In simple terms, keywords are words that people type into search engines to find what they are looking for. They are the link between the searcher and the information. Let’s consider an example.
Searching for ‘kettle’ on Google yields 13,500,000 pages. If you are selling kettles, that’s stiff competition! You are unlikely to appear on page 1 of the Google results and page 1 is where all the action is. Very few people move beyond page 1. And the number one ranked site gets an extremely large proportion of clicks.
So our aim should be to get as high as possible. And the way we do this is by aiming for a niche or niches. We find the keywords that have an acceptable level of competition. Thus, a search on “energy-saving electric eco-kettle” brings the total number of pages down to 47,000.
You are likely to sell more kettles by targeting lots of niches rather than targeting the main word. To begin with, it would be a very strange buyer who simply typed in “kettle”. So the path to success is to identify what people who want to buy kettles actually type into Google.
Our goal with keyword research is to find the keywords that:
have a sufficient number of searches
not too much competition
Let me give you a heads-up at the beginning – you can save yourself a lot of time by using a keyword research tool. Most of these will interface in some way with the Google External Keyword Tool; you can use it for free by clicking on this link:
I would suggest you experiment with it. I won’t give you step-by-step instructions for two reasons. Firstly, you can get those direct from Google: How to use the Google External Keyword Research Tool.
Secondly, as I mentioned, there are a number of excellent tools and, in particular, Market Samurai, possibly the best value internet marketing tool of all.
Before you get to this stage however, you need some basic input. So you should research your competitors’ sites and find out what keywords they seem to believe are important. Viewing the page source can often yield lots of information – have a look at the meta information at the top of the page. Look for:
in particular. Ask other people what words they would use to search for your product or service. Once you have a basic list, you can move to the keyword tools.
Google Insights Tool
According to Google, “Insights for Search can help you gauge interest in pertinent search terms.” The examples provided by Google include:
helping you to determine which messages resonate best
examining seasonality – identifying when potential customers are actively searching
exploring related searches
identifying differences between geographic markets
Google Insights Tool
Google Insights for Search Help
Refining Keyword Research
zoom search reportOnce your website is up-and-running, you can further refine your keyword research by examining the search terms that visitors have used on your website. The image (click to enlarge) on the right is a screenshot from the Zoom Search Engine (used on this site). Find out more about Zoom on my Add Search On My Website page.