Digging for Gold: Step by Step Keyword Research

keyword research

How To Do Keyword Research: Digging for Gold

Do you keep hearing you need to do keyword research for your product, website, or service?

Are you unsure how to start?  Looking for a simple, straightforward guide on how to do this keyword research?

Imagine your blog on the first page of Google. When you learn how to do keyword research, you won’t just imagine it, it will happen. Keyword research is easy but it is time consuming and can be frustrating. But when you find those “golden” keywords, your blog will rank on the first page of Google and when you see it there for the first time, it’s the best feeling ever.

You have probably already read how to write an award winning blog headline and studied the blueprint to create a brilliant blog post. Awesome! But that’s not enough. You need traffic. People need to find your blog. I’ll show you how to do keyword research and you’ll be on your way to creating a blog that people will find.

When you get your blog on the first page or two of Google, people will find you. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Although there are many keyword programs on the market, I use Google’s free keyword tool. You can use the Google free tool or you can create a Google account and then log in to your Google account to use the keyword tool. A Google account is free too.

I’ve learned that when I log into my Google account, I get different keyword statistics. I suggest you create a free Google account and after you do, let’s start digging for gold. Golden keywords that is.

1. If you choose to use Google’s keyword tool without an account, simply go to Google and type in “Google keyword tool”.

Here’s a link. https://adwords.google.com/o/Targeting/Explorer?__c=1000000000&__u=1000000000&ideaRequestType=KEYWORD_IDEAS

2. The screenshot below is what you’ll see when you have the keyword tool in your browser.

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See the box “Word or Phrase” next to the red arrow?
Type in the words you think people use to find your blog.

Leave the website box blank.

Leave the category blank.

Don’t click the box “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms.”

You’ll notice I selected Locations: United States; Languages: English.
If you want a different country or language, click the “Advanced Options and filters” in blue letters.

Type in the words and/or numbers below the orange box. This is something Google uses to prevent computers from using this tool. (Google wants to make sure you’re human.)

See the boxes on the left “Match Types, “broad,” “exact,” “phrase?”

Click “Exact.”
Now click the blue “Search” button to start your search.
Why Exact instead of broad or phrase?
I want to see the “Exact” keywords people are using, not a broad term. You can try phrase if you are researching a phrase, but do both: Exact and Phrase and compare the difference.

Here’s an example. Let’s say I have a blog about surfing in Miami and use an affiliate account to sell surfboards. I will type in surfboards for sale in Miami.
Here’s what I see.

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Look at the competition column.
You’ll notice that the competition is high.
The global monthly searches is approximately < 10 a month.
Local Monthly Searches is the same, < 10 a month.

Global refers to the number of searches in the world.
Local refers to the number of searches in the US.

I don’t like these results.

Why?

The competition is high. I want keywords that are low competition and have approximately 800-5,000 global monthly searches. I won’t bother competing with highly competitive words, the same words thousands, hundreds of thousands of people are using. I want better odds.

In this case, I’d refine my search and check the “broad” box (on the left) just to get other keyword ideas. I’m not happy with the results for “surfboards for sale in Miami.”  You might not be happy with keywords relating to your niche that are high in competition and low monthly searches. That’s okay, this is our first round.
Let’s tweak.

Here’s the broad search for “surfboards for sale in Miami.”

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1 – There’s our search term “surfboards for sale in Miami.”

2 – Check the broad box.

3 – See that little arrow next to the word “Competition?” Click it. It sorts the words from low to high or high to low.

Let’s see what we have. I’ll look at all the low competition words.

miami condo investments has nothing to do with surfing. Next.

island water sport. I’m liking it. Low competition, 3,500 searches. BUT, this is a broad search. Might not work out so well, but I’m putting it on my list.

largest surfshop in the world. Nope. Not writing about the largest surfshop.

types of surfboards. Low competition, 2,400 searches. Like it.

surf sho. I don’t know what that is, skip it.

I like “surfboard guide”. It has low competition with 5,400 searches. Previously, I mentioned that I like global monthly searches between 800-5,000 but I’m not going to disregard a term that has 5,400 searches. I’ll check it out after this broad search.

island water sports. Low competition, 880 monthly searches. This is the same term as the second keyword in the list, the only difference is that this term is plural so I’ll skip it.

There’s a few more keywords I might check into later, but I’ve got some ideas now that I used a broad search.

Let’s head back into that Google Keyword Tool. We’re going to type in the new keywords we found when we were searching with “broad” checked.

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1 – You can type in several keywords and run one search.

2 – Make sure you check “Exact.”

3 – Low competition but the global monthly searches stink. Types of surfboards with 720 isn’t too bad. I’ll leave that on a short list but I’ll continue searching.

Keep searching until you find keywords that are:

  • Low in competition.
  • Return 800-5,000 global monthly searches.

It may take 15 minutes to find good keywords. It might take one day or a week. Keep at it, it’s worth it.

After you find your golden keywords, use them in your content.

Keyword Density

Now that you have your golden keywords, write a blog post with approximately 500 words. Use your keywords about 10 times in the content.

Now there’s no exact science to this. I use the keywords 10 times in a 500 word post so that the keyword density is at 2%. This isn’t a complex math problem. It’s easy.

500 words divided by 10 = .02 or 2%.
That’s how easy it is to calculate keyword density (KWD).

Writing a blog that has 1,000 words? Use your keywords 20 times.
1,000 divided by 20 = .02 or 2%

I have tested this theory and it works. I don’t always use the keywords at 2% KWD because Google changes up its algorithm often. It has to. If it didn’t, there would be SEO experts who would monopolize the first page of Google. Can’t let that happen.

You’ll need to test your content too. Write a blog post, 500 words, use your keywords 10 times and you’ll have a blog post that has your Golden Keywords at 2% KWD.

Write your next blog post at 1.5% KWD.

Write your next blog post at 2.5% KWD.

DANGER: There’s a term called keyword stuffing. Use the keywords over 3-3.5% and you’re toast. Google looks at the content as keyword stuffing and will knock you down off that ranking ladder faster than you can say, ‘Black Hat Technique!’ (insert wikilink)

TIP: Use your keywords in your title and your header or H1 tag. Also use it in the first and last paragraphs of your content.

There are many other tips to get your blog ranked. Be sure to subscribe to my RSS feed for future golden nuggets.

In summary, keyword research is time consuming and can be frustrating. It can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to weeks. But remember, you’re digging for gold. I don’t know too many gold miners who were lucky enough to find gold in a few minutes. In fact I don’t know any gold miners, but I’ve seen them in the movies…

Take your time and find those golden keywords, low competition and between 800-5,000 global monthly searches.

Use your golden keywords in your content from 1.5% – 2.5% keyword density.

Happy blogging!