Simple Keyword Research: the Way to Get Floods of Visitors to your Home Business Website

Researching in a libraryA while ago I set out some simple SEO steps you can take to start attracting targeted visitors to your website from the search engines.

An important step in making those steps work well for you is to know which keywords you should be using, not only in those tags I wrote about but in your headings, sub-headings and article text.

And for that you need to do some keyword research.

I know – that sounds as boring as hell, and it certainly isn’t exciting or glamorous..! None-the-less, it is necessary.

Why does keyword research matter?

In order to attract targeted visitors to your website, what you need to know is this:

What are the actual terms that people are typing into the search engines to find whatever it is you’re selling?

It’s about them, not you!

You also need to understand which are the keywords (or search terms) that have a high demand (lots of people using them), but for which there is a low supply (not many competitive websites that would be returned in the results).

So here’s the tool that will give you that information as it relates to Google: the Google Adwords Keywords Tool.

This tool will tell you what people are searching for on Google, how many searches are being made and how much competition there is (how many websites will potentially be returned for that search).

How to use the Google Adwords Keywords tool

So here’s the process for finding the search terms that people are using to find what you’re offering:

First step – set up the search criteria:

When you access the keyword tool there are a number of fields you need to work with:

The first field, ‘Word or phrase’, is the one you will be working with for this exercise, but we’ll come back to this in the next step – ignore it for the moment. You can also ignore the website and category fields at this stage.

Below the ‘Category’ field there’s a link and expansion box for ‘Advanced options and filters’. Click the expansion box so you can set these filters to refine your search.

Here are some suggestions for the settings to choose:

Country and language: this depends on you, your product and where you intend to sell it, but it’s the country and language of your target market.

Include specific content: check this if your product involves adult content.

Show statistics and ideas for: this specifies the type of device people will be using to search for your product or service on-line. If you know what devices your target market mainly uses select it, otherwise just accept the default option.

Filter ideas: Here you can add additional information you want in your results.

I suggest adding Local Monthly Searches, Global Monthly Searches and Competition. Click the ‘Add another’ link and then use the drop down menu to choose and add a filter. Against the competition row check all three check boxes: High, Medium and Low.

OK, now you’re ready to make a search:

Step 2 – first round of research:

Go to back up to the ‘Word or phrase’ field at the top and type in a typical query that someone who’s looking for your product or service might type in. You’ll need to enter the CAPTCHA words before you can search.

When the results are returned you’ll find that they are arranged in groupings with the number of variations under each in brackets. Click on each of the groupings that are listed to find its variations.

When the variations are displayed (use the drop down arrow at the top right of each category to display more terms) look for the terms with the highest number of searches (global or local) and where the competition is either medium or low.

These are the terms you want to be working with because they indicate a high demand with low supply.

Go through each of the categories (expand each and look for terms with high demand and low supply) until you find a search term that most closely relates to what you’re selling.

Step 3 – second round of research:

In some cases the search term you’ve found will work perfectly with your business, but it’s always worth doing some further refinement to see whether you can find an even more focused term.

The way to do this is to take the term you’ve selected and repeat the process.

For example: if the search term you’ve identified from your initial search is ‘how to do keyword research’ type that into the ‘Word or phrase’ field at the top of the page and repeat the entire process.

You may find that there are search terms being used that even more closely relate to what you’re offering.

You can repeat this process as many times as you like until you find the perfect keyword (or search term).

How to use this search term

Once you’ve found your chosen search term it becomes the anchor (or primary) keyword for the article.

But beware: that does not mean that you use it in every second line of your article. That would be keyword stuffing and will get you labelled as a spammer!

You do want to use it in your title tag, as near to the beginning of the tag as possible.

You also want to use a variation of it in your description tag.

(See this article where I discuss title, description and keywords tags).

You can place it in your keywords tag field.

You can use it in one of your article’s sub-headings and use variations of it in the other sub-headings.

And, of course, your article should be focused on whatever the keyword is describing. For example, if you’ve chosen the search term ‘how to do keyword research’, your article should be about keyword research, and nothing else.

Summary

Although the search engines can read your page and know exactly what information it contains, understanding the terms people are using to search for information online is a critical step to ensuring your page does well in the search results.

The process I’ve described above is as much for people as it is for the search engines.

When someone types a search term into a search engine the actual words they typed are made bold where they appear in the title or description tags in the search results. A search result that contains all, or most, of the words they typed in will attract their attention more readily than one that doesn’t.

As always, write for people, not the search engines!

Cheers,

Martin Malden

2 comments… add one
  • Yariv peled April 29, 2013, 12:11 pm

    Great detailed post

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