Friday, February 15, 2013

Use Google’s Free Key Word Tool, Excel to Boost SEO

Google's Key Word search tool.
Having the best web site on the planet is a waste of money and time if no one can find it.
Search engine optimization helps people, especially potential customers, find your site. A technique I use with nearly every document I create will help you increase your visibility and make it easier for your clients to find you.
You will need to have a copy of Microsoft Excel and internet access first. It also assumes your original document is created in Word.
The left KeyWords panel.

Google AdWords

Start by going to the Google AdWords page. You do not need a Google AdWords account to get started. Now follow these steps:
  1. Complete the security step.
  2. Enter the term or terms you want to look for.
  3. Check the left-hand list and ensure you have [Exact] or “Phrase” marked or your list will have terms unrelated to your needs.
  4. After getting your basic list of terms, sort it.
  5. Start by clicking on Competition in the keyword pane. Click until you see Low.
  6. Go to Local Monthly Searches (searches for these terms in the US only) and start adding terms.

The "Competition" section.


Excel Steps

That finishes the Google part. Now you need to copy those terms and paste them into Excel.
Follow these steps to create what I have on the second spreadsheet.
  1. Use the “Paste Special” and select “Values” to put your terms in a column.
  2. Use Search and Replace (Ctrl-H in Windows) to find and eliminate extra characters such as brackets.
  3. Do a Data, Sort to organize your terms alphabetically if you wish.
  4. Assuming your terms start in Cell A2 (A1 is a heading), put this text in Cell B2: =A2
  5. Now put this formula in Cell B3: =B2&“; ”&A3
  6. That tells Excel to copy the contents of cell B2, add a semicolon (Word wants semicolons) followed by a space, then copy the contents of Cell A3
  7. Use the Autofill command (Crtl-D in Windows) to fill your list
  8. Now take your final cell, copy it, and repeat the Paste Special, Values in a blank cell.

Word Tips

Copy the version you just pasted without formulas (the Paste Special, Value one) and place it in the Tags section of your Word document. You’ll find that when performing the Save or Save As functions.
The good news is that if you save the tags in a Word version, it also saves them in every other version you create, such as HTML for web pages or Adobe PDFs.

More Tips

Some programs such as Word use semicolons to separate key words, also known as tags. Other programs, and many web sites, use commas as separators. You might wish to make two or more lists because of this.
One list would be sorted alphabetically while another is done by priority. That way your most important terms appear first. Since some free press release distribution sites limit the number of key words, that can be critical.
You can also copy your formula into a different column and replace the semicolon with a comma. Be sure to change your “B” column to the one you are now using.

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