Day 2: Keyword Research Strategies

Use the Most Relevant Keywords

Yesterday we discussed the precise targeting offered by keywords. But even if a keyword is valuable, it might not be valuable to your business. For example, if you are a dentist in Chicago, it is not worth the effort to try to rank for the word dentist. Why? 99% of the people searching for that phrase do not live near Chicago, and are irrelevant prospects. What you would want to rank for, if you were a Chicago dentist, would be things like

  • Chicago dentist
  • Chicago dentists
  • dentist in Chicago

Understanding Searcher Intent

Even within a niche like dental work, there are more specific types of dentists people search for, like implant dentist and cosmetic dentist. If you offer these types of services you would want to rank for keywords like

  • Chicago implant dentist
  • cosmetic dentist in Chicago
  • etc.

Free Keyword Tools

There is a wide array of free keyword tools on the market. My favorite keyword tool is the SEO Book keyword tool - it is fast and free, powered by Wordtracker, and allows you to quickly export your keyword data.

SEO Book Keyword Tool.

Every keyword tool has some data errors or anomalies. Don't expect the tools to give you exact numbers, just rough ranges. If you are in doubt as to the accuracy of one keyword tool you can compare it against other keyword tools. And you can use an AdWords ad campaign to test keywords - a topic we will discuss tomorrow.

Here are some additional cool keyword tools

  • Google's AdWords Keyword Planner
    • is the most popular keyword tool
    • is backed by Google's large search share
    • however, it can be flaky because...
      • Google doesn't like to share the stats with precision, as their primary aim is to show PPC marketers the keywords & have them test their value. In fact, Google will show more data if you are logged into an AdWords account.
        • You can get a free $75 AdWords coupon here (or here or here or here) ... many options linked, as some of their coupon offers expire over time & we update this page periodically. The Google Partners Program also offers coupons to consultants managing AdWords accounts.
      • Google often changes the interface and features, pulling back data and making the results broader and less relevant over time.
      • It can take a good bit of effort to collect data on different match types (broad vs phrase vs exact).
      • When you use their keyword tool ensure that you have it set to your target country market & you are using exact match to view the search volume for that exact keyword.
  • Microsoft's Ad Intelligence
    • a free plug-in for Microsoft Excel
    • They have a smaller market-share than Google, but tend to be far more accurate with the search volume numbers they do share. My wife went to PPC Summit a while back & while there a Microsoft representitive stated that the data Ad Intelligence shows is the exact same data that Microsoft sees internally.
    • This plugin requires an adCenter account to pull data from Microsoft, but here are free coupons for setting up your account

If you have any questions about any of these keyword tools and are a subscriber please ask in our keyword tools forum.

Gather More Keyword Ideas

  • Anything people would likely search for to want to buy your services is a potential keyword.
  • You can look at emails from customers or customer questions as potential keywords.
  • If you have been publishing a site for a while and have analytics data you can use the analytics data to find keywords.
  • You can analyze competing sites looking for keywords.
  • There are literally hundreds of ways to come up with keyword ideas.

Group Similar Keywords

After you get a list of keywords start grouping related keywords together...

  • You should be able to target related phrases like 'Chicago dentist' and 'dentist in Chicago' using a single page.
  • Chicago cosmetic dental work is a different concept than 'Chicago dentist' is, so you should create a separate page targeting that term and why prospects would want to buy that service.
  • You can use Microsoft Excel, Open Office, or Google Docs to start aligning keywords and related modifiers with your URLs. We have an example spreadsheet in our member's area here

Tomorrow, we cover how to use PPC ads (such as Google AdWords) to discover the value of keywords to your business.

Aaron Wall

P.S. If you are already a subscriber, this article offers more background advice on keyword research

Keyword Research Flowchart

Here is a free flowchart to help get your creative juices going & help you plan out your keyword research strategy.

If you have questions about the above flowchart, feel free to ask here.

Want to Join the #1 Ranked SEO Training Program?

Join Today

Subscribe today to gain immediate access.

What You Get When You Join

You are only 1 step away from having access to all kinds of SEO goodies, including:

  • the top ranked online SEO training program, which includes over 100 training modules, has been well referenced around the world, & is currently being used as course material for accredited college courses in internet marketing.
  • the leading SEO community forums where you can interact directly with some of the sharpest minds in search & get your questions answered.
  • many high-quality exclusive SEO tools including our Website Health Check Tool, Competitive Research Tool, Duplicate Content Checker, Hub Finder, and the LocalRank tool

Join a True Community of SEO Experts

I've been a paying member since day one. It's been the best $2000 I've ever spent on SEO, SEM, Social Media and general business information.

Community members have very meaningful online success in difficult niches. These personalties combine to produce quite frankly a vital resource for all serious online businesses. - Liam Delahunty

Killer SEO Tools!

Join Today

Subscribe today to gain immediate access.


Need More Information?

Want to learn more? Check out the member tour.

Gain a Competitive Advantage Today

Want more great SEO insights? Read our SEO blog to keep up with the latest search engine news, and subscribe to our SEO training program to get cutting edge tips we do not share with the general public. Our training program also offers exclusive SEO videos.

  • Over 100 training modules, covering topics like: keyword research, link building, site architecture, website monetization, pay per click ads, tracking results, and more.
  • An exclusive interactive community forum
  • Members only videos and tools
  • Additional bonuses - like data spreadsheets, and money saving tips
We love our customers, but more importantly

Our customers love us!

    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.