What Is Keyword Research? (And how the heck do you do it!?!?)
This is the fence that stands between most beginning (and more advanced!) Internet marketers and their dreams. You know you need heavily trafficked, low-competition keyword phrases, but are lost about how to find them. While this task does require a bit of work, it can be done, even in competitive markets. Those take a bit more digging, but can be unearthed just the same!
First, you need to understand the realities of your market. If you want to sell diet books and want to rank for the keyword “diet,” please note that at this writing there are more than 134 million competing pages for that term. So let’s get real about what you need to do.
At least, starting out, you need to focus on the “longtail” of search. This means the universe of keyword phrases that may not get nearly as many searches per day as “diet,” but are much less competitive. These are typically 4-6 word phrases, and they also carry the advantage of being infinitely more targeted. A phrase like “type 2 diabetes diet plan” has only 2110 pages optimized for this term, yet gets more than 2900 searches monthly. This is the type of gold you want. (There’s a freebie!) It’s also likely to get people who are looking for exactly that, making them a more viable visitor than someone casually surfing for their next failed diet.
Whether you need keywords for optimizing your site, an article marketing campaign, pay per click campaign, or other purposes, getting them to rise to the surface still takes a bit of detective work. Look at it as laying the foundation for your business. It truly is. Nothing else you do will have as big an impact for your business as your keyword research, so be sure to give it the time and seriousness it deserves!
There are several ways to go about this task. You can use totally free methods which, while more time consuming, can get you the same results. How to do this is detailed in this keyword research PDF.
Or if you want to speed things up a bit, you can use some of the tools that are out there. I’ll summarize a few of them here:
Google Tool – This is the Google Adwords Keyword External tool. Long, unwieldy name, but it’s totally free, easy to use, and returns a good set of search numbers. A good place to start.
MicroNicheFinder – One of the best paid tools out there, this one gives you a terrific amount of data on niche keywords, along with market competition, Adwords prices, search counts, and great digging functions. Highly recommended.
Market Samurai – One of the best Internet marketing tools around, it’s more than a keyword tool, though it functions very well in that. It’s also great for SEO, tracking rankings, spying on competition, and more. They have a free trial.
Traffic Travis – Silly name, great tool. Great for your overall business, as well as keywords. Allows you to track, spy, dig deep for keywords, analyze a particular phrase in the search engines, and more. They have a free version as well as a paid one. Check it out.
CashKeywordsPro – New tool, but it is going to be terrific. A great deal of functionality and caters to affiliate marketing. Does most of what the others do, and they will be adding a great deal more as they go along.
You also have the option of outsourcing the task of keyword research, but understand that it can get expensive, and no one will really know your business or your direction like you will. Still, that is an option.
However you choose to get it done, just make sure you devote some time to this, as it is the difference between success or failure!
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