Keyword Research 1: Introduction to Researching Keywords
Keyword Research is an essential part of Search Engine Optimization, which needs to be done BEFORE you grab a URL for articles, blogs and webpages.
Introduction to Keyword Research
The first in a series of articles about researching keywords
If I had only ONE thing I was allowed to do as part of my Search Engine Optmization (SEO) strategy when publishing online, it would be keyword research.
What about promotion, I hear you ask?
Ah, but keyword research will make Google (and the other search engines) do your promotion for you. Yes, backlinks also help and you should work at getting them - but do you see the point I am making? No? Well read on....
Keyword research gets Google to do your promotion for you, because if you are using the phrases in your content that people are using to search for the information (and perhaps products) that you are providing AND there's not a huge number of competing pages for those keywords, then Google will feature YOUR page high up in the Search Results.
High Google ranking usually means traffic, particularly if you can get your content appearing on the first couple of pages on Google.
And if you know how to do keyword research to help you find your phrases, then you can compete. It really is that simple!
What are Keywords?
Definition of keywords and phrases
Wikipedia gives the original definition of keywords in a literary context as:
the words that are used to reveal the internal structure of an author's reasoning. While they are used primarily for rhetoric, they are also used in a strictly grammatical sense for structural composition, reasoning, and comprehension. Indeed, they are an essential part of any language.
However, in the context of writing for the internet, yourdictionary.com defines a keyword as:
a word or phrase submitted to a search engine in an effort to locate relevant documents or websites
A keyword is what someone else uses to find the information you are providing. It literally unlocks the door to your content.
What makes a good keyword?
How do I find good keywords?
A good keyword is one that has high search volume, ie a good number of searches each month, and low competition ie, not a huge number of pages that are using that keyword, that will compete with your page.
But depending on your topic, then you may not need a huge number of searches to make it worth your while publishing a page. This is because by using good keywords you should get quality traffic. Quality traffic is visitors who are specifically looking for the information you are giving and in the case of product reviews, the quality traffic is the people looking to BUY the product you are reviewing.
To find this traffic you have to narrow the niche. Your page needs to be tightly focussed to cover exactly what people are looking for.
And people are looking for information. Either information to help them solve a problem or information to help them buy a product.
Keyword Research for content that helps people
Passing on things you have learned
Here's an example of a page I wrote to help people - not sell products:
One of my most successful articles was about Bullying. But bullying is a huge topic. You get cyber bullying, bullying at school, bullying at high school, bullying at elementary school. Disabled kids get bullied. Kids with learning difficulties get bullied. People get bullied at work, gay people get bullied. So many different people get bullied.
My page, in order to compete with the 36,500,000 pages about bullying, needed to focus. I needed to narrow the niche. I had to ask myself what was specific about the bullying I was going to write about?
The thing that narrowed my niche is the fact that the bullying was happening in the UK at my daughter's elementary school. However, in the UK, we call it Primary School. So there was my niche and up until recently if you searched on bullying at primary school, my Squidoo Lens Bullying at Primary Schoolwas #1 on Google, Bing and Scroogle.
(I have since stopped writing on Squidoo, so the page is no longer published)
Keyword Research for Product Reviews
Researching keywords to help you sell
However, not everyone is writing help articles like this. Some of us are also doing product reviews in the hope of making sales. How do you compete with the big sites like Amazon?
Again keyword research and you may be surprised at the phrases people will use to find information on well known products.
In August 2010, I happened across some information about an add-on for Nintendo Wii, that would be released in the USA, just as Christmas Shopping would be picking up. The product is called the Wii U-Draw.
My family loves the Wii and I could see that this new product could become as big a seller as the Wii Balance Board. So I set about doing some keyword research. Searches for Wii UDraw were picking up but there was another phrase that has massive searches in comparison, but because it was an incorrect name for the product, there was very little competition!
People were not searching for Wii UDraw but they were searching for Wii Draw. I had my keyword and this has become my most successful sales page.
Like Bullying at Primary School, Wii Draw was #1 on Google, Bing and Scroogle. But, the great thing about this was that it was not only #1 on Google for 13,900,000 competing pages, it was also ahead of Amazon and other big sales sites!
Summarising why you should do Keyword Research
The biggest mistake you can make with keyword research is to assume you know what people are looking for. Not everyone thinks the same way as you do. You have to leave you own mindset behind and get into the way other people think.
An hour or so spent doing keyword research before you grab a URL for a Wizzley, Hub or Squidoo page could turn out to be a very valuable investment of your time.
In this series of articles about Keyword Research, you will learn:
How to use the free Google Keyword Research Tool
How to choose the best keywords
Where to use your keywords to optimize your content for the Search Engines