Hi everyone!! Seems long time enough I never update this blog.
Today we are going to talk about keyword research for your website. If you will target the wrong keywords with your SEO campaign you will lose the battle even before it begins. Nowadays you can not expect to rank for broad match highly competitive keywords like "web hosting" or "dating" - the sites that are on the first page of Google (and that should be your primary goal) are several years old and have tens or hundred of thousands backlinks, it is almost impossible to outrank them with a brand new website within a short period of time.
On the other side, it would be easy to rank on the first place for the phrase "cool and stupid shoe widgetization" but who will search for that ?
So our goal is to find long tail keywords that are related to your website's theme that have many searches per month and low competition. All the SEO gurus are calling that "niche marketing". Niche marketing is the way to go for us webmasters that don't have 7 figure budgets and a staff of hundred people to back up our SEO campaigns.
There are unlimited amount of niches that you have never heard of. Niches like "shiny steel can openers" and "dstt cards". "World of Warcraft mining guide" and "fish oil supplements". Find such a niche that is not too competitive, do a proper keyword research, write content around that topic and voila - you have got a niche website that is getting easy traffic and hopefully generates some money. Not all niches are money makers though but a lot of them can make money with Adsense or affiliate products. If there is no product you can create your own ans sell it, but that is another topic.
We will stay on track with the keyword research. There are a lot of keyword tools out there that makes our life easier.
As an example, let's assume we have a website that is selling baseball bats. Now if you thought that your goal is to rank first for "baseball bats", good luck with that. Your goal is to rank for a lot of low competing keywords related to baseball bats.
Now let's see what Google can tell us about baseball bats. Goto the Google's keyword tool that will provide us with some tips:
Enter "baseball bats" (WITHOUT quotes) in the keyword field, enter the captha string and press "Get keyword ideas". You will get a lot of related keywords among with number of searches per month on the Google network. Cool eh ? Now click on "Global Monthly Search Volume" to sort it by the amount of searches per month.
You see that the top searched term is baseball bat (surprise!) 9,100,000 searches per month is a lot of traffic if you rank first. All numers can vary depending on your location and time but this is just an example. Now let us check the competition for that term. Go to Google's search and search for "baseball bat" (again, WITHOUT quotes). Whoa ! "Results 1 - 10 of about 9,100,000". Ok, but actually that is not the real amount of competing sites exactly for that search term. That means 9,100,000 pages have both or only one of the words "baseball" and "bat".
Now let's see how many pages are containing exactly this keyword phrase "baseball bat". Search for it WITH QUOTES this time, exactly like "baseball bat". 8,960,000 results. Much better but still almost impossible to beat.
Let's get back to Google's keyword tool and see what terms people are also looking for. The more searches the better of course. Two or three word combinations that are getting a lot of searches are much easier to rank for. Hmmm, "senior baseball bats" ? Let's check that one. It is still getting around 8,380,000 searches per month so if you COULD hit the #1 on Google for that, it would mean like 50 - 100 free visitors per day (it always depends on the niche, how appealing your page title is etc etc, but you got the idea).
Search for "senior baseball bats" in Google (WITH quotes). What? Only 488,000 competing pages? Cool! Now let me tell you what - with this number of competitors you can hit at least the first page of Google within two weeks.
Do a dedicated page for "Senior baseball bats", make sure this term is once in title, once in description, once in tag on page and 2-3 times within your on page text. Don't overdo it though and make sure the text still reads nicely. You don't want to scary off your visitors with a bad written copy. List all your bats that are suitable for seniors on this page. Link to that page with the link text "Senior baseball bats" within your site navigation and place some links to that page from other websites with that links text (I recommend to alternate it a bit tough, like "Baseball bats for seniors", Senior baseball bat" etc). Link building will be another topic within my email series, so stay tuned.
Ok, now rinse and repeat. Build pages around other keywords on your theme. Try to dig deeper. Enter "Senior baseball bats" into the Google's keyword tool and see what will come up. Build pages for these keywords if they are worth it. Study your traffic stats. You have a page about senior baseball bats but a lot of people are coming to your website while searching for "Senior wooden baseball bats" because you rank on the 6th place for that term ? Build a page about senior wooden baseball bats. There is gold hidden in the traffic logs.
Some things to consider:
Ideally, you are looking for 2-4 words combinations that have more than 10,000 searches per month and less than 20,000 competing websites - usually it is fairly easy to hit the first page of Google with these. Although it is also depending on factors like your niche, how much you are making per visitor etc. Just try it out with and easy keywords and with a harder one to figure out your range.
Even if there are a few competitors, always check the sites that are on the first page. Authority sites like Wikipedia, university sites and such usually have tons of backlinks and are hard to beat
Check if there are some Google Adwords ads for your keyword - if yes, that usually means that this keyword converts. And that's what we want, right? But don't freak about it - keep in mind that Adword ads might be targeted only to some countries and you won't see them depending on where you live.
Google search numbers might not be very accurate but will give you a basic idea about a popularity of a keyword. Another good keyword research tool is http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/ - it might give you more keyword ideas.
If you are serious about keyword research, I strongly recommend the Micro Niche Finder. This will be one of the best investments you have ever made. When I have found this tool, I have cut my keyword research time by like 80%. You can find more related keywords, check competition, dig for more keywords and check more search networks with a single click.