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The Absolute Newbie's Guide To Keyword Research

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by macdonjo3, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    After teaching a buddy a bit about how I make my money online, I realized there aren't very many tutorials for the fresh starters. So it's time for me to write a tutorial. When I tell my buddy: "Make sure the term has over 5000 exact global monthly searches and over 3000 local USA. Allintitle and Allinurl should be under 50,000 and CPC should be over $1. If there is an authority site in the top 3 on Google, then don't even try. Oh and it would be wise to choose a keyword with an EMD/TLD available."

    He quickly responded with:
    -"Where do I find the amount of searches?"
    -"What does exact global mean?"
    -"Why USA? We are from Canada."
    -"What does allintitle and allinurl mean?"
    -"What is CPC?"
    -"What is an authority site?"

    First, I want to clarify something: All the expert have their own way of analyzing a keyword. I will tell you one thing and another expert will tell you something similar. There are no "set" amounts of searches or competition that you need, it depends on a lot of factors. That is why you cannot rely on a single script or program to do the entire analyzation of your keyword and then expect to have a golden keyword. When I research my micro niches, I do use a lot of automation and I do it in big numbers. I'm willing to save that 60+ minutes of doing manual research in exchange for 10% of the domains/keywords failing. Don't get me wrong, manual research is great for beginners. I started without a single tool, checking every keyword by hand. I ended up building turn key sites off of the extra keywords for an extra side profit. After all the orders, I decided I needed to scale up and make a tool that would save time and do what I want, so I had my own keyword research tool made (Keyword Scout) and ended up selling a few copies to save expenses. People loved it and so I expanded to larger markets and it ended up turning Keyword Scout into my main focus/project. Enough about me, but my point is: You can start with no investment, but it may take some time. My focus throughout this tutorial, will be to find a good Adsense keyword, and not for PPC or CPA purposes.

    So the first thing you are going to want to do is register an Adwords account. Google has an ad network, if you didn't know already. Google Adwords customers, often business owners or marketers, bid on ad placements for certain keywords. These Adwords customers use a tool called Google Keyword Tool to find which keywords to bid for. This tool provides us information on thosuands (if not millions) of keywords. The most important information this tool provides is the search counts and cost per click (CPC).
    Google Keyword Tool: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

    Once registered and signed in, you need to start searching. If you don't know what kind of keywords or even website you want, go to Amazon.com and find a niche you'd like to start with. I'm into golf so I'm going to type "golf" into the text box, and click search. Now you have a complete list of keywords, based off your seed keyword. The seed keyword is the keyword you typed in initially, mine is "golf".

    Next, we need to refine what we see. The search counts are inaccurate right now. There are 3 types of search counts: Broad, Exact and Phrase. By default, we are looking at broad. Broad match accounts for all the relevant variations of your keyword. Google explains: "Keyword variations can include synonyms, singular/plural forms, relevant variants of your keywords, and phrases containing your keywords." This match type is useful if you want to know if your market is scaleable. You want to ensure yourself that after you occupy most of the traffic for the keyword, there are variations that you can rank for too.
    The next match type is exact match. This is what I use and what I believe you should use too. It is the number of times your keyword is searched on Google. It tells me "king cobra golf" (without quotes) is searched 9,900 on Google per month.
    Lastly, phrase match count is the number of times your keyword is contained in a search. If my keyword is "golf" then it would include "golf clubs", "golf gloves", etc.

    There are more search engines, other than Google. For the sake of easy numbers, let's say Google occupies 50% of the search engine traffic. If Google says your keyword gets 4,400 monthly exact searches, then there are roughly 8,800 searches per month for your keyword. You must also remember, all of these searches don't mean visits to your site. Even the first place sites rarely get over 75% of the traffic, but there are occasional exclusions.

    So please select the [Exact] button, and uncheck Broad. Now you have a bunch of keywords, ranging in all sizes. Click "Advanced Options and Filters". Add the following filters:
    -Local Monthly Searches >= 1000
    -Global Monthly Searches >= 1500
    -Global Monthly Searches <= 5000
    -Approximate CPC > $0.50
    Then, choose your country and USA, unless you are doing keyword research for keywords outside the English language. The USA has around 267,000,000 English speakers. That is the most English speakers any country has, and it's followed by India with about half of that. USA is a profitable market, as it's where most advertising English businesses are located. You might get $0.10 for a click from India and $1.00 for a click from the USA.

