Understanding Keyword Research for SEO
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Google makes a bunch of tools to help you track and improve your SEO. One of the biggest parts of SEO is understanding keywords. Keywords are what millions of users type into Google search everyday. Of course, Google tracks all of this information, but is nice enough to aggregate it into a few useful tools. With SEO and keywords the idea is if you're starting a site you want to incorporate keywords that aren’t competitive, but still get a lot of searches. When we say competitive, it just means a lot of sites are trying to get on the first page of google for that keyword search.
One way to research this is with Googles keyword planner. The tool comes with a free adwords account. Adwords is Google’s paid search advertising program, the stuff that shows up at the top and side bar of search results. What we’re looking for is the keyword planner. Lets open it up. You could spend days with this tool, but we’ll do a brief overview. Let’s start with, “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”. These tools are built for use with adwords, but they also work for Organic keyword ideas.
In the first box we’ll type “Sexy Costumes”, for our sexy costume website and click ‘get ideas’. We want to look at the second tab, ‘keyword ideas’. On this page we’ll see other keywords related to “sexy costumes”, along with the monthly searches and competition. What we want to do is find some keywords that have a decent amount of searches with low competition. If you look at the average monthly searches you see it’s quite skewed toward halloween, duh.
Competition is how many people are bidding on a certain keyword, and a bid is how much they will pay for a person to click on their ad. This is for adwords, but it’s also a good gauge for organic search competition. If we search by competition we’ll see the usual suspects, sexy nurse, firefighter, zebra, but we’re looking for an outlier, something with a decent number of average searches but low competition. Dig a little deeper and sort by monthly searches and go through a few pages, and we find our outlier. Sexy ghost Costume, with an ok number of monthly searches and only low competition, plus a lower suggested bid, which also means less competition. That would be a great keyword to optimize a page for, not sure about the actual costume though, we’ll talk optimization in the next lesson.
Hmm, should I search my name? OK Cami Li, and I can see how many people are searching for me and what phrases they use. Uh ok, I guess people want boobs and tattoos, cmon guys I have a brain too!
There’s also a tool called Google Trends that lets you see search trends over time. Let’s add the sexy costumes term and we can see the graph, with the obvious halloween spikes, we can also sort by region and see related search queries in the bottom, the rising queries is also a good place to look for keyword ideas to put into your site. Next we’ll talk more about optimizing your content and I’ll optimize all this.