How to do Keyword Research – The Ultimate Beginners Guide
Keyword research is becoming more and more crucial for a lot of affiliate marketers. Not only do you need it for SEO purposes like building niche websites but it’s vitally important for PPC and PPV campaigns. It could also come in handy when you’re in need for some blog ideas and write about certain phrases to appear within the post.
Of course, there’s no exact formula to do it and it does take up quite some time but trust me, it’s so worth it!
I’m sure you have already heard it all but the purpose of this is to help you understand keyword research and how you can improve on it.
What You Will Discover
- What are keywords and why it’s important
- The different types of keywords
- Where and how to find keywords that prospects are searching for
- How to properly use Google Keyword Planner to assist you
- Key criteria of a profitable keyword
Keywords are the bread and butter of a search engine. It is the word or phrase that revolves around a significant subject. A keyword is generally the search query that is plugged into a search engine, typically to gather more information on a specific topic.
In other words, anything that is typed into Google is considered a keyword.
The sole purpose of researching keywords is to find out what our target audience is after so that we can nicely present our offer to them.
Without any type of keyword research, you’re really shooting in the dark. You won’t be able to assist your audience with what they want, you won’t be able to optimize your website or page effectively and you’ll also be placing advertisements blindly.
Doesn’t sound like you’ll be making much money, does it?
Targeting the right keywords can literally skyrocket your income and business to all new levels.
That’s why it is so important to really spend the time to research and refine your craft.[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30″]The 3 Major Categories[/su_heading]
There are 3 main groups that keywords are divided into; general, standard topic and specific.
These are just the names that I came up but feel free to spread the word.
Every keyword that is ever typed into Google will belong in one of the group.
General Keywords are keywords that is very generic and broad. Usually consists of 1 or 2 words that has a huge amount of search volume and competition.
An example of this could be “Air Flights”, as you could see, it is very general. A typical person who searches for general type of keywords have no objective, they could be looking for different types of planes, airports, tickets or even a definition of the word.
This group of people are the hardest to convert and simply isn’t worth our time.
Standard Topic Keywords are keywords that have a decent amount of searchers and are more detailed than general keywords. These keywords are more of a phrase than a single word, usually consisting of 2-3 words. Using the last example, this could be “air flight tickets”, “compare air flights”, “cheap air flights” and so on.
Most of the time, you’ll find these keywords will have a lower competition than general but can still be difficult to rank or expensive to place ads for.
Specific keywords, unlike standard topic is very precise. Specific keywords usually have more than 3 words in a phrase. Again, using air flights as an example – “cheap air flight tickets from U.S to Australia”.
As you might of guessed, these don’t have a lot of searches per month but they are ultra targeted. Meaning low in competition and high in conversions. These keywords are also known as long tail keywords.
So how do you decide which ones to target?
As expected, general is completely out of the equation – too high in competition and low in conversions.
Honestly, standard topics are great in terms of search volume and easily to converted but it might be quite competitive too. In saying that, if you optimize your pages around a standard topic, usually you’ll pick up a few specific keywords naturally.
Even though specific keywords are heaps easier to rank for and convert really well. The amount of traffic you receive will be trickles so in order to lots of searches, you’ll have to write heaps and heaps of articles around each of the long tails.
So what I like to do is a combination of both standard topics and specific with standard topic in mind.[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30″]How to Mine For Golden Keywords[/su_heading]
So now that we know and understand the importance of keywords, let’s move on to finding these juicy terms.
First off, I hope you already know what niche you are targeting and who’s your ideal audience. Remember about the whole thing about shooting in the dark? Yeah, you’ll need to know at least what niche your aiming at!
For those of you who do know your niche, awesome! Let’s move on.
Let’s start with Google itself.
Google has a little section called “related searches”. This section is hidden at the bottom of Google’s search results and generally looks like…
This little area here is amazing for long tail keywords ideas.
All you have to do is type in any kind of keyword that you could think of. No need to complicate it and just come up with something using commonsense.
Google will spit out related searches that other users may of typed in that is very similar for that keyword. Generally it will be a good mixture of long tail keywords of your main keyword.
You won’t always find a perfect keyword in the related search but the beauty of it is, you could easily pick one of them and plug it into Google to get new ideas! You could keep going until you build a list of awesomeness to further research later.
Google has another feature that is called Google suggest. These are a list of keywords that is suggested to you when you type something into Google. It will pre-define a search for you according to what you have already typed in.
For example, if you type “best dumbbells” you could see a list of suggestions.
But as soon as you type in another letter, the suggestion list completely changes and gives you another list according to that letter.
This is just another way of gaining heaps of cool ideas to put on the list but there is a better way to go about doing it!
A tool that really takes advantage of Google’s suggestion and does all the ground work for you is Ubersuggest.org.
All you have to do is insert a keyword of interest and it will automatically go out there and add every letter in the alphabet to generate all of the keywords that Google would of suggested.
It will scrape all of that data and shows you what it collected. Saving you all that manual work you would of done.
The good news – It’s completely free!
All you have to do is, enter your desired keyword into the box, fill out the captcha and click Suggest.
This tool will show you all the results that it scraped off Google.
Of course, a lot of these probably won’t be worth much to you but you will manage to find some gems.
A new tool that I started using recently, is absolutely insane when it comes to finding long tail keywords.
How it works is very similar to the way ubersuggest obtains its data – taking advantage of Google’s suggest. What makes it extremely better is the fact that it adds a character to both before and after the keyword where as ubersuggest only added a letter at the end.
It’s called Keywordtool.io and is completely free.
It is very easy to use, just head over to Keywordtool.io and type in a keyword your after.
Choose the Google location you want to target – because I’m from Australia, by default it’s google.com.au. If you wanted to target U.S, then find “Google.com”.
The tool will fetch all the according data and it will look somewhat similar as the picture below.
And that’s all there is to it!
Another great place to find some incredible keyword ideas are places where people in your niche like to hangout.
A place where people get together and ask each other questions.
Where can we find such place?
Forums have a wealth of keyword ideas, where people are constantly asking questions every single day. Sure enough, if they are looking for the answers in a forum, then the same would apply for search engine searches.
To find a forum within your niche, your best bet is to go to Google and type in “niche + forum”. If not a forum, try out boards or bulletins.
Find one that looks current, head over to the categories or Q&A sections and start jotting down all those wonderful ideas!
There will be plenty of threads opened and you’ll find interesting keywords in a matter of minutes.
Coming up with useful keyword ideas are really endless, it’s just a matter of grinding through all these resources and building a massive list.
See if you can organize it into categories or sub-niches to help you when it comes to checking the numbers.
Handy Tip: Come up with pre-fixes or suffixes to make it a buyers keyword. I made a list of buyers keywords that you can check out (coming soon).
Once you got a list ready to go, this leads into using…[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30″]How to Use Google Keyword Planner[/su_heading]
We’re finally getting down to crunching some numbers and really decide how effective our list of keywords are going to be. To do that, we’ll be using the free tool – Google Keyword Planner (GKP).
GKP will give us the data needed to give us an educational decision whether or not the keyword is worth targeting. It offers us the ability to see metrics such as monthly searches and advertising competition. It also has a feature that spits out more keyword ideas, growing our list of ideas even bigger.
Just bear in mind that the actual tool itself was created for Adwords advertisers. People that actually pay Google for ad space so you’ll notice a some of features we won’t be using.
Accessing Google Keyword Planner Tool
To use any of Google’s products, you’ll need an account from them. So that goes without saying, to use Google’s keyword planner, you will need to make an account if you haven’t yet already.
All you have to do is click on “Create an Account” at the very top, follow the prompts, fill out your details and you’ll be set.
After creating an account, login to your adwords account. To navigate over to the GKP, click on “tools” to get a drop down box and then click on “keyword planner”.
You’ll be asked to choose one of the following tools but we’ll only need to focus on 3 of the 4.
- Search for new keyword and ad group ideas
- Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups
- Multiply keywords list to get new keyword ideas
The 4th tool is a feature that only applies to Adword users. So it won’t be applicable for us.
Now, let’s break down each of the tools so you have a better understanding of its uses.[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30″]Search for new keyword and ad group ideas[/su_heading]
This is where you’ll be spending most of your time in.
Here is where you’ll find new keyword ideas for every keyword you plug in. Although, the keyword ideas you get from this is usually very closely related to the keyword inserted so it’s not completely new ideas but variations.
This is what it should look like when you click it.
At the very top, where it says “Your product or service“, is where you want to enter your list of keyword/s. Depending on what you type into this box, will determine what kind of keyword ideas it will present to you.
The next option is to add a landing page. This will run through that page and pick up keywords within it.
The last option is to pick a product category. This will look for keywords that are closely related to that category using Google’s database.
Most likely, you won’t be using the other 2 options but feel free to play around with it if you please.
The next section of the page is the Targeting.
You could simply filter it out to specific countries, languages, Google partners and keywords you want left out when advertising (only applies for adwords)
In most cases, you’ll most likely keep it as default which is United States, English and Google. Of course, if you’re looking for specific keywords in a different country that doesn’t speak English, that’s when you’ll want to change it.
The last section is to customize your search.
This is helpful to chomp down the list of keyword ideas that don’t meet your criteria. For example, if you wanted all your keywords to have at least a minimum of 1,000 searches per month, you can do that by click the “Keyword Filers” and setting it up from there.
All that’s left is to click on “Get ideas“.[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30”]Get search Volume for a list of Keywords or group them into ad groups[/su_heading]
This is only useful if you only want to check your list for their search volume. It won’t pull up any new keyword ideas and only show what you have entered. You could simply copy and paste your list of keywords into the box or upload the file if you used CSV file. When you’re ready, click on “Get search volume”[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30″]Multiply keywords list to get new keyword ideas[/su_heading]
This tool comes in very handy when you want to combine 2 different niches and see what kind of keyword ideas it will bring up.
You’ll want 2 different list of keywords and just copy each of them into a separate box. If you wanted to add a third list, just click on the X at the end and another box will appear. Once it’s all added, just click on “Get Search Volume” for the results.
A lot of the times, you’ll end up with a whole bunch of garbage but you could find some diamonds in there.[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30″]Checking Out the Results[/su_heading]
Each of these tools will take you to the results page and it will look somewhat similar to this:
I actually clicked on the “Keywords Ideas” tab to find out individual keyword ideas but be sure to check out the Ad group ideas too. Ad group ideas will categories them by their relevance and you’ll be able to find some very specific keywords that you might of missed.
For now, let’s just focus on the keyword ideas tab.
The very first result you’ll see under “search terms” is the keyword you inserted. Everything beneath “keyword (by relevance)” are the list of keyword ideas that GKP believed to be closely related to the search term.
The column next to it is the “Avg. Monthly Searches” kind of speaks for itself. The number shown here is only a estimate so don’t take it as if it is everything. You can also see a graph of how it progressed over the last year period.
The next column is “Competition” and this only represents the number of advertisers that are currently bidding on that keyword. Don’t take the face value as a term of how hard it is to rank.
The last column that is of our concern is the “suggested bid“. Might not look like much now but in fact, it is great for determining the keyword’s potential to make money. This metric is the cost amount that an advertiser is paying per click on average.
The more money the advertiser is willing to pay, means that it is a profitable keyword and those who click are more than likely to pull out their credit cards.[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”30”]Key Criteria To Look For[/su_heading]
Like I said earlier in the post, there is no exact science when it comes to finding great profitable keywords that will guarantee you will make money or even rank for that matter. But here is a guideline that I generally stick to when it comes to keyword research.
Standard Topics: Between 2,000 to 10,000 monthly searches
Specific: Greater than 500
Next I like to look into whether the keyword is lucrative. No point ranking well in the SERPs and driving heaps of traffic to have absolutely ZERO spenders.
This is where i’ll look into Suggested Bids and Advertising Competition. If people are willing to spend more than $1 a click, that means searchers are willing to buy. If the competition is really high, that means the market is hot!
it’s also important to actually jump over to Google and check out the ads to see what they are trying to sell. Whether they are branding themselves or sending the traffic to specific pages. You’ll be able to gauge the buying intention a lot easier and compare it to what you have to offer.
There you have it!
The beginning of an all important skill that will last you for a very long time. Keyword Research is an art that will never go old and with the help of new tools and software, it will only get easier and easier.
An important tool to have in your arsenal that will speed up the process is Long Tail Pro, I use it almost every day and it really helps me with my keyword research process. You can check out this post on how to find lucrative keywords using long tail pro to get a better idea of how to use it.
In the second part of the series, we will dive into strategies on how to spy on your search engine competitors and whether or not they are a worthy opponent. Keep an eye out for this one!
I know this has been a long read but I can’t stress enough how important keyword research is. Hope you enjoyed this guide.
Please share your thoughts and comment below!