Keyword research is one of the bedrocks of Internet marketing. It is the means by which you determine which pages to build on your sites and what content those pages should contain.
Effective online marketing is all about getting maximum returns from all of your efforts and keyword research is the way you do that – it focuses you on what counts instead of randomly writing and building websites that are not cohesive or targeted.
Most people go online to find out about something because the Internet is a vast store of knowledge that anyone can access. They are directed to places that might give them answers by the search engines. People type in a word or phrase (collectively called a keyword no matter how long the phrase might be) and are offered suggestions of sites to visit.
The objective for Internet marketers is to make their own sites and web pages authorities for specific keywords so that the search engines will give them higher rankings and therefore send more free traffic to them. Effective ‘keyword research’ is the way one finds which words and phrases to best target.
Keyword research is quite an easy process: there are several excellent keyword research programs available to buy that not only find the keywords for you but also perform a lot of analysis to help you assess which are the best. The better programs also have extra functions to provide a lot more information that marketers need.
Two of the best available right now are Market Samurai and Micro Niche Finder. Both use Google as their data source, but both add layers of extra functions to make the keyword researchers’ life easier.
For example, both programs allow you to filter the often lengthy lists of keywords they throw up to ensure that you focus your attention on the best ones. But they each go further and help yo with all kinds of additional tasks that could otherwise take a long time to do. One added function lets you immediately discover if domain names based on the keywords you’ve uncovered are available for immediate purchase.
As it is usually a good idea to own a domain to match your primary keyword, this is a very useful function to have built in to a keyword research tool.
Other functions that you can expect from such top-end programs as Micro Niche Finder and Market Samurai are analysis of Google’s top rankings for the keyword and suggestions of products you can sell to monetize a page focused on it.
Used well, premium keyword research tools can pay from themselves many times over in a very short time.
Beginners to Internet marketing don’t, however, need to buy any software to start to get to grips with keyword research. It is perfectly possible to do it for free with the help of a research tool that Google themselves provide. The link to that tools is quite long, but if you Google the term ‘keyword tool’ their own one is normally in the #1 spot.
Recent changes to the way it looks and behaves have made it less useful and easy to use as it once was, but for those on a tight budget it still can give some useful results.
Whether you use a simple tool like Google’s free one or a sophisticated program that you have bought, the principle is the same – you start by entering a root, or top-level word and the program will go off and find other search phrases that people have used that contain the root word or synonyms or derivations of it.
It is usually a good idea to start your research with a fairly broad root word and then narrow down later. So, for example, if you are looking for popular search terms in the acne niche, start out with the broadest keyword of all: acne. You’ll find that there are lots of searches for sub-terms like ‘acne treatment’, ‘acne mediation’ and so on. Those keywords are likely to still have large search numbers.
But it isn’t just the search numbers that is important. Experienced marketers know that while a root term like ‘menopause’ can have a huge number of people searching for it (currently over 32,000 searches per day), the chances of getting your web page into a high listing position with Google are remote because there are already over 10 million other pages that you’d be competing with.
Instead, a clever keyword researcher would look for what is known as ‘long tail keyword’ – one that still has a respectable daily or monthly search volume, but also has a low competition.
In this example, ‘menopause anxiety’ has about 3,500 searches per month, but only 5,000 pages in competition – a far easier number to beat out of a first page listing!
While such information is difficult to analyse using free tools, and can be time consuming to collate, the premium keyword research programs like Market Samurai and Micro Niche Finder do it all for you at the click of a button.
Never underestimate the importance or the power of keyword research in your Internet marketing. Whatever you do to make money online, it is almost certain that you will need to find the right keywords for your articles, blog posts and web pages. Ignore it at your peril.