Keyword Research 101

Keyword research is the all-important scaffold of any successful internet marketing campaign. If you have the right keywords, you’ll be able to get the right kind of person to your website. The wrong keywords will either be too competitive to realistically get traffic, or you’ll attract the wrong kind of person.

Here are a few keyword research tips to help find the optimal keywords for your business.

Know Your One to Two Year Keyword Targets

While it’s important to do your keyword research for what you want to target immediately, it’s even more crucial that you know what you want to be targeting six months, one year or two years from now.

The tough keywords don’t happen get ranked overnight. Instead, you need months and months of concerted effort to hit the top.

While you’re working on the easier keywords, also spend some time working on the harder ones. In time, long-term thinking pays off.

Research Different Base Keywords

Try to research as many different “base” keywords as possible. A base keyword is a keyword that has a unique set of words.

For example, if you’re in the weight loss industry, “lose weight” and “burn fat” are different base keywords. On the other hand, “burn fat quickly” or “burn belly fat” are subsets of the “burn fat” base keyword.

Try to research as many base keywords as possible. Especially try to dig up uncommon ones or overlooked ones. The competition within a base keyword, among its longtail keywords tends not to vary too much. However, the competition between base keywords can vary a lot.

There could be much, much more competition for “lose weight” than “look slimmer.” Try and find lower competition base keywords, rather than just drilling deep.

Competitive Research

Competitive research is a huge part of determining whether or not a keyword is worth pursuing. The goal of keyword research is to find keywords that have high enough volume to be worth it, without too much competition.

In SEO, assessing the competition involves gauging a number of factors. These include the number of backlinks your competitors have, their PageRank, when the site was founded, the number of pages on the site, how many exact match anchor texts are pointing back to their site and their current rankings.

In PPC, evaluating your competition involves using spy software like SpyFu or KeywordSpy to see what kind of keywords and ads they’re using, as well as what they’re likely paying.

If you start with your long-term keyword goals then work your way back, explore a wide array of different keyword bases and do your competitive research to figure out where you’re most likely to win, then you’ll have a very good chance of overtaking your competition.

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