The Complete Guide to Keyword Research: SEO is a very board subject with many aspects of it in constant debate. Social signals, content marketing, on page SEO, etc is always a subject that is constantly talked about and the center of debate. However, amid all this chaos one subject seems to always be swept to one side. It’s the foundation of any SEO campaign and that’s: keyword research.
It may sound funny but without keywords, SEO wouldn’t even exist.
Keywords are a guide for your SEO campaigns. They tell you what to do, where to go and what you can do to improve your rankings.
They also help find out the mind set of your target market.
What are they thinking about?
What do information are they trying to find out?
Keyword is essentially market research.
If you have the ability to find amazing keywords for your website , then you’ll be able to increase your traffic and also gain a bigger percentage of the market share. Keywords help you know your customers, the better you know about your customers the better chance you have in beating you competition.
Even though keywords research is extremely important for any SEO campaign, most people get it all wrong.
Most people’s keywords research looks something like this:
Well I’m afraid that is wrong, so very wrong.
But don’t worry help is at hand, as I’m going to try and create the ultimate guide to keywords research. By the end of it you’ll be able to know exactly what words and phrases your target market use when searching for information on the web.
Once you read this guide and make sure to make on-page SEO is centred on your keywords, you’ll be able to see massive increases in your search rankings, gaining you more traffic and more sales.
But that’s not all.
Before you rack your brain to try and think of any keywords or load up the Google Keyword Planner on your web browser, you have to first think of a niche topic within your industry.
Once you have identified these super-secret squirrel niche topics you can then uncover buyer keywords that no one, not even your competition has thought of.
First things first, whatever you do, do not start with trying to find keywords on the Keyword Planner (GKP). This will lead to trouble further down the line.
Why is GKP a horrible place to start you say?
Because it can’t come up with any new keyword ideas to save it’s life. It can only come up with closely related keywords, which is fine but when you’re trying to beat your competition you want something that is going to give you a certain edge.
Here’s an example:
What comes to mind when you hear the word “ football”?
Whether you’re a football fan or not there are some words that have already came into your head.
NOTE: if you’re from the US, you’re thinking of the wrong football 🙂
However, when you put the word “ football” into the GKP
None of the words that we thought of come up
Basically, the Google Keyword Planner only shows you words that are closely related to the keyword that you put into it.
They also don’t show keywords that are closely related to what you are trying to sell, which are the keywords that are almost always the most profitable.
This is why ranking for any given keyword seems nigh on impossible. Everybody is trying to rank for the same keyword and only one person is winning.
I’m not knocking the GKP ,in fact it happens to be an extremely useful tool, I even wrote a whole chapter on it in this ultimate guide to keyword research.
What I’m trying to say is don’t solely rely on the tool to do the work for you. Tools are not creative like us humans so sometimes it is better to think outside the box and give the GKP a bit of a rest.
In order to get creative and find those killer keywords you need to first identify niche topics.
If you don’t already know what a niche topic is, keep reading.
A niche topic is a topic that your potential customers are interested in.
It isn’t a keyword that we are trying to target, but a whole topic, albeit a very specific one. (Later on in the guide I show you exactly how to uncover keywords from niche topics)
For example, let’s say you own a small company that sells football nets.
Just like last time the GKP is pretty useless at throwing up any new keyword ideas, just similar related keywords. Although these keywords might be great to use for your business, there are still other untapped keywords that are even less competitive yet more profitable.
However, there is a problem. These keywords are not easy to find.
But the best way to find these keywords is to start with niche topics. This is by far the easiest way to find those little gems.
Niche topics are a list of niches that your customers like and are interested in AND very closely linked to the niche of your product, service or business.
For example, someone who is thinking about buying a football net may also be looking for answers to the following questions:
I hope it’s starting to make sense.
All of those search quires are unique by itself but are still related to your niche topic.
For example, the search “how to take a free kick” will be part of the “free kick taking” niche topic.
