Thorough Keyword Research in 10 StepsThorough Keyword Research in 10 StepsThorough Keyword Research in 10 StepsThorough Keyword Research in 10 Steps

By May 27, 2011 SEO No Comments

The Google Keyword Tool is an essential piece of kit for any Search Marketer, helping you to gauge volumes and related keywords, to bring relevant traffic to your site.

However, using one tool for keyword research is the equivalent of trusting one hotel review – you’re putting a lot of faith in something which could be only one side of the story.

The following are the steps I undertake for thorough keyword research, and at each step I add to my potential keyword list, finally using the Google Keyword Tool and client needs to prioritise and rationalise.

Step 1Ask the Client! They know the industry

While you might disagree with your client’s ideas of which keywords  are important, you should still ask. After all, they are probably going to be more knowledgeable about their particular industry than you.

Step 2 – Thorough check of the website

We all know that what your client thinks is an important keyword, is not necessarily going to turn up on their website. So, the next step is to look carefully through your client’s site. How does it talk about it’s products and services? Write down as many keywords from the site as possible. This is such a basic task, but often people overlook it, and assume they know all about the client’s products.

Step 3Spy on competitors

To this list, add similar keywords from competitors sites. How do THEY talk about the products and services? It could be different and give you some ideas and opportunities.

Step 4Talk to the people

Look outside the official industry, to forums or blogs which discuss the topic. Blogs and forums are populated with customers, and since customers are the ones searching for your products, you should try and speak their language

Step 5Find out the latest

Related to number 4 – check out ‘discussion’ around your product, which could be on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the news, or any other up to date site. This will give you the absolute latest in the industry, and make sure you aren’t basing your keyword research on terms which are old hat, or being phased out. Don’t base all your keyword research on history, try and see where it is going

Step 6 – Analytics and Pay Per Click Info

If it has analytics in place, look at which keywords are already bringing traffic to the site. Compare those terms with rankings for those terms, and you could see where an increase in rankings might bring significant increase in traffic. If using Adwords or other paid search marketing – look at the ‘actual terms searched’ – if you aren’t ranking for those terms, there’s a big opportunity right there

Step 7 – Other Google Tools

Use Other Google tools to expand your keyword list. E.g. Wonder Wheel, related searches and Google sets.

Step 8 – Other Branded Keyword Tools

Use other branded keyword tools, like WordTracker. I prefer Google because in Australia that is where I feel we get the best information. Other keyword tools work very well in the USA, but as we know, the English used here and there is very different. Still, it can be useful to get ideas. Keyword tools seem to come and go (apart from Google’s), so it is best to use industry blogs and forums to find out which of the latest ones are the best.

Step 9YES, the Google Keyword Tool

I said this was the last step, but actually the last step needs some more interaction with your client, so this can be the second last step. Use the Google Keyword Tool, by importing all the keywords you already found in your research. I put the most emphasis on this tool, because in Australia, Google has more than the lion’s share of the search traffic.

Step 10 – Make Sure they’re alright with the Client

Similar to the first step, the last step involves talking with your client (shock!). You need buy in from your client to make changes to their website, so you need them to help choose the final keywords. You will probably want to get help from the marketers, copywriters, product managers or communications staff, to cut your big keyword list down to the most important ones for the client.The Google Keyword Tool is an essential piece of kit for any Search Marketer, helping you to gauge volumes and related keywords, to bring relevant traffic to your site.

 

However, using one tool for keyword research is the equivalent of trusting one hotel review – you’re putting a lot of faith in something which could be only one side of the story.
 
The following are the steps I undertake for thorough keyword research, and at each step I add to my potential keyword list, finally using the Google Keyword Tool and client needs to prioritise and rationalise.
 
Step 1Ask the Client! They know the industry
 
While you might disagree with your client’s ideas of which keywords  are important, you should still ask. After all, they are probably going to be more knowledgeable about their particular industry than you.
 
Step 2 – Thorough check of the website
 
We all know that what your client thinks is an important keyword, is not necessarily going to turn up on their website. So, the next step is to look carefully through your client’s site. How does it talk about it’s products and services? Write down as many keywords from the site as possible. This is such a basic task, but often people overlook it, and assume they know all about the client’s products.
 
