What is Keyword Research
Keyword research can be used in a couple of different contexts, the first would be by a business owner or niche website owner, looking to improve visibility on the internet, so that they appear higher up in search results of popular search engines such as Google and Bing.
If you are such as business owner, this would involve finding out what your target market is typing into the major search engines to find the products, services or information that you provide.
Once you have these keywords you can use them to optimise your website so that you show up in those very same search results. When I say “optimise your website” I’m talking about writing articles that are centred around those keywords, as well as adding the keywords to your page title, and description tags.
The second context in which you can use keyword research is when you’re looking to start a website from scratch and want to monetise it with adverts such as Google Adwords (where you are paid if someone clicks on an advert on your website). This can be compared to ‘panning for gold’ where you sieve out all the dirt and soil (poor quality keywords) until you are left with little gold nuggets (money keywords).
The golden rules for gold nugget keywords are:
#1 Relevance – keywords relating to niche to attract ‘targeted traffic’
#2 Traffic – high traffic volume is best to ensure there is sufficient potential custom.
#3 Competition – low competition is best but not too low as this might be evidence of there not being much of a market.
#4 Commerciality – is the measure of high value keywords.
Keyword research can be done in Google Adwords for free, by simply signing up for an account, alternatively there are a number of software solutions available that will do more in-depth analysis of potential keywords such as Market Samurai which I have also used myself in the past.
Relevance is important if you’re a business owner and have particular products to sell or already have a website in a particular niche. It is about finding keywords that will attract ‘targeted traffic’ This is traffic that is going to be interested in your offering, and who are likely to buy from you or click on the ads on your site.
If you’re using Pay Per Click (PPC) such as Google Adwords, where you’re paying to drive traffic to your site then Keyword research is vital to make sure you’re not spending money on unnecessary clicks. For example If your selling ‘dog collars’ then you will want to remove keywords such as ‘training’ for instance, because these searchers are not looking to buy dog collars at this time. You can set such keywords as negative keywords in Google Adwords so that when someone types in this negative keyword your advert will not show, and you won’t be charged for an inappropriate click.
You will definitely want to include the word ‘dog’ as a keyword rather than something like “pet”, otherwise you might find “cat” searches are included in the results. Using long tail keywords can help qualify searches. for instance ‘buy dog collars’ is likely to qualify potential purchasers rather more than ‘dog collars’ would.
tip – Go to amazon.com and type in your keyword, look at books section (relating to your niche), and look at the table of contents, and check some of key terms and add the interesting ones, and do further searches of these ‘semantic’ keywords. This tactic can be used for writing articles and also to find what subjects would be popular to include on your website.
If you fall under the second context of keyword researcher (described above) than relevance doesn’t matter as much because you don’t have a particular product offering. Whatever you make the website about, Google Adwords will match the advert content to your content. In this circumstance you want to make sure you are targeting niches and keywords that have a higher value, see #4 commerciality below for more information about this.
It is important to know the difference between “total searches” which are cited in most of the keyword research platforms and the volume of traffic you are likely to actually get on your website should you rank on the first page of the Google SERP results. Below is a table showing the typical breakdown for traffic that is likely in each of the 10 listings on the first page of Google
- 95-98% of traffic come from 1st page of Google
- Even if you are #1 you won’t get all the traffic
|Google position||% clicks||Traffic per 1000||Incremental Improvement in clicks %|
There are two important measures when looking at the competition for a particular keyword phrase the first is the amount of competition. Ideally look for a lower amount of Google searches ideally less than 30,000 search results for any particular keyword phrase, you can check this by going to www.Google.com and typing in your keyword to see the amount of searches found.
Secondly consider the strength of competition. It’s best to avoid competing with professional websites, that have been around a long time, and that are highly optimised for the particular keyword phrase you are targeting. Also avoid competitor websites that have lots of webpages and a lot of backlinks pointing to them. If the first page on Google or Bing is mainly made up of these kinds of sites you are unlikely to be able to outrank them, so it is better to avoid these competitive keywords phrases altogether. Of course you have little option if you have a particular product offering and these keywords are the ones used by your target market, in this circumstance, where you are unlikely to get a first page listing you may consider PPC (pay per click) advertising to get a first page presence.
The commerciality of a keyword is how much a particular keyword is worth. Google Adwords is a bidding system for keywords and is based on supply and demand. The more demand for a particular keyword the higher the cost per click (CPC) for that keyword. This is a good indicator of how much money is being made on a particular keyword. If an advertiser is paying $10 per click for a keyword it is likely that they are making more than that from their website sales, otherwise they wouldn’t be willing to pay that to Google to drive traffic to their site.
So when your conducting any keyword research keep in mind these golden rules and your more likely to find those golden nuggets.
Check out market Samurai’s explanations below of each of the golden rules. Useful information even if you aren’t considering using their software.
Track your Ranking
Market Samurai is a great tool which saves you valuable time and helps give you a greater insight into your keyword selection.
Alternative you can use a free service provided by Google called Google Keyword Planner. You need to sign up for an account to access this online tool, but it’s a great resource. However, it’s not as good as Market Samarai in terms of depth and insight. In fact, MS uses your Google Keyword planner account to access much of the data needed but is much better at organising it for analysis.
…. hope you found this article useful.
While you’re here, check out my marketing guide.