How to Do Kick-Ass Keyword Research

Keyword research is something that is continually neglected by website owners and copywriters.  If you don’t get your keyword research right from the very start then you could be completely wasting your time, money and effort.  Here’s some great insider tips on how you should choose keywords as part of your web search optimization.  There’s even an offer of help from me if you’re interested…

Keyword Research and Me

Keyword research starts with keyword.  As I already established in my previous article on keyword optimization, keywords are crucial in assisting search engines to identify what your website does and the type of users who would be interested in seeing it.

The problem is that while most website owners and copywriters understand the importance of keywords in web search optimization, they do not do enough research when selecting what those keywords should be.  I was definitely guilty of this when I first launched my own website.  I simply sat at my desk and thought of all the words and phrases that I believed were relevant to my site.  I then used these words at regular intervals throughout my website copy.

Was my site adequately optimized for the search engines?  No.  In fact I would probably been better off if I hasn’t tried to optimize my site for keywords at all! One of the main reasons for this was because I hadn’t actually performed adequate keyword research.  I had just assumed that those words were what my potential customers were searching for and built my website copy around them without ever checking if this really was the case.  Big mistake.  Not only did it mean I received very few visitors to my site, it also entailed that I had to go back at a later date and rewrite every single page of my website copy… I don’t recommend it!

Keyword Research and You

So, the first question you need to ask when starting your keyword research isn’t “what are my keywords?” it’s “what are my customers searching for?”

You see, the problem you have is that while you think you know what words and phrases your customers use to describe your products and services, the chances are that you do not.  Most website owners will describe their products or services in terms of solutions.  For example, if you had a website that offered to get people to the top of Google in terms of ranking, you may be tempted to use the following phrases:

  • guaranteed google rank
  • guaranteed top 10 rankings
  • top ten ranking guaranteed
  • guaranteed google rankings
  • guaranteed top 10 ranking
  • top ten google ranking

However, a quick look at the Google keyword research tool (if you don’t know how to use this see our article on the Google Key word Tool), reveals that these terms are not actually used very often by web users:

  • guaranteed google rank = 110 searches per month
  • guaranteed top 10 rankings = 110 searches per month
  • top ten ranking guaranteed = 140 searches per month
  • guaranteed google rankings = 260 searches per month
  • guaranteed top 10 ranking = 320 searches per month
  • top ten google ranking = 320 searches per month.

The reason for this is that customers are quite often searching for a problem, not a solution.  They may not yet know what the solution is to their problem, and therefore will search the Internet using very different terms to the phrases that you would use to describe your services.  In the case of the example provided they may use they may be more likely to use more everyday language:

  • rank top = 90,500 searches per month
  • top search ranking= 18,100 searches per month
  • top search rankings= 2,900 searches per month
  • top search engine rankings= 2,400 searches per month

Although this is a very basic example, it clearly demonstrates the importance of researching keywords before you write your website copy.  It will save you money, time and will allow you to gain a better understanding of your targeted market.  This understanding is what should be at the heart of your web search optimization.

Struggling to research keywords for your site?  Leave a comment with your site details and I’ll see if I can help.

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    1. Keyword optimization: Are keyword phrases really that important?

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