Keyword Research- Part 1

Keyword Research is the building block of any SEO strategy. Formulating an SEO strategy without keyword research is like walking into a maze blindfolded. If you don’t use the words people are actually interested in and actively searching for, you’re missing a lot of traffic.

Keyword Research helps you mainly in two ways:

1. To figure out what people are interested in and what language they are using to search these topics. Your audience might not use the same terms to describe things or not be aware of industry terminology.

2. To rank higher in search engines. With keywords that you decide on you can optimize your website, target phrases for link building and develop content for target audience. All of the factors mentioned help a website achieve better search ranking.

Note that Keyword Research is not just about finding the right words to help you talk to your consumers online- it’s part of a process and requires diligent monitoring and updating to get the best results.

KEYWORD DISCOVERY PHASE

In this post we will cover some initial steps which help you through the keyword discovery phase. People use their familiarity with the products/services to find new word variations or maybe some new relevant words. This might produce a lot of  information, therefore finding the right method to organize and deduct is crucial.

A good way to start would be to write down the top twenty words you associate with your company and product/services. Once you have that go over to Google.com and type in your keywords to see more targeted, suggested searches. You can get more and more detailed and local to see varied suggested keywords.

You can also try tools like wordtracker , sem rush (Paid services with free trials) that offer a quick look at the Keywords your competitors are using.

Let us first set up a spreadsheet to organize all the information you have gathered until now. You can download (click on file, go to download as excel) a simple spreadsheet we use.

GOOGLE  ADWORDS KEYWORD TOOL

The Google free keyword tool is a good start to associate some numbers to your keywords. Enter your core keywords and run the search…

The keyword shows you three columns:

  • Competition: “The number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. The shaded bar represents a general low-to-high quantitative guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword.”
  • Global Monthly Searches: “The approximate 12-month average number of search terms matching each keyword. This statistic includes traffic in all countries and languages but is specific to your keyword match type selection.”
  • Local Monthly Searches: “The approximate 12-month average number of search terms matching each keyword. This statistic is specific to your targeted country and language as well as your match type selection. If we don’t have enough data for a particular keyword, you’ll see this noted within the column.”

If you have logged into the google adwords account you can also see approximate CPC. (CPC- “This is the approximate cost-per-click you might pay if you were to bid on the keyword. The CPC is averaged over all the ad positions.”)

It is here you need to narrow down your keywords and start moving away from generic terms. If you see the left side of adwords you can select three options for specific match types based on broad, exact and phrase. This becomes more relevant if you are looking to run a PPC campaign.

  • Broad- “The sum of the search volumes for the keyword idea, related grammatical forms, synonyms and related words” So PPC ads and Organic search results  for commercial real estate would show up with any searches including commercial or real estate.
  • Phrase- “The sum of the search volumes for all terms that include that whole phrase” Therefore if you were doing PPC and targeted the phrase match for Condo, ads would show for anyone who typed in  commercial real estate with or without additional keywords such as commercial real estate listing . Organic results would include only results including the exact phrase commercial real estate.
  • Exact- “The search volume for that keyword idea” . If you were doing PPC and targeted the exact match for commercial real estate , ads would only show if someone typed in commercial real estate but not any other variation of that phrase.

Generic terms are expensive and hard to get a good ranking for, therefore you need to narrow down your keyword list to 10-15 terms that you can dedicate your budget and time to. We will look further into the details of picking the best terms based on more specific factors other than volume- stay tuned for the next post!

If you would like to learn more about Keyword Research, check out our LogicClassroom video presentation, Master Your Keyword Strategy (Advanced SEO)

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2 Responses to “Keyword Research- Part 1”

  • Brian Porter says:

    Thanks for the detailed information on keywords. I like the analogy about the maze and the blindfold! I look forward to using the tools that you have pointed out to pick the right keywords for my website.

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