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Exploring SEO: Choosing Keywords & Monitoring Your Rankings Growth

Most of you have seen the Exploring SEO section of SR University where we talk about numerous Search Engine Optimization topics, how to incorporate it into your sports blog and most importantly how to use this information to your benefit.

But now we have come to a point where I have talked a great deal about the importance of keywords and focusing on ranking for them with your sports blog. But while I have certainly emphasized the importance of local keywords and ranking for sports related keywords, I haven’t fully outlined the process of selecting these keywords and how to monitor them correctly.

Until now….

Before most of you get confused, I don’t want to sound like I am contradicting my prior post related to the importance of ranking for localized terms. It is still extremely vital in the world of sports blogging and should be your first priority. But as you progress and rank you are going to want to expand your horizons and start targeting keywords that will improve the traffic of your blog.

The key to the whole SEO and Rankings game is patience. So it’s important to structure your blog or site as if you were building a house. First thing you do is buy the land (setting up your blog), then you lay down the foundation (local keywords, branding) and once that is accomplished you can start focusing on keywords that will drive traffic. But it is important to keep plugging away on all aspects as you do so. Otherwise, you may end up having to go back to square one.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are long-term search results. As I have stated many times before, many companies and self-proclaimed internet marketing ninjas promise fast results, but hardly any ever deliver long term success or use methods that aren’t in clear violation of Google, Bing or Yahoo’s search engine terms. So be patient and if you put in the consistent hard work you will see results in the long run.

So let’s get down to it, shall we?


How to Pick Your Keywords


Luckily there are some great online tools to use in selecting the popular phrases. What I mean by popular, are the phrases that people put into search engines more frequently. In other words, the information people are looking for.

When you get to the point to start really hammering on your keyword terms you are going to want the best information on the web. I will personally vouche for the website WordTracker. Truth is, almost every SEO/Internet Marketing Company out there uses this tool. It’s not free, but allows you to use it for a search every now and then. Bottom line, the results and information given cannot be beat.

The way this works is you enter a keyword phrases into WordTracker using their Keywords Tool. Let’s assume the keyword is “albany sports”. When the tool processes the information it will give you results such as these:
It will show you the most popular phrases associated for that phrase. They do also encourage, as I do, the targeting of longtail phrases. The Volume is how many searches are performed for that particular phrase, the Competition is how competitive it is. They also give you “related keywords”. Not sure what that is? Here is WordTracker’s statement:

Pst! Don’t tell anyone, but we get our Related Keywords by trawling your competitors’ websites. Wordtracker helps you piggy-back on their successes.

Pretty cool right?

Remember, while it’s very alluring to try and target the big phrases, try to stay towards the middle of the pack at first while focusing on the longer tail phrases. You’ll have more success and in less amount of time than it would take ranking for the big boys. Quite frankly, unless you’re employing an SEO Company (which you can) you are going to have a tough time ranking for those Top few terms.

So keep it realistic and work your way up! Visit Wordtracker here

Tip: Try focusing on 2-3 keywords to start. Once they rank, move to another batch of 2-3 keywords.


How to Track Your Progress

So now that you have chosen your handful of keywords what’s next? It can be a little tough to keep up with tracking all the keywords over time. Especially when you start getting into more and more keywords. So you are going to need a tool that does it for you right?

Keep in mind that ranking analysis tools are the best in gauging your true rankings. Every search engine has multiple “data centers” around the world. Each data center.

Certain tools search for your keyword/phrase in different Google, Yahoo and Bing data centers. There are many different Search Engine data centers. Each of these may respond with different results for the same search query (which is why you see local results in certain searches). If you see results that vary from data center to data center, it means that Search Engines are in the process of updating its index. Some may be faster to update than most.

So you are going to want the most accurate results. Where to go?

Well, if you want the program I use, I can certainly attest to it being the best in the industry. WebCEO is a great program, in-depth information and really easy to use reports


If you’re not in the market to be spending that much moolah on tracking your keywords and still don’t want to manually check them yourself, there is another website I am quite familiar with and have used in the past.

DigitalPoint may be a step down from WebCEO, but it offers some great tools itself and has a very good rankings tool itself. Is it as good as WebCEO? No. But that’s not saying it’s a bad tool either. It’s just a bit one-dimensional in comparison


It ranks progress, increases, drops and much more.

Feel free to check out the Digital Point tool here


So there you go folks!! Now get to ranking 🙂

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