Best keyword is actually not the right term for what we mean here. The more accurate term is best keyword phrase since that’s what we want to target. Single words are in nearly every case to broad. But since the term keyword is adopted throughout the internet I’ll stick to that.
What’s the importance of keywords?
Look at what you’re probably doing and what most people do if they want some information about a topic on the internet. They go to Google and type in a term which they think will return what they are looking for. Now what turns up on the first page of Google are the top ten sites Google thinks will match your enquiry best. The success the enquirers will have depends on two things:
First : Do they have targeted their search correctly which means: Does the term they typed into Google really describe what they are looking for?
Second: Did the authors of the content that showed up in the first ten search results target with their keyword exactly what is on their page.
The other thing to consider is your site will be hardly found if it doesn’t show up on Google page 1.
So when choosing keywords for your content keep these two aspects in mind:
1. You want to rank on Google page 1.
2. If people visit your site they should actually find what they were searching for.
How do you go about choosing keywords that are likely to rank on Google page 1 and describe exactly what your offer is about. In other words how do you find the best keyword?
What’s the niche your offer is in? Let’s say your niche is about dogs. What exactly in this niche? You have a device for grooming dogs you want to promote as an affiliate. And it’s especially suitable for grooming toy poodles with skin problems. Next thing to do is finding one ore several root keywords.
Go to Google and see what turns up if you enter e.g. grooming poodles. There turns up a lot of advice on grooming poodles but nothing which is obviously about brushes and combs. We can look at a couple of sites to see if there is something that gets near our offer. First three items were you tube videos all on how to groom a poodle, nothing about combs or brushes. So let’s enter devices for poodle grooming. The first hit was a shop with devices for dog grooming. Then there were some items about clipping dog’s nails and a couple of books.
Next I tried brushes for poodles and this looked not to bad as a seed (or root) key phrase.
Generate Keyword List
Now we are going to generate a keyword list. For this we can use tools like the Google Keyword Tool or keyword tool dominator or any other tool although a lot of those tools get their keyword suggestions from the Google keyword tool as well so let’s use that one.
Google keyword tool came up with 800 keyword ideas. Keyword tool dominator showed 11 results. Now we can go directly to analysing what we have or expand our list first.
Expand Your List
There are a couple of ways to expand the keyword list. You can type in your search term into Google and do a search. At the bottom of the page there show up related keywords which you can add to your list. You can click on them and get more suggestions. Then you can go to the keyword tool and search there for suggestions on some of the above found keywords. So you can toggle forth and back and expand your list to the thousands which is not really necessary. If you wish you can even include Google Trends in this process.
Analyse your List
Now we are going to analyse what we have.
I exported the Google results to a csv file and opened it in open office calc (free spreadsheet tool, you can use MS Excel as well). I sorted the results by global monthly searches and deleted everything with less than 720 searches. You can vary this of course but best is something between 400 and 5000 depending on the niche you are targeting. Keep the figure low for small niches and higher for larger niches.
Next we have to go through our list manually and delete everything that seems irrelevant to our offer. This step is rather time consuming but saves a lot of time for the future steps.
In my example I ended up with a list of 64 keywords. The average monthly searches tell us the market potential of each keyword. But what about the competition? We have to assess that as well. Google gives a rough estimate of the competition based on Google AdWords data. But I recommend to look at the number of sites having the exact keyword phrase in it. Google returns this figure if you type in the search term in quotes and hit search. On top of the window it gives an estimate of the number of results for your search. That’s what we need. To automate this step I’m using Micro Niche Finder. But this figure doesn’t tell whether the web sites mentioning this keyword are optimized for it.
To find this out you can enter all in title: followed by your key term in quotes. E.g.: all in title: “your key term”. You can do the same with all-in-anchor and all-in-tag and in-url. With this method you get a rough idea of how many sites are optimized for that key term. But since this is very time consuming you want to do this last step only for potentially good keywords.
Criteria for Choosing Keywords that rock
So next let’s see which key terms to go for. The first thing to look at is traffic. You want to go for the keywords with the most traffic of course. Next thing is competition. I recommend putting all your keywords in a spreadsheet with their figures for traffic and exact matches. Then sort for the traffic column. Now look through the mmoonthly searches. Sort out the ones with less than 1000 (in my case 720) searches. Next look at the exact matches and sort out the ones with more than 100’000 hits. Only now you probably want to look at how many sites are keyword optimized. Go for the keywords for which the least sites are optimized. To do all of this I’m using Market Samurai, Micro Niche Finder, Google Search, Google Kyword Tool and Google Trends.
Competition is the fugure from Google Keyword tool for CPC competition. Mob means measure of backlinks, soc means strength of competition and the last three columns give the domain availability for the respective extensions. The last three columns arefrom Micro Niche Finder. The first four are from Market Samurai.
In the end look for the keywords that describe your offer the best. Those are the keywords you should target in whatever your marketing vehicle is, AdWords Ad, article, blog article, press release or whatever. Since this was only an example and I don’t actually want to promote dog brushes I can’t tell you which of these keywords I would select as the best keyword.
Monitoring the Performance
If you have your article or whatever out on the internet you should thoroughly monitor the performance. Best is to have two or more main keywords in different articles targeting the same offer. Then you play around with them. See which ones are doing the best and relate them to the search you’ve done to find them. This way you can refine your methods.
To your success!