I was recently asked by some customer what is the secret of a good keyword research. My answer was there is no secret When he asked for the details, I started writing this post, so you all know what it takes to get the right keywords.
Keyword research is the most important part of an SEO campaign. Doing this part wrong, might lead to spend your energy in the wrong direction. A good keyword research takes days. However, if you are a beginner trying to find your keywords, here is a quick guide for beginners.
1. Start with asking your team members for a list of at least 20 keywords each. Ask them to think of the keyword that your customers will be looking for. Ask as many guys possible, R&D, sales, support – everybody. People tend to think differently and the more answers the better. Create a list from the answers you got, at this point don’t filter anything.
2. For every keyword in your list, try to find all possible related keywords. Use as many keyword tools you can. Google Adwords Keyword Tool has limited options but it’s free, KeywordDiscovery costs $70 per month and KeywordElite costs around $200 for permanent license. There are many other tools you can use.
For every keyword, look for all its variations. You will find hundreds of related terms, plurals, singulars, nouns, objects, verbs, adjectives, spelling mistakes and everything you can think of. Look also for common phrases that may include your keywords like “buying a..” “the best.. ” etc.
3. With the huge list you have in hand, check the following for every keyword.
a. How many results Google has for this keyword. (competition)
b. How many searches are made on this keyword according to keywords Discovery, Google Tool or any other tool you use.
c. KEI – Keyword Effectiveness Indicator. The easist formula to use is Searches * Searches / Competition.
example: The word softswitch has 859000 sites in google – this is the competition. Google Keyword Research Tool’s estimation for this keyword is 8100 searches per month. The KEI for this keyword is 8100 ^ 2 / 859000 = 76.3
Unless you have a very small list, going over thousands of keywords manually is almost impossible. At YBO Interactive we use a software that was developed in-house to do this task, (sorry, not for sale) but there are commercial tools that can do a pretty good job. Again, KeywordDiscovery and KeywordElite are good options.
4. Add another column to your spreadsheet, call it market value. Grade every keyword in your list between 0-3. Give a 0 to keywords that have no chance to generate sales. Give a 3 to keywords that have a great chance to generate sales. In your keyword research you probably found excellent keywords that have beautiful numbers but the chances for these keywords to actually sell are low. grade them accordingly.
Now, filter out keywords with low Market Value.
Filter out keywords with low number of searches.
Sort the list you got according to the KEI from high to low.
Choose the top 10 keywords and use them to lead your campaign.
Congratulations! You got yourself a keyword list.
Now that you have campaign leaders, go back to the full list and find keywords that support your leading keywords. Create a group for every keyword in your top 10 keywords and try to add as many keywords possible to these groups. These “supporting” keywords can later be used in the articles you write, and in the links you build.
There is much more to say about this, but for the basics we’re done.
Comments are welcome. Got any?
- KeywordSpy – An excellent tool that will help you find the keywords your competitor is using.