Keyword Research plays a critical role in your search engine optimization campaign. Targeting wrong keywords will results in search engines not ranking you and customer not finding you, resulting in loss of revenue and untargeted traffic to your site. Doing a proper Keyword Research is the foundation stone of your search marketing campaign.
Below are some steps that will help you start Keyword Research the right way, I am not saying that this is the best way but this will help you get a grip on doing keyword research for your site.
Start off by figuring out the obvious keywords. If you sell computers then an obvious keyword would be “computers.” Others might be “laptop” or “desktop.” After you’ve figured out your obvious keywords, type one of them into Google’s Keyword Research Tool
(Also, before you do this, make sure to sign up for adwords if you haven’t already because then you can see beyond 100 results.)
Sort by Global Searches:
Next, sort by global searches. (It doesn’t matter if you’re only selling in a specific region – you’re just getting a sense of how difficult each keyword is relative to each other.) Now that they are sorted, you can easily see the relative importance of each keyword. So, how do you choose which of these keywords to go after?
Personally, I’d suggest going after the long tail keywords – or the keywords with lower amounts of traffic. You can rank for them much faster than the harder words and they are likely to provide higher conversion rates as well. So what’s long tail? There’s no set answer.
As a general guideline, I’d say that if the keyword has less than 2500 exact local searches in the United States, then it’s almost certainly long tail. (Make sure the global search is reasonably close to the local to make sure that it’s not a hard keyword in disguise.
You’re competing globally but you’re only interested in the regional traffic – so look at global for a sense of competition and local to see if the keyword is worthwhile.)
To find out exact match traffic stats, you’ll go to Google’s traffic estimator. (It’s right below the keyword tool.) Use brackets around the keyword like this [computer]. Make sure, though, that it at least gets around 1400 exact searches a month. Otherwise, it’s probably not worth your time.
You also might be wondering why I use exact match. I use it because it’s the most conservative measure I can use. When you’re just starting out, you don’t have the authority to rank for many related words just because you rank for an exact word.
Focus on long tail keywords:
Now, assuming you get the #1 position on Google, which you should get if you’re focusing on one of these long tail words, you can expect roughly 20% of Google searches to click on your listing. So, if you go after a word with 1400 searches a month, that’s about 47 searches a day, and you could expect to get 9 clicks a day with the #1 position.
That doesn’t seem like a lot, but remember you can get lots of these long tail words and we’re only looking at exact match. Eventually, as your authority and effectiveness grows, you’ll be able to rank for other long tail words without trying.
After you select a long tail keyword, make sure to check the 1st page of Google to see who’s ranking for it. Compare page ranks, moz scores, site design, number of backlinks, and quality of backlinks to gauge the competition. (If you check this keyword often, make sure to use proxy servers to check the first page of Google after awhile because Google eventually shows results based on how often you click certain listings. If you click your own site often, eventually it may show up #1 for you when it really is not #1.)
Considering the traffic range we’re going after, it’s highly unlikely you couldn’t get the #1 position if you put a decent amount of effort into it. However, still, it’s a good idea to check before trying to rank. If you see sites like Nextag, Pricegrabber, price comparison sites, junky information sites for an ecommerce keyword, etc. then you’ll be able to get on the 1st page of Google if you have adequate SEO skills .
If you see Nextag as #1 or any of these other sites as #1, you can be the new #1. Also, don’t be afraid of big sites like Amazon or Overstock. They aren’t specialized and are likely ranking for the word just because no one who specializes in the keyword has taken the time to compete with them.
After you start making money from your long tail words, you can reinvest that money in going after some harder keywords.
Wash, rinse, and repeat.
Image Credit: hmyhomebiz