As you are probably already aware, keyword research is the foundation of any online campaign.
This is true for any method of getting traffic to your sales pages or offers. Whether your offer is an affiliate product, your own product, a CPA offer, AdSense, Amazon products, or anything else you still need good keyword research.
If your traffic is going to come from your own websites or blogs, Google AdWords, Facebook ads or any other source you still need to have the best keywords to target.
What are the best keywords?
Well, there are some important criteria you must apply to all keywords to discover if they are truly “good keywords”.
There are 4 cornerstones to a profitable keyword
1. Plenty of people are using it to search by.
2. It has some value.
3. It has relatively low competition.
4. It is a buyers keyword (has commercial intent)
Most of the above you can find in the Google keyword planner, except the actual competition value.
1. Google AdWords Keyword Planner will give you the Average Monthly Searches.
2. It also gives you and average price per click that is paid by advertisers and this can be an indication of the “value” of the keyword. The more advertisers are willing to spend indicates the more they are likely to be making in profit from the keyword.
3. You can see if the keyword seems to have commercial intent by checking to see if any Google Ads are displayed on the search results page. If ads are showing then advertisers are targeting that keywords and that probably means the keyword is being used by buyers.
4. The competitiveness of a keyword can be quite difficult to find as it requires looking at it’s direct competition in the search results (normally Google as this has the largest search share).
Basically you need to look at the top 10 results for a Google search on your target keyword. When doing this manually it may be worth just working with the top 5 results as this will entail only half the work.
So for each of your top 5 results find the actual site URL. You then need to find all the backlinks to each URL and analyze those backlinks to establish the ranking power of each page.
I know that sounds like a lot of work, and it is!. Fortunately there is a short cut as Moz’s open site explorer will do all that for you.
So just take each site URL in turn and enter it into http://opensiteexplorer.com. Moz will display a “Page Authority”. This is a simple number that represents the result of a complex algorithm that uses all the back-link information to predict a web page’s likelihood to rank. In other words it’s ranking power.
When you have all 5 (or 10) Page Authorities then add them together and divide by the number of URLs you analyzed. That will give you the average Page Authority for that keyword.
Page authority is a number from 0 to 100. Where 0 has no ranking power and 100 has a lot of ranking power. Like Google Page Rank,it is “logarithmic”. In other words it takes a little extra ranking power (backlinks) to go from say 10 to 20 but takes a lot of extra ranking power to move a page from 50-60. The higher the Page Authority the harder it is to get more power. So very few sites have 100.
So what you want is an Average Page Authority (APA) for your target keyword to be as low as possible. The lower the competitors APA the easier it will be for you to rank on Google page one
In practice you can easily rank a new web page if the competitors have an average Page Authority of under 30. 30-36 is relatively easy with a little extra backlinking. Above that it starts to get harder to rank your web pages without some serious backlinks..
OK so now you can test your keywords to make sure they are likely to be successful before even writing a single word of content.
The BIG question is where do you get the keywords from in the first place?
Traditionally you would use a keyword tool like the Google Keyword Planner (GKWP). You need to have some idea of the niche or area you want to create a website for. For instance you may want to create site in the weight loss niche or the dog training niche.
You would enter your main “niche” into GKWP and it will produce a list of keywords for you. You can take any of the high search volume keyword that it found and put those back into GKWP to get even more keywords. Rinse and repeat until you have enough keywords.
As GKWP has the option to filter on the number of searches and the Estimated Price Per Click you can filter out the low value and low search volume keywords. That will reduce your keywords to a manageable number. Remember for each keyword you need to find the competition and that can take some time. Especially if you have a lot of keywords. So filtering out poor keywords at this point is a great time saver.
More recently people have been utilizing the Google Suggest Tool. This is simply the standard Google search. When you enter something into the Google search box it will start to “suggest” (by way of a drop down list) keywords that are currently being used.
This means that selecting any of the suggested keywords means it is likely to be a keyword that is “really” being searched for and is current. These suggested keywords come from an entirely different database than the GKWP and are driven by real searches.
In practice you can type in something like “weight loss a” and Google will suggest things like:
weight loss aids
weight loss advice
Weight Loss after birth etc.
Type in “weight loss c” and Google will suggest things like:
weight loss calculator and weight loss challenge etc.
You can now expand on that idea as other major search engines have also started to use a suggest tool (Amazon, YouTube, Bing, and Yahoo for example).
There are few less well know keyword Suggestion tool sat site like tradekey.com and alibaba.com. These are great for finding niche or keyword ideas and then adding these to GKWP to generate profitable keywords as we discussed above.
No Idea Where To Start?
There is another site I have discovered recently that I have found excellent for just giving me new ideas. The more off the wall the better. The idea is to try and pull you away from the same path as a thousands of other marketers.
The site is trendhunter.com. Just choose Ideas and then Lists from the top menus and simply look through the lists. Each list has related lists underneath so you can simply go from one to the other as the fancy takes you.
This not so much about finding keywords directly but about stimulating your mind and getting new ideas. When you then look for keywords hopefully new things will trigger in your thought process and take you away from that well trodden path of acne and hemorrhoid cures
Of course other factors come into ranking a page in Google but starting with the correct keyword research is the first key step. Get that bit wrong and everything else may well be a waste of time.
In a later tip I will cover some of the other factors that help rank a web page.