The Beginner’s Guide To Keyword Researching

Is keyword researching important? For some people it is and if you are one of those people, the aim of this guide is to give you a very quick and bare bones guide on the subject along with the tools you’ll need to get the job done.

Keyword research is important if you are involved in niche marketing or article marketing, pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, or even if you are an AdSense publisher.

The problem with the whole keyword researching topic is that although quite a bit has been written about it and how important it is, there are not many really good explanations about what you should actually be doing. Sure there are plenty of links to keyword tools and software, but very little on how to use them to your advantage.

I’m going to try and give you a concise explanation that was given to me by someone who has a lot of experience in niche marketing and AdSense. Don’t worry, you are not going to need to be an SEO expert to follow these methods and neither will you need any expensive tools.

Keyword Researching: The Aims

When doing your keyword research you are basically looking for two things:

1) Search Volume

2) Competition

This is vitally important and what a lot of people misunderstand and unless you research both properly, your results are likely to be mediocre a lot of the time. So, here is the quick down and dirty way to find your keywords and rank well for them.

Keyword Tools & Keyword Software

Go to SpyFu.com and type in a broad keyword covering your chosen topic and it will give you an idea of how much advertisers are paying for clicks in that given market. If you are an AdSense publisher, for example, it’s a good way to see roughly what you might expect to earn for clicks on your ads. It’s a rough guide, but it will sort out the wheat from the chaff and help you avoid those five cent clicks and help you find the bigger green 🙂

Firstly you are going to need a keyword researching tool. Google’s Keyword Tool is about as good as anything else, although I sometimes use the SEO Book Keyword Tool too. Both are free.

(No keyword research tool is 100% accurate by the way, they are guides that work on past data and that data is an ever shifting sea, but they are the best you’ve got).

Now you need to type in some keywords that broadly match the subject you are researching. Google will find you all the keywords it feels are relevant and make additional suggestions too. What you are looking for are those with good search volume – “good” will depend on how narrow and focused your niche is. For niche sites and articles, anything with a daily search volume of a hundred or more is worth looking at. For less long tail phrases you will probably raise that number. It’s something that you will learn with experience, but it’s not hard to pick out keywords that are getting high volume searches.

Add every one of your selected phrases to a text or csv file – you can do this easily in Google’s tool by clicking on the download links at the right hand side of the page.

Next comes the fun part. This method is not claimed to be laser targeted in terms of accuracy, it’s a bit rough really, but it works reasonably well most of the time.

Go to Google and search for each keyword you have saved to your text file. Look at the top ten results and work out the average page rank. If it is below three, keep the phrase but if it’s above four, don’t pay it any more attention. (Hint, use Firefox and download the SEOQuake add on which will then display PR and a lot more besides for each search result in Google, otherwise your research will take forever and a day).

I told you it was rough, but this competition analysis works well enough a lot of the time although there will be misses as well as hits. After you’ve narrowed down your keyword list in this way you will be working with terms that have high search volume and less competition.

By taking these steps, you will stand more chance of good SERPS results for your niche sites or articles, you will probably enjoy better AdSense revenue, and at this point you will be smiling!

That, in a nutshell, is all you need. However I’ve added some further resources that may be of interest to those who want to get even more serious with the whole keyword and SEO aspects of their site building and marketing efforts. I will probably add to these as I think of them.

Before you go there though, here are a couple of final thoughts on the whole keyword circus.

Keywords are important, that is accepted wisdom. However, there is a lot of misunderstanding about how to use them and this results in a lot of problems. Most people online are not SEO focused and therefore, you see a lot of uninformed, although sometimes justified, complaints about the whole subject of keywords. This usually arises because equally uninformed people completely misuse keywords by producing writing that they believe is aimed at search engine robots but is basically awful to read for humans.

Constructing an article or web page around keywords can often result in a mangled mess. It’s usually a result of mixing a little knowledge of basic SEO with someone who can’t write very well, with or without keywords.

Don’t overdo or “stuff” any piece of writing with so many targeted phrases that the work becomes unreadable. Repeating the same term over and over would have got you an English language fail in high school and it will return the same result from your online audience.

Oh and don’t ever write about one subject and try and keyword optimize it for something completely different. Just because you find that your proposed article generates low paying PPC ads for example. It won’t work. If someone comes looking for tips on recipes, that’s what they hope to find. Even if you could persuade AdSense that ads from ambulance chasing lawyers were relevant to your content about making the perfect rock cake, your visitors are hardly likely to click on them.

All you have to do is write a well-constructed piece with a few targeted keywords thrown in, and you will get more targeted AdSense ads on your pages, better search engine ranking, and hopefully more targeted visitors.

Did you find these tips helpful?

Got any nifty tricks or suggestions for us?

We would love to hear from you!

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