Keyword Research – Tools & Guides, Pick The Right Keywords, Reach Your Targets, & Make Some Money!
Picking the right keyword by following “Keyword Research-Tools & Guides” is an art and placing them in the right spots is a science. Don’t fret as it’s quite easy to get started but it will take some time before you get good. However, if you spend some time learning the resources above you too can become a keyword strategist. Go for the profitable long tail keywords and you find lots of opportunity. Moral of the story: No webpage, article, infographic, video, or image should be posted without some serious keyword research.
There is a strong correlation between the search types and keyword types, as the narrower the search term is, the higher the likelihood that it is transactional.
There are three types of keyword terms:
Head: Head terms are words that have represent broad topics like banking, horses, and Dell, and have massive amounts of search volume.
Middle: Middle terms have some clarifier that narrow down the search and have substantially less volume. E.g., affordable banking, race horses, and Dell notebooks.
Long-tail: Long-tail search terms are refined to a small niche and have relatively small search volumes. However, this traffic is very refined and targeted. For example, affordable banking for families, race horses in Saratoga, and what are the fastest Dell computers?
Once you pick the right word you are going to ensure that the keyword phrase appears at least once in several places, including:
- Page Title
- Meta Description
- Heading text
- Body Text (especially the first paragraph)
- Page URL
In keyword research, you must place your relevant keyword especially in Page Title, Meta Description & Page URL. The keywords you choose should be strategically placed throughout a webpage, but not be over-optimized. It’s important to have the keyword phrase in your article, Pick keywords that are being searched for, relevant to your product or service, and likely to bring traffic that will convert into a sale or some other action.
The value in keyword research and on-page optimization: Picking the right keywords and placing them in the right place helps you rank higher in Google search. There have been many studies on Google user behavior and statistics show that 35% of Google searchers click on the very first search result and only a paltry 5% make it off the first page! So if you want to stand a chance of being found, you want to be on that first page in the top 3 spots. Otherwise you may only see a few clicks a year (if that).
Free Keyword Tools
There is a wide array of free keyword tools on the market. My favorite keyword tool is the SEO Book keyword tool – it is fast and free, powered by Wordtracker, and allows you to quickly export your keyword data.
Extremely useful free keyword research tools are as follows:
Is the most popular keyword tool
Make sure you open an account with Google and login when using the Google Adwords Tool or Google Search Based Keyword Tool.
Here are some Guides/tutorials that can get you on your way:
- No venture in SEO activity should start without consulting SEOMoz’s Guide to SEO. Chapter 5 covers keyword research.
- Search Engine Land also has a good intro into keyword researchwith some useful resources.
- Find “golden” keywords and avoid mistakes with this lengthy primerfrom Cloud Living Journey.
- While it has a strong plug for its own product Scribe, Copyblogger has a decent 3 step primer on keyword research.
- Here is another plug heavy keyword research primerfrom WordStream.
- Check this 10 minute video on keyword researchfrom Affiliorama.
- Looking to update keywords on existing content? Check out this 4 step guide from Search Engine People.
- Avoid common keyword research mistakeswith some help from SEOMoz.
- Find out about alternative resources for keyword researchin this article from NorthCutt.
- Save some time with 7 keyword research shortcutsfrom Marketing Pilgrim.
- There are alot of paid tools in keyword research but this video presents the easy and free way to do keyword research.
- If you aren’t sure where to start, Instakeywords will give you free keyword suggestions for any term you type in.
- Wondering how it all fits together on the page? Check out this cool SEO infographic cheat sheetfrom UpCity.
Once you are ready to get into action here are some of the tools of the trade to help you carry out your Keyword Research:
- Keyword research always starts with the Google Keyword Tool.
- Google has many other tools that can help you find great keywords. Google Trendscan provide up and coming keyword opportunities. Google Correlate helps you find and compare search patterns. To generate ideas perhaps one of the best free tools is Google Suggest. SEOChat has a primer on utilizing this search functionality.
- While Google is the elephant in the room Microsoftalso has keyword research tools.
- Get more free keyword suggestions with Übersuggest.
- Mergewordsand the SEOBook Keyword List Generator are two tools that can help create new combinations of keyword phrases quickly.
- There are many good paid tools worthy of consideration such as Wordtracker, SEOMoz,
- If you have some technical chops SEOMoz has a great tutorial that can help you automate your keyword researchusing the Google API key and Google Docs.
