Keyword Research – Developing an Effective SEO Strategy

by Jason Acidre on February 24, 2011 · 10 comments · Search


Launching a site is just like preparing for war. Getting traffic and moving ahead on search engine rankings is the real battle. Whereas to earning passive income from your website is achieving victory. But who do you think should be rewarded with a medal of honor after dominating the search engines?Keyword Research

If you ask me, I would definitely be bias, but surely, and everyone knows it that it’s because of an efficient SEO strategy laid out before the battle has even started. Sheer luck doesn’t exist when it comes to internet industry. You may reach the top of SERPs, but not for long.

Competitors will always keep up, seeing as money – and lots of it – awaits them on the top, especially if you are in possession of a spot for a very profitable keyword, and it will always be a recurring cycle.

Most effective SEO Strategies should always seek for possibilities for the business’ long term plans and objectives. It should lay emphasis on the idea of the business having limitless potentials when it comes to its future expansions. To give you a much clearer concept of a well-organized campaign, I’ll list down the important factors and actions that should be taken before launching your campaign in this series.

Keyword Research

This is the foundation of your campaign. To start with, choosing the most profitable and appropriate keywords that best describe what your site/page is offering is very vital. There are many options that you can choose from in selecting the right keywords for your site, but it’s best to target specific key phrases or highly targeted phrases (two – four words), since these are the ones that will more likely convert.

Of course, if people specifically searched for something over the web (ex. “buy edible action figure”), they already have the intention to purchase or perhaps learn something specific about it. If they found your page first on search engines for that particular keyword, then the result would be something beneficial both to you and that visitor, right?

But remember, not all keywords are profitable. If you use Google Keyword Tool, you can see how many search volumes (both local and global), search trends, and level of competition a keyword has. But don’t be blinded by the number of search queries made each month, or don’t get scared of the level of its competition. There are search terms such as “SEO” that has millions of search queries made each month and a very high competition rate, although no one actually makes money from it.

Why? It’s because the intention of the seeker is uncertain. The searcher may have searched for it just to know what SEO stands for or for many other reasons. But if you’ll be succinct with the market you are targeting, like “SEO Services” or “SEO Software”, you already have the advantage of knowing almost 90% of what your visitors from search engines are exactly looking for.

It’s best to pick 5 to 10 keywords to target before starting your campaign. These keywords may vary through your pages or your homepage alone. It’s important to target more than one key phrase to make your link building efforts look more natural to search engines’ eyes. There are 5 types of keywords that you can shoot for, and here are the following:

  • Major keywords. These are common words or niche areas (1 – 2 words) such as “Cars” or “Sociology”, which mostly have very high monthly search volumes as well as competition. It’s only wise to shoot for this type of keyword if you’re already an authority within your niche or if you can find something not covered by your competitors related to that particular niche, then become an authority on it (ex. “sociology concepts”).
  • Easy to rank keywords. These are keywords that have low competition but have substantial search volumes, but at times irrelevant to what you really are targeting, like “Sociology and”. Shooting for keywords like this is good enough in generating traffic to your site, though you’ll have to optimize your page to be relevant to it so visitors won’t be disappointed in visiting your site.
  • Specific and highly targeted keywords. This is the type of keyword that every campaign should be targeting at, because this is where the profits are, such as “buy cheap used cars” or “university sociology”. The more specific the search phrases are, the more relevant traffic is driven to a site. Possibly visitors that already have motives before entering your site. But don’t expect it to be an easy one, because your competitors know about it.
  • Info search phrases. These are usually long tail keywords that target visitors who are only seeking for information, such as “how to…”, “keyword + definition” or “what is…”. You can take advantage of this easily, since it’s easier to rank high on search engines for these types of queries, and you can generate decent and targeted traffic to your site as well, which can be eventually converted to loyal followers.
  • Brand. If you have what it takes to make a buzz out of your brand, then you can shoot for this keyword as early as your campaign starts. This one’s very self-explanatory, you’ll just have to spread the site’s name like wildfire within your field and that’s it. If your URL is unique, your site will certainly be on the top of search engine listings on the first week of your campaign. I do personally recommend this for starters, because it penetrates long term visibility, socially, especially if you can manage to establish an expert reputation in your niche.

Well, the last piece of advice that I can give you regarding keyword research and analysis is to do not overestimate your findings! You may find it scary at first because of the competition or what, but you’ll never know the outcome unless you take actions on it. It will always be a win/win situation, and always remember that. You get to learn and you’re getting closer to earning.

That’s it for now. This is a 4-part series by the way and the next post will be about Competitor Analysis. If you have something you want to share or have questions about keyword research, I’m encouraging you to place a comment below.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben Jackson@ How to do Keyword Research March 1, 2011 at 6:54 pm

“…it’s best to target specific key phrases or highly targeted phrases…”

So true. I think the hardest and most overlooked element of keyword research is understanding your target market. Often times, people get so caught up with gauging the competition and finding high monthly searches that they end up throwing common sense and marketing out the window. You need to know your market.

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Rasel Arnold April 8, 2011 at 4:42 am

Important content about keyword research. Keyword research is the foundation of campaign. So need to remain careful about researching keyword. Thanks!!

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smith wills May 7, 2011 at 12:56 am

keyword research is the most significant part of seo. Great post .. you expain very well about keywrod research..

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ery@keyword ranking tool May 7, 2011 at 6:32 am

Keyword research is a must for every intenet marketers and bloggers. It’s a foundaton ef every search engine marketing strategy especially to get organic traffic.

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mike@calculator rca July 21, 2011 at 8:15 am

These tricks are really effective if you are planning to find a good list with keywords for your website. However, the tools are not able to offer good statistics about the real amount of traffic on a keyword. Which tool is the most effective and able to offer good results ?

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Daniel Meyer August 10, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I guess I’m having a hard time understanding how to properly build my Blog around SEO. I use All in One SEO for wordpress but what else do I need to be doing? I’m not sure I know how to actually add these keywords to my site to even target anything. I’m quite new and am learning a lot by the day but I really would like to increase traffic to my blog (I don’t really care about making money from this, I just want me to read my writings that I work very hard on). I’m a disabled veteran with a lot of time on my hands because I can’t hardly get out of my chair. Any suggestions for me?

Thanks!

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Jennifer September 28, 2011 at 5:31 am

It all depends on the clients budget. If they have a good budget to target high end search terms, we pick those. If not, we target search terms fit to their budget. At the end of the day I have to show rankings with lead generating terms. We always use Google Keyword Tools.

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Bill March 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Too many times, folks will get buried in a ton of keywords. Narrowing it down the one or two handfuls is the way to go. Thanks Jason!

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Maya August 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

Thanks for this very informative post. I wanted to ask you if you have any suggestions about a tool or a webiste where can I check my social bookmarking backlinks. I don`t see them neither in the Webmaster tool or on Majestic SEO free account. I know, I have made them some but I don`t know where to check them. Thank you!

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William@keyword value December 13, 2013 at 11:09 am

Keyword research is so important yet so many people ignore it. Or they find the keyword with the most traffic and assume its the best. It might be the one with most traffic but is it the highest converting keyword? Is it the one that will bring the most traffic with relation to competition? These are the simple things that are often overlooked in keyword research. I am now taking things a step further and calculating the value of potential keywords if I am going to do a heavy marketing campaign around it. Research, research, and more research! Thanks for this post.

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