    I put my CPC as over $0.50 as I like to keep my options open. You also must remember, you don't get paid the listed CPC on Google Adsense, and the CPC isn't the same every time. It changes from day to day inside Google.

    It may not show it on the keyword tool but every day, when most Adwords customers bid on a keyword, the price goes up, but when Adwords customers stop buying, it will go down. I should also inform you that the CPC is not what you get paid. Google takes their cut too, and unfortuneatly it's around 50% or more. No one really knows what percent Google takes percisely. It changes a lot so it's hard to put an accurate percentage on it.

    So now we have a list of keywords. I have 141, and you will have a different amount. There is a competition column, but that does not mean search engine competition, it actually means Adwords competition. If the competition is high, then usually then it is more profitable and there will be lots of relevant ads showing on your site, as there are lots in line to be shown. Disregard the Ad Share, Search Share, and any other columns I don't mention. If your CPC column doesn't appear, there is a drop down menu called Columns on the page, and you can click that to enable different columns.

    Search trends are something we need to consider, we only want keywords that are reliable and long-term. Find a keyword with a fairly steady search trend.

    Do not choose keywords that:
    -Contain brand names. The owner of the brand will usually outrank you with their site and be very hard to compete with. You must also remember that the owner of the brand is a trademark and getting the domain in their hands won't be very hard for them. Just too risky for me.
    -Are holiday-themed. Holloween costume ideas and christmas trees will only be around for a couple months of the year and the rest of the year, they are almost useless.

    Start scanning through the keywords. Find keywords that are at least 3 words in length, as they will be easier to rank for in the search engines. Just for the sake of giving you some examples to work with, some keywords that caught my eye were:
    -discount golf shoes
    -cheap golf shoes
    -cheap golf bags
    -golf course reviews
    -best golf drivers

    Now that I got 5 or so keywords to work with, the next thing I want to do is search for their exact match domains. Navigate to: http://www.godaddy.com/domains/searchbulk.aspx and put in as many keywords as you feel comfortable. I put 5 in, and checked the 3 TLDs. TLD stands for top level domain. The main TLDs are .com, .net and .org. Others argue .info is a TLD, but I wouldn't build a website off a .info.

    So I check .com, .net and .org, and search. All forms are taken. So it's time to get some more keywords and check those. Without a tool, this does take a long term, but what the heck, it's free and will get us by for the next few hours.

    After searching for a good amount of time, you should find a keyword, if not, it's not the end of the world.

    An exact match domain isn't required, it just makes it easier in the long run. You can buy a domain in the following form(s) or anything you can think of:
    {keyword}s.com
    the{keyword}.com
    best{keyword}.com
    the{keyword}.com
    {keyword}site.com

    So now, take your keyword and search it on Google.

    The first thing we check is the top 3 results. I notice they are linking directly to domains and not individual web pages inside of the website. These look like small "ma and pa" businesses so I think I can outrank them. If there were authority sites listed here, then I'd have to seriously consider what to do. By authority sites, I mean sites that the average person in that niche would be aware of. For example, Bass Pro Shops is an authority site for the fishing and hunting niche. I also do not want to compete with any .edu or .gov websites as they are all highly valued by Google. The next thing I notice is the ads shown all over the page, that is a good sign. It means the keyword is in demand by lots of businesses/marketers. From the SEL (Search Engine Listing), I can see the title of the webpage, the URL and the description. If the keyword is not in the title, that's a plus. If the keyword is not in the url, that's a plus. If the keyword is not in the description, that's a plus. The keyword will be found in 1 of these 3 locations, minimal. Basically, every time part of the keyword appears in the SEL, it will be bolded. We want the least amount of bold. The furthur the bold is down in the SEL, the better. If the bold is up top (in the title or url) then it will be more competitive than a site with the keyword just in the text, unless the site was an authority site of course. Next, open up the top 3 web pages in different tabs. In Firefox, right click the web page and click View Page Source. Hit CTRL + F and a search textbox will appear, type "meta name" without quotations in it. A Go Daddy page has this as the meta tags:
    <meta name="description" content="Pay less for domain names. Register your .com, .net and .org domains from C$7.18/yr. Bulk pricing and private domain name registration options." />
    <meta name="keywords" content="domain, domain name, domain registration, registrar, buy domains, register domain name, domain name register, buy domain name, renewal, transfer domain, cheap, inexpensive, domains, domain names, domain name registrations, registrars, register, DNS, URL, web address, internet address, web site name, bulk domain registration, buy domain, private domain registrations, bulk price, .com, .net, .org, Go Daddy.com, Go Daddy, godaddy.com, godaddy" />

    Ensure that your keyword isn't too common in either of the 2.

