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Keyword Research Analysis Paralysis - K.R.A.P.

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Keyword Research Analysis Paralysis - K.R.A.P.

Post  jullysan on Wed Jan 12, 2011 12:56 pm

Keyword research is one of the most talked about topics in SEO, and also one of the least understood. Get 3 SEO consultants together to discuss it and each will give you different ideas about how to do it, what tools to use, and what the most critical elements of the process are. It's enough to drive most internet marketers crazy. I don't blame them. One of the biggest problems people face is the tendency to worry that they haven't picked the perfect keywords. There's a tendency to second-guess the hard work they just did and it leaves them paralyzed, unable to make a decision. I've been there myself. Now I'm hoping this article will help you rather than add yet another opinion from an SEO consultant that only serves to confuse you further.

What can all of us agree on?

* Keyword Research is necessary to determine what search terms real people are using when they're looking for information.
* Search engines look for keywords in our web pages to help them determine what the pages are about.
* Keyword Research starts before you even choose your niche!

What are the critical elements of proper keyword research?

* Understanding the average monthly search volume for your keywords is essential.
* Understanding the competition for those keywords and what that translates into for you.
* Understand that more tightly focused keywords tend to have less traffic but also tend to provide you with traffic that answers a call to action more readily, whatever you have chosen that to be.

If you understand the points I mentioned here, the rest is really quite simple. Choose keyword research tools that help you identify the metrics that measure the critical elements. Monthly search volumes tells you if there is a decent number of people searching for your products or services using a given search term. Using Google's Free Keyword Search Term Tool will provide you with answers to that question.

Competition volume gives you an idea of how hard it would be to compete for a given term. I use a formula where I want keywords that have more than 1000 searches per month, but less than 300,000. It's not a hard fast rule; it's just one I have found to work successfully for me.

Choosing search terms that are more closely an exact match to your products or services means more targeted traffic and people who would be in a buying mood rather than those looking for general information. Understand that less is more in terms of your goals. I would rather have 100 visitors a month that are laser-targeted than 10000 that are not all that interested wouldn't you?

Most keyword research software functions basically the same. So here's a simple 4-Step Keyword Research Formula to use that works with most.

1) Start your research by entering a search term you think that people would likely use to search for your web page topic. This will be our 'seed keyword'.

2) Choose keywords that have: a. a search volume between 1000 and 300,000 searches per month. b. a decent amount of competition but also show the potential to compete for. c. Most closely match the exact theme or topic of your web page.

3) Out of these choose 1 primary keyword for each page and as many secondary keywords as you can find that will be used to support the primary keyword.

4) Divide the secondary keywords into 2 groups. One group will be used in the text content of the web page and the other will be used in article writing, anchor text in blog posts and blog comments etc.

It's not rocket science and you don't need to consult an oracle to figure out how to do keyword research. If you follow this basic formula you'll have a hard time missing the boat.


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