Finding relevant keywords for your website/blog and having the ability to analyze your competitors is a major key to success. The first step is to determine your subject matter. This will help you to understand and analyze your competitors as well as establish the direction of your content. These factors are essential in helping you improve your Google Rank!
Before starting your research, it is important to note that there is no “magical” process which assures you the top position in a search engine. Some factors in determining your rank can be strange and remember that companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo guard their secret algorithms in a secure place.
Step 1: The Idea
The idea is the first thing to consider. If you want to create a website or improve the rank of an existing one you should already have a subject matter in mind for your site.
Dogs? Football? Soccer? Olympics games? Fashion? Blogging? You know these words, but there is one problem with them – they are too common. The competition from many other websites are too well known and will beat out your Google rank. You will have to find some other, more targeted keywords related to your subject that has a lower level of competition.
Step 2: A List of Keywords
To find relevant keywords, start by writing every idea you have, every word or phrase you find about your subject. Search the web, seek ideas on Google, on social media sites, etc. Cast a wide net and aim for at least 25 ideas – there should be no limits. You may just need blogging inspiration. When you have determined your idea, you will need tools to generate thousands of keywords related to your subject.
How to Generate Keywords
Using Google Adwords Keywords Tool, enter one of your words (example: “blogging tips”).
Google Keywords Adwords Tool Search
Google will generate a long list of keywords related to your idea.
Google Keywords Adwords Tool Search Results
Do not waste time checking the results one by one as another software will filter the results for you later. Export your results into an excel spreadsheet and repeat the process with other keywords on your list. At the end you will probably have an extensive list of words and expressions. In your final list, some keywords won’t match your idea and others will generate a low number of daily searches. As these are not valuable, eliminate them.
Step 3: Analyze Your Keywords
To analyze our keywords, we will use Market Samurai, a powerful software which will help you determine what keywords are the most relevant in terms of traffic and competition.
The link above is not an affiliate link, and the following examples are done with the free trial version of the software which gives you 15 days worth of access.
This post will not describe every detail of the software. It is covering just one strategy to decide your keywords, and there are so many ways to determine keywords. I suggest you watch the Market Samurai video tutorials, especially the ones for “Keyword research” and “SEO Competition” which have transcripts and screenshots right below the videos. These tutorials are really interesting and they will give you a global vision of SEO.
In Market Samurai, click on the section “Keyword Research.” Add every keyword you have (you can add thousands if you want). Click on “Add Keywords,” and then “Analyze Keywords.”
Market Samurai Keyword Research
Market Samurai will open a new window and give you the following information about your keywords, based on the options you selected.
Market Samurai Keyword Research Results
The two most important columns are SEOT (Traffic) and SEOC (Competition) (see the glossary for more details). SEOT gives you the maximum traffic generated for a related keyword if your website is at the top position in Google.
Use the checkbox at the top of the screen to select factors you want to apply. As an example, (SEOT: 80 and SEOC: 30000 or 50000). There is no perfect rule about how these numbers work. In order to understand how they work, try checking off different filters to get a sense of how the results vary. If this process is confusing, try asking for help on forums. Based on your personal experience, you will be able to determine what the best options are.
When you apply all filters, you should have a very low number of results. From one of them, select your keywords. To do that, click on the “key picture” on the left, it will open a new window in which you can generate new keywords.
If you decide to focus your analysis on the first results, now is the time to analyze your competition. To do that, click on the “key picture” – it will open a new window, then click “SEO Competition” and “Generate Results.”
Market Samurai will analyze the top 10 results on Google and show you a lot of indicators such as the Page Rank (PR), the number of Page BackLinks (BLP), etc. For a complete analysis, it is important to understand every indicator and you can find a description of each one on Market Samurai’s website.
Market Samurai SEO Competition
To resume, and if you want just a superficial or quick overview of your potential competition, focus on PR and BLP. The lower is the PR, the easier it will be for you to compete to a top position.
Additional Tools for Keyword Research
When you think you have a good keyword, you can use other tools to confirm your opinion, such as SEOmoz Keyword Difficulty (paid tool by SEOMoz). This will give you the following information about your chosen keywords.
SEOMoz Keyword Difficulty Tool Results
You can spend a lot of hours searching for a relevant keyword and you may discover the best one by accident. Do not focus only on the current tools you are using. Keep looking for the latest news and information about your subject. Is there a new concept? New trends? The latest model? While all of these technical tools will give you some valuable results based on existing researches, unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be) it can’t give you what people will search for tomorrow.
Your Keyword Research Process
How do you do keyword research when it comes to your main blog, blog posts, or article marketing? What tools do you use – do you like the ones mentioned above or prefer something else? What other ways can you think of to make your keyword research more valuable when it comes to getting better rankings in search engines?