SEO – Keyword Research for Your Niche Websites

So today we are going to talk a little bit about keyword research.

So to start off just let me say that if you ask 20 different marketers about how they do keyword research, you will probably get 20 different answers. So I am going to talk about how I do keyword research.

The first thing I normally do when I decide on a niche is to explore the niche a little bit first. I am looking for phrases that are common to that niche that I may not be aware of. Some of the ways to do this would be to go to a bookstore and start looking through some of the books related to this niche. You could pick up the book for further research later, or just write down some of the phrases you see that are related to this niche. At this point I really wouldn’t buy the book since you really don’t know if this will even be a good niche until you do some more keyword research.

Another way is to just hit the magazine rack in any bookstore, drugstore, or even your local Wal-Mart. Again, just glance through magazines that are related to your niche. One important note here would be to take a look at the ads and see what is selling. This will come into play more later as we try to determine the commercial value of a keyword.

One more way is through Amazon.com. On some of the books you can actually look at a few pages inside the book. You can use this to find some phrases unique to your chosen niche.

Once you have some phrases that are common to this niche it’s time to head back to your computer for a little digging. Keyword digging, that is!

All you have to do is type in a keyword into the box below where it says “Enter one keyword or phrase per line:”, leave the “Use Synonyms” checked, type in the captcha code, and press the button that says “Get Keyword Ideas”.

The next thing I like to do at this point is to click on the column header for the previous month’s search volume. This sorts the list so that the most searched for phrases are at the top. (If your’s has the least searched for at the top, then just click the header again).

Next, I like to click on the dropdown box called ‘Match Type’ above the last column and select the phrase match. The reason for this will become clear shortly.

OK, now I like to scroll to the bottom of the list ‘Keywords related to term(s) entered’ and where it says ‘Download all keywords:’ I will click on the one that says .csv (for excel). This gives me a comma-separated list of all the keywords with the search volume still intact. At this point, you can import it into either Microsoft Excel or, my preference, Open Office.

You will now have a list of keywords with the search volume for the past month and a column with the average search volume over the past 12 months. There is also a column for ‘Advertiser Competition’ and unless you are planning on doing Adwords or any other PPC ads (which I would not recommend at this point), I would go ahead and either remove the column or at least move it to the last column and out of the way for now.

While you still have your keyword list open in the Google Adwords Tool, there is one more thing I want you to take a look at and that is at the very bottom of the first list of keywords that we just exported. There is a list of keywords called ‘Additional keywords to consider’. This is another great place for getting additional keywords and keyword phrases for additional keyword research. (Just don’t get carried away as this can be an endless process if you let it).

The next step would be to repeat this whole process using the other keywords and keyword phrases that you have come up with.

NOTE: I like to create a tab for each keyword phrase that I get numbers for at this point. We will combine them later as we get closer to finding those keyword phrases that we want to focus on.

Allen Johnson