Of all the skills you need to be an effective online marketer, keyword research is one of the most important.
One of the most effective ways to get traffic to your website or product is through organic search results. This basically means people finding your content whenever they are searching for something on Google. If you’ve done your keyword research and optimized your page well, you will show up in those results.
Ideally at or near the top.
Depending on the niche and keyword, not as easy as it sounds.
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of money on keyword research tools and courses that were supposed to give me the skills to “uncover gold” and allow me to rank for any keyword of my choosing.
The reality is that there are no magic bullets and that you only need some basic skills to find keywords related to your niche.
Although there are some great tools out there that make the job a bit easier, I invariably return to the Google Keyword Tool whenever I’m needing to do some keyword research.
Here’s exactly how I do it:
Step 1: Tweak a few settings
As I mentioned, I first head over to the Google Keyword Tool. I then make sure that I’m set to Languages: English and Locations: All. Occasionally I will target Global for language if it makes sense to cast my net as wide as possible.
I then set my Match Types from Broad to Exact. I want my results to be as precise as possible and to capture exactly what people are searching for.
Step 2: Start out wide
I will then start with a very broad keyword related to my niche. Let’s say I’m working on a site about how to lose weight. I will simply enter “weight loss” in the search and then review my results for terms that are slightly narrower and have at least 50,000 monthly searches.
I find keywords like “best way to lose weight” and “lose weight fast” and take them to the next phase.
Step 3: Dig deeper
For each of the terms that fit my above criteria, I will isolate these by clicking on the star. The list that I now get back is where I’ll find my target keywords.
Here I’ll be looking for long-tail keywords that have anywhere between 1000 and 15000 monthly searches.
Here I find keywords like “fast ways to lose weight”, “how do i lose weight fast” and “lose weight quickly”.
Generally speaking, the longer the keyword is, the easier it’s going to be to rank for it. Just make sure that it has at least 1000 monthly searches. Anything less than this and you are not going to get the search volume to make it worth your while.
Once I have identified a handful of keywords that fit these criteria, I will pop them into an Evernote notebook. I will then refer back to them whenever I need to generate a new piece of content for the site I am looking to rank for.
I usually will focus each piece of content on one keyword to be sure that Google recognizes what I’m optimizing for.
Keyword research doesn’t have to be tedious.
Nor does it have to be expensive.
All you need is a simple system that produces results.
This is the way I do it and it works well. Give it a try for yourself and see what kind of gold you can uncover along the way.
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