Keyword Research For Free?

In the last article I explained why finding your correct keywords was so important to your success when using the Internet for promotion.

If you’ve ever looked into getting some SEO done you may have been startled by how much it can cost.

But what if you could do a lot of it yourself for free? Well, you actually can.

In this article I’m going to show you how to do keyword research yourself using a very useful free tool that you can use online.

SEO step-by-step

A) Keyword research

1) The first step is to brainstorm and come up with 3-5 words or phrases that you feel people would enter into a search engine when looking for what you have to offer. It’s also a good idea to ask your fans or customers too.

2) Take the one that seems most true or relevant to you and go to

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
and enter the word or phrase, and then type in the characters that you’re asked to type to prove that you’re a real person, and press the “Get keyword ideas” button.

What’s great about this tool is that it shows what keyword phrases people are ACTUALLY searching on, and how many per month, rather what you might be guessing they are searching on.

Without this tool you could easily pick a “great” keyword that nobody is searching with and end up with no web traffic from the search engines.

3) On the list of related keyword suggestions that comes up, click on “Local Search Volume:” to sort by most searches per month.

If you mouse over the ? symbols you get an explanation of each column.

The Advertiser Competition column shows the percentage of people paying for online advertisements for this keyword, which gives you an idea of its relative potential commercial value.

You can narrow down your search by changing the Match Type (last column on the right). The ? symbol explains the different types.

4) Repeat the process for the main keywords that you came up with in step A) 1) and write down the traffic estimates. Look for at least 300 searches a day (that means 9,000 and more in the Global Monthly Search Volume column).

B) Competition analysis

After you’ve found a keyword that is getting good monthly traffic and that is relevant to what you offer, you need to find out how much competition there is for that keyword – i.e. how many other web sites are using it who could thus theoretically rank higher in the search engines than you and get all your traffic instead of you getting it.

For each good-traffic keyword phrase, enter it into a Google search and look at the top right where it says: Results 1 – 10 of about 2,070,000 for “red cabbage” (if red cabbage was what you searched on).

That 2,070,000 is the number you’re interested in. What you’re looking for ideally is a number below 100,000. This might seem like a lot of sites to compete against but a great many of them won’t have optimized their web sites for their keywords and may be weak in other SEO factors so it’s not as big a number as it seems as many of them will not really be competitive at all.

What if you could tell exactly how competitive the other sites are and thus get a better idea of how well you could compete for your chosen keywords? Well, you can and I’ll show you how in the next article that’s coming soon. In the meantime the above will get you started and in the process I think you’ll also learn a lot about your market.  🙂

1 Comment

  1. Jessica on April 11, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Tony, I've been doing this but I have yet to find any search term that doesn't have millions of results. What am I doing wrong??

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