Friday, December 3rd, 2010
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.
Friday, July 30th, 2010
After blogging for over three years I have learned a lot of things about search engine marketing and keyword ranking. And one of the things that I have learned is that it really doesn’t take a lot of content to rank for keywords in Google. Granted, there are a lot of contributing factors towards ranking for keywords, but I am finding that the amount of content written doesn’t really hold too much weight in the equation.
Content adds quality to a page. It adds value, and typically, it provides people with what they are looking for. I believe that that is what Google and other search engines seek. They seek, index, and rank pages that they feel will be important to people. In doing so, that makes their search engine favorable because people find what they need. So, in most cases, as a publisher, writing content is what’s needed to achieve ranking. But the question remains, “How much content is needed?” Many publishers feel like a lot is required, when in many cases, it’s not.
A large amount of content isn’t always necessary to achieve ranking. Content is very important, but publishers should be aware that thousands of words on a page isn’t always required to achieve keyword ranking. The point I’m aiming to get across here is that writing content is difficult, takes a lot of time, and requires a lot effort. So, putting in more resources than what’s needed is a waste. With many jobs, it’s the duty of managers to control costs and expenses, to manage payroll and control hours, and oversee that excessive materials are not being used to complete the job.
The same should apply with content writing and search engine ranking. Don’t assume that content is always “King” when it comes to targeting keywords in Google and other search engines. I have learned that the “King” is with identifying alternative keywords and phrases that have low levels of competition with high search counts. The second part is identifying what it will take to rank above the existing competition on the search result page.
When you have it set in your mind that you want rank for certain keywords and phrases, take time to study your competition on the search results page. Ask yourself, “How did they rank for this keyword?” and investigate. Once you discover how your competition achieved their ranking, then you will have a better idea of knowing how much of your own resources you’ll need to use towards ranking above them.
My point is this: The amount of content is only a small factorization in the equation of search engine ranking. Content is much like butter on toast, milk in cereal, or sugar in coffee. Content really only adds flavor to a page. And with keyword ranking, it’s your job to figure out the ingredients needed to make toast, cereal, and coffee. After you do that, then you’ll know exactly how much butter, milk, and suger to add.
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
As you may already know, I am doing a multiple post series on how to research keywords without buying software. If you haven’t already read the first post, then I recommend doing so. After you read it, I encourage you to stay tuned for the second post in the series coming up in the next few days. In the mean time, I want to offer some advice and guidance on building blogs and websites for profit.
Before I begin, I want to be clear about something. There are multiple reasons why people do keyword research. And as mentioned in my first post, the reason why I do keyword research is so that I can successfully build profitable sites that earn money. So, providing you with tips on building websites for profit go hand in hand with my multiple post series. In other words, it’s kind of pointless to learn how to research keywords unless you can successfully build sites off the topics you have researched.
That said, I have done quite a bit of digging in the SEO Hosting blog archives, and I have come up with a list of articles that will teach you some vitally important skills that you’ll need to learn if you want to be successful with building websites for profit. I have broken them down into two categories: Web Design Tips and Copywriting Tips. It’s important to understand that lacking strong skills in both web design and copywriting negates the whole purpose behind researching keywords.
Years ago, people were able to profit from building low quality sites. However, that is not the case today with the increased levels of competition and new sites being launched, as well as the constant adjustments search engines make towards fighting spam and controlling quality. Below are references to 16 articles previously published on the SEO Hosting blog that will provide you with concrete tips with copywriting and web design.
Copywriting Tips – The content you create has a huge impact on the overall success of your site. Writing the content can be tricky because it has to be written in a way that captures the attention of people, keeps them on the page, and delivers what is expected. It also has to be optimized so that the page can appear in search engines above other competing sites the cover the same topics.
- The Importance of Research in the Copywriting Process
- Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Content
- How to Write Better Headlines
- How to Improve Your Headlines Instantly
- Tips for Using Bullet Points in Your Copy
- 23 Copywriting Rules To Live By
- How to Make Sure You Aren’t Keyword Stuffing
- 5 Simple Tips for Proofreading Your Copy
Web Design Tips – Just like the content you create, your web design also plays an active role towards the success of your site. The inner workings of a properly coded website fortify the optimizations made to the content you create. It also captures the attention of people with the use of appealing colors, graphics, and styles.
- The Anatomy of a Website: Which Pages Should Be on Your Website?
- How To Be a Successful Web Designer
- 5 Tips for Overcoming Web Designer’s Block
- Tell-Tale Signs Your Homepage Sucks
- Don’t Let These 8 Web Design Mistakes Kill Your Website
- 23 Web Design Rules to Follow
- How To Increase The Performance of Your Website
- 8 Essential Website Maintenance Tasks
I believe that if you are serious about learning how to research keywords, then you will have a strong interest in developing, enhancing, or strengthening your copywriting and web design skills. I encourage you to read the articles referenced above. They will provide you with the highest level of advice and guidance.
Additionally, I invite you to ask questions and voice your concerns with past experiences. And lastly, I want to remind you to stay tuned, because in the next day or so I will publish my second article in the multiple post series that teaches you how to research keywords without buying software.
Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
A lot of people, including myself, are not very eager to whip out their wallets and purchase things online. I guess it might all stem back from the early days when the whole persona about the Internet was that everything was supposed to be free. Ironically, I still feel that way today. But, when it comes things that I really need, I do feel less reluctant to make those purchases. Majority of the time though, my aim is to find what I need online for free.
There are a lot of different programs available for researching keywords. You can find many of these programs for sale, stocked in the virtual shelves of ClickBank. While others can be found by searching Google and various blogs and websites. In the past, I have purchased and used a few of these different programs including Micro Niche Finder and Keyword Elite. These paid programs do work, and they do serve their purpose.
But, what about the people who don’t like to purchase software? Times are tough, a lot of people might not have money to invest into software. Believe me, I have been there myself. Sadly, too many times for my own taste. The great news is that there are ways to research keywords without buying software. Amusingly, the method I want to share with you is actually my preferred method, above and beyond using paid software.
I use –and if you’ve been reading my articles for awhile you already know– Google AdWords to research keywords. The program is intended for business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals who want to instantly promote their products, services, and general advertisements to highly targeted audiences. As you may know, the program allows for people to bid on the keywords they want to rank for. Within that, there are tools that offer people ways to find keywords that have certain levels of popularity and competition.
Now for me, I am an online publisher who builds various blogs and websites for the purpose of targeting researched keywords for profit. I build helpful sites that provide information based on these topics and monetize the content with AdSense ads. My goal is to discover keywords that yield a high level of profit, while also having a manageable level of competition. In other words, there’s no point in building a site that triggers low paying ads, and it’s not worth my time building sites that fails to gain top ten rankings in the SERPS. And that’s where the Google AdWords program kicks in.
That said, I encourage you to stay tuned because in my next few articles, I am going to show you exactly how to effectively research keywords using two free tools available within the “Opportunities” section of Google AdWords (the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator) and two advanced search tools (related searches and wonder wheel) found on the left sidebar in the SERPS. Sorry to hype it up, but I think it’s best that we do this in bite site and managable pieces. So again, I invite you to stay tuned in. One of the best ways to do that is by subscribing to our blog.
Sunday, January 17th, 2010
My head literally had only hit the pillow for about 30 seconds before I re-realized this thought again. Second place is truly the first loser. And I came to realize that more than ever just a few moments ago. My son lost is cell phone in the snow last week and it stopped working. What I should do is probably punish him and not purchase a new phone, but because I am a common idiot father, I am going to replace his phone with something even better.
So, I logged into my AT&T account and like always, they offer an array of free add-on phones for my family plan. Many of these phones were actually pretty cool. One of the phones that I thought was nice was the Motorola Karma. I can get this phone free. But at any rate, in the process of reviewing these various phones, I decided to jump over to YouTube to see if there were any reviews.
Here’s the part where I re-realized that “second place is the first loser.” When I was doing my searches for these various phones, I felt very strong at clicking the first result. What’s crazy about this situation is that many hours later — once again, head crashed on pillow only 30 seconds — I was able to fully understand the power of ranking #1 for something.
In the case with the YouTube videos, I was clearly able to see the view count of each video on the search result page. In a few cases, the second and third result had more views and in fact seemed even more relevant than the #1 listing. Yet, what did I do? You guessed it… I clicked on the first result and watched that video. Reflecting back on why I did this, I remember saying to myself, “Well… if YouTube thinks this one should be #1, then that’s the video I need to watch to get the best review of this particular phone.”
Was that true? Well, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is the fact that I clicked on the #1 result, and so do most people. So ultimately, the key to success is ranking #1. And this helps another point I have made many times before in the past. And that it is better to rank #1 for a keyword that only gets 100 hits per day than to rank on page two for a keyword that gets 10,000. No one looks at page two on Google. Not many people even look at the bottom first ten results.
Ranking #1 is the key. So that being said… when it comes to doing keyword research, or targeting various phrases, etc… remember to choose keywords, titles, and phrases that you feel you have the most chance at ranking number #1. Anything below that are simply losers…