How to Do Keyword Research

The Importance of Keywords

When starting out with a search engine optimization or pay-per-click campaign, you might not realize just how important finding the right keywords are. Once you’ve launched your campaign, if you’re not seeing the results you want, it is likely a result of your keywords.

John T. Jones, Ph.D.

John T. Jones, Ph.D.

Picking keywords that you think your customers or interested page visitors want to search is very different from actually finding keywords that they want to use.

Keyword research helps you find keywords that people are both likely to search for and work for your website and its content.

Here are the basics of how to do keyword research:

Pick a Seed

You will need one keyword before you get started. This is sometimes called a “seed” keyword. In general, it’s an obvious keyword that related directly to your website’s niche. For example, if you sell shoes, your seed keyword might be “shoes.” If you are an informational website that discusses healthy living, your seed keyword might be “healthy lifestyle.”

While it’s important to pick a good seed keyword, you shouldn’t spend so much time brainstorming keyword seeds that you don’t actually have time for the research. Pick the word that you are most likely to search if you were looking for an ecommerce or informational website like yours.

Enter the Seed into a Keyword Tool

Picking the right keyword tool isn’t difficult. There are many different tools, but most of them have the same exact features. They take your keyword and give you a huge range of suggestions based on that keyword and its niche. Returning to one of the examples above, if your seed keyword is “healthy lifestyle,” it might give you suggestions like, “how to get a healthy lifestyle,” “healthy lifestyle [your city/town],” “healthy lifestyle tips,” etc.

These suggestions are based on what real searchers look for on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and other search engines. They are designed to help you find keywords in your niche that are not so inundated with other websites that you can’t get a word in edgewise. This type of keyword research can be extremely helpful for those who are looking for new topics to blog about, too, or who are having difficulty coming up with copy for a PPC campaign.

Affiliate Marketers

I suggest that affiliate marketers use the JAAXY keyword tool which was developed especially for them. It will not only help you find keywords for available domains and affiliate programs related to your keyword search. You can try JAAXY for 39 keyword searches.

Check Amazon and Ebay for Buyer Keywords

The keywords you get from Google suggest store a keyword tool may not necessarily be the keywords that buyers are using’for that reason, you should look at Amazon and eBay for buyer keywords if you are promoting products.

Pick Your Keywords

Pick your favorite keywords—the ones that are the most applicable and the most function—from the suggestions the keyword tool and implement them on your website.

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