What is a keyword? It's anything people type into a search engine. It could be made up of one word or several keyword phrases joined together. Every person uses their own method of searching, and that makes researching those keywords that will connect their websites with the right visitors very difficult. Keyword research starts with the understanding that finding lots of related keywords that deliver targeted traffic is the ultimate goal of any keyword research.
Sending thousands of visitors to a site who have no interest in your product, let alone in buying it, is just wasted effort and doesn't do any good for your business. If possible, we want to find the customer who has a clear knowledge of what they want and is close to buying something soon.
Ideally, every webmaster wants visitors who are seriously looking to buy in the near future. In order to achieve this, you need to find the least competitive keywords with the highest number of searches that are the most relevant to your website.
If you are just starting out, it definitely would be to your advantage to target lower competition terms. Having success with low competition terms will lead to increased confidence to target more competitive terms with higher search volumes.
Thinking like your customers
Thinking like your customers is easier said than done.
All merchants are guilty of thinking in terms of features and specs of the products and not thinking in terms of benefits it can provide to the customers.
You know your business and market too well. The industry terms and words are in your every day language. No wonder when you start your keyword research you have a very narrow keyword focus. You become your own worst enemy in exploring other ideas.
Here is an example: what is the most popular search term, "cheap flights," "cheap seats," "low fares" or "discount fares"?
As you can see it's not that simple to pick the best keywords, is it? The hardest part of keyword research is to keep an open mind about all possible search methods people might use to look for the same thing. Keyword research is part science, part intuition, and imagination. Since we can't get into the heads of every possible potential visitor to your site who may be interested in your products or services, we have to rely on keyword research tools to tell us what people actually search for and how often.
There are a handful of very powerful keyword research tools that are worth using, but the amount of information you can mine from them is mind-boggling.
Another great resource for proven keywords is to look at your competitor's website. We are talking about finding the highest ranking competitors on the search engines using your target keywords. Once you find the top 5-10 competitor sites, perform a quick review of their keywords on the web pages.
This can be a lengthy and slow process, but luckily there are free Keyword Analyzer tools that can dig up keywords from your competitor's sites in a snap. We'll cover in detail how the Keyword Analyzer can be used to add hundreds of keywords to your keyword research project.
Keyword research is like a job interview process
In order to find the right candidate you may need to interview hundreds of applicants to find the perfect fit for the job. Well, the keyword research process is very similar; you have to radiate a wide net first to capture all the possible combinations of keywords known to man. Even then, it's almost guaranteed you will discover new keywords you have missed in the original research only a few weeks earlier.
What this tells us is the keyword selection and refinement process never ends, or at least it should not end until you are happy with the number of visitors you are receiving to your site.
Tune in for Part II of keyword research.