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How To Take The Headache Out Of Keyword Research

Written by Anthony Sills

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Let’s admit it:  keyword research can be difficult, and we all wonder sometimes whether it’s worth all the effort.

Can you really figure out what people are searching for and use that knowledge to drive quality traffic to your website?  Can you rank for that keyword and show up on the first page of search results?  What’s the best keyword research tool to use?

Arrrgh!

It’s enough to give anyone a migraine.

Choosing the proper keywords and using them to build a profitable business may sound like an impossible task. But it doesn’t need to be. You can do basic keyword research using a simple 4-step process.

Follow these keyword research tips and you may find yourself attracting more search traffic than you can deal with.

 

Smart People Do Keyword Research

OK. You might be asking why you should even bother with keyword research.

The short answer: Search engines are the largest source of web traffic.

Did you know that 92% of people on the Internet use search engines and 59% say they do so at least once a day? There are over 175 billion searches conducted each month worldwide.

The fact is when people are looking for something online they go to a search engine first.

Keyword research helps you identify the exact language the people you’re looking for use when they surf the web.

How?

Keyword research is just discovering the most popular, and most often searched terms in your industry or niche. Customers can find your website easier when you rank highly for these keywords on Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

In other words, keyword research is the first step to cutting through the noise and driving qualified leads to your website.

Keyword research is good for more than developing a good keyword list for SEO and PPC. Content marketers use keyword research to identify topics and determine what phrases to use when writing.

So hang on while I explain what to do…

 

When You Don’t Know Where to Start

People describe things in different ways. The words you use to talk about your business may be different from the words your customers use. That’s why it’s important to use keyword research to determine the actual language people use when they search the web.

Lots of people aren’t doing keyword research or they’re not doing it effectively.

Most people who avoid keyword research do so because they’re confused or overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin.

The answer to both of these problems is to approach the problem strategically.

 

You Don’t Have To Be A Rocket Scientist To Do Keyword Research

Keyword research isn’t just to get more traffic or better SERP position. It’s about understanding your customer and knowing your niche. You can use your research to help you figure out:

  • A profitable niche for your business
  • Content ideas people are interested in
  • Similar markets you can tap into
  • Products and services to promote on your website
  • Keywords with the highest cost per click (CPC)

I’d like to emphasize something here. If you’re not a techie, but you need to do keyword research break your keyword research down into a manageable 4-step process.

What this all boils down to is: You’re looking for targeted keyword phrases that have a high search volume and low competition. Ideally, your keywords should accurately describe what you do. You don’t want too many competitors ranking for that exact phrase but you do want lots of people searching for the exact phrase.

Now the specifics:

  1. Brainstorm and come up with list of keyword ideas. Take your best guess how your prospects describe your content, products, and services. This is just a starting point.
  2. Expand your list using keyword research tools. You use a keyword research tool to check out the possible keywords or keyword phrases and see how they perform. You want to see how much competition you have for each of your keywords and how hard it will be to rank for them.
  3. Fine-tune your list by doing some research. Check out the search volume and traffic estimates for keywords you’re considering. This will help you determine consumer demand. You should also add some of the suggested keyword phrases from your analysis tool to your list.
  4. Don’t ignore long tail keywords. In most cases, longer-tail keywords are less-competitive. People who search using long tail keywords are more likely to buy because they know exactly what they want. They’re usually searching for a place to buy it.

Remember, don’t obsess over the details and don’t let what you don’t know stop you from getting started.

To knock one more barrier out of your way, I’ll even show you how to pick a keyword research tool.

 

Here’s a Quick Way to Use Keyword Research Tools

Now, you’re probably wondering, “What is a keyword research tool?” and “Which keyword research tool is the best?

A keyword research tool is just a tool for creating a keyword list and viewing the historical popularity of keywords. Keyword research tools allow you to see what people are searching for on the web, guess what else they might search for, and then optimize for those keywords.

Don’t get hung up searching for the perfect keyword research tool. That’s a waste of time since the good tools provide the same basic service with only a few minor differences.

That said, here are a few you may want to try.

  • Wordze
  • Keyword Discovery
  • Wordtracker
  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  • Bing’s keyword research tool
  • SEO Book’s Keyword Research Tool
  • Wordpot
  • YouTube Keyword Tools
  • Keyword Spy
  • Google Trends

Use these keyword tools to get keyword ideas and traffic. Remember, you’re learning how your customer thinks, not trying to outmaneuver the search engines.

If you’re serious about your website ranking and getting quality traffic, use this process to make life easier.

Leave a comment and share your best keyword research tip.

 

About the Author

Anthony Sills’ work can be found at American Express OPEN Forum, Copyblogger, Infusionsoft’s Big Ideas blog, Hostgator’s Gator Crossing blog, and elsewhere. He writes about HR & employment, marketing, and business.You can always reach Anthony via social media, email, or by leaving a comment below…

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Comments

3 Responses to How To Take The Headache Out Of Keyword Research

  1. This is a very good introduction to keyword research Anthony. Another quick and dead-simple tool to establish if a keyword has a “heartbeat” is to go to Google. Start typing in a seed keyword, and see what suggested keywords Google offer (keywords in the drop-down are based on popularity/searches, the ones that appear are what people are looking for).

  2. Parfyme says:

    Great article Anthony.
    Also @matthostingkingdom:disqus , great tips.

    Thanks,
    Parfyme

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