    Let's do some off site competition analyzing and find out, exactly how many people are competiting for your desired keyword.

    Google offers a quick way to find all of this out. Search the following 3 phrases on Google. Replace golf with your keyword and ensure to enter the quotations.
    "golf"
    allintitle:"golf"
    allinurl:"golf"

    Look at the number of results for each search.
    The first search is exact match. It tells you the number of times your keyword appears anywhere on almost every web page.
    The second search is allintitle. It tells you the number of times your keyword appears in the title. The title is displayed in two places on your browser. It is what the tab is called on the top of the browser, and it's beside the firefox icon in the task bar.
    The third search is allinurl. It tells you the number of times your keyword appears in the url. Each word may be seperated by a hyphen.

    It took 2 and a half hours to write, but this concludes my tutorial. If you have questions, I'd be more than happy to answer them in the comments. If you enjoyed the lesson, please share your thoughts in the comments. To make sure this thread stays alive, leave a comment so other new users can find the thread too. Please let me know if you see any errors or typos. Don't forget to rate!
     
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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2011
  2. saifi2649

    saifi2649 Power Member

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    thanks for the share mate. now i know 50% more on keyword research :D
    +rep :)
     
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  3. dunhill

    dunhill Power Member

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    you make newbie smile and happy .. :D
     
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  4. T2tkid

    T2tkid Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    This is the best tutorial on Keyword research i have ever read.
    Bookmarked it, and anytime a Newbie ask questions on how to do their keyword research i will refer them to this thread.

    My Question: If one is planning to open an authority site to promote Amazon products how can it be done?
    Thanks again.
     
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  5. drnick2

    drnick2 Junior Member

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    Thanks for the great information, you explained for very clearly.
     
  6. marrrko

    marrrko Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    An exact match domain isn't required, it just makes it easier in the  long run. You can buy a domain in the following form(s) or anything you  can think of:
    {keyword}s.com
    the{keyword}.com
    best{keyword}.com
    the{keyword}.com
    {keyword}site.com

    In my experience i would suggest you not to take domains with prefix, like this:

    www.mykeyword.com
    www.ekeyword.com

    etc..

    It will be much easier for google to read your keyword first and to push your site much faster. So my suggestion is to take domain like this:


    www.keywordwiki.com
    www.keywordblog.com
    www.keywordguide.com
    www.keywordinfo.com


    And this is all in case that desire domain is not available :)
     
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  7. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Mate that's a wicked tutorial thanks +REP. :)
     
  8. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I told you everyone, everyone has their own slight variations. Nothing is carved in stone. :)

     
  9. Jaspworld

    Jaspworld Newbie

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    This is one of the most detailed tutorials I've seen. Thanks a lot.
     
  10. balsagoth007

    balsagoth007 Elite Member

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    From my experience you can easily rank them

    People are just lazy to use the search button, there's great tutorials from IamNRE, BTB, Cyberzilla

    Thanks macdonjo3, great work. Rep+
     
  11. masteraffmarket

    masteraffmarket Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    This is definitely a great tutorial. Much more information that I had about KW research
    when I was a noob. Great Job Mac

    //MAF
     
  12. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Thanks everyone. Glad you're enjoying the information.
    PS: someone thought it would be funny to rate 1 star. :/
     
  13. kenwithblue

    kenwithblue Junior Member

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    Thanks, man. Crystal clear information and to the point.

    Just let me get this straight on Adwords competition bar: I've always heard that, being a newbie, you should go for low competition keywords ("competition" meaning the green bar -Adwords advertisers-, not search engine competition).

    On my sick brain that translates to "while you're still learning the game, you have to stick to the lowest paying keywords, the ones just a few advertisers bet for at Adwords auctions. Besides, as likely there will not be enough advertisers for that keyword to fill your ad placements 24/7, you're going to display a lot of not closely relevant ads, so no expect many clicks on them".

    Anyway, the common advice (keep far from high competition keywords) sounds sensible, because keywords relevant for a lot of advertisers are expected to be such a hard fight. Just wondering whether this advice also might be a sure recipe to failure...

