In previous article we have discussed the important of keyword research to help getting traffic to your site. In this article, we are going to discuss how to do keyword research that will send traffic to your site.
Now you have a list of keywords, you need to understand how much traffic these keywords receive in Google. Without search traffic data, you could end up targeting keywords with zero searches. Armed with the right knowledge, you can target keywords with hundreds or even thousands of potential visitors every month.
First, you have to sign up for a free Google Adwords account, link provided below. Once signed in, you need to access the Keyword Planner tool.
To do this, sign in, click on Tools in the top-menu, click on Keyword Planner’ then click on “Get search volume data and trends”, copy and paste your keywords into the box. Select your country, and then click the blue “Get search volume” button.
When you are finished, you will have the exact amount of times each keyword was searched for in Google.
Mmm. Fresh data. This is just the kind of data we need.
Now we know which keywords receive more searches than others, and more importantly, we know which keywords receive no searches at all. You can focus on keywords that will lead to traffic to your site.
Doing keyword research to find keywords for easy rankings.
Now you need to find out how competitive your desired keywords are. Armed with an understanding of how competitive your desired keywords are, you can discover keywords your site can realistically achieve rankings for in Google.
Let’s say you are a second-hand bookseller and you want to target “book store online”. It’s unlikely you are going to beat Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
But, maybe there’s a gem hiding in your list very few people are targeting—maybe something like “antique book stores online”.
You have the advantage if your competitors haven’t thought of targeting your keyword. You simply have to do better SEO than they are doing and you have a really good chance at beating their rankings.
You need a way to wash this list and separate the ridiculously competitive keywords from the easy keywords no one has thought of.
There are many schools of thought on how to do this. The most popular competitive research practices are listed below, with my thoughts on each.
1. Manually going through the list, looking at the rankings, and checking if low-quality pages are appearing in the top results.
This is good for a quick glance to see how competitive a market is. However, it is unreliable and you need to supplement it with real data.
2. Look at how many search engine results are coming up in Google for your keyword.
The amount of results is listed just below the search box after you type in your keyword. This tactic is common in cheap online courses teaching SEO, but completely unreliable. This is my least favorite strategy.
The reason? There may be a very low amount of competing pages for a particular keyword, but the sites ranked at the top of the results could be unbeatable.
3. Using the competition score from the Google AdWords Keyword Research tool.
Don’t be tempted. This is a common tool, lauded on the Internet as an easy way to judge SEO competitiveness for keywords, and it just simply doesn’t work!
The competition score included in the Google AdWords Keyword Research tool is intended for AdWords only. It is an indication of how many advertisers are competing for the particular keyword through paid advertising. Completely irrelevant for SEO.
4. Using a competitive analysis tool, such as Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool.
To get a realistic idea of your chances of ranking high for a particular keyword, you need to understand the strength of the pages in the top 10.
A great tool for this is Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool.
With Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool, you can simply enter your keyword into their tool, click “check difficulty”, and then click “view serp analysis reports” and it will show vital stats for pages appearing in the top 10.
Of these stats, the most important are # root domains linking to the page, and # root domains linking to the root domain. These two stats tell you how many unique sites are pointing to the specific page ranking, and how many unique sites are linking to anywhere in the site in general.
Next up, if you enter your own website into Moz’s Open Site Explorer tool, you can see these same stats for your site, and then know how many links you need to beat the competition.
Armed with this knowledge, you can hunt around to find easy keywords with weak competition, and set targets for how many links you need for a top listing.
You can use Moz’s Difficulty Tool by signing up for a 30-day free trial. There are not many alternative keyword tools out there providing a decent level of accuracy in my experience, however, another tool I have found useful is Market Samurai, which offers similar reports to Moz.
Moz – Keyword Difficulty Tool
Moz – Open Site Explorer https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/
I hope this article will give you some point of view on keyword research. In the next article, we are going to take a look on how On Page SEO helps in ranking a website.