- One of the most crucial steps in keyword research is analyzing the keyword value. Distilled.net has a great guide SEO for Excel guidethat can walk you through analyzing your data.
For those who are looking for one place that ties all of this important information together in one nice package, you will be happy to know there are some courses thats cover the basics of keyword research. However, most of these are part of larger SEO and content marketing tutorials but by now it should be clear that these subjects are intricately tied. The best part is that all of the courses we have chosen are 100% free! (Secured sign up is required for all sites.)
- Udemy has a 21 lecture 5.5 hour keyword research coursefrom Web Internet Marketing.
- SEOMoz also has its own 1 hour mini SEOcourse on Udemy.
- SEOBook has a free SEO course. Those who are not interested in the full tutorial can skip straight to the keyword research module.
- The American Marketing Association (AMA) has its own free course called, “SEO: What Every Marketer Should Know.”
- Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing University has a whole module on SEO including three three webinars on SEO.
- Clickminded’s SEO 101is also a resource that is worth checking out.
Here are some additional cool keyword tools:
Is the most popular keyword tool
Is backed by Google’s large search share
However, it can be flaky because…
Google doesn’t like to share the stats with precision, as their primary aim is to show PPC marketers the keywords & have them test their value. In fact, Google will show more data if you are logged into an AdWords account.
You can get a free $75 AdWords coupon here (or here or here or here) … many options linked, as some of their coupon offers expire over time & we update this page periodically. The Google Partners Program also offers coupons to consultants managing AdWords accounts.
Google often changes the interface and features, pulling back data and making the results broader and less relevant over time.
It can take a good bit of effort to collect data on different match types (broad vs phrase vs exact).
When you use their keyword tool ensure that you have it set to your target country market & you are using exact match to view the search volume for that exact keyword.
A free plug-in for Microsoft Excel
They have a smaller market-share than Google, but tend to be far more accurate with the search volume numbers they do share. My wife went to PPC Summit a while back & while there a Microsoft representitive stated that the data Ad Intelligence shows is the exact same data that Microsoft sees internally.
This plugin requires a Bing Ads account to pull data from Microsoft, but here are free coupons for setting up your account
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If you have any questions about any of these keyword tools and are a subscriber please ask in our keyword tools forum.
Gather More Keyword Ideas
Anything people would likely search for to want to buy your services is a potential keyword.
You can look at emails from customers or customer questions as potential keywords.
If you have been publishing a site for a while and have analytics data you can use the analytics data to find keywords.
You can analyze competing sites looking for keywords.
There are literally hundreds of ways to come up with keyword ideas.
Group Similar Keywords
After you gets a list of keywords start grouping related keywords together…
You should be able to target related phrases like ‘Chicago dentist’ and ‘dentist in Chicago’ using a single page.
Chicago cosmetic dental work is a different concept than ‘Chicago dentist’ is, so you should create a separate page targeting that term and why prospects would want to buy that service.
You can use Microsoft Excel, Open Office, or Google Docs to start aligning keywords and related modifiers with your URLs. We have an example spreadsheet in our member’s area here
Use Competitive Research Tools
Competitive research tools can help you find a baseline for what to do & where to enter a market. Before spending a dime on SEO (or even buying a domain name for a project), it is always worth putting in the time to get a quick lay of the land & learn from your existing competitors.
Seeing which keywords are most valuable can help you figure out which areas to invest the most in.
Seeing where existing competitors are strong can help you find strategies worth emulating. While researching their performance, it may help you find new pockets of opportunities & keyword themes which didn’t show up in your initial keyword research.
Seeing where competitors are weak can help you build a strategy to differentiate your approach.
Enter a competing URL in the above search box & you will quickly see where your competitors are succeeding, where they are failing & get insights on how to beat them. SEMrush offers:
granular data across the global Bing & Google databases, along with over 2-dozen regional localized country-specific Google databases (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States)
Search volume & ad bid price estimates by keyword (which, when combined, function as an estimate of keyword value) for over 120,000,000 words
Keyword data by site or by page across 74,000,000 domain names
The ability to look up related keywords
The ability to directly compare domains against one another to see relative strength
The ability to compare organic search results versus paid search ads to leverage data from one source into the other channel
The ability to look up sites which have a similar ranking footprint as an existing competitor to uncover new areas & opportunities
Historical performance data, which can be helpful in determining if the site has had manual penalties or algorithmic ranking filters, applied against it
A broad array of new features like tracking video ads, display ads, PLAs, backlinks, etc.