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keyword research Archives - STRYDE

The Ultimate List of SEO Tools

By | SEO | No Comments

toolsToday’s post is going to be the first of our “list of tools” posts, today’s, specifically targeting the very best SEO tools on the market. At Stryde, we use a ton of these tools to not only help us be more efficient when taking care of our clients, but we use them to help improve the quality of our work and create a better customer experience.

In this post we are going to cover three different areas, keyword research, SEO analysis, and link building. Let’s jump in.

Keyword Research Tools

Google Analytics – If you have a history in Analytics, it can be a fantastic tool to gather new keyword opportunities for an SEO campaign. You can review your keyword traffic from the search engines as well as site search queries to understand what keywords your visitors are using to find you that you might not be optimized for.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool – One of the oldest keyword research tools out there, the Google AdWords Keyword Tool allows you to search for keywords and be delivered dozens of related search queries that you can optimize your website for.

Bing Keyword Tool (Bing Webmaster Tools) – Very similar to the Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you can login to your Bing Webmaster Tools account and see keyword demand and related keywords from Bing’s index.

Soovle – Soovle is a fun keyword research tool that allows you to enter a keyword and see related keywords across many different sites including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Amazon, and YouTube.

Google Trends – Google Trends isn’t necessarily a keyword discovery tool, but a tool to use after you have your keywords, to understand if the demand is growing or shrinking over a period of time.

SEO Analysis Tools

Ahrefs – Ahrefs, in my opinion, is one of the best off-page analysis tools you can find on the market. Ahrefs can be used to understand both linking and social trends over time, both for your website and your competitors.

Raven Site Auditor – Raven’s new website crawler is one of the finest SEO analysis tools on the market. Just set it and forget it and it will provide you with a thorough review of your website and what needs to be fixed.

Google Webmaster Tools – Google Webmaster Tools helps you understand EXACTLY how Google views your website and if there are any problems wit it.

Bing Webmaster Tools – Bing Webmaster Tools helps you understand EXACTLY how Bing views your website and if there are any problems with it.

FireBug – I told myself I wan’t going to include any browser add-ons in this post, but FireBug is the exception. FireBug is used to take a deeper look at elements of a web page to understand how they were coded and to uncover any issues with the code.

Internet Marketing Ninjas Header Checker – Header checkers are used see which response code your web server is returning for a requested URL. This is very handy when trying to understand redirects 404 errors.

Copyscape – In short, Copyscape is a plagiarism checker. Use it to identify if your website content has been scraped and used externally or if your writers and bloggers are stealing content externally to add to your website.

Link Building Tools

TalkWalker – TalkWalker is a fabulous replacement to Google Alerts and allows you to monitor the web for mentions of your brand or your competitors brand names. This helps uncover linking opportunities where sites mentioned your brand but didn’t provide a link as well as keeping tabs on websites that mention your competitors so you can go out and build relationships with them as well.

BuzzStream – BuzzStream is a great tool to not only manage your link building activities, but to help you manage your prospecting and outreach activities as well. Check out this post I wrote about BuzzStream last week.

Citation Labs – Citation Labs is an up and coming, but powerful tool set created by Garrett French. With his tools you can easily identify broken link opportunities and do hard core prospecting that can be dumped into BuzzStream for management.

MyBlogGuest – MyBlogGuest is a great resource to uncover guest blogging opportunities. As I mentioned in a post last week, you need to be careful about taking any opportunity from them, but you can find some real gems in there.

BloggerLinkUp – BloggerLinkUp is a weekly email newsletter put together by Cathy Stucker that puts guest blogging opportunities right into your inbox. As with MyBlogGuest, there’s a lot of garbage in there, but you can find some great opportunities as well.

Zemanta – Zemanta is an awesome tool to help get your images and your content linked to from other blogs running their plugin.

Removem – A different kind of link tool that is becoming more popular is a link removal tool. Removem is just that! If you’ve been building crappy links to your site and have gotten an unnatural link notice, you’ll want to find a tool like Removem to make link removal easier and more scalable.

Google + Advanced Search Queries – Advanced search queries are a great way to uncover linking opportunities and here’s a nice post by Rand at Moz that gives you a ton of these queries to start using today.

So there you go… some tools you’re probably familiar with and some you might not be. Do you have any other SEO tools you’d like to add to the list? If so, please feel free to add in the comments below.

How To Use Google Keyword Tool & Google Trends For Keyword Research

By | SEO | No Comments

Keyword research is a foundational tactic that sets the stage for your entire SEO campaign. Because of this, it is vital that you do your due diligence and use all of the tools available to ensure you uncover all of the best opportunities to pursue. In today’s post, I am going to talk about two different tools and how to use them to uncover great keyword opportunities for your business. We will be talking about the Google Keyword Tool and the Google Trends Tool.

Keyword Discovery Through The Google Keyword Tool

To find the very best keywords for your web pages, you should start by doing some basic keyword research with the Google Keyword Tool.

You’ll start by inserting one keyword into the tool and select your settings. The settings I always use are the default settings except for changing the match types from broad to exact. You will want to change other settings if you are targeting individuals in different geographic locations or across different devices.

keyword research tools

After you have tweaked your settings, click search and you will be shown a list of keywords related to your initial search and how many global and local searchers were performed last month for these keywords. Please note that the search volume listed in this tool is not accurate, this number includes crawlers (like keyword ranking tools), SEOs looking at the layout of the SERPs, and other activities. Take these numbers as more of a rough estimate and use them more as a comparison across different keywords to determine which are more popular than others.

Grouping Keywords Together Into Related Themes

The next step in the process is to take the keywords you generated in the Keyword Tool and group them into closely related groups or themes. For example, if I were doing keyword research for an SEO company, the words SEO, Search Engine Optimization, and other closely related keywords would be in the same group. The words SEO Company, SEO Firm, and SEO Agency would be in another group. I think you get the idea.

Understanding Demand Through Google Trends

Now that you have your keywords grouped into themes, it’s time to understand what the demand is right now and what it might be in the future by leveraging data from the Google Trends Tool.

What you will want to do is take the first five keywords found in each keyword theme and add them to the tool. Change the settings to your region and then click explore. What you will see next is the search demand charted from month to month over the last few years. You will be able to clearly see if certain keywords are decreasing in demand and others are increasing in demand. In the example below, you can clearly see that the word SEO is continuing to gain popularity whereas the word search engine optimization is declining in popularity.

google trends keyword toolOnce you have this data, you can make educated decisions on which keywords you should put most of your effort towards. What this doesn’t mean is that you should ignore the keywords that are declining, there will still be searches performed and visitors to capture, but they shouldn’t be a huge focus of yours.

Map Keywords To Individual Pages

The last thing you must do it take your keyword groups and map them to individual pages on your website. Each page of your site should have its own keyword theme associated with it to ensure that the search engines have a clear understand EXACTLY what that page is about. The engines start to get confused when the same keyword themes are mapped to more than one page, so make sure you limit it to just one. Then you begin the site optimization process which I will talk about in another post.

So there you have it. Keyword research strategies by using two fantastic tools offered by Google. Do you have any questions or comments? If so, please feel free to add them in the comments section below.

Step By Step Guide To Creating Buyer Personas

By | Content Marketing | No Comments

buyer-personaIn my last post, I talked about why creating and marketing to buyer personas is critical for your business. In today’s post, I am going to walk you through the process of creating buyer personas. Developing buyer personas involves a range of activities that are helpful in identifying groups of customers with common characteristics that you can apply to a common identity aka… persona.

There are six steps in the process. Let’s get started.

Customer Attribute Identification

Any business owner knows that there are two types of customers, those who you want to do business with and those you want to avoid at all costs. You’ve worked with both of them and you can probably list the key attributes of both 🙂 What you need to do is think of your ideal customer and write down as many attributes as you can. Think about what they care about and what their goals and behaviors are. You should also do this for your those customers you don’t want to do business with and any in between that you can think of.

Data Collection

After you have written down all the customer attributes you can, the next thing you need to do is collect some data on them. The first thing you need to do is identify demographic information. After you have that, you should collect the following:

  • Job Title
  • Time In Current Role
  • What Industry They Work In
  • Job Responsibilities
  • Job Satisfactions
  • Job Dissatisfactions
  • Concerns, Needs, Interests Relevant To Your Solutions
  • Role In Buying Process & Where They Fit In The Buying Cycle
  • Search & Social Preferences
  • Buying & Product Preferences
  • How They Prefer To Consume Information

Segmentation

After you’ve collected enough data, you will clearly be able to see patterns, trends, and common characteristics of potential customers. At this point you will be able to start segmenting your data. Look at your customers who convert from search, do they hold different job titles and have a different role in the buying process than those who buy from social channels? Are the motivations for purchase different across different job titles, roles, responsibilities, and interests? For example, a marketing manager might engage in SEO to help build brand awareness or protect their online reputation, versus a sales manager who needs more leads for his/her sales team. Properly segmenting your data will help you with your next step.

Persona Creation

The next step in the process is actually building the buyer persona. Depending on the company and how many products or services you offer, you will most likely have around 3-5 personas… maybe a few more. You should create a profile for each persona that includes the key data points that help you truly understand who your target audience is. It is recommended that you name your persona and reference the personas name throughout your marketing plan. This will help you create and keep consistency in how you implement and measure the success of your marketing efforts to that particular persona.

Keyword & Topic Identification

Once you have created each of your buyer personas and understand EXACTLY who they are, you can start to develop target keyword groups, content topics, and messaging for each of them. Through the entire process, you will come to learn that certain personas are drawn in to different topics, types, and forms of content. Persona guided content, optimization, and social engagement helps create a better experience, shorten the buying cycle, increases satisfaction and increases your chances that your content is spread even further via social media and increases your chances for harvesting referrals in the future.

Execution

The last piece of the puzzle is to pull it all together and align it with the customer buying cycle and unique buying journey. It doesn’t matter if your customer’s buying cycle is four hours or seven months, you can and should address each of their pain points and motivations to purchase in a logical order that is aligned with their unique buying cycle. You should then use optimization and promotional strategies to get the content into your personas hands based on when they need it most during the different phases of their cycle.

There you have it! The six steps you must go through to create buyer personas. You can expect two more posts on the topic in the next few weeks. In one, I will be discussing how to collect your data to assist you with step two, and in the other, I will be discussing how to create, optimize, and promote the content created for your personas.

If you have any questions, please feel free to continue the discussion in the comments section below.