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Keyword Research Tips and Tricks

As I mentioned on the front page, PK Communications sole focus is helping companies be found in the search engines. Think about it like this: put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. Which keyword phrases would you search for if you were looking for the kind of product or service that you offer? Getting inside the mind of your customer is one of the core elements of search optimization. I like to call it, human behavior engineering.

In the old days of keyword research, you would have to go to Google PPC, Overture, and other pay-per-click engines and download their click-through statistics. These reports were only compiled for clicks on paid ads and not on organic result click-throughs. That made them disproportionate and they quickly became outdated. In 2008 Yahoo began to auto-suggest search terms as you were typing into the search bar, and Google soon followed in 2010. The auto-suggest feature is now one of the tools we use most when performing keyword research. Want to know what people are searching for? Just type a few letters of your search term in the box and see where Google takes you.

One example of how to use the Google auto-suggest feature to find the best keyword is the term "mpls". It is very commonly confused with the acronym for Minneapolis. So, to find out how the search term is used in conjunction with layer 3 multiprotocol label switching networks, just type in "mpls + {space}". Then, simply enter a letter, like "s" for example. You will see the autosuggest pop up with "mpls service", "mpls service providers", "mpls security", and more. This will give you a great starting point in your keyword research.

Sometimes when I troll through the autosuggest tool, I'll start with the letter "a", then the letter "b", and so on. I have found some amazing keyword searches that I would have never guessed without it. I call this method "keyword bingo", as you never know when you are going to find a hidden prize.

Once you have settled on a keyword, what is the best way to create a site to target that phrase? This is where the rubber meets the road -- the domain name. You will want to register {keyword phrase}.com if you can. Google and it's cohorts place a ton of value in domain names that contain the actual keyword phrase within the root URL. But don't assume that all of the good domains are taken. I can't tell you have many great keyword-based domains I've picked up in recent years for $8.

So, you find the perfect search term only to discover that some one else has already registered the domain. What do you do now? The answer is to take a deep breath and realize that over 90% of all registered domains are not in production or for sale, or both. Buying domains from "squatters" has become a favorite past time of mine. Once I find a domain that I want to buy, I contact them through my domain broker, Joel Cantos of BuyDomains.com. He gets in touch with the owner, offers 60% of their asking price, lets them know that I will agree to pay same-day, and more often than not, comes back with a favorable result. The old days of being locked out of the best domain names are over. With the economy the way it is, people are looking to cash out their domain portfolios for cash.

Another service I like to use is DomainsBot.com. Using that service, they will show you the domain your looking for, along with other possible combinations that may fit your keyword profile. Most importantly, if a domain you are looking for is taken, but for sale, it will link you directly to the domain escrow site that the seller is using to list his or her site. The most popular escrow sites are escrow.com, sedo.com, and buydomains.com.





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