I read an interesting article by Pat Quinn recently where he suggested using a technique which I’ve used previously but, I must admit, I’d forgotten about.
So, to formulate your keywords and phrases, why not research what your competitors are doing, then adopt and adapt? By competitors, I mean serious competitors, the people who are listed at No. 1 on Google, Yahoo and MSN in your sphere of activity. Delve into their meta-tags, analyze their body copy, figure out what it is that convinces the search engines to place them at No. 1.
In the past I’ve looked at competitive sites meta information as well as their keyword content using tools like Keyword Density Checker. Now there are a number of other factors to consider when looking at why a site is ranking higher in the SERPs than you such as incoming links but, as Pat points out, it’s the words that count and not just the ones on the page but the ones behind the scenes too.
Another thing to consider is the number of backlinks your competitor has as well as their Technorati standing, Alexa rank and basically anything else that could be helping them achieve better results than you. Xinu displays PageRank, backlink information, social bookmarking information – heck it pretty much lists everything you need to know about your site and, more importantly, your competitors.