The Ultimate Guide To Keyword Research

Why This Post On Keyword Research?

Keyword Research

Hey there, I have spent almost a month learning about keyword research, content production, search engine optimization. As I am ready now, I'm going to build my first niche site today and also share my process. Today's task is Keyword Research. My goal for this guide is to teach you everything you need to know about keyword research in a few simple steps.

There are many keyword research strategies, tons of keyword research tools and you will definitely find many guides online on how to do it, that's for sure! But, this guide will be simple and straightforward.

One warning though, the strategy I share with you here may seem a bit tedious at first, but I guarantee you, you are assured of far better results from your keyword research this way (and that is the whole point, isn't it?). Also, the information you get here would be essential to you, even if you decided that instead of starting a blog or website from scratch, buying a website that is already established would be a better option for you.

So, let's get started, shall we?

What Is Keyword Research?

There are a lot of definitions for keyword research but here's mine:

Keyword Research is finding out exactly what words and phrases people are searching for in order to find, either the product or service you are offering, or similar competitor products and services. Proper keyword research means analyzing which of those words and phrases will generate the most profit.

Naturally, internet marketers already realize that keyword research is important. Most guides on internet marketing even mention it as one of the first steps to do. However, almost guides are outdated and some even give you ineffective ways to do keyword research.

Again, I don't claim that this is the best keyword research strategy or that I am a “keyword research pro”, but I can say that it works for me in generating the passive income I enjoy, and maybe it'll work for you too if you read this post carefully and take action.

Why Is Keyword Research Important?

Another great question! Keyword Research is a lot like the foundation of your home. Without strong and proper keyword research, the foundation of your blog or website will be shaky, weak and therefore not allow your website or blog to rank high in search engines.

And, if your website does not rank high, then that will obviously limit the income potential it has and how much money you make.

Here are 4 scenarios to help you understand the importance:

  • The keyword research strategy you use determines whether your website ranks on page 1 of Google or page 24. Which would you prefer?
  • The keyword research strategy you use determines whether your paid advertising costs are $5.20 per click or $0.20 per click. You do the math.
  • You using an effective keyword research strategy or not determines whether your site actually makes you money or just provides information to visitors. What is your end goal?
  • Finally, well thought out and in depth keyword research helps YOU attract thousands of visitors to your website per day, instead of only a couple of visitors per month. More traffic equals more sales which equals more money in your pocket.

Tie all that together and it basically means that, with proper keyword research you get on the first page of Google (and hopefully in position #1), enjoy the exposure to thousands of potential customers and also pay less advertising costs (if you use pay per click advertising) while making more money!

“If I Don't Want To Spend Time Doing Keyword Research, What Can I Do?”

First of all, one thing to keep in mind is this, you can either do the keyword research yourself (and thanks to this post you will have an effective way of doing it) or you can outsource the keyword research job to a freelancer. If you've read my other posts, I share a great and famous freelance platform called Elance, where you can find people to research the keywords that you should build your blog or website foundation on.

But, I'll give you a “heads up”. It's hard to find a good freelancer that meets your criteria and that in itself will take time. Plus, you'll have to pay the freelancer who does your keyword research for you.

I have hired freelancers to do the work for me before, but that was when I was running several projects at the same time and my time was what I needed most. But like I said, you'll need to spend time going through freelancers profiles and maybe even hiring a few before you find someone that works well for you. So, I invested some time to go through freelancers to find the ones that I now outsource my keyword research to.

“Great! Now I Know I Need To Do Effective Keyword Research – Do I Need Any Special Tools?”

Since outsourcing keyword research may not be a good idea for some people due to a variety of reasons, here I offer a few important, money-saving and time-saving tools that are dedicated to keyword research. Fortunately, the ones I use and highly recommend are free:

  • Market Samurai: In my opinion, this is the best keyword research tool ever! I have used many and that's the conclusion I've come to. Its keyword research module is free and you can use its other modules for an 12 day trial period. After that, if you like it, you can buy it. Or, you can simply keep using the keyword research module for free.

Whatever it is, “It Is A Highly Recommended Tool“, not just by me, but other successful internet marketers as well! Download Market Samurai free now!

  • Google Keyword Tool: A very basic and free tool from Google. You need to work hard to analyze your competition because the Google Keyword Tool doesn't come with a feature to analyze your competition for your desired keyword phrase, unlike Market Samurai!

