Keyword research doesn’t have to be a time consuming or difficult task.
In this simple How To Guide for Keyword Research I’ll share the three most important factors for discovering high quality, low-competition keywords.
Why Do Keyword / SEO Research?
Keyword / SEO research is the foundation for generating high quality organic traffic. The process is simple:
- A user searches Google, Bing or Yahoo (also called search engines) for information about a topic, product or service
- Google serves up a list of relevant websites that most closely match the user’s search request
- The user clicks through to the website to determine the usefulness of the content to his / her situation
Bingo! Now you have a website visitor.
Two very important things about this exchange.
First, Google determines the ranking for your page based on various factors. One of those factors is whether your page is optimized for the user’s keyword. BUT, and there’s always a big but, if your content doesn’t impress your visitor, then Google will also take other things into account like bounce rate, time on page, social sharing, etc. to determine your ongoing ranking.
This brings up the second important thing about this search engine exchange.
Your content must be relevant. This post is not about creating engaging content, but I can offer you a few words of advice:
- Write for human beings and not for search engines – Don’t keyword stuff or write in awkward English so that you can fit one or more keywords into your sentence. Write in a conversational and personal tone.
- Write to help your visitor AND not to sell your product / service – Selling is a byproduct of building trust and likability. Look to help people with your content and you will build both.
- Write to solve your visitor’s problems – People search the web to cure their life “headaches.” They want the aspirin (a solution). They don’t much care how it’s made, where it’s made, and all the fancy ingredients, etc. Capisci?
Do Not Fall for Short-Cuts, Gimmicks or Black Hat Tactics
I’ve set this section off by itself because it’s hugely important.
Please, please, I implore you…
Do not purchase or get involved with any type of automated or black hat SEO tactics. No matter how enticing that Fivvr offer sounds, DON’T DO IT. These are desperation strategies and you never want to be a desperate marketer.
Besides, there are literally 100s of Google engineers whose sole function is to stop the gaming of their system. You will get Google slapped eventually.
The best long-term option is to hunker down, do the keyword research, write the relevant content and help as many people as you can. If you do these things CONSISTENTLY, your site will grow as will your income.
How to Perform Keyword Research
All right, at long last, how do you go about doing keyword research the right way?
There are three key ingredients you must have or know:
- Keyword / SEO research tool
- Search volume
- Keyword competition
Let’s break each of these down.
Keyword / SEO Research Tool
This post is not about ranking the best keyword research tools (perhaps one day I’ll write a post like that). I can tell you what I use which provides an incredible amount of functionality beyond finding quality keywords.
It’s called Jaaxy and it was created by affiliate marketers for affiliate marketers. You can test drive Jaaxy (and get 30 free searches) here. That page will also give you a breakdown of some of Jaaxy’s cool features including:
- How to find high quality, low competition keywords
- How to discover hot trends, lucrative niches, and affiliate products
- How to analyze (and spy) on your competition
- How to find high value domains to purchase and resell for a profit
- How to track your SEO rankings in the search engines
When trying to find good keywords, you want to know how many people are searching for that term. It does you no good to rank on Google’s first page for a keyword no one is using.
Take a look at what Jaaxy returns on the keyword phrase: “how to build a website.”
Here you must balance search volume with the next column which is competition (see later for a full explanation). Thus, to create content to rank on the phrase “how to build a website” might be difficult.
Typically, the more search volume the harder it is to rank on Google’s first page. Nevertheless, you want to get a sense for how much search volume there is before you try to optimize your pages for a particular keyword.
What’s great about a keyword research tool is that you can instantly see similar or related keywords or phrases which are less competitive. This is the case for the phrase “how to build a website for free.” Instead of trying to rank for the most difficult keyword, you can try building a few pages around less difficult keywords.
You can also see off to the far right of this table that Jaaxy has automatically suggested other keywords in this niche. In this way, you can keep drilling down into related keywords and niches and come up with 100s of quality phrases.
The final ingredient to doing awesome SEO / keyword research is knowing the competition. Specifically, you want to know how many other pages are optimized for your particular keyword.
This is where a tool like Jaaxy shines.
Here’s another screenshot showing the QSR (Quoted Search Results) and KQI (Keyword Quoted Index). The jargon isn’t as important as what the data tells you.
- QSR tells you how many pages in Google that are ranked for that specific keyword. The higher the number, the higher the competition.
- KQI is even better than QSR because it tells you whether a keyword is competitive or not. Generally speaking, if the keyword has a QSR lower than 100, then it’s labeled “Great.” For you, this means that it is a low competition keyword.
Find the Balance Between Search Volume / Competition
Let me finish this How to Guide for Keyword Research by bringing together everything that we have learned so far.
Often, people make the mistake of trying to build content around the keyword with the highest volume. But ask yourself, would you rather rank #1 for five pages that have a search volume of 200 each or #35 for one page that has a search volume of 2,000?
This has to be your mindset. The more people you have coming to your site, the more authority your site begins to have and the easier it will be to rank for other more difficult terms.
The secret is to find the balance between search volume and competition.
Here’s the previous table again. Look at the last two keywords. The KQI signals low competition. Compare that with the first two keywords where the competition is almost four times greater.
This is why Jaaxy says “Normal.”
If you look at the first large table a few sections back, you can see that between the phrases “can i build my own website” AND “how to build a website using wordpress” there are 6 low competition keywords with a search volume greater than 100.
This is what we call low hanging fruit.
Anything above 100 searches with low competition means that you can quickly rank for that keyword. If you learn how to rank for several pages, you’ve now got 100s of monthly visitors to your site.
Finally, in the above table, the phrase “how to build a websites” looks like the best of both worlds. It has a high search volume and low competition. The problem is that it’s not natural English. It’s basically tons of people mistyping their search term. Again, you shouldn’t try to force your English around keywords. You must sound natural.
I hope you found this simple guide to keyword research helpful. Let me know in the comments if I’ve left something out or if you have any questions.
Again, there are only three elements you need for good SEO research: a good keyword research tool and knowing search volume and competition. If you want to experience the power of SEO research for yourself in a real world environment, feel free to take Jaaxy for a spin with 30 free searches.
Here’s to your success!