Researching keywords can be challenging. A large part of the challenge is NOT with doing the actual research, but with equipping yourself with the right tools. For developers, it’s a pretty lucrative business. There’s a handful of keyword ranking and research tools on the market available. I am not here to judge or review them. But I am here to tell you that you CAN successfully research keywords without having to invest a penny into software. Ironically, Google provides all of the tools you need in order to research and determine which keyword you should, or shouldn’t target for earning profits. Here’s a list of four free Google SEO tools and how to properly use them for researching keywords.
Google Wonder Wheel
I have posted about Wonder Wheel a few times here on this blog. It’s a great tool for people like me who need a visual aid. It’s simple to use. Plug in a primary keyword, click search, and then the Wonder Wheel loads related keywords based on your query. This allows you to drill down to some of those “lesser popular” and keyword phrases that harbor hidden wealth.
Example: Brain Surgery >> Brain Tumor Surgery >> Brain Tumor Surgery Pictures
One of the reasons why I find Wonder Wheel to be useful is because it gives me a visual on keywords. It may be my personality, perhaps it’s due to my raging case of adult ADHD, but whatever the reason may be, Google Wonder Wheel helps me a lot with finding keywords and phrases that have the potential to warrant further research.
Google Insights for Search
Google Insights for Search is another visual seo tool I enjoy using. It allows me a way to gain perspective on how much traffic certain keywords receive. The trick is to compare the keyword phrase to another keyword phrase that you know about. Last week I posted a write up about this on my blog comparing John Chow to Salt Water Fish Tanks.
The theory is that John Chow is relatively popular. If you’re familiar with his blog, then generally speaking, you have a feel for the amount of traffic his site gets based on activity and popularity. When you compare his name against an unknown keyword phrase, you get a visual perspective on what you would expect if you have top ranking from the researched keyword phrase being queried.
Example: John Chow score = 36 | Brain Tumor Surgery Pictures = 0
In this case, I would stop research on this keyword phrase because it doesn’t even register on the graph when compared to John Chow. In other words, if I build a page targeting the keyword phrase Brain Tumor Surgery Pictures, I can expect to receive little to no traffic. If Google Insights reported a score comparable to John Chow then I could have expected to receive close to the same amount of traffic.
Google AdWords Keyword Tool
I have referenced to the AdWords Keyword Tool many times on this blog. This is yet another excellent visual seo tool provided by Google. It has similar qualities to Google Wonder Wheel, but offers much more insight, and instant “in your face” data.
Just like Wonder Wheel, the AdWords Keyword Tool offers suggested alternative keywords and phrases. Additionally, the tool gives reference to the level of competition, number of monthly searches, and monthly traffic trends.
Example: Brain Tumor Surgery Pictures >> 80% Competition Saturation >> 36 Global Monthly Searches >> Unregistered Traffic Trends.
This example confirms the conclusion determined with Google Insights. The keyword phrase Brain Tumor Surgery Pictures does NOT get any traffic. The additional information we have on the keyword phrase reveals that it’s also a very competitive keyword phrase. In other words, people are bidding on this keyword like crazy, but they’re failing to get any traffic from it. This additional data derived from the AdWords Keyword Tool reveals further that this particular keyword phrase is NOT worth attempting to rank for.
Google AdWords Campaign Creation
This is what I call the “Proof in the Pudding” tool. Let’s assume that you found a great keyword phrase to try to rank for. It has a very low amount of competition and a very high amount of traffic. The only missing ingredient is determining how much money you could potentially make after achieving top rank for the keyword phrase. There are seo tools that can help you make this determination; however, I like to get the data straight from the horses mouth.
Brain Tumor Surgery Pictures >> First Page Bid Estimate: $0.90
To get a perspective on how much you could potentially profit from gaining top rank, take a moment to create an AdWords campaign. Doing so will reveal the “minimum bid amount” needed to gain top placement in AdWords sponsored listings. The data gives you perspective on how lucrative this particular niche topic is, and also based on the AdSense Revenue Share, you can pinpoint how much to expect to get paid per AdSense click.
Doing keyword research can be challenging, but also too, it can be quite fun and rewarding. The trick is cross referencing between different tools and looking for consistencies in order to draw conclusions. If you’re an online publisher like me who generates revenue using AdSense, then it’s important to make sure three elements match each time prior to building pages that target keywords. The keyword phrase is question needs to have a decent amount of traffic, low amount of competition, and a decent yield for profit. Using these four tools together will allow you to find untapped keywords worthy of targeting. If you have questions, or need further assistance, I welcome your comments below.