Since I started doing information marketing about 12 months ago I came to notice that there is a big problem within the community.
There are many great marketers (including gurus) who are willing to help and provide valuable information to beginners, intermediates etc...
Nevertheless I also saw a common pattern, they go straight into the methods, regardless of the level of understanding of their audiece. So hundreds of doubts and questions always come about (especially from beginners).
The reason is quite simple, they give for granted that their audience already understands the basics and what the hell they are talking about. But in several situations that is not the case, in fact, in most situations that is not the case.
Now that my insight has been covered, I'll go straight to the point. One of the most frequently asked questions regarding internet marketing is "What the hell is keyword research, how does it work?" and other variations of the same question.
I'm here to explain it thoroughly.
Keyword Research:The Theory
We as internet marketers have some very valuable tools at our disposal.
One of which allows us to figure out exactly what terms or phrases are being used by people from all over the world to find information about specific subjects in the search engines and also how many people are using those specific terms everyday.
With the power of keyword research tools we can find that out and with almost precise numbers.
From my understanding there are two types of keyword research tools.
1. The ones that pull the information directly from the databases of the search engines (Such as Google External Keyword Tool and Yahoo Overture).These are usually quite accurate (at least in respect of the search engine database they pulled the data from) but are usually based on a previous month or previous data, so they are somewhat out of date.
2. The ones that pull the information from the metacrawlers and are not as accurate, but they are up to date. Such as Wordtracker and SEO Book Tool.
As you can see, not 1 tool is entirely accurate, so I suggest you use them in cross reference.
There are also powerful software programs out there that leverage these tools. Good examples are Micro Niche Finder and Market Samurai.
All these tools and software allow us to do several things such as measuring demand, market research, but most importantly allow us to use them so that we can intercept that traffic in the search engines.
Anyway, that was a brief description and definition of keyword research and the tools. Now time for their practical use.The Practice
Keyword research is a lot easier than some people might think. Basically what I do is research a subject or niche I wish to work on, once I get a hold of the terms that are being used within the niche, I start doing the keyword research.
For example, let's say I'm researching the dating niche. I find out there are several niche terms, such as: dating ; pick up ; seduction ; flirting ; rapport ; kissing ; attraction
(and many more)
I grab those terms and insert them into the keyword tools, then a long list of keywords related to the term are displayed. You want to go for the long tail keywords/phrases (3 words or more). Why? Because those have way less competition than the other ones.
The keyword tool will also tell you how many daily or monthly searches are being done for the specific terms on the list. Those numbers mean how many people are using the keyword to do a search in the respective search engine.
Now, that can be used as one measurement of demand in a niche. But most importantly you want them so that you get your work to be displayed in the search engines for those specific keywords!
Be it your blog, article, site, bookmark, magazine, whatever.
The next step is measuring the competition, usually that is done by doing a search for the long tail keyword/phrase in the search engines (like Google) under quotation marks. For example: "how to seduce women"
A number of search results will be displayed in the search engine and that number is the true competition for that keyword.
Why are the results extremely different (and higher) for the keyword when it's not used in quotation marks?
Simple, because when it is not used in quotation marks, the sites that use related terms, synonyms etc... also display (that is the fake competition).
However, the number of competition is not all there is to it. There is also something called the "strength of competition" which is actually MUCH more important than the number of competition.
The SoC includes several variables, mainly: Page rank (not site rank), page reputation, authority, incoming links, page rank of incoming links, relevance of content and many others.
If the SoC is low, even if there is a lot of competing sites, the keyword will be easy to rank for. There are tools like Micro Niche Finder which measure the SoC to an extent.
You can also use this free tool to detect if a keyword has commercial value or not: Detecting Online Commercial Intention: Audience Intelligence: adCenter LabsThe Criteria
Now, the personal criteria I use to pick keywords is if they have at least 300 monthly search results, less than 300,000 competing sites and less than 30 incoming links. That works fine for me.
With this criteria and 100 keywords (there are thousands of thousands for every niche I can assure you) that's a potential of 1,000 daily unique visitors.
But by all means don't consider my criteria as the only one, other people use different parameters. Use what works for you.
There are literally hundreds of variables to measure the competition, but I don't want you to complicate yourself for now, so the ones provided will suffice for now.
Enjoy! Best of luck,