How I Personally Use Market Samurai?

Step 1: Gather As Many Keywords Possible

Every single niche has an almost unlimited number of keyword combinations. For example:

Weight Loss: how to lose weight, lose weight fast, best way to lose weight, etc…

Dating: online dating tips, dating advice, how to date a man, etc…

Our goal is to generate a list of between 5,000-10,000 total keywords, and then narrow down to a smaller list containing many great keywords which have low competition (meaning keywords that are easy to rank #1 in Google) and high searches per month.

It may sound like an intimidating process, but it's pretty easy to do with the right tools, and I'm going to guide you step-by-step through the process.

The first thing I want you to do is to identify the common phrases that best define your niche. Basically, identify the most popular terms to describe your niche to the common person.

For starters, let's begin with our first tool, the Google Keyword Tool. Click here to open the Google Keyword Tool and enter a keyword that best describes your niche, product or service. I would suggest you do this as you read along so that you get the practice!

TIP: Be sure to create an account with Google (it can even be your Gmail log in details) and sign in, because then the keyword search function will give you up to 800 keywords to analyze instead of just 100 keywords.

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Step 1: Gathering Keyword

As you can see, I decided to start with the main keyword: “lose weight”. After entering it into the keyword box, I clicked the “Search” button.

The Google Keyword Tool comes up with and displays 800 related keywords in the left column, along with various information, such as: Competition, Global Monthly Searches, Local Monthly Searches. But all you are interested in at the moment are the keywords.

Now, find a list of options below the “Search” button. There will be a drop down menu like in the image below (it should be below the “Search” button you clicked earlier). Now, select the “Download All” option.

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Download All 800 keywords

Determine what file format works best for you and that you would like to save it in. Most likely it will be a CSV file which works with Microsoft Excel.

Now download and save that Excel file containing those 800 “lose weight” related keywords (or whatever niche you are researching) to your desktop. I always save them to my desktop because I only use the file once and delete it after.

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Save Keywords to Your Desktop

Now we go back to the Google Keyword Tool and repeat the process all over again, but this time for a new related keyword.

Remember I said earlier “The first thing I want you to do is to identify the common phrases that best define your niche. Basically, identify the most popular terms to describe your niche to the common person.”

Well, this is where that list of words you came up with comes in handy.

For this example, this time I will use the term ” weight loss” and enter it into the search box, and then hit the “Search” button.

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Repeat the process

Follow the same steps as outlined above and download this new keyword list into a CSV file and save it to your desktop as well.

From here, simply repeat the process entering a new keyword each time, for example “how to lose weight” or “lose weight tips”. Save each additional keyword list, and then repeat. I suggest repeating this process 10 – 15 times to build the best list of keywords.

If you keep doing this, keyword after keyword, Google will keep giving you hundreds upon hundreds of additional keyword ideas. What's great is that, with each additional keyword idea, there is another keyword you can input into the search box for even more keyword ideas!

The cycle here is almost endless, and your keyword list can just keep getting larger and larger the more you do this.

Step 2: Analyze Your Keywords With Market Samurai

It's time to put your saved keywords together and make one Master keyword list. To do this, you need a help of Market Samurai. I think there is no another tool that is better than Market Samurai.

First, you want to download Market Samurai for free here. Market Samurai offers complete trial access to all modules for 12 days. But you still can use Keyword Research module for free forever.

Now simply open Market Samurai, click “Create a New Project”, and insert your main keyword into the “Keyword” box. It can be any one of those you entered into the Google Keyword Tool, for example “weight loss”.

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Enter Keyword to MS

Enter your main keyword “weight loss”. The other information will auto-fill. Change it if you like. Then click “Create”.

On the next screen, click “Keyword Research”.

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Click ” Keyword Research”

Now open one of your saved keyword lists in the CSV files you have from earlier, and copy only the keywords into the Market Samurai box that says “Add Keywords”. Repeat this step for each of your saved CSV files with keyword lists and watch as the total number of keywords within Market Samurai grows larger and larger.

Don't worry about duplicate keywords in Market Samurai, they will be automatically removed.

It is true that Market Samurai can generate relevant keywords for you, but I have found that by using the Google Keyword Tool in the way described above, you can find hundreds of additional keywords that most programs miss out on. That's why you would want to use this strategy!

At this point, all of your keywords should have been added into Market Samurai. You're now ready to click the “Keyword Analysis” button in the bottom right corner.

