Keyword Research Basics – Part 1

Keyword research is one of the most valuable things you can do when you’re trying to make money online. It also applies if you’re trying to put up a website for your business and get it where people searching can find you. But there’s a lot of different trains of thought on how to do keyword research. No one uses the exact same approach.

I was recently told about a website called Constant Content, where writers can put their work up to be purchased, and people looking for custom written content can go and purchase it. It’s more expensive than buying PLR, but often cheaper than hiring someone to write your articles. I suggested this site to a couple friends, and offered to help with topics if needed. One of them responded, saying she’d welcome the help with choosing topics. She’s also willing to be my guinea pig, so I’m using her.

Ultimately, PLR and Constant Content articles are similar in theme. So, you can take what’s here and use it to write PLR, Constant Content articles, or even apply it to keyword research for article marketing, or for website building, like I do.

  1. Get a topic idea.Topics can come from anywhere. In most cases, they’re related to things you like to do, or have an interest in. Or, if you’re a little more used to Internet marketing, you can go to evergreen topics. These are topics that are always popular. Think of things that get advertised all the time: health, weight loss, sports, green living, entertainment, pets, technology, and holidays. That’s not a comprehensive list in the least, but it’s topics that people ALWAYS want, and generally want all year round.So, with my friend in mind, I’m going to choose a topic that’s not only evergreen, but applies to her: dogs. She has the most gorgeous German Shepherd, and that dog is smart! I love hearing stories about her. So, the topic is dogs.
  2. Check out Google KeywordsGoogle Keywords is a nifty, free tool that allows you to drop words into it, and you can see how popular they are. It’s used a lot for advertisers, and will tell you not only how many searches per month there are, but the competition for advertising there.I go to the Keyword Tool and drop in dogs, and hit search.
    Google Keyword Results: Dogs
    Wow. Over 9 million searches a month. That’s a lot of people looking for dogs in the search term. But, that doesn’t tell us anything. Are they looking for pictures? What kind of dog? Are they training it? Thinking about getting one? Dogs is too vague, so we move on to step 3.
  3. Narrow your topic down.This is why a lot of websites devoted to one topic are called niche sites. They focus in on one topic, and explore it fully. The folks running these sites are looking for articles and information to add to their sites, and that’s what you’re writing for. But for your content to be valuable, you need to narrow the field.So, let’s take dogs out, and replace it with German Shepherd, and see what people are searching for.
    Google Keyword Results: German Shepherd
    The first thing I learn is people can’t spell shepherd. The second thing I learn is that Google’s being too vague. Under the search box, there should be a checkbox for “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms.” Check that. It will filter out puppies for sale, or dog training. Now, I’ve learned a lot of people are looking to buy German Shepherd puppies in many states and cities. But, that’s more specific than puppies for sale. 

    On the second page, in results 51-100, I hit on a couple potential options. How about “German Shepherd Trainers” or “training a German Shepherd?” Both of them are showing 22,000 global searchers per months, and 12,100 local. That means that in a month, 22,000 people in the world are using Google to find out about training their dog, and 12,100 of those are looking in the United States.
    Google Keyword Results: German Shepherd

    My friend mentioned a cute story playing hide and seek in a blueberry patch to teach her dog to come when her name was called. So, she’s qualified to write about training a German Shepherd.

    Now that we have a potential topic, we hit Google.

  4. Check out Google.Go to good old Google.com and drop that potential phrase in. I’m using “German Shepherd Trainers.” The first thing I notice when I type those keywords in, is Google suggesting a couple more: “professional German Shepherd trainers” and “German Shepherd dog trainers” so I save these topics, and hit search.
    Google Results: German Shepherd Trainers

    1.1 million results is good. Now, scroll to the bottom, and look at the results on page 3 or 4. The actual search results aren’t important, what you’re looking for is advertisements. They’re in the pale pink boxes at the top of the screen, and on the righthand side. I scrolled through, and at page 15, I stopped looking. There’s people paying to advertise on page 15 on Google. Who goes through 15 pages of search results on Google? No one’s seeing these ads, but that tells me this is a hot field.What this tells me is “German Shepherd Trainers” is a good article topic. You’ll want an interesting title with that search phrase exactly, but it’s a topic that should appeal to someone. Perhaps the title of “German Shepherd Trainers: What to Avoid” would be a good topic to get a buyer’s interest. Titles and introductions are another day though, after the rest of keyword research.

Here’s the first part of basic keyword research. I’ll include part 2 soon, which will cover where else to look for topic ideas. The internet is full of them, and I’ll highlight a few popular places to look.

If you’re not sure how to narrow down a topic to see if it’ll sell, post a comment here with a couple topics you’re looking at, and I’ll do some research and show you how I’d pick a topic. If you can narrow is down a bit, that’s great.