How to Perform Keyword Research

3rd May 2013 by Darren Candler - Keyword Researcher

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If you want your website to reach its full potential, then you will need to perform keyword research. A lot of website owners believe they can get away with just writing naturally so they will rank for hundreds of long-tail keywords.

This is a somewhat effective approach, but it doesn’t maximize potential. The traffic also won’t be high quality. If you want high quality traffic, then you need to rank for targeted keywords. For example, if you’re marketing a recipe eBook, then you will want to rank for the phrase "recipe eBook.” If you can get to the first page of Google for that keyword phrase, then you’re going to receive high quality traffic, which will increase your odds of a sale.

Selecting Keywords

When selecting keywords to target, your first step should be to write a list of your top 10 ideas. Don’t fall in love with these keywords. This will just be a starting point. The next step will be to visit the Google AdWords Keywords Tool. This is a free tool offered by Google. Once there, look on the left side of the page. You will see a category named "Match Types.” Under that heading will be three options with checkboxes: Broad, Exact, Phrase. Broad might mean more traffic potential, but it won’t be high quality traffic. Phrase will improve the quality of your traffic, but it still won’t be targeted. Exact will give you the highest quality traffic.

Next, under the "Find Keywords” category at the top of the page, type in your keyword phrase. You will have to enter a captcha code to prove you’re not a robot. You should have no problem retrieving the information you need, which will be results for your keyword phrase as well as a long list of related keywords with their results. These lists are great because they offer new ideas.

For your keyword, you will see three categories: Competition, Global, and Local. Competition will either be Low, Medium, or High. If it’s Medium or High, then don’t bother with that keyword. It will take too difficult to rank for. There will almost always be Low Competition keywords within your niche. With these, you can get to the first page of Google as long as you invest time and energy. The Global category will show you the search results for that phrase from around the world. Don’t put too much weight into this result. Remember, you want targeted traffic, which often means people who speak the same language. The Local category will display search results for your keyword within your native country. This number is very important.

You can look at Local Monthly Searches many different ways. Some people will see a number of 100 as great, and others will look at it as paltry. A lot will depend on how much content you can put out on a weekly basis. If it’s just you doing the writing, then 100 Local Monthly Searches is good. As long as the competition level is Low, it will be relatively easy to rank for that keyword. If you put out good content and don’t over-optimize, then you should be on page one of Google within three to six months. It’s good to start small because you will accomplish goals, which will keep you motivated. From there, you can aim for keywords with 1,000 Local Monthly Searches.


  • Web Design Salisbury
    Broad - High Competition - Global: 880 - Local: 720
    [Exact] - Medium Competition - Global: 480 - Local: 480
    "Phrase" - High Competition - Global: 590 - Local: 480
  • Search Engine Optimisation Salisbury
    Broad - Medium Competition - Global: 46 - Local: 46
    [Exact] - Medium Competition - Global: 46 - Local: 46
    "Phrase" - Medium Competition - Global: 46 - Local: 46

As you can see, sometimes the keywords you think people will look for are very low in traffic return.

If you have a team writing content, or if you’re outsourcing for your content, then you want to aim for keyword phrases with 1,000 to 10,000 Local Monthly Searches. By putting out more content, you will rank for keywords faster. That being the case, it makes sense to rank for keywords with more searches.

Regardless of your situation and which approach you choose to take, once you’re on the first page of Google for several different keywords, high quality traffic will begin to filter into your site. This will mean more sales for your products or services. It will also mean increased value for your website. To ensure that you don’t become overwhelmed, it’s recommended that you aim for no more than 25 targeted keywords at one time. For best future results, get started today.

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