Niche markets are very small in comparison to large broad niches. More often than not they aren’t large enough to base a whole website on.
Most nice markets can only give you a handful, and I’m talking 1-5 good keywords to work with. This just isn’t enough for a website or a whole range of products. The handful of keywords you get will have just enough search volume and monetization potential to actually optimize pages around.
However, when you combine all these niche market keywords together you’ll end up with many keywords which have low competition and they’re all yours for the taking.
Niche markets are a great way to find amazing keywords, with low competition.
Here’s how to do it:
The objective with niche topic is to find the various topics your target customers search for in Google.
Grab a pen and some paper and take notes.
Try to come up with 5 different niche markets. This should be enough to find a good handful of unique keywords.
Using “football” as our example, I came up with the following:
If you still can’t think of some niche topics, here are a few little tricks you can use to find them.
Forums are a great little cheat into finding those untapped niche topics. You can get access to them 24/7 and you will be able to uncover so much gold from these forums by just having a quick browse.
If you can’t think of any forums related to your niche market, here is some help. Use some search quires to filter through Google and find what you’re looking for.
Here are some search quires you can use:
2. In the search bar enter a keyword
3. Then search pick a forum that you think your audience will hang around on
Take a look at what come up:
All these are niche topics. Keep on digging and you’re bound to find more.
Wikipedia is often underrated for research purposes. School teachers up and down the country are always advising students not to look at Wikipedia as a source of reliable information.
In this case they are wrong.
Wikipedia provides a plethora of topics created by thousands of experts and put onto one webpage.
Here’s how to find niche topics in Wikipedia:
It will then take you to the Wikipedia page for that keyword
2. Look at the “table of contents”
3. Take a look at what comes up, so of these could potentially be amazing niche topics.
4. Click on the separate categories to dig deeper and find more niche topics
Here I clicked on “ball in and out of play”. This brought up even more niche topics for the keyword “ ball in and out of play.
Two more niche topics have been found, “in play” and “restarts”
After all of that I’m hoping you have found yourself a nice little list of niche topics, great! Now it’s time to get some keywords.
Keywords in the SEO world are divided into three main categories: head, body and the (long) tail.
These are normally single, short keywords with huge search traffic and competition. For example: “supplements” and “cars”. Because the searcher intent is very ambiguous Google does not know exactly what page to show up in the SERPs. Someone searching the word “cars”, may be wanting a car insurance quote or they may be interested in some cool sport car wallpapers for their desktop.
NOTE: head keywords don’t convert very well.
Body keywords are longer phrases, around 2-3 words that have less search volume than head keywords but are a bit more specific. Words like “car insurance quotes” and “best car wallpapers” are good examples of body keywords. Body keywords a still competitive but just have less search volume.
Long tail keywords are keywords with 4+ words in the phrase. They are almost always specific. Phrases like “how to get the cheapest car insurance quotes for new drivers” is a good example of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords don’t get much search volume but when you target multiple long tail keywords you can get a decent enough traffic to convert. Long tail keywords make up the vast majority of search quires online.
My advice would be to put your focus on body and long tail keywords. This is because head keywords are very hard to convert and super competitive, so there’s no point in wasting your time trying to rank for those keywords.
When writing any article make sure it’s long and targets body keywords. This is so you can get all the benefits of targeting body terms: high search volume, easy to convert traffic and medium competition. And by writing long pieces of content you will naturally include long tail keywords in your article without even knowing. Long tail keywords do have low monthly traffic, 100-1000 searches, but are easy to convert and rank for.
This is why you should aim for body and long tail terms.
Well done you’ve just finished the first Chapter of The Complete Guide to Keyword Research. Now don’t go away to soon as you’ve got other chapters to read. Next you’ll be finding out how to turn those niche topics into great keywords?
Yes, more keywords!!!
I order to find these hidden treasures we need to know how to use the Google Keyword Planner Tool.
The Complete Guide to Keyword Research: The Google Keyword Planner, is next in our guide.