Anyone that knows me well knows that I live, eat and breathe search engine optimization. I really started following online communities and behaviors from my days in college back in the 90′s, when I was trying to sell off items via bulletin board systems. Times were a lot different back then, online content and communities were worlds different, and the phrase search engine optimization was not really a concept yet.
It wasn’t until the mid 1990′s when the concept of optimizing websites for search engines became popular, and of course the advent and growth of Google starting in 1998 just kicked that into overdrive. For many webmasters, simply submitting their site URL to the many search engines was the total sum of any sort of “optimization” work that was conducted. However, once the Internet continued to explode and search results started to total into the thousands of search results, the need for another approach became apparent.
This is where the debates start. We’ve been over this many times. At the start of this year, I provided a way to formulate your true SEO “ranking”, last year I reviewed an interesting tool called SEO Panel to audit your optimization efforts, but by far the series that I’ve always been most proud of here at MUO was the two part series on 10 common SEO mistakes that can hurt your website.
Over the last few years, there have been constant shifts in both SEO tactics, as well as changes in the search algorithms. It is still as it’s always been, a constant seesaw between webmasters and website optimizers, and the Google algorithm fabricators that seek to constantly improve search results, and to beat down those spammy content-mills.
It has got to the point in the last year or so where an ever-growing number of people out there have made the erroneous claim that “SEO is dead” thanks to Google’s last few big updates. One report after another comes through where a webmaster says he or she lost between 5% to 30% of their traffic overnight. This may be true, but it doesn’t mean SEO is dead, it just means that the pool of SEO experts using truly effective techniques is shrinking dramatically.
Keeping SEO Efforts At the Forefront
In this article, I plan to share a tool with you that can get you on the path toward practicing those “effective” SEO techniques. The tool has nothing to do with all of the buzzwords you’ve probably heard from so-called SEO gurus out there – nothing here about “long-tail keywords” or “back links”.
We’re going to keep it very simple here today, and the reason for this is because simplicity will make you far more effective than any other tactics that may be put to use out there. Furthermore, simplicity will keep you safe from every single Google algorithm update. While other sites continue to get slammed – your traffic will continue to ride the wave to the top. I guarantee it.
The tool that I”m referring to here is actually a Firefox plugin called SEO Blogger by WordTracker. After installing the plugin, you’ll find it under the Tools menu.
This is essentially a keyword research tool provided by Wordtracker. Now, why use a keyword research tool when you could probably just sift through keywords provided by Google Adwords or Google Suggest for topics to write about? The answer is because, the secret here isn’t only about researching topics that are highly searched for by people on search engines, it’s about finding topics where you have a chance of competing for ranking highly on those popular topics.
When you launch the SEO Blogger tool, it will appear on the left side of your browser window, right next to the blog post that you’re writing.
That’s the beauty of this tool. You can search for topics to write about on the fly, write while you’re typing up your blog post. This is nice, because you can keep the list of top-searched keyword phrases right at your fingertips – an easy reference to glance at as you’re writing. You can use the top phrases in your headers, peppered throughout your paragraphs, and when you link to other pages on your site.
Nothing really surprising about this, right? I mean every SEO expert and their mother know to focus on popular keywords. Sure, there are lots of folks that got carried away, spammed the page with an insane collection of these keywords, and subsequently got their site trashed by the next Google algorithm update.
No, that’s not the point here. It’s not about spamming keywords, it’s about directing your high-quality content into the limelight. It’s about answering the questions that people are asking, and handing people well-written articles about the issues that clearly matter the most to them. However, Google will have no idea that you even exist unless you literally tell the search engine that you have the answer. This is where this kind of tool comes in.
When you have a topics that you really want to write about, go ahead and do a search in the SEO blogger tool. What you’ll find is a list of phrases that people type into search engines that most closely match the topic you want to write about. You may actually discover an angle or a different topics entirely, thanks to insight from this tool about what people want to read about.
You’ll also notice in some cases that the Wordtracker tool does not match Google keyword research tools in many cases. This isn’t because of inaccuracy, it’s because Wordtracker has its own algorithm in providing popular keywords, based on search volume and competition ratios that provide a certain “value” to keywords and how well they will do if you write about them. If you don’t believe me – find some of the most popular topics listed in the Wordtracker tool and publish an article about it. Use the tool in the way that I’m going to describe below, and you’ll see results.
As you spot the phrases you want to focus on, click on the “Add” links, and this will move those phrases into the bottom panel titled “Your chosen keywords”.
That’s only when the magic starts. Now, as you’re typing, whenever you use each phrase, the tool will count how many times you’ve used the phrase in your article, and it’ll automatically calculate the keyword density of your article – that is, how many times you used the phrase versus how many words in your article.
You’ve probably heard disgruntled former SEO folks making comments about keyword optimizing being “dead”. Here’s the truth – keyword gaming is dead, but fine-tuning your content to target exactly what people are searching for is not dead. In fact, for those who do it right, it is what is now separating the winners and the losers.
The secret sauce – what will help you rise up above even the most “experienced” SEO experts out there – is what specific numbers you choose. This includes what keyword density you go for, how many phrase variations you target, where you position those phrases throughout your article, and do so in a perfectly natural way that does not detract from the writing quality. This tool can help you perfect that art every time you blog.
The cool thing is that the tool isn’t only for WordPress. It will work for any form-based blogging console, such as other blogging sites like Blogger.
By the way, you don’t have to use the menu option to launch the Wordtracker tool, you can configure it to launch on a specific keyboard shortcut. The default shortcut is Control-W, but you can set it to whatever you like.
There are many aspects to optimizing a website for search engines. Between honest link-building, internal linking, dealing with crawl errors, site formatting and more – the list is just endless. However, the core focus that I’ve always promoted from day one is to make sure that your topic focus is well researched, and that you are writing about the topics that most of the people on the Internet want to read. If you aren’t doing that, then why are you even bothering to publish on the Internet at all?
Do you use SEO Blogger to research your topics? Do you have your own tools for keyword research analysis? Share your own thoughts and tool tips in the comments section below.
Image Credit: Search Engine Optimization Via Shutterstock
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