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Keyword Research Made Easy!

Step 3: Filter Your Master Keyword List

Now, this is the most important part of this guide!

Click “Analyze Keywords” and only after the analysis of the keywords are done do you set the keyword filters (as in the image below).

This is important because, when it comes to keyword research there are at least two important things to look for: “High Search Volume” and “Low Competition”.

If no one is actually searching for your chosen keyword phrase, it won't really do you much good to rank for it. And, if there is too much competition for it, it will be very difficult to rank for it. Therefore we need to find a good balance between the two, and these options help you do just that.

As a starting point, set the “Total Searches” to “50”, and the “SEO Comp” to “500,000”.

Also, change the “Match Type” to “Exact”, make sure “Period” is set to “Daily” and set the “Filter” to “No Filter”

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Filter Keywords

Some “experts” may tell you to use “SEO Comp” of “50,000” or use the “Golden Rules” filter to receive the best results. If you follow that advice, you will NOT achieve the best results. I am sure of that!

Why? Am I an expert? No, I am not an expert but I have followed that advice before and for a long time, and I got bad results. Let me clarify.

At first, you should know that: “SEOC is a number of competing pages found in Google.” Is this factor important? NO it's not.

Your Competition is NOT about the number of competing pages!

The fact is, your SEO competition IS the top 10 ranked sites! And this is what Market Samurai will help you literally spy on…

It doesn’t matter whether there are 50,000,000 competing pages or 2,000 pages. If the 10 sites on page one of Google are all high authority sites with high Page Rank and have a lot of back links then you will have to spend a lot of TIME and MONEY in order to beat them and get a position on first page.

So forget about the “SEO Comp” and focus on the “SEO Competition” module of Market Samurai. It really helps you identify your real competitors. That is where the real value of Market Samurai lies…

Using this module is simple. Once you find a keyword you want to inspect more closely, simply click the “key icon” next to that particular keyword phrase. A new tab will open in in the keyword research module. You then select the new tab.

From there simply select the “SEO Competition” option.

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SEO Competition Module

And on the next screen, make sure all the boxes are ticked and click “Generate Results”.

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SEO Competition Module

By default I think all of the elements are included (boxes are all check marked) but there are only a few columns that we are really interested in:

  • PR: The Pagerank of the competing domains is always a highly relevant piece of information, regardless of what stage of ‘Research’ you are at.
  • BLP: This indicates the number of “Page Back Links” pointing to the URL in question
  • BLD: This indicates the number of “Domain Back Links” pointing to the URL in question
  • BLEG: This indicates the number of  Back Links pointing to the URL in question that come from .edu and .gov domains
  • TITLE, URL, DESC, HEAD: These pieces of information are related to the “On Page SEO” of your competitiors. If they don’t have good “On Page SEO”, then your chance to beat them is much higher.

To sum it up, all you need to remember is: Green means Go, Red means No.

Depending on the keyword you selected for review, as well as what data you chose to include in that review, you may see many green blocks, or many red blocks. Of course, you may also see a mixture of the two, with a little of both, green and red.

Even with the great time saving features of Market Samurai, competition analysis may still be the most time consuming part of keyword research. And rightly so because if you can't beat your competition with SEO, then your only other option to get on the first page of Google will be by paying for advertising!

So, whichever way you look at it, you WILL PAY! You will either pay with your time, or you will pay with your money. “Time is Money” as they say…

So don’t skimp on this step, as it’s also one of the most important steps. Research your competition and research them well! This is one of the major factors to drive in traffic and keep your readers coming back for more.

As mentioned earlier, failure to do this properly is the number one reason why most people fail to make money online.

Take Action Now With The Right Strategy And Get Your Keyword Research Done Effectively!

I have revealed my entire “no longer a secret” process to you 😀 and now it's time for you to use it and implement what you've learned.

But please remember this, “Your Success Is Up To You” and my guide won't help you if you don't take any action right now. By now, you already realize that, whether you make $10 through your website or $100,000, is directly related to the combination of using the “right effective strategies” and the amount of effort you put into this.

Move ahead, step up, be different from the 90% or more people on Earth who don't do anything for the success they say they want…

Simply download Market Samurai for free, read this guide carefully again and follow it. If you have any problems or questions about keyword research, feel free to ask. I will respond as soon as possible.

Thanks For Dropping By Now And Take Care Everyone…