An alternative or perhaps companion to keyword research tools, operators can help you identify the popularity of certain keywords and keyword phrases when you are optimizing a site. Although very limited in the level of information you receive, I find them a quick way to check for popularity, as you simply type in a word before your search term/keyword phrase into Google and hit ‘search’ to get your results.
There are three main types of operators you can use:
1) Allintitle: This operator tells you how many web pages globally have the same keywords listed in their title tags.
E.g. “Allintitle: thai restaurants” is typed into the search field. The SERP then reports back that 744,000 web pages on the web contain both these words in their title tag.
2) Intitle: This works the same way as Allintitle, but shows all web pages that list any of the keywords. So in the example above, if you used “intitle:” instead of “allintitle:” the SERP would reflect all websites that contained either the keyword “thai” OR the keyword “restaurants” in their title tags.
3) Allinanchor: This operator allows you to see how many links on the web are using the specific keywords.
If you’d like to know more about using keyword research tools for SEO, I recently wrote a post on the new Google Keyword Planner and how it differs from the Keyword Tool.
I recently came across Inbound Writer through a friend. I’ve shared my brief thoughts on it with the students in my Writing for the Web class blog, but it’s worth repeating here…
Inbound Writer bills itself as the “first social writing application”. It combines a keyword search tool, SEO prompts, a text editor and social media platforms. As a writer, I’m not sure how I feel about it. It comes across as a DIY writing with SEO tool, which is most definitely useful, but what concerns me is the impact of something like this on the quality of the writing. The number one rule of SEO, as far as I am concerned, is that you still need to write for people, not search engines, and although I’m sure this tool is useful in many ways, I don’t think it can or should replace a writer.
Maybe I just feel that way because I don’t like the idea of an app taking my job?
I recently had the pleasure of presenting on Organic SEO and Content Development at an Advanced WordPress workshop being run by an innovative company, PowerUP Concepts. It was such a pleasure to talk to the dedicated, enthusiastic group! Juliana and Sasa of PowerUP offer a great package (with special rates for Wired Woman Society members too) and it was wonderful to be a part of it.
Something that I stressed to the group, which I don’t think people give much thought to when they are developing their website is the audience! It sounds strange and obvious, but we get so caught up in how we want it to look and what we want to say, that we forget to think of WHO we are trying to target. My suggestion to the group? Sit down for 15 minutes to half an hour and sketch out your ideal reader. Draw a picture of them if you need to! And every time you sit down to write something or design something, keep them in mind. Also ask yourself some of the following questions about that ideal reader:
- What do they need to know?
- What kind of language or design principles speak to them?
- What level of information should you include?
- What would you need to know if you were them?
By conducting an audience analysis like this (and you may need to take it further and do some market research, ask around, look at other similar sites etc), you can ensure that the content and design you offer on your site hits its target every time!
We’re hoping to run more of these combo type workshops in the new year, so watch this space.
PS- you can read Sasa and Juliana’s reflections on the workshop on the PowerUP Concepts website.