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Keyword Research: A Quick Tutorial

Hello fellow movers, shakers, and money makers!  I want to talk to you a bit about keyword research.  In fact, I’m gonna give you a quick tutorial.  Not everything you need, but certainly all you need to get started.  Now I know that at least half of you probably hate research.  If you are part of that half, and you just can’t do it, let us do it for you.  If you are like me and love doing research, or you can at least tolerate it, then hopefully I can help you get the ball rolling when it comes to your website.

Why Do I Need To Research Keywords?

Of course that will be your first question.  The reason is simple.  You do the research to figure out what words people are using to find you on the internet.  Then you add those words into the content, tags, titles, etc, on your page.  That gets you ranked higher on the major search engines, which brings more people to your site (you look like an expert).  A percentage of those people will then convert into sales and Voila! You’re making more money.  Keyword research will also help you know what words have flooded the market, and are therefore a waste of your time.  You want to conduct research in order to help you become an innovator, an original, the first and the best.  Do you remember when Friends was the most popular show on television?  Scads of imitators tried to follow suit and duplicate the formula.  Quick, name two of those shows.  You can’t do it because they all fizzled out.  No one wanted a cheap copy of the original when the original was still the best.  You want to be like that.  So do the research and make more money, rank higher, and be the originator, not the imitator.

Make A List, Check It Twice

Yes, it is time to play Santa Claus.  The first thing you want to do is make a list of all the words you can think of that might drive customers to your site.  Any and every way they could possibly look for you or one of your products on the internet must be taken into consideration.  After you have brainstormed your list, ask a friend to look it over and add any words they would use in searching for you.  You might be shocked how many words you didn’t think of.  Finally, take a look at your competitors.  See what keywords they are using and how people are finding them on the internet.

Now, a couple of things to remember.  First, when choosing your keywords,  relevance is the key.  Do not be tempted to target some highly searched,  broad category word like Google.  If your site sells prom dresses, a guy looking for Google is going to be less than impressed when they reach your site.  If you sell Google dresses, then you need a different kind of help then my little blog can provide.  The point is, only use keywords that actually have something to do with your site.  It is okay to use general terms like baseball, or clothing.  It is much better to use something specific like vintage baseball jerseys, or big and tall men’s clothing.  Once you have compiled your list, there are tools to help you do something with it.

Tools of the Trade

If you want to be old-school, just type your keyword in to Google and check to see how many results you get.  If you want to be efficient, you need a keyword research tool.  There are a number of tools out there both paid and free, but I’m gonna hip you to what I believe are two of the best, and they ware both free.  The first is Google AdWords Keyword Tool.   This tool is the one that many of the others use to create and compile their data, so you might as well go to the source.  It can give you tons of useful information such as the competition for that word/phrase, and the average number of searches for it generated in the last month.  A second free tool that would be useful to you is WordTracker.  Use their Competition Search option that provides useful information on how competitive each keyword or phrase is.  This can help you identify those treasured words that have low competition, but high relevancy to your site.  Whichever tool you use, it will help you determine which words are the best for you.

Write Some Stuff

Now that you have your pared down list of relevant, specific, high value words, its time to start writing some pages to highlight them.  The hope is that most of your list will already have high usage on the pages of your website.  If not, write some content for them. Conversely, if you have pages full of words that did not rank high on your list, modify them or chuck them altogether.  They aren’t helping you.  When utilizing your keywords, it’s best to use no more than five keywords per page.  Make sure they fit naturally into the content and are not forced.  I’ve covered all of this already, but I wanted to give you a gentle reminder.

You’re Done…Sort Of!

So there you have it.  Make a list, use the tools, pare it down, write some content, and you are all done.  Okay, that’s not true.  As the winds of change are always blowing, so your site must be changing with them.  As your site and your customers’ needs change, you will periodically revisit this process.  However, at least now you have a basic understanding of how keywords should be researched.  Now that’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!

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