The first step in any search engine optimization effort is to conduct detailed key phrase research and competitive intelligence. This is a crucial step and is skipped over by many firms, who simply take the word of the client. It is important to remember in key phrase research that the client is not always on target.

The client's input is critical and important, but it is not the end all and be all of key phrase research. The point of key phrase research is to discover the key phrases the client hasn't thought of, and to optimize for those, as well as the client's suggested key phrases. Typically, a client may only be aware of a small fraction of key phrases relevant to their business. As the goal of search engine optimization is increased traffic and, presumably, sales, key phrase research allows us to ascertain additional, high traffic key phrases which people are actually searching for on the search engines.

But how do we know this? We use a real time database of Internet search engine queries provided by Keyword Discovery. This is the key phrase research tool of choice by industry experts. This database of real search engine queries allows us to examine key phrases related to the client's suggested key phrases, and discover those hidden gems which have high search engine query volume while at the same time have gone largely ignored by your competition.

Don't worry, we are not saying we will only optimize for "long tail" key phrases for which nobody is searching. We will optimize for the key phrases you ask us to. But, we will also optimize for additional key phrases which are likely to generate a large volume of traffic to your site. The key phrase research provides a useful tool for generating quality search engine traffic to your site in a relatively short time period, while we work on the more difficult terms.

As an example, let us use the term "search engine optimization". It is one thing to optimize a site for that term. It is quite another thing to optimize for "search engine optimization nairobi". And quite another thing still to optimize for "search engine marketing firms". So, while a client might come to us with a suggested key phrase, we will optimize for that key phrase, as well as others that may have been missed by the client. This results in maximum visibility for your business over the spectrum of search engine queries performed by your potential customers.

Once the key phrase research is completed, we begin the process of competitive intelligence. We want to discover what your competition is doing, so that we can do it better and beat them. This is a process by which we examine various key phrases, who is ranking for them, and most importantly why.

We look at a number of factors in our search for the "why". We look at on page optimization factors as well as external factors such as inbound linkage and the nature of those inbound links. Once we are armed with this sort of competitive intelligence, we develop a powerful search engine strategy designed exclusively for your business. In other words, we beat the competition at their own game. We do everything they are doing, plus things that they are not doing, to get you to the top of the heap

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