Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
When your site is ranking extremely well in Google searches, your local search engine optimization company should be proud. This means that, despite all of the strict Google Panda and Penguin guidelines, your site is deemed high quality enough to rank on the first page of a search, rendering your keywords of high value and bringing lots of traffic to the site.
You could say this is a cause for celebration, but most importantly it’s a cause for expansion. Once you’ve proven that the keywords used on your website are effective, you arguably wouldn’t want to abuse those effective keywords. Keyword expansion may be just what your website needs.
In keyword expansion, an SEO expert goes about discovering more keyword possibilities and yet-untapped combinations and search verticals that could lead to yet more traffic. As well as your current keywords are performing, there may have been things you missed the first time around, such as previously neglected stems or modifiers.
Or, your local search engine optimization company could be discovering entirely new words that attract traffic to the website. These new keywords could even lead to all new landing pages or new content.
Yet one question still remains: how does one go about finding such keywords for keyword expansion?
One tactic for expanding your keyword list is to take a look at your competitors. A competitor’s site could inspire you into looking into keywords you may not have even thought of. Explore the competitor’s site, especially around its nooks and crannies, such as footer links, glossary sections, and HTML site maps for identical anchor texts. Looking into title tags of their products can also be effective.
You can also use the Google Keyword Tool, provided by Adwords, on your competitor’s site. Add the competitor’s domain to the tool and get a list of commonly used keywords from the site.
You can also extract keyword ideas by looking into Google related searches for inspiration. Research related searches to find modifiers or words you may not already be targeting.
Another method of keyword expansion is finding synonyms for your keywords. You can do this the easy way through SERP prospecting. Google uses the tilde (~) to represent synonyms in a search. When looking up synonyms, use the tilde before the keyword you wish to research. This will allow you to examine words that are similar to yours and can expand you to other niche markets that use your synonym.
With various search tools, you can discover keywords that are semantically related. SenseBot and Visual Thesaurus are two such programs that uncover common semantic themes in your keywords.
You may already toy with keyword tools to create the best keyword list, yet using a couple other keyword tools that aren’t often used can open you up to new possibilities.
Start searching through Wikipedia for topics related to your keywords. In particular, look at the “See Also” section for inspiration on new keyword combinations.
Keyword discovery and expansion is vital for SEO, especially since the same keywords that have produced such fruitful results yesterday may not have as great an effect today.