Keyword Research

Okay, so you’ve done some research and you’ve made a list of products you think you would like to promote. Now you have to do keyword research. Google provides an excellent free tool for doing this, just punch the words “Google keyword tool” into your browser and you’ll find a tool that many people use. It’s free, and provides lots of useful information.

Keyword Research using the Google Keyword Tool

The secret to good keyword research is finding a keyword or keyword phrases, (often called long-tail keywords) that don’t have a lot of competition. There are four main headers within the keyword tool.

Put a word or phrase in the keyword box, anything will do for now and click the search button.

  • Competition – beneath it you will see shaded bars – the gray means strength of competition, so if the box is full of gray that means there’s a lot of competition.
  • Global Monthly Searches – how many people search for that specific term globally
  • Local Monthly Searches – average searches done within the USA in the past month.

You should use the numbers in this column if you only want to sell within the United States, but if you have chosen a digital product which can be delivered to any computer anywhere you can use the numbers under the Global column.

  • Approximate CPC (cost-per-click) – relates to Google adwords, it tells you how much people pay on average to advertise on sites that use your chosen keywords. This is very important if you want to use Google Adwords on your site to earn some commissions.

Most people will have Google Adwords somewhere on their site but they will only use them if the CPC is above a certain dollar amount – if someone clicks on the ad you don’t get the whole amount, the going rate is about 68%.

One very useful facility within the Google keyword research tool is being able to sort each column from high to low.

In this exercise we are going to choose the keywords “Acne Remedy”. If you sort the Competition column by highest first, you will see that although there are only 4400 searches for the top query. But there is an enormous amount of competition for “blue light therapy for acne”. I know that many of the “gurus” use this phrase as an example, and I believe there are Clickbank products to do with acne, so these results are probably skewed.

Click the header of the Competition column so that it sorts by lowest competition first, this is where you will find the best keywords to use for a site and for articles that you write. Low competition still means that there is going to be some competition. So in this example using “acne remedy” as your keywords, let’s say you want to start a site about remedies for baby acne, so let’s take a further look at “remedy for baby acne”.

Keyword research has to be thorough, so let’s check out the competition and click on “baby acne remedy” which has 1900 global monthly searches. This will take you through to the search engine results and I’m assuming here that you’re using Google as your browser.

We are on the results pages and you can see beneath the search box that there are 720,000 results for the term “remedy for baby acne.” This may look like a lot but it isn’t. Depending on the quality of the sites that appear on this first page, it’s actually a pretty good result — anything that shows hundreds of thousands of results is probably not going to be a good choice of keyword.

Use the SEOQuake Toolbar for Helping with Keyword Research

At this point if you don’t already have it, I suggest you download a free tool called the SEOQuake toolbar, this is packed full of valuable information that will help you during your keyword research.

It shows the page ranking (PR) of sites and when doing keyword research you’re going to have to see where your competition stands.

When you start any kind of site, you will be ranked at PR0 (Page Rank) — the top sites, such as Google, is ranked PR9. By using the SEOQuake toolbar you will see that the top 2 sites that come up after entering the keyword “baby acne” have a PR3, then there’s a PR0 and the others on the front page of the SERPs vary, they are PR1, PR2 and PR3’s.

PR1 and PR2 are the easiest competition if you’re prepared to work hard on your site. You might be able to beat them out after a few months, by regularly adding well optimized articles and building lots of back links. In this example PR3s are going to be difficult for a new internet marketer to beat.

Google not only ranks sites on their use of keywords, SEO and the number of back links they have, it also takes into account the age of a site.

If you use the SEOQuake toolbar in conjunction with your keyword research, you can also check on your competitors’ backlinks. A site with thousands of back links is going to be very hard to beat too.

In this particular case, I would not build a site around the key words “remedy for baby acne” because of the number of PR3 sites that appear in the results, it will just be too difficult. If you choose keywords that bring up a page full of PR0s and PR1s then that’s a far better result for you, and it should be easier to get your site onto the front page of Google but after doing all the hard work necessary to get it there.

So when you do your keyword research you’re looking for keywords with:

  • Not too much competition – global searches around 1000 – 5000 a month are good place to start
  • Check the PR of your competitions’ sites
  • Check how many back links these sites have.
  • Finally have a look at the quality of the sites that come up and judge for yourself if you can make a better looking site with more interesting content.

The next article will be about finally choosing the right domain name and how to choose a good hosting company.

This is only the tip of the iceberg with keyword research and I hope you can see how important it is to your site’s success.

How do you do keyword research? Can you offer any further tips for those new to internet marketing?

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