far, but this is where the real work begins. You need to get your site seen by as many people as possible. You need to drive as much traffic as you can whether it be through a pay-per-click campaign or via organic traffic.

Let’s say you decide to target organic traffic. You need to get a high ranking in the search engines. During your website construction you have already been using a keyword research tool and a SEO Tool and spending the midnight hours mulling over the chosen keyword phrases your research has indicated you should be targeting on your pages and using in your URL. Your whole site from headings to meta-tags, to meta-descriptions and anchor text are all optimized taking account of semantically related words, keyword density and the long tail.

Next you begin your back link campaign spending hours trying to get quality back links to your site. Social bookmarking takes over your life for days on end, you post on relevant blogs and all relevant forums, you set up your blog, submit articles to article directories and then submit your entire site to SEO friendly website directories.

Yet more analysis follows, as you now study your competitors’ websites. You investigate what keywords they are targeting and study the links that they have developed and you develop strategies to be better than they are. Slowly but surely your site climbs the rankings. You constantly update your site adding quality content and before you know it your site is fast approaching the first page. A steady trickle of traffic flows on a daily basis. At this rate you should soon be top of the rankings and then …. the sky’s the limit!

Unfortunately it doesn’t usually quite work like this. Yes it is true that if you have picked some long tail keywords to target you may be able to get somewhere near the top of the rankings or indeed even to the number one spot. In most instances however the traffic won’t be great and you would need to get each page of your website targeting a different long tail phrase and getting to the top of the rankings for that phrase each time for the total traffic to be lucrative. It’s certainly possible but does require a lot more graft.

For very popular keyword phrases it proves incredibly difficult to dislodge the top sites from their positions, even though in theory you may know that you have better back links and better content. Without the top positions the mass traffic won’t ever be yours. It is just so frustrating as you probably know. I certainly do. So you go away and you research again and you analyze again and you spend days poring over the detail and you work and you work and you know what, it makes not one jot of difference. You just cannot crack the top spots. Why not? How many times have I asked this of myself?

Now perhaps your tactics aren’t quite right. Perhaps the phrases you are targeting are the wrong ones or perhaps you’re back links are not quality back links. Do you have the quality of content on your site that you think you do? Yes, yes, yes, I hear you say. So what is going on? Well it could be something as simple as the age of your domain.

Google places a lot of trust in back links, especially quality back links to your site, but it also places significant trust in sites which have been around for a significant period of time. This is especially true if they are frequently updated. In many cases the top ranked sites are trusted sites as far as Google is concerned because they have an authority status due to their back links, but also due to the length of time they have been operating. If your site is an equal to a competitor’s site in terms of content and back links, but it is a far newer domain, there will be little chance of you dislodging your competitor from the top slot. The site that has been there for five years serving the web community carries a lot of trust with Google.

To dislodge these sites requires tremendous effort to create quality back links and sometimes you may not ever achieve it. It can be done however, you just need to be aware of what is going on and keep persevering. Some internet marketers have resorted to buying old domains in an attempt to overcome this challenge in building the website around the domain. I’m not entirely sure how Google reacts to this, especially if you are adding new content on a continual basis. Does the domain itself carry an inherent trust because of its age or is it the content that carried the trust from the old website?

Either way it’s worth exploring as one of the tactics along with keyword analysis and building back links that you could adopt in an attempt to get higher rankings and hence higher rates of traffic.

About The Author:
Andy Lunt is an internet marketer who concentrates largely on organic traffic and the techniques needed to drive this traffic to various sites. If you want to learn how to find lucrative keywords that earn revenue then you need the best keyword tools possible. Take a look at the options at

Free Long Tail Keyword Research Tools

•June 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Long tail keyword research tools are essential for small web businesses. You must put together collections of micro niches, each identified by a long tail keyword. You need to do long tail keyword research to find those niches of low competition keywords.

You need to find a large number of keywords, the number of searches for them per day or month, and the amount of competition for the keywords. The competition, at minimum, consists of all those web pages containing the keyword. More detailed information would include the number of pages optimized for the keyword. You can get all this information for free on the web, from Google; although, there is software available that automates the process for you.

Free Long Tail Keyword Research Tools
You can use the Google keyword selector tool as a long tail keyword generator. It suggests a large number of keywords with low search volume but low competition.

When you type in a keyword into the Google keyword selector tool, it suggests related keywords and gives you a downloadable spreadsheet of their search frequencies and AdWords competition.

Sort by declining numbers of searches and delete those keywords with too few. They are not worth optimizing pages for. What’s too few searches? That is up to you, but I have heard people say they set the limit somewhere between 200 and 300 searches per month (7 to 10 per day).

Free Long Tail Keyword Research Tools

If you wish, you can reserve those keywords with too few searches to sprinkle into ezine articles. Keywords with low competition may bring the article to page one of a search engine’s results.

Next you use the Google search page. It is not usually thought of as a long tail keywords tool, but you use it for two competition searches. Do a Google search for the keyword in quotes to find the number of pages containing those keywords as a phrase, that is, adjacent to each other. The first page of the results gives an estimate of the number of pages containing the phrase. Do not search without quotes — that counts all pages containing all the words in the keyword phrase even if they are not close on the page.

Drop the keywords that are on too many pages from your list. Various people give the cut off at more than 30,000 other pages, give or take. Your pages will be lost in the crowd if you try to contend for them.

The next step of long tail keyword research is to find the number of pages optimized for the keyword, and you can find the number of pages optimized for a keyword by a Google search. A page is optimized for a keyword if

(1) the keyword is embedded in the URL of the page, for example in the domain name or in the page name,

(2) the keyword is in the page title, or

(3) the keyword is in the anchor text of one or more links pointing to the page.

You can tell Google to filter for pages with these optimizations by specifying, for example, inurl:”keyword” to select only pages with the keyword in the URL. (You can find more information on advanced Google query operators at Google Help Center). Delete the keywords with too much competition of this kind. What is too much competition? Again, it is a matter of taste, but the boundary may be somewhere between 50 and 300. (I’m relying on the opinion of James Jones who suggested these limits.)

Pages optimized in all three ways are serious competition. Not only do those optimizations tell search engines that the page is relevant to the keyword, but they indicate that someone is consciously trying to contend for the keyword.

If you are intending to sell products or services to the people searching with these keywords, you may want to check the estimates of their “online commercial intention” (OCI). You can get those estimates at Microsoft adCenter Labs. It will give you a fraction between zero — the search seems to have NO commercial intent — and one — the search does seem to have a commercial intent. The numeric value indicates a kind of confidence level, not a fraction of searches that have the intent. In experiments, the non-commercial keywords averaged about a 0.2 value, and the commercial keywords averaged about 0.83. Fractions near 0.5 had a high rate of incorrect classifications. If you intend to sell, you can cut off those keywords with an OCI less than 0.6 or 0.7. There are, however, questions about the methodology and assumptions used in the construction of this tool.

You can do long tail keyword research for free by using the Google keyword selector tool, a Google search, and optionally the MSN online commercial intention page.

About The Author:
Thomas Christopher has gathered videos and other information about using long tail keywords for ezine article marketing at See a video showing how to begin a search for a niche market at: