Keyword research is important for SEO purposes, we all know that little fact. What you might not know (yet) is that there’s more than one method to find those precious keywords and use them for whatever purpose suits your needs. The following method you’re about to learn is very much a manual technique for finding the best keywords, it’s going to take work. The good news however is that you tend to find much higher quality results, and it doesn’t take too long in most cases, maybe an hour or two should get solid results.
Step One: Open Google Search
Yes, as the title of this article suggests, we’ll be using Google search to hunt for our keywords instead of the keyword planner, as is suggested by most keyword tutorials.
Once Google search is opened, go ahead and type in your root-keyword, this is the main keyword we’ll use to dig out all the other keywords by the end of this process. In this example we’ll use an obvious one which is “affiliate marketing”. A quick note about this exercise, the more competitive any particular niche is, the further down you’ll usually need to dig in order to find those easier to rank for results… think “niche within a niche” type keywords.
As you can see in the example image above, Google will automatically display some of the most popular long tail keyword search terms to you. You can start with these suggestions, going through them one at a time then keep digging deeper for each one. Or, you can try the alphabet method which is simply typing your root keyword into search followed by the letter ‘A’ and then ‘B’ and ‘C’ and so on all the way to ‘Z’ if you wish to take it that far. Check out the next example image to see what this looks like.
Now, the next step you could take is to type ‘AB’ then ‘AC’ and ‘AD’ and so on all the way down the alphabet. This can be done for as many letter combinations as you wish (granted it could get a little tedious if you go past 2 or 3 letter combinations) but it’s up to you to jump down this path and take it as far as you wish. Each time you come up with a new combination you’ll be shown 10 new suggestions, or as many as Google has stored up to that amount. Sometimes you’ll get duplicate results from previous searches, but that’s not really anything to be concerned about, write down all the results for your searches anyway and then just delete any duplicates you find later.
Step Two: Searches related to…
In this next step we’ll be discussing how to take all those keywords you’ve just discovered and using them to track down even more valuable keywords using Google’s “Searches related to” feature at the bottom of most search results pages.
The image above is an example of what you’ll find waiting for you at the bottom of most Google searches. Something to be mindful of is the fact you’ll probably get a fair bit of duplicate results from your previous search when compared against these additional results. That said however, you’ll also notice there will be quite a few new keywords just waiting for you to cherry-pick them at your convenience.
Once you have gone through each keyword you picked out from step one and found additional “search related to” keywords for each one, you can go back and start all over again from step one with the brand new keywords in an effort to dig up even more keyword suggestions. You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, but the option is there, it’s all up to you and how long you wish to stick with this process of hunting for popular keywords… because that’s precisely what we’re finding in all this, popular keywords.
The reason that Google gives these suggestions to us when we search for something is because these are the most popular keywords being searched for in the most recent amount of time. I’m not sure what the timeframe is, but you’ll see these results change on a regular basis over time so they’re constantly updated and an excellent source to check for fresh keywords if you wish to.
Step Three: Filtering Your Results
Now that you’ve gone through the extensive process of hunting for popular keyword searches, it’s time to filter out the useful keywords from the not so useful ones. This is actually pretty easy to do and all it requires is the Google keyword planner (yes, we’re finally going to use it).
If you don’t know how to locate the Google keyword planner, simply perform a search in Google for the keyword “keyword planner” and it should be the top result. You will need to login to get access to it. Once there, look to the upper-right portion of the screen for a little tool icon and click it, you’ll find the “keyword planner” in the list that’s going to pop up. Click that and you should see something that looks like this:
Unless you’re going to run an actual campaign in Google using any of your keywords, which option between the two presented above you pick really doesn’t matter because you’ll pretty much get the same results.
For sake of simplicity however, let’s just pick the option on the left which is “Find keywords”. Click on that and type in your first keyword, press enter and then click on Get Started.
Now it’s simply a matter of going through each keyword to find the Avg. monthly searches. It’s up to you if you wish to use anything with a result of less than 1k searches per month. Typically anything under this amount is easier to rank with SEO, but not always. Going with a minimum of 1k searches per month is a good middle-ground between having enough searches to be potentially profitable while not having so many searches that it’s terribly competitive.
If you don’t mind jumping in the deep end of the pool then feel free to go with higher searched keywords because the more people searching for a term could result in more potential traffic for you, provided you’re able to rank your pages for these keywords.
When you’re ready to find the monthly search stats for your next keyword, simply click on the one you’re currently looking at (located at the top of the page) shown in the example image just above where it says “Keyword ideas” and click it… then delete the current keyword and type your next one into the search to get your results.
Competition Hacking: Ethically Stealing Keywords
Sounds mischievous doesn’t it? Don’t worry, we won’t be doing anything shady or unethical here, it’s just a fun way of saying we’re going to “borrow” some of the same keywords that your competition is using in order to hopefully rank higher on the search engine results pages.
Perform your keyword searches for as many different keywords as you wish. Open at least the top 3 to 5 pages for each keyword (or as many pages on the first page as you’d like) and then get the website address from each of these, we’re going to input these individually into the Google keyword planner to make it give us keyword suggestions based on each of these competing webpages.
Once you have the URLs of each page you wish to look up in Google, go ahead and just input them in the exact same way you did earlier for the keyword hunting steps above. Instead of searching for individual keywords, this time we’ll be searching through webpage URLs so Google can show us a list of keywords based on these webpages.
(notice the URL in the Keyword idea field instead of a keyword)
All the same rules apply here, look at the Avg. monthly searches for at least 1k searches per month (or less if you prefer) and take not of the keywords you wish to keep. This step isn’t necessary at all but if you’re stuck and don’t have a starting point then this is an excellent way to get started in searching for keywords.
Wrapping It All Up
Typically when hunting for keywords to use in your SEO efforts it’s a good idea to search around for only a handful. However, if you also would like to look for keywords to target in ad campaigns, or if you are planning on using a larger number of keywords spread across multiple articles then digging up more than just a few keywords at a time will serve you well. The type of keywords you’ll find using this method will be popular searches based on any root-words used to get the ball rolling. We stuck with affiliate marketing related words in this example only for simplicity sake but you’ll discover that venturing outside of this niche will serve you very well in many cases.
We offer some very extensive training on the subject of SEO, keyword research and advertising over at our exclusive member’s area on our main site. If you’d like to learn the tricks professionals use to do things then head over there right now by clicking on our logo at the bottom of this article and see for yourself what we have to offer you.
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