Think about this for a moment. If you have someone asking for advice for their new website and they are in the creative agency business you might have a couple of immediate suggestions. for this example we will use:

  1. creative digital agency
  2. creative digital team

Now dependant on the person or some other factor and without further information on the actual search quantities you may choose one of these two as the main keyword for their website. again for this examples sake we will choose “creative digital team”. So based on this you create a nice article for their front page and offer advice around optimising their title and heading tags etc and we have a happy customer waiting for their traffic to start coming in.

Lets look a little further into this and make some decisions based on actual competition for these keywords also. We pop onto Google (.co.uk in my case) and search for our two keywords and wait to see how many actual results there are for these two different search phrases.

  1. creative digital agency : About 6,940,000 results
  2. creative digital team : About 14,100,000 results

Ok so once again your results seem to reinforce that the most popular phrase must be creative digital team as they have much more competition as well. You are happy that your keywords research is accurate and maybe you give your client a ring to let them know the new info you have to show the correct choice has been made.

We can again take this a step further and use some built in tools which google provides to get some more accurate info about your competitors. We use the allintitle: search operator so that we are shown results in google where there is an occurance of our search phrase in the title of the page. We are fairly confident that the title of the page will be one of the first places to be optimised as it is both free and more than not easily accessible to even the most basic of webmasters. so we make a search in google for allintitle:creative digital agency and the same for team.

  1. allintitle:creative digital agency : About 26,300 results
  2. allintitle:creative digital team : About 1,810 results

Hmmm…. now some alarm bells should have begun to ring. There are more than 25k web pages where the actual title of the page contains “creative digital agency” but only 1810 for “creative digital team”. This can mean one of two things either this is a keyword to a brand new niche which no one has fully optimised for yet (possible but unlikely) or we have the popularity of these two phrases the wrong way round somewhow.

We can go even further with some more alternative keyword searches within google using [inurl:keyword] or [intitle:keyword] or [intext:keyword] or [inanchor:keyword] where each of these different operators will refine your search to only include results with the keyword in the url, title, text, or anchor text. Each of them give us a much better understanding of what kind of people are already ranking for the keywoirds we are looking at as well as who seems to be trying to actively optimise for it and at what level i.e are they building backlinks to their pages or do they just have a page which contains these words somewhere.

All in all with the info at hand it seems a two edged decision on wether we should be using the agency or the team term.

What we really need is to find out how many actual searches there are for the terms each month. Without this info everything else is just speculation, even if it is educated speculation. We need to know as accurate as possible which keywords are actually being searched for each month. There are thankfully a few different places we can get this some help to find this information and we will start at the Google external adwords tool which will give us info based on what Google says monthly searches are for those keywords. we enter our searches and we get the following info.

  1. “creative digital agency” global monthly searches : 1600
  2. “creative digital team” global monthly searches: ____ oh dear

So in a nutshell the adwords tool is saying that we do not have any searches for our term each month!

Now this kind of mistake can happen to pretty much anyone who is starting out in SEO and its the main reason why doing your keyword research before you begin building a website is the most important time to do it and will result in by far the best results for your business.

Some of you are asking “how the hell am I supposed to find all of the keywords and get the search amounts for each of them AND keep track of my progress once the site is launched?”

Thankfully you are not the first person who had that thought and many years ago programmers began thinking the exact same questions and (lucky for us) made a load of different pieces of software which perform all sorts of different tasks. I have used various different programs throughout the past 6 years I have been involved with SEO and can suggest many different programs for all the different searches mentioned above as well as various different ways to keep track of your ranking results each month. Currently I use a combination of 5 different programs for keyword research results tracking and reporting.

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