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How To Perform Keyword Research And Evaluate Those Keywords

Keyword research is a vital tool in any webmasters arsenal and it something that you should learn early. Now if you have already gone through my article on “Building Your Own Targeted Keyword List” then you will have a place ready to store your keywords when you discover new keywords you want to rank for.

Brainstorming To Get Started

When you first start out you won’t really know what keywords you need or should rank for so to begin with lets brainstorm and then evaluate the keywords after. The point of this brainstorm is to build a list of keywords that you think your website should show for when someone searches for them. To do this you will need to think of all the different things someone may type into a search engine to find your website. Here is a list of things you should think about to help decide on keywords;

  • What is your company name, website name, brand etc...?
  • Are you specific to a certain area/location?
  • If you where trying to find your website what would you type into a search engine?
  • Do you offer any services or sell any products?
  • Are there any sub topics related to your Niche that you cover?
  • Does your website solve problems like “How To” guides, etc?
  • Other words/phrases that describe your website

Just keep thinking and writing down any keywords or phrases that come to mind.

Evaluating Keywords

Evaluating Keywords is something you will be doing every time you work with keywords. I thought I would throw it in under brainstorming so that you could evaluate your barnstormed keywords. The main objective in evaluating keywords is to determine whether you want to try and rank for them. The important factors to keep in mind are how often the keyword/phrase is searched for, how much competition there is for it and how profitable is the traffic you will get from it.

Keyword Search Volume

This is important because you don’t really want to be wasting your time working to rank for a keyword/phrase that only gets a handful of visitors every month. The more searchers there are each month for a certain keyword or phrase the higher the potential traffic you could receive. However if you find that the keyword you are evaluating has a huge amount of search volume each month then you may want to take a look at the competition for that keyword, I’ll get to that in a minute.

So how do you check the Keyword Search Volume, well we have to rely on Keyword Tools. There are a lot of very good Keyword Tools out there, unfortunately most of them cost quite a bit of money to use. If you have the money though some of the paid keyword tools can be worth it. But wait, I said most of the good ones, not all.

For the average person starting out you are best off using the free Keyword Tools, yes they are free but that doesn’t mean they are not good. The biggest search engine online is Google and who better to trust when looking for information about Keyword Search Volume. Google offer a free Keyword Tool and it is a very good starting Tool for beginners. Here are two links you will want; first here is the link to the “Google Keyword Tool” and here is a link to my guide on “How To Use Google Keyword Tool”.

Checking Keyword Competition

Checking the competition for a keyword isn’t too hard all you really need to do is go through a few search engines (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) and search for the keyword. Your main focus should be checking Google, type the keyword into Google that you want to check and click search.

Now it’s only a matter of looking through the pages to see what type of other websites are also fighting to rank for that keyword. To start with focus on the top 10 results (starting at number 1) how relevant are the top 10 results, if all 10 are exactly on topic to the keyword and look like reasonably popular website. This means that there will be quite a bit of competition and it will be hard work to rank well for that keyword.

On the other hand if the top 3-4 are the only results that nicely match the keyword and the rest of related but not really good results then you will have a better chance ranking high for the keyword. The reason is that there isn’t too many websites trying to rank well for that keyword so after the best results (top 3-4) it starts to show results that are the next best. If you aim to rank for this keyword it wouldn’t be too hard to make it to top 5 and with extra work, depending on the quality/popularity of the 3-4 websites above you, it shouldn’t be too hard to push your way up the rankings. (this was just an example to show you what to look for)

If you find a keyword with say 500, 000 monthly searches but has hundreds of big sites trying to rank for it. You will be likely to get a very small percent (if any) of that search volume and it will not be worth the fight. Focus on easier keywords to start with.

So basically you want to check to see how many websites are focusing to rank for that exact keyword and also how strong/popular each of those sites are. If there is too much competition you are best off focusing on a different keyword.

Working Out Keyword Profit

By this I mean working out how much money you could potentially make from traffic that comes through for that keyword. For an example traffic that is generated from the keyword “Buy Golf Clubs” will be much more profitable then traffic from the keyword “Free Golf Book”. Why because the traffic from the first keyword is looking to buy something where the second is looking for something for free.

Moving on, you need to know whether you can monetize the traffic for each keyword you want to rank for. Yes I know you can make money for any keyword using AdSense or another PPC but what about selling an affiliate product. Selling affiliate products has the potential to make much more money than just placing Ads over your website. To find out how to look up affiliate products you could sell check out “Finding An Affiliate Product”.

Expanding Your Keyword List

So I have talked about the initial building of your Keyword List (by brainstorming), what about expanding your keyword list, since it is almost impossible for you to figure out all the good keywords yourself. A great way to do this is through Competitor Analysis, check out my article on “How To Do Competitor Analysis”. Looking at keywords your competition has decided to use will give you plenty of ideas to find new keywords for yourself.