How Should I Conduct Keyword Research and Choosing Keywords?

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In creating a website, I think we all want, myself included, to build it in such a way that web surfers looking for my niche will find my site first. Having this in mind, I read Yola's Tutorial "SEO Tutorial 2 - Planning your site with SEO in mind" found at: As I comprehend it, I need to understand what terms these surfers are typing into the search engines to find my niche. I can then use this information to build my site and tailor it so they can find it. My objective is to build the best legitimate site I can and attract or draw those surfers that are looking for the information I am offering. I want to be the 1st site that these surfers see, not my competition's.

Now here's the big question; how do I do this? The tutorial stated I should know:
1 What keywords Internet searchers are using that relate to what you have to offer.
2 How popular various keywords are.
3 How competitive various keywords are.

As I understand the 1st point, I still have a hard time having balance between the latter two. I have looked at the various Keyword Research Tools and find that I don't really know how to read the numbers. I want to pick a balance between picking Keywords which highlight my subject that I'm creating the site around, but not one that has a million times more competition than there is demand.

How should I look at the numbers generated by these Keyword Research Tools (i.e., Google Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, and Keyword Discovery) so that I can select the one(s) with the correct balance?

Bob M.
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Bob Marly

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  • excited

Posted 9 years ago

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Sanja, Official Rep

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Hello Bob

A great question and one that I wish I could answer for you. This is not my area of expertise so I will need to ask a colleague who is much more experienced in this area to answer this. She is currently offline but she will be happy to respond when she returns.

Thanks for your patience in the meantime.
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Bob Marly

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Thanks Sanja. You're the best!!!!
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Hi Bob,
according to Google , they do not take care of keywords.(but they do)

there are 2 types of Search Engines.
1. Meta search engines
2. Indexing Search engines.

1 is the cheapest and worst type of search engines. Before nearly 8 years , there are some search engines which deliver results according to which keywords DEFINED by webmaster. This type of SE just keep a database/vocabulary on which sites have this keyword.

The other type is Indexing search engines which are inteligent , costy and amazing.(like Google). They use a huge algorithm to find sites , keep a copy of that pages , analyze them and do a favour.

Content comes in to play when someone googling for your niche, not keywords. But keywords play a role to highlight 'em too!

Aim google , add fresh content , tag them , link them.

Think how people will search.
If you have an article on eating banana , tag them with 'how to eat banana','eating banana','eat','banana','take banana'. Do not use 'banana eat how' or 'ride banana', they will add some negative points for your post.

Try to add keyword phases "sony ericsson", instead of "sony" and "ericsson"

do not try to stuff your keywords with "windows xp","windows xp home","windows experience" , etc

mark the best words from your post as forwards , not defenders . Having keywords like "google analytics api" brings more weight instead of "api"

hope these helps.
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Hi Bob,

Many people go about keyword research differently, and it's something that takes some time to figure out how you like to do it. I'll try to give a brief run down here on how I would do keyword research if my main topic was "dark chocolate". Now, this is how I personally conduct keyword research, it might not be everyone's cup of tea :) I always use more than one tool and make a pretty big list and then pick through it for page topics when I am ready to start writing my site content.

Screen shot below:

Let's take the Google Keyword tool and look at the various columns. The first one, Advertiser Competition is showing the competition of people targeting this word in their Google AdWords campaigns. You might not be running a Google AdWords campaign, but this tells you in essence how competitive in general this keyword is. When the box is completely full will green, that means the keyword is pretty competitive and lots of webmasters are trying to list for it.

The next two columns show approximate search volume both locally and globally for the various keywords. If you click on the little ? below the column heading, you can get more specific information about each column. If you just look at these in general, you can kindof see how much the keyword phrase is searched for. I just look at this as an estimate.

So all that said, when I am creating a content site, in my mind I am always looking for keywords that mingle a competition that is not huge plus a search volume that is good. Here is a screen shot with some keyword phrases highlighted that I might put on my list as possibilities for main page topics.

I hope this helps a bit. If you search on Google for "how to do keyword research" you will find lots of information on how other webmasters and SEO Specialists conduct this part of web design.

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Bob Marly

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Thanks for your post. The picture really helps. I have some more questions, but first let's see if I'm understanding the scenario you are describing:

1.) You have a desire (hypothetically) to create a site about "dark chocolate". Why did you select this subject? Did it have anything to do with the Global (673,000) or Local (49,500) Search Volume? Are these good topics? This is one of the areas I have trouble pinpointing

2.) Once you have your main topic, you begin looking for viable, or searched for, sub-topics that you can write about (as you show in the image above). You picked dark chocolate: nutrition, milk, benefit, cake, nuts, ingredients, and calories. Did you circle/pick these as topics because of there volumes? Should one choose subtopics that are a certain ratio of their main topic? I noticed that their local volumes range from 210 to 1600. I didn't know if there was a formula to selecting these subtopics.

What does this phrase mean?:
-I am always looking for keywords that mingle a competition
-What are "main page topics"?

Thanks again :)
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Hi Bob - Emmy's offline for a few days so it may take some time before you get a reply from her. I'll let her know about your comment.
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Bob Marly

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Thanks for passing my message along. It's no hurry for sure. I'm learning in my spare time. Have a great week!!
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Hi Bob,

Thanks for your patience while I was away. Here are some answers to your questions. First though, this is just how I do things, like I have mentioned, everyone has their own way of doing this type of thing :) You may disover another way works well for you.

1. Actually, I choose the topic "dark chocolate" just because I was trying to think of a somewhat niche topic, and I like chocolate. If you listen to the webcast on SEO that we did, I also chose chocolate as the my example topic there as well :) Here it is if you would like to check it out: Introuction to SEO Webcast.

2. I hypothetically chose those topics dark chocolate nutrition, milk etc. because if you look at the advertiser competition it is more to the middle or left, so this means it is not super, duper competitive; according to the graph, look how much more competitive "dark chocolate recipes" is as opposed to "dark chocolate nutrition". Then looking at the search volume, if it has a good search volume and is not so competitive, I look at that as being a keyword I might want to shoot for because it might be a bit easier to list well for in the search engine results, and it has some descent search volume... I hope that makes sense.

That said, this will answer your next two questions:

1. I'm always looking for keywords that mingle a not so huge competition and a descent search volume.
2. When I say main page topics, I am referring to the main topic of a page. Such as this:

Main site topic: Dark Chocolate
Subpages and their main page topic: dark chocolate nutrition, dark chocolate benefits, dark chocolate ingredients, dark chocolate recipes etc.

So, then I would write informative pages on those topics.

So, that's it kindof in a nutshell... hope it helps a bit :)

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Ben Hunt

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Bob, I recommend this 20-minute video introduction using Market Samurai, which is very powerful, and quite easy once you're shown how.