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This is a video we put together to give you some ideas for keyword research tools.  These work for any kind of keyword research, whether it be for SEO, PPC, or social media, and they range from free to tens of thousands per year.  Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, but it will definitely get you started.  Here is the list very quickly.

Keyword Tools:

  1. Google AdWords Keyword Tool
  2. Google Traffic Estimator
  3. Wordtracker
  4. Hitwise
  5. comScore
  6. Google Suggest – You can get this by typing a query in Google.  Google will show you their keyword suggestions.
  7. Google Trends
  8. Google Insights for Search

This is a quick video I put together to show how Google is optimizing videos they are producing.  As you will see from the footage, Google isn’t exactly too concerned with optimization.  In their case, they are lucky enough to be carried by their brand.

Here is a question we SEO professionals have to address all the time.  Is my site too Flash heavy?  Do I use too many images?  I put together this quick video to take a quick look at a website that is too Flash heavy.  I shot it with my cell phone, so there is no tripod being utilized.  Hang in there with it.  The content is good.

The 2010 search share has just been release by comScore.  The overall market is up 12%.  Google gained 13 points, Yahoo is up 4, and Bing is the big winner at 29%.  Good data below regarding the percent change, the percent share, and the top phrases.

searchshare 300x171 Search Share 2010 via comScore

searchshare2 300x175 Search Share 2010 via comScore

searchshare3 300x228 Search Share 2010 via comScore

searchshare4 300x213 Search Share 2010 via comScore

Thank you to Search Engine Land for the heads up.

There are hundreds of factors that determine a website’s ranking.  Individual pages must stand on their own two feet and overcome the scrutiny of the search engines.  I contend that one of the single biggest factors continues to be a webpage’s title.  The simple title tag appears to have a huge impact on where that webpage will be found.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with title tags, they look like this. 

<title>Some Webpage Title</title>

These are the items that drive the clickable portion on a search engine result page.  See below.  The title is displayed in blue.

kcseo ranking 300x41 The Power is in the Title

As you can see, this is the search engine result for KansasCitySEO.com.  We are obviously targeting the term “Kansas City SEO”.  You can see the keyword in the title.  Not only is it included in the title, but it is prominently displayed.  Said another way, the proximity of the keyword to the beginning of the actual title string is as good as it can possibly be.  See below.

kcseo ranking with pointers 300x41 The Power is in the Title

Not everyone agrees that the keyword should be displayed this prominently in the title.  My stance is that if it works, then use it.  There are times when your target may need to move down the title in favor of a more readable or clickable implementation.  Just make sure the primary keyword target can be found somewhere in the title.

This section could probably be a post on its own, but I want to take a minute to touch on brand utilization.  Brands are certainly keywords, but brands carry their own baggage to the party.  They can be good for a website to be associated with, or they can be something a website would be wise to keep in the closet.  In most cases people looking for your brand will find you without problem.  The keyword targets should be selected in such a way that you get your brand out in front of searchers who do not know whom they seek.  So even though you may have an awesome brand, it is likely best to push it to the back of your title text.  Go with something like: “Product 1, Product 2, and Service 1 by Acme Inc.”.  A tag like this accomplishes both a non-branded and a branded focus.  It allows the brand to support the products and services instead of letting the brand overwhelm and overshadow these non-branded targets.

What happens if you have a situation like ours where we have built our brand around a term that may be considered non-branded?  This allows for the best of both worlds.  Our brand, Kansas City SEO, is also the primary keyword target for our website.  When Kansas City SEO is mentioned in the title it refers to our company, the service we offer, and the city where we focus our service offering.  Not bad, huh?  This is why domaining is so interesting and why so many businesses are springing up around generic keyword domains.  That is a post for another day though.

What are your thoughts on title tags?  Are they here to stay?  Are they the most important factor or just a factor?  What is your preference for title tag layout?

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