Articles I typically read online include:
And a few others, but lately I’ve been reading a few SEO articles and forum posts and I gotta say, so many people get “good” SEO keyword research wrong.
Maybe not wrong, I suppose–just not well thought out enough.
You see, to truly succeed in whatever it is you want to do online, you must realize that 90% of the game is “Intelligence” (i.e. research).
Think about how this works in war. Assuming both sides have the same technology to work with, who would you say has the competitive edge, the ones who spend a lot of time doing reconnaissance and research into their enemy, or the ones who simply learned how to use their weapons and blindly jumped out of their holes shooting?
SEO is the same way.
You need to research what people are looking for. The problem is, so many people only do the job half way.
Okay, so what do I mean.
Basically, SEO and keyword research is about finding what people are searching for online–yes, but it’s also about finding what people are searching for online which also returns very little competition. In other words, don’t go for the big piece of the pie unless you’re willing to put years and tons of work into content, backlinks, etc.
So for example, one of the reasons why I don’t blog on a consistent schedule is because I’m busy making money online. I make more money online doing other things than I do through my blogging endeavors.
Right now I’m starting the process where I’m building a niche website for my mother. She knows a ton about how to incorporate your business in Nevada, the best state to incorporate in.
But simply designing a site is not enough. I need to drive traffic to the site and make it sustainable without much work from me down the road. I’m just too busy to keep going back and “working on SEO” for my mom’s site.
But with a little in-depth research into what people are looking for online, how they’re looking for it, what keywords they are using, and what my competition looks like, I can create a site which can get ranked relatively easy with some high quality backlinks.
My mother’s target customers are people looking to incorporate in Nevada.
So typically what you’d do is head over to the Google Keyword Tool and do a search for that keyword and see how many people are looking for that keyword phrase online.
Here’s the snapshot:
Looks like there’s 9,900 searches each month for that keyword phrase. Now the next step is the part that so many people forget to do. Now we need to know how many sites we will be competing with.
So head over to Google.com and type in the search, “incorporate in Nevada” (with the quotes) and see how many returned results you get. I get 15,500.
That’s actually not that bad. But can we do better?
Let’s take a look at “incorporating in Nevada”. It only has 2,400 searches each month, but guess what? When we head over to Google and type in “incorporating in Nevada”, the returned results I get are less than HALF.
That means I have just cut my competition down by over half.
So I might want to really try and target, incorporating in Nevada as my keyword because there’s a lot less competition.
There of course is a lot more to market research than this, but I hope this example made it clear how good SEO keyword research not only involves how many people are searching for something, but also takes a good look at who you’re going to be competing with.
If you want to rank near the top of Google, try to pick something you can easily rank for.
Also, note that in the image and example above I used the Broad search in the Google Keyword Tool. You might be better off using the Exact Match (local) figures to go off of to get a better real number to work off of.
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