Beginners Guide – Google Keyword Research Without Google!
Choosing Your Interest
So now we’re going to get into picking an interest which we interweb folks call a ‘niche’ … But hold your horses.
Picking your niche as simple as it sounds, is where the first major mistakes are made.
And when I say major mistake – I mean, get this part wrong, and you’ll struggle, heck I may as well say it, you’ll be lucky if you ever make any money at all!
In the last post we met Steve, let’s take Steve’s Audi passion as an example.
There are 17+ models in the Audi range, but Steve only focuses on 1 very specific model.
Now consider this, if Steve were to build a website that focused on all the Audi Range how easy would it be to make a connection with the websites visitors?
You may think quite easy as once an Audi fan always an Audi fan, right?
… Well, maybe, but most likely NOT!
Let’s look at the different types of car drivers ‘potentially‘ visiting Steve’s site, if he builds his website for all Audi drivers. A website like www.lovemyaudi.com.
… So we have visiting Steve’s site:
- *Me – I like the R8, it’s a 2 seater powerhouse and definitely not a car for a family man, or if the owner is a family man, you can bet your last dollar the kids aren’t allowed drinks in there! He’d have something like a nice 4X4 or big saloon the family travels in.
- *Him – The little red and black A1 towards the front there seems like a really sensible run around … until you check out the raised black spoiler – That looks like a car for a boy racer (mistakenly or not).
- *Her- The all red small A1 back against the rails next to the grass seems like a car for those city ladies!
So, a middle ages bachelor, a young boy racer and the sophisticated city lady.
Will Steve be able to form a connection with all of us?
The boy racer with the little sporty number, a bachelor with a 2 seater or the lady with the A1? Will they share common issues, problems, passions and be seeking the same information?
As Steve’s expertise is with another model of Audi, which is loosely suited to a totally different demographic, his knowledge and passion mean nothing to them.
And to make things worse when they do land on Steve’s website all they find are articles, tutorials and ideas for the Audi RS4 B7 … nothing to be found about their cars!
In a nutshell, Steve’s niche isn’t Audi automobiles, it’s the Audi RS4 B7, his website should be www.rs4b7fans.com or something!
Choosing a Niche Subject
In pets, think fish. In fish, think betta fish. In betta fish, think breeding. Breeding betta fish – own that space.
Here are some other ideas, click the ‘broad niche idea‘ to reveal a more specific and targeted niche choice that would give you a better chance of ‘connecting’ with your audience/reader:
Weight Loss For Brides In 6 Weeks
Training Staffordshire Bull Terrier Puppies
Phantom Recurve Hunting Bows
Make Money Online
Artwork Into Online cash
Slip On Vans For Surfers
I wrote a post about the importance of understanding your customer avatars…
Now, I know it’s a real pain in the arse to follow links and read the shizzle on the page that opens up.
But I kid you not – it’s one of the most important lessons that I’ve ever written, and you really should give me the benefit of the doubt! :o)
It gives you the ‘background on who Steve is and why he’s vital to me! understand how you can really connect and make a difference to the peeps visiting your website too.
Will Your Niche Work?
Yep – another realisation is that not all niche ideas are actually profitable! I mean, I’ve heard quite a bit about underwater basket weaving but would I consider it to be something I can make a full-time income from?
… Well, I wouldn’t hold my breath (yeah I said it) with that underwater weaving idea!
To find out if a niche is actually worth building out a website around, we have to get into a little ‘niche research‘.
NB: you don’t have to get underwater to do underwater basket weaving – I found that much out from my research. 😉
Why Niche Research
It’s never possible to know for sure whether people will like your content before you create it, but keyword research sure helps.
We start our research by finding out if our niche keywords are being searched for in google. You can do this with a number of free or paid online tools.
Keyword Research Objectives
Back in the day, you could pick a single keyword and “stuff” it into a single post or page multiple times as an acceptable optimization strategy (it was too easy to game Google, anyway). I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that things have changed… a lot!
Ever since search engines started using latent semantic indexing (LSI) – a process which measures how often a term is used, and its relation to other terms on the page – they’ve been pretty smart about figuring out the general subject matter of a post or page, and therefore, the keywords the piece should rank for.
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Keyword Research Basics
The basic idea of keyword research is to find a popular keyword, also called a ‘search term’ that people are using in the search box. A keyword that doesn’t have too many other websites targeting the same search term.
We can quickly check Google to see how many competing webpages that are for any keyword.
In the examples below you’ll see I’ve put the searches in quote marks (“…”), this insures that the results returned have the exact words in the exact same order.
Without the “-” google shows me that underwater basket weaving has about 1,090,000 results , using “-” we can get a far better feel for the competition.
So as you can see how to do underwater basket weaving has 544 webpages with that exact same search term on the page somewhere.
Whereas if we search for how to cook fish on a charcoal grill, Google tells me there are about 1,900,000 results, or with “-” but only two websites with that exact same words in that order on the webpage.
So with that information in mind.
Do you think it would be easier to write about underwater basket weaving and rank in Google, or would it be easier to write about cooking fish on a charcoal grill and rank in the search engines?
You’d be right in thinking that writing an article, or blog post on ‘ how to cook fish on a charcoal grill’ would rank in Google quite easily… for that search term.
Avoid PISS (premature instant selection syndrome)
Pt 2 – is making sure that people are actually searching for that phrase in significant numbers.
Often, the excitement of finding a keyword that doesn’t have a lot of competition, can lead to not digging deeper and actually seeing if the keyword is being used by other people – or is it just you looking to charcoal grill your fish!
A general rule of thumb, is 100 exact searches per month as a minimum. Anything less may not bring enough traffic (visitors) to your website. Anything over 6000 searches will usually be pretty difficult to rank for if you’re new to this!
There’s a variety of tools to help us mine for keywords. Some free, some with paid upgrades. I’ll show you how I kick off my niche research with a cool piece of online kit, it’s also free with a paid upgraded option. This tool makes keyword research a lot easier.
Here are the steps.
I start by entering a word that’s broadly related to my niche.
The tool I’m using shows me, how many are searching for my keyword, how many “-” results are in google. I also see a quick indication of how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword, lots of keyword variations – plus a few more interesting things.
Faster Keyword Research – Video
Here I’ll walk, and talk you through the initial process I use of finding keywords. You’ll see and hear my thought process when I look at building a keyword list to target with a new website.
… click the box on the bottom right to view the video in full-screen.
Researching Another Keyword
Start Your Own Keyword Research Now!
Next Step – Building Your Website
Once we have our keywords the next step is going to be building the website.
The keywords we researched will be used in our website navigation, posts/articles, static pages, categories and as LSI keywords integrated into our content.
Stay tuned – if you’re ready for the next step.