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How To Do Keyword Research

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									                               How To Do Keyword Research
                                To Get More Website Traffic
Keyword research is one of the most important things you need to do to make sure you build a
successful website that gets plenty of targeted visitors.

It tells you what words or phrases your ideal visitor is using at the search engines to find web pages
just like yours. It also tells you how much competition there is for different keywords, i.e. how many
other web pages use that keyword. You need it to help decide on your site concept, and to get high
rankings for individual pages at the search engines.

You're unlikely to build a successful website without doing keyword research.

Why Keyword Research Is Important
Imagine having a yellow pages ad for your business, but it's accidentally been put under the wrong
heading. How many customers are you gong to get? Say your house painting business has been listed
under “Interior Design”. You may fluke one or two customers from the ad, but that's it.

Using the wrong keyword on your web pages is similar, but it's much more subtle than the difference
between house painting and interior design. Look at the following fitness related keywords.

                                                        Searches
                    Keyword                                            Competition
                                                        per Month

                    fitness training programs             420          180,000

                    weight loss fitness program           742          10,200

                    weight loss exercise programs         7,650        14,300

                    weight loss exercise program          1890         26,700

                    strength program                      117          73,700,000


These are actual counts using Nichebot. I've converted Nichebot's daily searches to monthly.

Without research you couldn't possibly know there is such a difference in searches and competition
for similar keywords. Not using keyword research is one reason why most websites fail.

When To Use Keyword Research
If you want to build a successful web site with loads of targeted traffic, you'll need to use keyword
research all along the way.

Use it to check your site concept. Are you likely to get enough vistors to make it viable?

In fact you can check several site concepts to see how they compare for searches and competition.
Remember though, traffic is only one indicator you look at to see how viable a site concept is.
Use keyword research to optimize the domain name of your site for the search engines and for
visitors.

Use it to help select level 2 hub pages for your site.

Use it to develop ideas for your site, and to get topics for your content pages.

Use it to get the best keywords on every page of your site for body text, page titles, meta descriptions,
meta keywords, headings, etc. so that you get more targeted traffic.

Things To Watch Out For
Keyword research is not an exact science. The numbers are far from exact. In fact different keyword
tools will give different numbers of searches for the same keyword, and sometimes they are wildly
different.

Then there are other problems.

The free and highly popular Yahoo/Overture keyword tool would lump plural and singular together. It
would often mix up a phrase, putting the words in alphabetical order such as “free lifting program
weight” instead of “free weight lifting program”. Other keyword tools seem to do the same at times,
unless there really are people that type in “free lifting program weight”.

Sometimes you'll come across a search term that makes no sense, or that you're positive must be
wrong. You're probably right. The search engines can get the odd word badly wrong.

Something else to watch out for is search terms that can refer to two different things. Are those
people searching for “Sopwith Camel” actually looking for the World War One fighter plane, or the
rock band?

Keyword research isn't perfect, but it's much better than no keyword research.

Be aware of the limitations of the particular keyword tool you're using, treat the numbers as a
comparison and use common sense, and you shouldn't go too far wrong.

Remember no keyword research means no traffic (unless you're very lucky).

How To Do Keyword Research
When you're researching keywords, you're looking for two main statistics – how many people are
looking for a keyword (demand), and how much competition you have (supply) i.e. how many other
web pages are there about that particular keyword?

Ideally you want keywords with high supply and low competition.

Most paid research tools give a third value, and that is the ratio of supply to demand. That way you
can sort your list easily to find keywords with the highest demand and lowest supply.

To get the supply you need to use a keyword tool. There are lots of them around, and some are free,
but they free ones aren't as good or as useful as the paid services. If you're creating a website to make
money or to build your off-line business, you need to use a paid tool.

With Site Build you don't need a separate keyword research tool because it has one built in, along
with all the other tools you'll need for your website.

Open up your keyword tool and type in the word or phrase you want to search on (the seed word).
After a minute or so you'll have a list of phrases that contain your seed word along with the number of
searches done in a particular length of time, usually a month.

If you use a free service that's probably all you get, and you'll have a limit on the number of search
terms returned such as 50 or 100. You can always use some of those search terms you got as a seed
word to dig down further in another search.

If you use a paid service you'll get competition data, and a ratio of supply/demand. You should be
able to sort on demand, supply, or the ratio.

The better paid services will give you other data as well.

Finding The Competition Numbers With A Free Keyword Tool
If you use a paid keyword tool, you'll get competition (supply) data when you do a search. If you use
a free service that doesn't give supply data, you'll have to find it yourself.

This is how.

Go to Google and type in one of the search phrases in quote marks e.g. “bread recipe”. Google will
come up with its results page and towards the top it will say Results 1-10 of about 1,060,000 for
“bread recipe”. That means Google found 1,060,000 other pages with the phrase “bread recipe”
(without the quotes) on it, but that doesn't really mean that's your competition.

Many of the supply pages will only have the briefest mention of bread recipe. Some will probably be
auto-generated spam pages out to make money from Google Adsense or a similar program. The real
competition are the pages that are seriously about the keyword, with the title, meta description and
body text all optimized for the phrase, and with good solid information.

To get supply for all your list of phrases you'll have to go to Google for every phrase, one by one.
Enter your keywords, and the demand and supply data into a spread sheet so you can compare them
and find the best words to target for your web pages. It does get tedious, so money spent on a paid
tool really is money well spent.

Most paid keyword tools will give you raw data just like Google does. That is, they'll count every
page that mentions your key phrase no matter how briefly. Site Build It's keyword tool discards the
junk to give what they call “real supply” which is much closer to your real competition. For “bread
recipe” Site Build It Real Supply is 14,241 which is a lot different to 1,060,000 that Google gives.

You need to use the supply data as a comparison. For example, compare these results from Nichebot.
(I've changed searches to monthly. The ratio was calculated using Nichebot's original figures.)
                                         Monthly
Keyword                                                  Competition      Ratio
                                         Searches

bread recipe                             6,450           1,110,000        9,098

bread recipes                            17,970          915,000          2,691

pumpkin bread recipe                     16,440          5,600            18

pumpkin bread best recipe                2,310           61               1

whole wheat bread recipe                 4,950           3,830            41

recipe for whole wheat bread             3,360           3,820            59




The results pretty well speak for themselves. A top ten ranking for “bread recipes” would be next to
impossible. Once you start using more specific search terms a top 10 ranking suddenly becomes a lot
more achievable. Making small changes to a keyword can make big differences to the numbers.

It doesn't matter that the numbers aren't exact, you can see the trend and where to target your efforts.

Competition of 5,600 may seem frightening, but it's really not that bad. Remember that most pages
aren't serious competition.

Vertical and Lateral Searches
Good paid keyword tools will let you do two types of searches – vertical and lateral.

Vertical searches give results containing your seed word. The bread recipe search above is a vertical
search.

Lateral search results don't contain the seed word; they give related terms. Some related terms for
bread recipe are king arthur flour, bread baking, bread makers, yeast bread, yeast, etc. You should
find some useful phrases that you can do another vertical search on to get more topics and keywords
for your website.

Brainstorming
Before you fire up your keyword tool, you should fire up your neurons and do some brainstorming,
either by yourself or with a friend. Try to come up with variations on the word for your site concept.

For example, if your site concept was “car hire” you might come up with car rental, sports car hire,
limousine hire, automobile hire, truck rental, four wheel drive hire, etc. You can come up with useful
ideas that a lateral search doesn't uncover.

								
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