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Keyword Analysis for SEO


Here we describe Smartdrill's keyword analysis capabilities.  Keyword analysis is typically the first step in the SEO (search engine optimization) process.  It provides the basis for optimizing both organic (unpaid) search engine page rank and paid search (e.g., Google AdWords).

We use powerful software to quickly and efficiently identify page rank potential for various individual keywords and multi-word keyphrases.  If your site contains meta keyword tags, our software will read them as input to the keyword analysis.

So although Google no longer uses keyword tags for determining page rank in search results, and although other search engines that do use keyword tags tend to give them much less weight than previously, they still do come in handy for accelerating the keyword analysis.  [The reason that search engines have either reduced meta keyword tag influence or eliminated use of the meta keyword tag completely is that too many Web sites began to engage in "keyword stuffing," which consisted of listing a huge number of keywords, not all of which were always highly relevant.  And some of the more unscrupulous sites would make these tags invisible to site visitors.]

If your site does not use the meta keyword tag, then we work with you to compile a resonable list of keywords for each key page as a starting point.  Our software then analyzes the keywords and, based on the initial list, suggests many more potentially useful keywords or keyphrases.  It also shows, for each keyword/keyphrase, the URLs of sites having high search engine page rank for those terms.

In this example, we have used data from the Weather Screen Web site with the permission of the site's owner.  Weather Screen offers, among other things, a free downloadable computer-desktop weather forecasting application.  [Note: SmartDrill is not in any way affiliated with Weather Screen, nor do we receive any compensation for using the site in our example.]

We begin by importing the meta keyword tags from key weather-related pages we wish to analyze.  Using frequently updated search engine data, the software first analyzes these keywords and keyphrases to derive suggestions for additional alternative terms, and also shows us the top-ranked sites for each term.  Then it calculates the KEI (keyword effectiveness index) for each term.  The KEI is the number of daily worldwide searches (DS) squared, divided by the number of search engine-ranked pages (P) containing the term:


We are attempting to find terms having a relatively large index, because this means that there  is relatively less competition for the given term.  As a rule of thumb, here are the ranges of KEI score that correspond to stronger vs. weaker terms:

A KEI less than 0.001 is  poor.
A KEI between 0.001 and 0.01 is good.
A KEI between 0.01 and 0.10 is very good.
A KEI above 0.10 is excellent

One can occasionally find KEI scores in the hundreds, but this is relatively uncommon.  Here are the results we obtained for Weather Screen for key terms.  The list of keywords/keyphrases of interest is shown at the left, and a snapshot of a portion of the Google search results page for the search phrase "desktop weather" is shown at the right:

Weatherscreen keywords and some competitors

The key terms are listed in descending order of monthly worldwide searches.  Next our software calculates the KEI for each term (KEIs above 0.10 are automatically highlighted in blue), and lists key terms in descending order of KEI:

Weatherscreen ad analysis part 1 

Although not shown here, in addition to Monthly World Searches, we can include in the table such things as number of webpage titles containing the key terms (which gives us additional useful information to consider, because search engines do look at meta title tags); as well as the number of searches restricted to both the United States and the English language, which is just one of many highly customizable filters we can apply prior to running the analysis.

[Note that one of the key terms is "long term weather forcast," where "forcast" is a misspelling of "forecast."  It is sometimes useful to include commonly misspelled terms that competitors may not think to analyze, as it could allow an "end run" around the competition by finding a misspelled keyword that is often searched on, but that may be overlooked in the competitor's KEI analysis.  However, in this case the misspelled term did not happen to achieve a good KEI score.]

Here are some additional data colums from the analysis:

Weatherscreen ad analysis part 2 

The "Links to #1" and "Links to #2"columns show the number of external Web pages linking to the top-ranked and second-ranked site, respectively, for any given term.  The next two columns show the corresponding Alexa Traffic Ranks, with lower numbers being better.

Next we see the Google PageRank for each term for the #1 and #2 Google-ranked sites; the estimated average Cost Per Click (CPC) for Google AdWords; the estimated daily number of clicks; the estimated daily cost; and a blue bar graph indicating the relative amount of competition for the key term:

Weatherscreen ad analysis part 3 

Google PageRank is based on a site-linkage analysis using a very complicated algorithm that is not fully revealed by Google.  PageRank values can range from zero to 10, with 10 being best.  Depending on the advertising budget and goals, the Estimated Daily Cost column allows us to consider a range of estimated daily costs before selecting one or more terms for use in conjunction with Goole AdWords.

In the table above, we presented Google PageRank for just the number one and number two ranked sites for each search term; but we could have added additional columns to include PageRank #3, #4, etc., for a broader look at the market.

This concludes our demonstration of keyword analysis.  But a good keyword analysis and selection is not enough.  To improve search engine page rank, it is also useful to identify other websites that would be good link partners to help boost our search engine ranking and/or good sites on which to place advertising or informational articles to bring new visitors to our site.  On the next page we will demonstrate some of our key capabilities for conducting competitive link analysis.

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