Is Something Missing From Your Keywords Research? (Part 1)

As you may already know, keywords are an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO). And the usual approach recommended to finding the right keywords to target with one's site involves the ideas of demand, supply and KEI (and/or CID). I would like to propose that one thing is missing in this research approach.

What is missing is a consequence of one of the major advantages of the Internet. Let me explain . . . When I use the Internet to look for information, or software, . . . I don't care about what country is hosting the site, nor do I care about the nationality of the owner of the site. I am only concerned about finding what I am after. So, for me, when I use the Internet, the fact that the world is made up of countries is not something I think about, nor is it an issue because the Internet has in some ways effectively removed the existence of country borders.

Yet, it is this very positive aspect of the Internet that, I believe, leads us to perform incomplete keywords research when we look for keywords to target with our site.

You see, while the Internet has helped us forget about the existence of countries, when it comes to keywords, we must not forget that the world is made up of countries. The reason for this is that the demand for keywords can be country specific. This means that a keyword in high demand in one country, may not be in the same demand in another country. And in some cases, a keyword in demand in one country will not be in demand anywhere else.

To illustrate this idea, consider the following demand numbers for the stated keywords, as reported by Overture (the research being done in June 2005).

Using the keyword "keyword",

- Australia: 669

- Canada: 17

- United Kingdom: 10,770

- USA: 125,177

Another example, looking at the keyword "meta tag",

- Australia: 127

- Canada: 15

- United Kingdom: 2,653

- USA: 10,851

And still another example, looking at the keyword "meta keyword",

- Australia: 10

- Canada: 0

- United Kingdom: 57

- USA: 552

If you had a web site that dealt with SEO and you were looking for keywords to target, then surely the above results would prove interesting. For example, you could see which of the 4 countries above had an interest in what your web site is about. This in turn would tell you which countries you should target, and which you could safely ignore.

In case you are wondering how we obtained the above results . . . We did some basic research at the Overture site and found that it wasn't all that difficult to do. We also found that Overture provides the demand data in 19 countries around the world, covering Europe, Asia, North America, South America and Australasia. We need to point out that some areas were better represented than others. South America, for example, is represented by 1 country only, while Europe is covered by 11.

By going to the Overture site, anyone can likewise discover how to use Overture to research the demand for keywords in any of the 19 countries it supports.

To go back to the title of this article . . . I feel, and I hope that you will now agree with me, that any research on keywords that does not take into account countries is not complete. For one thing, don't you want to know where your visitors are most likely to come from?

In case you are not convinced about the point I am trying to make, I will try to explain in my next article other reasons why I think that proper keyword research should take into account countries.

Serge M Botans

Serge M Botans is the CEO of Meta Keywords Advice, a web site that provides advice on keywords. Free evaluation available. He is also the inventor of CID, which is an altenative to KEI.

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