Keyword Research: The Most Important SEO Skill
Many years ago, I learned one of the most important marketing skill ever.
This marketing skill is one of the reasons why I am able to rank extremely high in Google for a lot of search terms with little work at all.
In fact, I hardly perform any SEO techniques beyond the very basics that everyone is already doing.
What’s this skill?
Well, it’s already written in the title!
It’s keyword research!
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is looking for keywords to base your blog post around.
A lot of people write blog posts about whatever. It doesn’t have a specific topic in mind. It generally talks about something.
This is BAD in terms of ranking well in Google for free search engine traffic.
Google isn’t able to really figure out what your blog topic is about if you write blog posts generically, and they will therefore not rank you well for anything.
You could get lucky and be ranked for something occasionally. But that’s not efficient marketing in this complicated world of blogging.
So you MUST start basing your blog content around specific words or phrases that people are using to find things on Google.
How do you find keywords and keyword phrases people are using?
You need to use a keyword research tool to discover what people are typing into Google.
Google keyword planner is a free tool from Google that can help you get started.
It will give you an idea of what people are typing into Google.
But you’ll eventually want to graduate from this tool because it’s very basic and doesn’t give you an edge on anybody else who is a little more advanced in keyword researching.
You’ll want to get a paid keyword research tool if you’re serious about ranking high in Google.
There are a few great ones out there.
I’ve used most of them and the one I love the most is SEMrush.
With SEMrush, or the Google keyword planner, you can type in a keyword to see how many times someone uses that keyword per month to find something in Google.
For example, the keyword “best credit cards” is used around 100,000 times a month in Google.
This is very high and it tells us right away that “credit cards” is a popular topic online.
If you ever searched up this term in Google, you’d notice it is dominated by high authority domains. It would be a nightmare to try and beat them in the SERPS.
So how do you find search terms that are worthy?
The key is to find low competition keywords
One of the least sexy marketing tips you’ll ever hear is to find low competition keywords.
I almost never hear bloggers who teach blogging talk bout this. They can sometimes mention it, but they’re all usually very busy teaching you the latest and greatest SEO technique and link building technique.
Because that’s sexy. That’s what sells courses. That’s what people think they need.
But really, it’s NOT.
What you need to do is find keywords that are low competition.
Think of fighting a 5 year old girl.
Because she is low competition. It’s as simple as that.
So when you are finding keywords to base your article around, you want to kind the 5 year old girls. You want to find keywords that hardly anyone (or no one) is writing about.
Because your chances of ranking well in Google is astronomically higher this way.
In fact, it’s very possible to rank in the top 10 of Google just by writing your article and hitting the publish button.
Granted you may have to wait several months for Google to move you up, but besides the wait, you can get there without doing anything more.
How do you determine if a keyword is low competition?
Figuring out keyword difficulty isn’t an exact science.
And in fact, even if everything points to a keyword being low competition, it may not work out that way.
Google does everything it can to make it hard to manipulate them.
And that’s a good thing.
Or everyone would be cheating them (we all still try anyways).
Conversely, sometimes a keyword seems more difficult but in reality it was easy peasy to rank it.
But follow the following guidelines and you will be in good hands when deciding how difficult a keyword is:
Keyword in title – If you search your keyword in Google and there are no titles with your keyword or keyword phrase in it, it’s a very good sign. Because if people are trying to rank for this keyword, they would use the keyword in the title (very basic on page SEO technique)
Low authority blogs/websites in top 10 – One of the most important factors is the quality of websites ranking in the top 10. If it’s full of low authority blogs or websites, or low ranking pages like yahoo answers and forums, then you have a higher chance of ranking high for this search term
And that’s really it.
Those are the 2 main things I look at when deciding if I want to write on this keyword or not (in terms of identifying how difficult it is to rank for this keyword).
You want the trifecta – low competition, high search volume, and ability to monetize
In a perfect world, you will find a keyword that is low competition, has high search volume, and you can make money from it somehow.
That’s the ultimate keyword.
Its the SEXIEST keyword you could ever find.
Because this means you can rank easily for this keyword, and you will get a lot of traffic from this keyword, AND you will be able to make money from this keyword.
There’s just nothing sweeter than that in SEO.
Now, obviously these keywords are difficult to discover.
You need to search and search.
And honestly you just need a bit of luck.
It’s like panning for gold. You could be panning all week finding little to nothing. Then on Friday BAM you hit that golden nugget.
You just gotta keep digging baby.
Here’s how to determine if a keyword is high volume
High volume is a relative word.
High volume could be 500 or 15000.
If 500 people are looking for a lawyer in your area, then holy cow that’s HIGH.
Because you only need a few clients to make a lot of money.
If 15 000 people are looking for something, well, that’s high no matter what. Cause that’s a big number.
But you can see that it just depends on how much VALUE that searcher can give you.
For example, if you are doing FOREX, where selling a forex course will earn you $300, a search term that has 1000 searches a month could be A LOT.
If you were able to just convert 1 or 2 of these searches a day, you’d be making $300-$600 a day, and that’s enough money to quit your job. So it’s significant.
But if you found a search term that had 10 000 searches a month but you were only able to make $0.50 per visitor that converted, well then maybe it’s not as amazing of a keyword as the high search volume indicates.
How to tell if you can make money from a keyword
Probably the hardest part for beginners and even intermediate bloggers is figuring out how valuable a keyword is when it comes to making money from it.
I think it’s mostly because you’ve never made much money before and don’t know how to do it well yet, so you’re not sure how to evaluate a certain keyword.
One indicator of how valuable a keyword is is the CPC value.
CPC is cost per click, and it’s a value given to how much money advertisers are spending to place ads on Google for this keyword.
I find it can be wildly inaccurate. But it gives you an estimate.
If you typed in Credit cards into a keyword tool, you’d find CPC around a few dollars or more for keywords related to credit cards.
And it makes sense.
Credit cards are a big money maker for people who promote them.
So the high CPC is reasonable.
Sometimes the dumbest search terms have high CPC as well. No idea why. So you’ll need to use your brain a little.
It’s also why it helps to start with a product in mind to sell/promote before you write a blog post. This way, you know if a keyword fits the product. And you can therefore combine the two to make money.
You can’t always have a product in mind. Sometimes you find keywords and then you need to figure out what products you can match with this keyword.
Then you take your best shot and see if it works.
That’s the biggest thing.
You’ll find random keywords like “how to lose arm fat”. And then you’ll have to figure out who’s typing this in to Google? They obviously have flabby arms, but then how do I craft a message that makes them like and trust me, and takes my advice. And then what product/service can I show them that will help them lose their arm fat, and get in overall better health?
As a new marketer, this is pretty difficult actually. But it takes time and practice. Just like anything worth while, right.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions!