Honest Guide To Keyword Research
Keyword research is and has always been the foundation of good SEO. If you target the wrong keywords, you’re not going to make any money. Keyword research really is one of the most important and high return activities you can do in the world of search engine optimization.
Many argue that you should only spend a few minutes finding a keyword, I say hours. By doing keyword research you not only find out which search terms to target with SEO, but learn a hell of a lot about your market as a whole.
With keyword research you can spot trends and see which keywords, services & products are in high demand. Keyword research allows you to gain an insight into the behavior of your target market.
I’m not going to go into the technical details here about keyword research, as you can learn that stuff elsewhere. However here are a few covert secrets:
As you should already know, keyword research tools like the Google Keyword Tool can show us how many searches certain phrases get, but they cannot tell us how valuable they are. The most important aspect to keyword research is being able to judge how valuable a keyword is; not how competitive it is.
Judging SEO competition is vital, but… I would much rather go after an extremely difficult keyword that I know will make me money instead of a dozen generic keywords just because they’re “easy”.
Ask Yourself The Question
Most importantly, ask yourself if the keyword you’re looking at is going to make you money. Is the keyword relevant to your website and will the people searching it be interested in buyers your offers? Does the keyword have commercial value?
That’s the big question and the easiest to answer. Simply Google the keyword and see how many advertisers there are on the side. If there’s a full page of advertisers, that means it’s got to be making someone money. To confirm your findings go to the Google Keyword Tool and check the average cost per click (CPC) of the keyword.
If a full page of advertisers are paying over $1 per click, it has serious commercial value. Another good indicator is ads above the organic listings. If there are ads above the organic listings at the very top, it usually means the traffic converts very well.
Analyze The Keyword
Once you’ve asked those questions and found a keyword that looks lucrative, you need to analyze it. I personally don’t spend too much time analyzing as it really doesn’t take long. Some people will tell you to check how many results there are on Google, how many sites have the keyword in title and all that crap.
To be very honest, you only need to work out why the top 10 ranking sites are where they are. When finding long tail keywords, you only need to analyze the top 3 ranking websites to work out why they’re ranking where they are. You should also glance at the rest of page 1 to checkout their on-page optimization.
More importantly you need to analyze the link profiles of the top ranking sites. No matter what, you can’t deny the fact that backlinks account for 80% of search engine rankings. That’s my personal belief and I always prove people wrong who challenge it. (Sure you could argue that, but I’ve always been able to outrank other authority sites with backlinks)
Test The Keyword
Most SEO’s don’t believe in spending money on traffic because they can “generate it for free”. The truth is that’s total bullshit. SEO may be free, buy if you’re smart you’ll spend money. Why? Well because SEO takes time and if you’re still trading time for money – you may as well be working a damn J.O.B.
When you rank for a keyword, you’ll receive ‘free’ search engine traffic. The traffic costs nothing, but if you want to remain at the top of Google; you need to spend time or money to maintain the ranking. And… 90% of the time the money you invest in SEO will be returned in traffic and sales.
Now I can’t say the same about any other traffic source on the Internet.
To further my point, if you wisely invest $100 in SEO, you can generate a solid 100 daily visitors. Now how many visitors can you get from say a $100 Adwords spend? Probably about 100 visitors, once.
With all that being said, you need to spend money on Google Adwords to TEST keywords before targeting them. Barely anyone does this and the result is… bad conversions. Most people perform normal keyword research, go with their gut and start an SEO campaign for their chosen keyword.
When people finally rank for their target keyword, they expect the money to start rolling in – but it usually doesn’t. Why? Simply because the keyword isn’t right for their offer/s. So to stop you from wasting time going after a keyword that won’t convert, test it out with Google Adwords.
Start an ad campaign targeting at least 10 keywords you’re thinking about ranking for. Track which keywords make you the most money, most won’t make you any. After you’ve spent a sensible amount ($250) you should start your SEO campaign to rank for the best converting keyword.
P.S. Leave me your thoughts, comments and questions below. Also put your name and email address in the form on the right for more cool SEO tips, tricks and secrets.