Doing your keyword research can be the make it or break it of any SEO campaign. While it is not necessarily hard to do your keyword research but you must do it properly if you want to rank for the right keywords. Keywords hold the access to the exact visitors you are looking to target and without your keywords or with targeting the wrong keywords, you will might as well throw in the towel from the get go.
Bad Keyword Research
Many times I see people targeting to tough of keywords or even targeting keywords that are not even related to what their site is offering. This will kill your conversions and will ruin your hard work and your ROI. If you target keywords that are going to be almost impossible to rank, you will never see any results from your hard work. If you target keywords that are not related to what you are offering your visitors, you are going to have a hard time converting those visitors to do what ever action you want them to do. So it is vital to make sure that the keywords are correlating with your offers and that they aren't going to be too competitive.
Keywords That Are Too Competitive
I know it looks nice and fun to target keywords that have a lot of searches but many times every single other person is targeting these keywords. For one, these keywords are obvious and two, people think they need to rank for these huge search volume keywords to get traffic. This is totally not the case. While it would bring you tons of traffic to rank for a keyword that gets 100,000 searches, you will most likely never rank for it so you will never see any of that traffic.
But if you target these long tail keywords (keywords that are usually more than 2 words and less volume searches) you can get access to keywords that are much easier to rank. Imagine ranking for 50 keywords that have a search volume of 2,000 searches. That would give you the same amount of searches than if you were to target that one keyword that had 100,000 searches. It also looks more natural to Google when you target tons of keywords and if there was an update which will all new will happen sooner or later, you won't get hit for just one keyword because you are going to be ranking for many.
Your money keywords are essentially your long tail keywords. These keywords with more than 2 words typically, are much more specific and could be much easier to target. However, this is not always the case. Keywords research takes time and you should manually go through and delete keywords that are not related to your site and keep the ones which make sense.
Long tail or money keywords are more specific, increase your conversions and much easier to rank. What more can you ask for? I even tend to go for even longer tail keywords. If a keyword even gets searched at all, I will target it. Keywords that get 5 searches a month should still be targeted. Imagine if you rank for 10,000 keywords that all get searched 5 times a month. This is exactly what I do and the amount of time to rank a keyword like this is ten times quicker. Who targets these keywords anyways? No one does and that is my point. These are your "low hanging fruit" and should not be left out of your keyword research.
Okay.. Where To Do Keyword Research?
Go on over to the Google Keyword Tool, just type that into Google and start adding keywords which you think are related. Google will give you a list of keywords that are closely related and keywords which are not so closely related. There is even a checkbox where you can do separate searches for this aspect. I like to load up any different variations that I can think of and let Google bring back the results.
One huge mistake that I see when people do there keywords research is they check the broad searches box. This will bring back broad searches which will contain and soft of combination with your keyword in it. This is not what you want to do.
You want to have the exact match box checked off so you can know the exact searches a keyword gets. Just note that these searches are not exact but it will give you a good idea of how many times people are searching for a particular keyword.
After you have all your keywords, you should break down the ones which look like the best to target. Make these your priority and create pages on your site for them. Remember to use your ON page SEO skills to correlate with your main keywords. I usually like to make my main keywords to have searches around 500-5,000 seaches and break down the long tails and throw them under these categories. Remember, you can't create a page for every keyword so try and categorize your keywords sending them to pages which make sense.
For example - If I had a dog training site and I wanted to create a page for a keyword "labrador dog training" I could also target keywords like "lab dog training" and "the best lab dog training guide" to the same page. You do not need to make seperate pages for this keyword because these keywords are all pretty tightly related to each other and it would make sense for any of these keywords when searched, to send that visitor to the same page.
However, if I had a keyword like "bulldog dog training", it would not make sense to try and rank this page for this keyword because visitors are not looking for this type of content and you would probably have a hard time ranking this page for this keyword. I would create a seperate page for this keyword and use keywords that are closely related to his main keyword and send those visitors to this page.
I hope this makes sense as this is just a general guide. I think the best way to do it is to just do it. Take these tips and start doing your keyword research. Don't worry if you mess up a bit because with time you can be a master keyword researcher such as myself.
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