Keyword Research in Five Steps

Make a list.

The first thing that you should do is to make an initial list of keywords. One of the most effective ways to do this is to brainstorm. There are several ways to go about this. The simplest is to simply write down every word that you think is associated with your business. If you know your competitors then you can list down words and phrases that they are using on their site. Another effective way of brainstorming keywords is to think like a customer. If you were someone looking for the product or service your offering, what search terms will you be using on search engines.

Step 2. Get a count for the keywords.

With the use of a keyword research tool such as Google Keyword tool and Market Samurai, get a count for each of the keywords in your list. You can easily get the numbers of searches from the two tools discussed above. One of the things that you need to be aware of is that each tool can give data over different time periods. To make sure that all the data represents the same time period, you may have to adjust the data for each tool. There are tools, for example, that provide data from the previous month, there are those that provide yearly estimates and then there are those that give daily estimates. So if a certain tool provides monthly data and another tool gives daily data, you will have to multiply the result of the latter tool to 30 or 31 so its results will be consistent with that of the fist tool and you can compare the two results laterally.

Step 3. Expand your list of keywords and phrases.

The next thing to do is to expand your list of keywords and phrases using the new terms that the different keyword research tools you are using have unearthed. Your goal is to have a large compilation of keywords composed of a variety of terms with each word having a search estimate. There’s one rule of thumb in expanding your keyword list, add only words that you think can provide traffic to your site.

Step 4. Determine the value of each keyword.

After you have built an expanded list of keywords, the next step is to go through each keyword and determine its value to your business. This may seem like a hard procedure to do but it actually isn’t. It just requires a little hard work and patience. One of the things that you will get from this exercise is the ability to weed through hundreds of keywords and phrases. Soon enough, you’ll be able to complete this process quickly and easily.

Step 5. Determine competitiveness of keywords.

Keep in mind that a competitive keyword is hard to target. There are different ways to determine the competitiveness of a keyword. If you can find a keyword research tool that offers competitive research then use that. Another thing that you can do is to pick a certain keyword and use it to search for Google. Take note of the sites that show up in the first two pages. Do this with other keywords. Take note of the sites that consistently come up on your searches. These sites are your main competition.

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