the correct keywords for a
By Sumantra Roy
In this article, we focus on the
finding out the keywords for which you should optimize your site for
search engines. This article will give you the formula for the Keyword
Index (KEI) - a mathematical formula which I have developed to help you
determine which keywords you should be optimizing your site for.
Open your text editor or word processor and write down all the words
phrases that you might have searched for if you were looking for a
which offers products and services similar to yours. For example,
your company organizes packaged tours to Australia. Here's a list of
that I might have searched for if I were planning to make a trip to
tourism in Australia
travel to Australia
travelling in Australia
travel agencies in Australia
travelling agencies in Australia
Australian travel agencies
Of course, the keywords that came to
may have been different. But that's not important - the important thing
to get an initial list of keywords.
You may be wondering why I have not
word keywords. Here's why:
Firstly, single word keywords tend
hyper-competitive. A search for "tourism" or "travelling" in any search
engine will probably generate hundreds of thousands of pages. While it
is possible that you
may get your page in the top 10 for such a single word keyword, it is
Secondly, because of the sheer
number of pages
that single word searches can throw up, most search engine users have
realized that they can get more relevant pages if they search for
than individual words. Statistical research has shown that most people
now searching for 2 or 3 word phrases rather than for single words.
Thirdly, single word keywords won't
targeted traffic. When people search for "tourism", they are not
necessarily looking for tourist destinations in Australia - they may be
interested in any other country of the world. Even if you got your site
into the top 10 for tourism, you gain nothing from such visitors.
However, when someone searches for
"tourism in Australia", he/she is your potential customer, and hence,
makes sense for you to try and get a top ranking for your site for that
keyword. Hence, whenever you are trying to generate keywords, try to be
location specific. Try to think of keywords which apply to the
area that your product or service is designed to serve.
Open any spreadsheet program that is installed in your hard drive. I
you are using Microsoft Excel. If you are using some other spreadsheet
program, just change the spreadsheet related procedures outlined here
to fit your program.
Create 4 columns - one for the
the popularity of the keyword, one for the number of sites that appear
AltaVista for that keyword and the last for something I call the
Effectiveness Index (don't worry - I'll explain what KEI means later
In order to ensure that you can follow what I am saying, I recommend
you add the following column headers to the first four columns of the
row of your spreadsheet:
No. of Competitors
In case you don't want to take the
creating your own spreadsheet, download the keywords.zip file from http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3319&download.htm
The file contains a sample spreadsheet
in Excel 97 format.
3: A great way to obtain a list
of keywords related to the ones you have developed in the first step is
use WordTracker's keyword generation service by going to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3319&wordtracker/
on the "Trial" option at the top of the site. In the page that appears,
type in your name and email address and click on the "Start the trial
>>" button. In the next page, click on "Click here to
the next page, type in the first keyword that you developed in Step 1,
i.e. "tourism in Australia", in the text box. Click on the "Proceed
4: In the next page,
will display a list of keywords related to the keyword that you had
typed in. (Just scroll down the left pane to see the keywords). Now,
the first keyword in the left pane which is applicable for your site.
the right pane, WordTracker will show a list of keywords which contain
keyword you had clicked on in the left pane. Then in the table that you
have created in your spreadsheet, copy each of the keywords in the
pane and paste them in the first column of the table. Also, copy the
of times those keywords have been used (i.e. the figure present in the
column in WordTracker) and paste them in the second column. In order to
ensure that you can follow me, make sure that you type the first
in the second row of your spreadsheet. Of course, you should only
adding a keyword to your spreadsheet if it is applicable for your site.
you have added all the keywords in the right pane which are applicable
for your site, click on the next keyword in the left pane which is
applicable for your site. Once again, WordTracker will display a list
in the right pane which contain the keyword you had clicked on in the
pane. Again, copy the keywords in the right pane which are applicable
your site and paste them in the first column of your spreadsheet. Also,
the figures present in the Count column and paste them in the second
beside the corresponding keywords. Repeat this process for each of the
keywords in the left pane.
5: Once you have finished with
all the keywords in the left pane, press your browser's Back button a
number of times until WordTracker again displays the text box which
asks you to
type in a keyword. Type in the second keyword in your original list
"travel to Australia"), click on the "Proceed >>" button
repeat Step 4. Do this for each of the keywords that you developed in
6: Go to AltaVista
. Search for the first keyword that is
present in your spreadsheet using exact match search (i.e. you should
keyword in quotes, i.e. you should type a quotation mark before typing
the keyword and a quotation mark after typing it). AltaVista will
the number of sites which are relevant to that keyword. Add this number
to the third column of the spreadsheet in the same row in which the
is present. Repeat this process for each of the keywords present in
spreadsheet. Once you have done that, your first column will contain
keywords, your second column will show the popularity of the keywords
your third column will contain the number of sites you are competing
to get a high ranking for those keywords.
it's time to calculate the KEI!
7: The Keyword Effectiveness
Index is the square of the popularity of a keyword multiplied by 1000
and divided by the number of sites which appear in AltaVista for that
keyword. It is designed to measure which keywords are worth optimizing
your site for. Higher the KEI, better the keyword. How the formula for
the KEI is arrived at is beyond the scope of this article. If you want
to know, send a blank email to mailto:kei@1stSearchRanking.com
you had used the spreadsheet file that I created for you (see Step 2),
you won't need to enter the formula for calculating the KEI yourself.
KEI would be automatically calculated for you the moment you enter the
values in columns 2 and 3. You can go straight to Step 8.
case you didn't download the file, here's how you can calculate the KEI.
am assuming that you have created the spreadsheet columns in the way I
recommended in Step 3 and that you are using Microsoft Excel. If you
some other spreadsheet program, you will need to adjust the formula to
the requirements of your spreadsheet program. Click on cell D2. Type in
the following exactly as it is shown:
click on the Copy button to copy the formula, select all the cells in
column 4 which have keywords associated with them and press the Paste
button to paste the formula. The KEI for each keyword will be displayed.
8: Use your spreadsheet
program's Sort feature to sort the rows in descending order of the KEI.
97, you would click on the Data menu, click on the Sort menu item,
KEI from the drop-down combo box named "Sort by", click on the
option next to it, and then click on OK.
guess what - that's it! You now know the keywords which you should
optimize your site for. You can now start optimizing your site one by
one for each keyword, starting with the keyword with the highest KEI.
Exactly how many of the keywords you choose to optimize your site for
largely depends on
the amount of time that you can spare from your normal business
But whatever the number of keywords that you target, it obviously makes
sense to go for the most effective keywords first.
up the loose ends:
number of related keywords
that WordTracker displays in the trial version
limited. In order to get all the keywords which are related to the
keywords you had
developed in Step 1, you would need to subscribe to WordTracker's paid
We highly recommend that you do subscribe to WordTracker's paid service
otherwise, you will miss out on a lot of keywords that can prove to be
valuable to you.
by Sumantra Roy. Sumantra is one of the most respected search engine
positioning specialists on the Internet. To have Sumantra's company
place your site
at the top of the search engines, go to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3319
For more advice on how you can take your
web site to the top of the search engines, subscribe to his FREE
by going to http://www.1stSearchRanking.com/t.cgi?3319&newsletter.htm