Since I wrote my how to keyword research book for Amazon Kindle, I’ve thought a lot about whether or not I should reveal my whole method in a blog post here.
The quick answer is ‘yes I should’, but that would be completely against the Amazon TOS and they would have to price match my free article version with a cost of $0 and short of republishing the whole 10k word book here it would be very hard to give a thorough explanation while also including a working example.
What I do intend to do here is give a general outline of the method, reveal the keyword research resources I use and answer any questions readers might have on the subject to the best of my ability.
If you’re an experienced keyword researcher, much of the following will likely not come as much of a surprise to you, what may be helpful however is the choice of tools which are both free (although one has a one off payment for the full version) and the speed at which it can be done.
The method I outline is not designed for big time SEO’s who have the financial backing to take on head keywords just because they can dip into their wallet to do so. This is designed to educate new SEO’s and allow them to get their first taste of traffic with the minimum of work. When I say “minimum of work” in this instance does not mean ‘short cuts’ or ‘cheats’, what I mean is doing smart keyword research that many times leads to a flow of traffic from the search engines without having to wildly guess at which search terms it is possible to rank for, or have to write loads of similar articles for backlinks.
With that said, don’t expect to have positive results every single time. Sometimes you may underestimate competition or maybe Google has just fed you false information. Live with it and move onto the next article!
If you are using my keyword research technique correctly, to gain maximum benefit you shouldn’t be wasting too much time waiting around analyzing rankings anyway. You should be off writing a new article on every new keyword you find, letting the rankings take care of themselves at first before you take any action such as building backlinks. If you REALLY do your homework, backlinking will almost become a thing of the past for you, and good riddance! Backlinking is probably the worst culprit for getting sites deindexed or penalised, thus destroying any and all hard work you have put into a site. Trust me, I know first hand!
Be very wary of building backlinks unless you are 100% certain you know what you are doing!
How to Keyword Research
The first rule I’d like to point out is that you should always try for the longer tail keywords on a new site, I would even extend this rule to a very powerful site, why not hit the longer tail anyway if it involves extra traffic? It’s a no brainer!
What I don’t see so often is blog posts or articles that target multiple long tails.
As usual, I like to use the current article as an example just as I do in the eBook. Here are my 3 choices:
- The first keyword that I came across of interest was ‘how to keyword research‘ it has 140 Global monthly searches ans 58 US based monthly searches. Chump change in terms of traffic as we both know but it is highly targeted to what I am writing about so if I make a good impression here and actually rank for this keyword then maybe I’ll make sales on my book which covers the subject in depth.
- ‘Keyword research resources‘ was a secondary choice, it has less traffic than I would really have liked (22 global and US monthly searches) but the competition seemed easy enough to beat so all I had to do was ‘resources’ onto the end of my current keyword to have a shot at ranking for it.
- Finally, there was a keyword I liked that was slightly higher in searches than the above which was ‘keyword research questions‘ this had a global monthly search of 28 and a US monthly search of 22. I didn’t target this as directly as I did the first 2 options but pinning ‘& questions’ on the end of the title allows me to loosely target the keyword there.
Forgive me if I avoid the keywords in the text for a while, I like to avoid over optimizing as I recommend you do yourself, from here on I’ll refer to the choices as 1,2 and 3 respectively until I want to include them in the content again.
Now you could argue that I should have targeted the higher monthly search term first (No3) by making the title of the post ‘How to Keyword Research, Questions & Resources’ rather than the other way around. That would have been a mistake however, option 2 is far more targeted to the type of searcher I am looking for, the people searching for questions will be a bonus (if I rank) whereas people looking for actual resources will be more likely to buy my book. Make sense?
So the method of including multiple keywords in a single posts title and URL works like this…
- Find the first keyword you would like to rank for, this can be a little more difficult than you expect, or would normally try, to rank for.
- Find a longer tail that you can use which is easier to rank for. This could be an extension to the front or back of the original keyword, 2 log tail keywords, one that has the original keyword at the end and one that has the original keyword at the front will give you the best of both worlds if you can make a title that makes sense from it. (OK, I didn’t do that here but you catch the drift right? If not, example below).
- Finally, if it makes sense you can tag a word onto the articles title and URL. Again, you can only do this if it makes sense and the competition has to be pretty easy to beat for this to work. Even if you think you can’t beat the competition, it is still a good idea as you have a shot at ranking at a later date and you increase the chances of getting long tail search traffic. This final method was included here with the word Questions being added to the mix but notice the full keyword is only included in the title and URL in a ‘broad’ sense. We can hit the actual keyword in the content (perhaps a sub-heading) to give Google a push to rank us for it. (Not to mention any quality backlinks you may be able to obtain!)
Example of How to Hit Multiple Keywords With 1 Article
Note: This is a made up example and I have no idea of real world chances of ranking these keywords, they are simply laid out to teach the method.
- Research keywords to find your first easy to rank keyword. Example: ‘find a grave’ (Upbeat example huh? :-D)
- Use Google auto-complete to find a longer tail with the extra keywords before the original keyword by typing letters before the original keyword in a search. Example: ‘how to find a grave’.
- Once again, use Google auto-complete to find a long tail with extra keywords after your original keyword.
- Finally, add any additional keywords that may result in more long tail visitors if applicable. For examples sake we could take the word ‘Canada’ (which was found in the image directly above) to make ‘How to find a grave for free in Canada’.
Now the problems with the method above is that you don’t know how many searches each keyword is worth and you also have no idea how difficult the competition is to beat. If either is going to be a problem, you’re wasting your time!
This is where tools come into the equation.
The Keyword Research Resources to do This
The first tool we need is located HERE.
This tool will allow you to find long tail keywords from a whole bunch of seed keyword. It will allow you to find them with the extra keywords located at both the beginning and end at the same time without having to go through all the hassle of typing each letter of the alphabet before your seed keywords.
This will cut hours, if not days off your keyword research process so it is well worth the small one time investment. If you buy my keyword research eBook there is also a large discount on the tool.
Secondly, we need to analyze the competition for each of the keywords we find to see if they are easy to rank for.
THIS TOOL does that job for us, the book tells us how to beat them by doing what our competitors are not. (Some hints on this are in red on this page!)
Finally, we need to know if the keywords we have selected will bring enough traffic to be worth targeting. Again, this is a long and tedious process if we decide to just go back and forth the Google AdWords keyword planner and again, I cover how to do this quickly in the book.
Keyword Research Questions Anybody?
I hope the above is fairly clear, I understand however that there may be questions you may have, feel free to ask below and I’ll try to address them A.S.A.P. (Without giving away the farm of course! ;-))