Keyword Research How To

Keyword research should be one of the first things you do if you want to perform search engine optimization on a web page. You should do keyword research even before you write the text content for your page.

Let’s suppose you want to sell pet toys and want to search engine optimize particular product pages on the site. Keyword research involves determining what keyword phrases you want to target. The first thought that comes to mind would be “pet toys”.

However, simply running that search for that phrase in any search engine would tell you that this is a very popular keyword phrase that generates a lot of search results. You will also notice that the top search results are dominated by top retailers of well known and recognizable brands. You will also notice that there are a lot of advertised or sponsored ads on those pages as well.

As a small business owner, it is very difficult to compete with these large retailers in the organic search results ranking. Even if you pay for advertising, it would still be quite difficult to compete with these large retailers who have almost unlimited amounts of advertising dollars. Even if you can compete with them, it would be very expensive.

The point is that the keyword phrase “pet toys” is too broad, the competition is too tough, and it is a keyword phrase that is difficult to optimize for.

To remedy the problem, you want to narrow the keyword phrase to be more specific. Is the product description page for dogs or for cats? What kind of toys? Can you lengthen the phrases? Studies have shown that users are now typing in longer and longer search phrases than before. So you can still do well on longer keyword phrases (at least ones that are longer than two words).

Let’s say that you have narrowed it down to “cat toys”. That is better. A quick test on Google shows that this generates a 29 million search results as opposed to 32 million search results for “pet toys”.

Nevertheless, this is still too broad. How about “cat chew toys”? That’s better. This search phrase is narrower and enables your page to be able to do well with the proper optimization. We just have to make sure that this phrase has enough searches. It is no good if no one is searching that phrase.

The best way to determine how many people are searching this term is to use the Google External Keywords Tool. Just type in the key phrase and see how many monthly search Google gets for that term. Since Google is the leading search engine that processes the majority of the searches, this is a fairly accurate reflection of what people are likely to type into the search field.

Although you want to focus your keyword phrase, you don’t want to go too narrow such that the key phrase is rarely or never searched by user. For example, if you put in “feline chew toys” into the Google External Keyword Tool, you will find that hardly anyone searches that phrase. Therefore, that phrase would be too obscure. It is best to stick with “cat chew toys.”

SEO keyword analysis is an art. You have to find just the right balance between targeting a niche audience versus getting enough search volume.


An understanding of SEO Keyword Research is necessary to perform Effective Keyword SEO Research;

1. Make an initial list of every possible search word/phrase referred to as keywords that a potential customer may use to search for your product, information or services that you have on your website. Use more phrases rather then individual words.

2. Don’t use highly competitive keywords initially in the first phase of your seo as your seo handwork would get wasted. Try getting your pages ranked for less competitive keywords (but relevant) initially.

3. The more information you can include in your keywords , the better. What I mean by information is be specific about the location or services you provide. Add your location to your keyword if your content is geographically sensitive.

For example: A person may use “search engine optimization Usa” is you are looking for an SEO from Usa.

4. Add and refine the keywords you listed above by analyzing your competitors keywords. For each of the top 3 pages you find in Google, yahoo and bing, make a list of the title and keyword tags. See if you can find patterns of why these 3 pages are ranked for the keywords you wanted to be ranked for.

My approach to remove and prune the above keyword list is to

* Remove difficult terms.
* Remove Over-Competitive terms.
* Use questions for which your website would provide answers or solutions.
* Remove Ambiguous and broad terms (try to be as specific as possible).


5. Try to append the following most common action words to your keywords wherever relevant and make sure your website caters to them.

Some of the action words are: Free, Buy, Find, Purchase, Discounted, Lowest, Price, Luxury, Cheap and so on.

6. Avoid keywords that do not ad any value or weight to your keyword list such as: The, Of, For, Or, This, And, That, To, www, web and so on.

7. Keep track of your server logs or stats to check what people have searched for (keyword) to reach your site.

8. Ask your visitors what all keywords they had used in order to get to your site if you get a chance to interact with them and make a list. Try to pick out the most relevant keywords from the list and use them on your website.

9. Try getting a ranking by using the most common misspelled keywords.

For example: A person may use “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimization” to search for an SEO website.

10. Use both singular and plural versions of your top keywords. For example: A person may use “seo freelancer” or “seo freelancers” to search for an Freelance SEO website.

11. Use Specialized Keyword Tools to measure the actual statistics or popularity that your keywords. Eliminate the few that are not getting traffic.

Keyword Research Tools: Word Tracker, Google Ad words Keyword Tool.


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