Step 3Spy on competitors
 
To this list, add similar keywords from competitors sites. How do THEY talk about the products and services? It could be different and give you some ideas and opportunities.
 
Step 4Talk to the people
 
Look outside the official industry, to forums or blogs which discuss the topic. Blogs and forums are populated with customers, and since customers are the ones searching for your products, you should try and speak their language
 
Step 5Find out the latest
 
Related to number 4 – check out ‘discussion’ around your product, which could be on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the news, or any other up to date site. This will give you the absolute latest in the industry, and make sure you aren’t basing your keyword research on terms which are old hat, or being phased out. Don’t base all your keyword research on history, try and see where it is going
 
Step 6 – Analytics and Pay Per Click Info
 
If it has analytics in place, look at which keywords are already bringing traffic to the site. Compare those terms with rankings for those terms, and you could see where an increase in rankings might bring significant increase in traffic. If using Adwords or other paid search marketing – look at the ‘actual terms searched’ – if you aren’t ranking for those terms, there’s a big opportunity right there
 
Step 7 – Other Google Tools

 
Use Other Google tools to expand your keyword list. E.g. Wonder Wheel, related searches and Google sets.
 
Step 8 – Other Branded Keyword Tools
 
Use other branded keyword tools, like WordTracker. I prefer Google because in Australia that is where I feel we get the best information. Other keyword tools work very well in the USA, but as we know, the English used here and there is very different. Still, it can be useful to get ideas. Keyword tools seem to come and go (apart from Google’s), so it is best to use industry blogs and forums to find out which of the latest ones are the best.
 
Step 9YES, the Google Keyword Tool
 
I said this was the last step, but actually the last step needs some more interaction with your client, so this can be the second last step. Use the Google Keyword Tool, by importing all the keywords you already found in your research. I put the most emphasis on this tool, because in Australia, Google has more than the lion’s share of the search traffic.
 
Step 10 – Make Sure they’re alright with the Client
 
Similar to the first step, the last step involves talking with your client. You need buy in from your client to make changes to their website, so you need them to help choose the final keywords. You will probably want to get help from the marketers, copywriters, product managers or communications staff, to cut your big keyword list down to the most important ones for the client.
 
The Google Keyword Tool is an essential piece of kit for any Search Marketer, helping you to gauge volumes and related keywords, to bring relevant traffic to your site.

However, using one tool for keyword research is the equivalent of trusting one hotel review – you’re putting a lot of faith in something which could be only one side of the story.

The following are the steps I undertake for thorough keyword research, and at each step I add to my potential keyword list, finally using the Google Keyword Tool and client needs to prioritise and rationalise.

Step 1Ask the Client! They know the industry

While you might disagree with your client’s ideas of which keywords  are important, you should still ask. After all, they are probably going to be more knowledgeable about their particular industry than you.

Step 2 – Thorough check of the website

We all know that what your client thinks is an important keyword, is not necessarily going to turn up on their website. So, the next step is to look carefully through your client’s site. How does it talk about it’s products and services? Write down as many keywords from the site as possible. This is such a basic task, but often people overlook it, and assume they know all about the client’s products.

Step 3Spy on competitors

To this list, add similar keywords from competitors sites. How do THEY talk about the products and services? It could be different and give you some ideas and opportunities.

Step 4Talk to the people

Look outside the official industry, to forums or blogs which discuss the topic. Blogs and forums are populated with customers, and since customers are the ones searching for your products, you should try and speak their language

Step 5Find out the latest

Related to number 4 – check out ‘discussion’ around your product, which could be on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the news, or any other up to date site. This will give you the absolute latest in the industry, and make sure you aren’t basing your keyword research on terms which are old hat, or being phased out. Don’t base all your keyword research on history, try and see where it is going

Step 6 – Analytics and Pay Per Click Info

If it has analytics in place, look at which keywords are already bringing traffic to the site. Compare those terms with rankings for those terms, and you could see where an increase in rankings might bring significant increase in traffic. If using Adwords or other paid search marketing – look at the ‘actual terms searched’ – if you aren’t ranking for those terms, there’s a big opportunity right there

Step 7 – Other Google Tools

Use Other Google tools to expand your keyword list. E.g. Wonder Wheel, related searches and Google sets.

Step 8 – Other Branded Keyword Tools

Use other branded keyword tools, like WordTracker. I prefer Google because in Australia that is where I feel we get the best information. Other keyword tools work very well in the USA, but as we know, the English used here and there is very different. Still, it can be useful to get ideas. Keyword tools seem to come and go (apart from Google’s), so it is best to use industry blogs and forums to find out which of the latest ones are the best.

Step 9YES, the Google Keyword Tool

I said this was the last step, but actually the last step needs some more interaction with your client, so this can be the second last step. Use the Google Keyword Tool, by importing all the keywords you already found in your research. I put the most emphasis on this tool, because in Australia, Google has more than the lion’s share of the search traffic.

Step 10 – Make Sure they’re alright with the Client

Similar to the first step, the last step involves talking with your client (shock!). You need buy in from your client to make changes to their website, so you need them to help choose the final keywords. You will probably want to get help from the marketers, copywriters, product managers or communications staff, to cut your big keyword list down to the most important ones for the client.The Google Keyword Tool is an essential piece of kit for any Search Marketer, helping you to gauge volumes and related keywords, to bring relevant traffic to your site.

However, using one tool for keyword research is the equivalent of trusting one hotel review – you’re putting a lot of faith in something which could be only one side of the story.

The following are the steps I undertake for thorough keyword research, and at each step I add to my potential keyword list, finally using the Google Keyword Tool and client needs to prioritise and rationalise.

Step 1Ask the Client! They know the industry

While you might disagree with your client’s ideas of which keywords  are important, you should still ask. After all, they are probably going to be more knowledgeable about their particular industry than you.

Step 2 – Thorough check of the website

We all know that what your client thinks is an important keyword, is not necessarily going to turn up on their website. So, the next step is to look carefully through your client’s site. How does it talk about it’s products and services? Write down as many keywords from the site as possible. This is such a basic task, but often people overlook it, and assume they know all about the client’s products.

Step 3Spy on competitors

To this list, add similar keywords from competitors sites. How do THEY talk about the products and services? It could be different and give you some ideas and opportunities.

Step 4Talk to the people

Look outside the official industry, to forums or blogs which discuss the topic. Blogs and forums are populated with customers, and since customers are the ones searching for your products, you should try and speak their language

Step 5Find out the latest

Related to number 4 – check out ‘discussion’ around your product, which could be on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, the news, or any other up to date site. This will give you the absolute latest in the industry, and make sure you aren’t basing your keyword research on terms which are old hat, or being phased out. Don’t base all your keyword research on history, try and see where it is going

Step 6 – Analytics and Pay Per Click Info

If it has analytics in place, look at which keywords are already bringing traffic to the site. Compare those terms with rankings for those terms, and you could see where an increase in rankings might bring significant increase in traffic. If using Adwords or other paid search marketing – look at the ‘actual terms searched’ – if you aren’t ranking for those terms, there’s a big opportunity right there

Step 7 – Other Google Tools

Use Other Google tools to expand your keyword list. E.g. Wonder Wheel, related searches and Google sets.

Step 8 – Other Branded Keyword Tools

Use other branded keyword tools, like WordTracker. I prefer Google because in Australia that is where I feel we get the best information. Other keyword tools work very well in the USA, but as we know, the English used here and there is very different. Still, it can be useful to get ideas. Keyword tools seem to come and go (apart from Google’s), so it is best to use industry blogs and forums to find out which of the latest ones are the best.

Step 9YES, the Google Keyword Tool

I said this was the last step, but actually the last step needs some more interaction with your client, so this can be the second last step. Use the Google Keyword Tool, by importing all the keywords you already found in your research. I put the most emphasis on this tool, because in Australia, Google has more than the lion’s share of the search traffic.

Step 10 – Make Sure they’re alright with the Client

Similar to the first step, the last step involves talking with your client (shock!). You need buy in from your client to make changes to their website, so you need them to help choose the final keywords. You will probably want to get help from the marketers, copywriters, product managers or communications staff, to cut your big keyword list down to the most important ones for the client.

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