We’ve been playing with a neat little combo of free tools recently to give clients a better picture of how search engines characterize websites. The idea started with a nice tip on How to Write for Search Engines without Knowing SEO, by Jason Falls at Social Media Explorer. Beyond a list of keywords, we want to visually show clients how search engines characterize their website – in a way that’s incredible easy to see and understand. Here’s a fun way to do it:

1. Run a keyword analysis of your website with the Google Keyword Tool.
2. Download the results as a CSV file and open the CSV file as a spreadsheet.

3. Copy the words in the keyword column and paste the keywords into a text editor.

4. Scrub the text of all formatting to make it plain text and delete extra words, like “for”.
5. Copy the clean text and paste it into a word cloud generator like Wordle.

Here’s what our website looks like to Google:
eSocialMediaShop top keywords

The word cloud you create will show the strength of keywords that Google associates with your website. Bigger words are more strongly associated, and smaller words have a weaker association. Often, top keywords (like your company name) are so strongly associated with your website, that they appear much larger than the rest of your keywords, so it’s tough to see lower-ranking keywords in the word cloud. Go even deeper by scrubbing the top 3-5 keywords from the keyword list in your text editor. Create a word cloud that excludes your top few keywords to get a better picture of the secondary keywords that Google associates with your website.

Here’s what it looks like for us:
eSocialMediaShop keywords 2010

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