If you’ve been around internet marketing for more than two days, you know that keyword research is one of the most important skills an internet marketer can have.
Because the holy grail of making money online is getting lots of free (aka organic) traffic to your websites. And the easiest way to get that free traffic is by targeting low-competition keywords that have large search volume.
There are two ways an internet marketer can find low-competition, high-volume keywords:
Do smart keyword research
Hire a monkey to choose some keywords out of a hat, and hope he gets it right!
Now, before you think I’m being smug, let me say that keyword research is a skill that many people find hard to master (and took me quite a while to get the hang of). I regularly receive emails from internet marketers (some new, some not-so-new) who are going about keyword research all wrong.
In this article I’m going to try to remedy that problem by showing you the steps to find keywords that get a decent amount of searches each month, but that won’t take you years to rank for.
This post is part three in a 4-part series on keyword research called Keyword Research 101: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Buyers.
Unless you’re completely new to internet marketing, you’ve probably noticed that Google came out with a new version of its hugely popular free keyword tool a few months ago.
There’s been quite a bit of complaining around the blogosphere about the new tool, and I’m one of the many people who wish they’d bring the old one back! (But maybe that’s because I’m in an adjustment period, and just need to change with the times…)
Here’s what’s new about the keyword tool, straight from the Inside Adwords blog:
Flexible search options: Search by any combination of keyword, website/URL, and category (where available) and receive a single set of results.
Easy keyword refinement: Filter results by word or keyword match type.
Negative keywords: Easily add keyword ideas as negatives right from your keyword list. Just click on a keyword and use the drop-down menu to select and save your negative keyword.
Advanced options: View statistics for mobile search and use data filters based on local searches, search and ad share, and more.
Most importantly for internet marketers, Google also changed how they calculate Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. Statistics in these columns are now based on Google.com search traffic only, whereas in the old keyword tool, they also included traffic from what Google calls “search partners” (e.g. AOL.com).
There are a couple of changes in the new tool that I’ve noticed that aren’t mentioned by Google: the new tool returns far fewer keywords that include the search term that the user entered; and the default setting of the new tool is to return a list of “related terms”, many of which aren’t related to the keyword you type in.
Despite the changes, however, I still believe Google’s tool is an essential weapon in every internet marketer’s arsenal, because it provides keyword data straight from the largest search engine on the web.
In the previous post of this Keyword Research 101 series, I discussed the keyword search cycle, and how it should influence your choice of keywords for your pay-per-click campaigns or search engine optimization efforts.
In today’s post we’ll jump into one of the fundamentals of keyword research: how to brainstorm a “seed” list of keywords.
Developing a Seed Keyword List: The Difference Between “Head” and “Tail” Keywords
A seed list is simply a list of short, generic keywords that get a lot of searches. These can also be thought of as “head” keywords, as demonstrated in the graph below:
As you can see in the graph, there are relatively few head keywords, but each head keyword gets lots of searches. Here’s an example of a head keyword: “yoga”. This keyword gets 301,000 “exact match” searches on Google globally each month. In other words, every month people type just the word “yoga” into the Google search engine.
In contrast, “tail” keywords get few searches each, but there are LOTS of tail keywords. Here’s an example of a tail keyword: “yoga teacher training New York”. This keyword gets 210 exact match searches on Google each month. But you can imagine that there are hundreds of variations of this keyword searched every month on Google (e.g. yoga teacher training Los Angeles; yoga teacher training Toronto; etc.)
Tweet This post is the first in a 4-part series on keyword research called Keyword Research 101: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Buyers. At the end of the series I will be releasing a PDF that contains all posts. If you’ve read any of my blog posts, you know that I place a lot of [...]
Tweet What questions are your target audience typing into the search engines? Until now, I don’t think there was a keyword research tool that let you find that out. Now there is – check out Wordtracker’s Keyword Questions Tool Here’s the result I got after typing in “mom job” (keep in mind that the search [...]
Tweet We all know that Google has the mother of all keyword tools. It’s free, it’s pretty comprehensive, and it now contains actual search volume data. But the Google keyword tool does have limitations – most notably in the breadth of related keywords that it shows for your keyword. In other words, the Google tool [...]