Keyword Difficulty in SERPs

In the past, each time I start a new website, I will use keyword suggestion tools to give me a rough idea of the keyword popularity on the Internet. Results from these tools typically tells you how many times that keyword was searched in Yahoo and the corresponding keyword varieties. This is a great start as you would want to ensure that there are ready visitors to your new site (provided search engines have mercy on you and refers visitors to your site).

For this example, I will pick “travel” as the keyword.

Based on that information derived from the above activity, I will then build my site and target the keyword “travel”. 6 months to a year down the road, I see some improvements in Google SERPs ranking but never in the top ten (nor in MSN or Yahoo for that matter). Competition must be tough. Many hours of hard work need to be focused on that site to bring the visitors from SERPs. I have chosen a terribly competitive keyword for my site. I had to target a different and less competitive keyword (another few months wasted).

Fast forward 15 months. Now, before I develop a site, I will perform 2 activities:

1. Check keyword popularity
2. Check keyword difficulty

Again, keyword popularity tools provide you with a feel of how many searches were done on the Internet. I use DigitalPoint’s Keyword Suggestion tool. This tool provides you with results from Overture and WordTracker. You can also select which country market you are targeting (applies to Overture’s data only).

As for keyword difficulty tool, I prefer SEOLog’s Keyword Difficulty Check tool. Not only does the tool provide a rank from 0 (very easy) to 100 (very difficult), it lists the top 10 URLs from Google Search (great to see who your competitors are).

With both these tools, I now enjoy greater success through SERPs. I am sure that there are many more tools available on the Internet; please do share some of them here.

Note: These tools are best seen as estimates only and used as a guide.

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