    Wouldn't it be better to look for low competition at your own side of the playground? First you find some promising keywords (with good search volume, mid or high Adwords competition, decent CPC), then you carefully study who is ranking high at SERPs for them?

    Of course, 9 out of 10 times these promising keywords will happen to be handled by hard to beat publishers. So move on... till you find your golden nugget.

    Am I missing something? maybe everything...? :eek:

    (It just happens that I can't see the point in digging where there's no gold to be found. No matter how soft the ground)
     
  14. sprice

    sprice Regular Member

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    Very good advice on keyword research. A good refresher for some of us "intermediate" marketers as well.
     
  15. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I couldn't understand what you were trying to say in some spots, but from what I read and understood, you do know a bit about keyword research.
     
  16. alfadomino

    alfadomino Registered Member

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    +rep..
     
  17. kenwithblue

    kenwithblue Junior Member

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    Sorry, english is not even my second language so I'm sure you had a hard time trying to find some sense in my post :(

    Let me try again:
    From the sources I've read in this very forum (as in many blogs on IM), the general advice when looking for keywords is to choose those with:

    • no less than X number of exact local searches ("X" factor varies depending on author)
    • low competition in Adwords tool.
    Now, by your words I guess you're not so keen on sticking to keywords which have low competition in Adwords tool.

    This sounds different to what's commonly heard. That's why I'd like you could elaborate more on that.

    ---------------------------
    In my opinion (zero value, as I'm an absolute newbie to IM), if you choose low competition keywords:

    • CPC, likely, will be low. For few companies compete for them at Adwords auctions (so the bids are cents, no dollars)
    • Conversion will be low. For this few companies will not be enough to continuously fill your ad placements. Then, Adwords will fill the gaps displaying ads not related to the content of your site (not many clicks to be expected from those ads)
    These are my objections to use low competition keywords. But, as everybody in the net seems to love this sort of keywords... I think there's some big advantage on using them that I just can't see.

    ---------------------------
    The only one advantage I can think of so far is that those keywords are not the most tempting ones, so there will be less Adsense publishers trying to rank for them (they could be easier for newbies).

    But, what I tried to say in my previous post is: newbie or not, why would you bother in setting up a website, then add content on a regular basis, then push your site with backlinks... to rank for keywords whose CPC and conversions are expected to be the lowest?

    Wouldn't it make more sense that you first identify high competence keywords in Adwords tool, then you search them in G00gle and, if you happen to find weak websites ranking top 3 for any of these keywords, here you go a valuable one to work on?

    ---------------------------
    Surely I'm mistaken. It's just I can't see what's my error.

    Thanks for your attention again.
     
  18. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    The "low competition" in Adwords tool is bull crap. It doesn't matter that much at all, any member on here will tell you the same. Can someone back me up here?

    If the CPC is low, it could mean partly because the CTR is high. You have no reason to worry about the CTR of a niche. At this stage, don't worry about how converting a niche is. It's ridiculous.

    Lower CPC means less SEO competition. Higher CPC (insurance, health, etc) will have high SEO competition.
     
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  19. kenwithblue

    kenwithblue Junior Member

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    I think I got it now. Just one more question (I promise not to write the whole Bible again, as I'm sure your eyes are bleeding after reading my previous posts):

    EMD for a long tail keyword. Let's say your 3-words one is "cars discount price".

    When you say Exact Match Domain, does it means carsdiscountprice.com literally (with not a single word nor letter or number before or behind the keyword)?

    Or EMD means that you can make your domain longer than your keyword, as long as your 3-words keyword be part of the domain, copied word by word in the same order and with no words or letters in between (i.e. carsdiscountpriceusa.com?

    If the modified, longer version is not an EMD. Have you noticed more difficulty to rank for these longer domains than for EMDs?

    ---------------------
    On a side note, you may want to check this at your first post (think there's sort of typo issue):
    -Global Monthly Searches >= 1500
    -Global Monthly Searches <= 5000​
     
  20. macdonjo3

    macdonjo3 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    When you say Exact Match Domain, does it means carsdiscountprice.com literally (with not a single word nor letter or number before or behind the keyword)?
    Yes.

    On a side note, you may want to check this at your first post (think there's sort of typo issue):
    -Global Monthly Searches >= 1500
    -Global Monthly Searches <= 5000

    I'm not seeing the typo.