Hey guys, its that Becker dude…
Now I know we have been on the “AUTHORITY F%@K YEAHHH” train lately on Source Wave
And frankly I am loving it. But, with that being said one of the MOST important skills for making a authority site or SEO in general is keyword research.
With that in mind, I have decided to write another Omega guide on the most important aspect of SEO
Omega Guide : Keyword Research
Backlinking Is NOT Important
Okay I lied..It is..
But it is not NEARLY as important as people make it out to be.
Do you want to know the main reason most people just plain suck at SEO? It is because they NEVER master or even grasp keyword research.
What you need to realize is that with EPIC keyword research SEO becomes almost comically easy. If you are good at it you can
-Literally find REAL uncompetitive niches in minutes
-Rank with below average cheap backlinking
-Profit off your websites by the end of the week
Unfortunately what I listed above is NOT possible until you understand the basics of keyword research (which is exactly what I am about to teach you)
In This Guide You Will Learn
-What makes a good keyword
-Basic competition analysis
-The true signs of low competition and easy rankings (Your not doing this..I promise)
If you have NO idea how to work the Google keyword tool, take a sec and watch this video in our free beginners course. No seriously…Do it
What Makes A Good Keyword
If you go anywhere and ask what is a good keyword, you will get back 150 different very passionate answers
“OMG!! SEARCH VOLUME”
“THE CPC, ITS ALL BOUT CPC!”
“BY MERLINS BEARD ITS THE THE COMPETITION”
Ironically all of these are right…and wrong. This is because a good keyword is not made up of any one factor. It is a combination of MANY things. Here is what they are (in no specific order)
Basic Signs Of A Good Keyword
Okay duh…The search volume for a keyword matters. But to be more specific the EXACT match search volume is what we are looking at. You see there are two types of search volumes
Broad search volume is exactly what it sounds like. A broad estimate of all the searches that fall under a relative search. For example the search “Diapers” has million of broad searches. This means the broad search volume takes every similar search such as “smelly diaper”, “exploding diaper” and “new diaper” as part of the volume.
For example, if you rank first for “new york dentist” you will also rank for terms such as “Dentist new york” “Cosmetic dentist new york” naturally. This is an example of a broad ranking.
While this is a great LONG term goal, unless we are ranking local sites we do not want to focus on broad search volume?
Why? In order to really benefit from a broad search volume, you need to REALLY dominate a niche, but it can take years achieve that. It is MUCH better to focus on a few EXACT searches at a time.
ALSO, there are many searches that will have a huge broad search volume, but in reality have a very low exact search volume. This means it is VERY inaccurate for what we are trying to do
Exact: Exact is EXACTLY what it sounds like. The exact search volume is the exact (roughly) amount of searches a certain search will get in a month. This volume will roughly show us how much traffic we can expect if we rank for a certain search.
This is far more reliable than the broad search volume as it gives us a real estimation of visitors we can get. Since we are going to be targeting searches very specifically, this is the search volume we MUST go with.
With that being said, understand that the site that ranks first in a search will get 40-60% of the traffic from the search. On top of this the top 4 searches get most of the search volume. Do not expect a ton of traffic even unless you make it to the upper half of the first page.
With all of that in mind we of course want a higher search volume. In basic SEO, you usually want a exact search volume of 3,600+. However, I will explain later on why this is not always true in advanced SEO.
CPC ( Cost Per Click)
I do not really look at this, but in basic SEO this is great indicator of how much the traffic is worth . CPC represents how much people are paying for traffic in adwords. It also represents roughly how much you can make per ad click if you have ad sense on your site.
In short if people are paying a ton for the traffic, then the traffic has a high chances of bringing in money.
In short, this VERY roughly represents how much the traffic is worth. Ideally, in basic SEO, we want a search that has a $1.00 CPC
Global Vs Local Search
This is a HUGE mistake I made when I first got into SEO so listen up.
In the keyword tool you will see 2 columns for global and local search volume.
Global search volume represents the world wide search volume. Local represents the volume in the country your keyword tool is set too.
Ideally we want a good local volume in the USA. There are MANY searches that have a HUGE global volume, but have a very small local volume.
You have to keep in mind that countries like India have a MASSIVE amount of users. Unfortunately these users are worth very little because they do not have money.
CPC is also effected by where a user is from. A ad click from an American for one search can be worth $8.00 while a ad click from a another countries user can be worth next to nothing for the same search.
With that being said, aim for a high local search volume.
Signs Of A Good Keyword In Advanced SEO
Okay…so what I listed above is what 99% of SEOs look at. Just because everyone else is doing it, does not mean it is right. Here is what you MUST MUST MUST keep in mind if you want success
The Level of The Problem The Searcher Is Having
Would you pay $5 dollars for a collection of cat pictures? No…
Would you pay $100 to increase your life by 5 years? Yes…
This is why search volume can be totally irrelevant. You want to mainly focus on how big of a problem a person is having when they search. The bigger the problem, they more chance they will spend money to fix it.
For example, I am sure the search “Funny Cat Pictures” gets a boatload of searches. But none of these searchers will spend money in this niche. If you have a $5 product , it is highly unlikely people would buy it, so even if you got 20,000 visitors you would probable have a .5% conversion rate
20,000 x .005 = 100 x $5= $500 for 20,000 visitors. That is NOT a lot of money for that much traffic.
Now on the other hand, what if we had 500 visitors from the search “how to lower the chance of a heart attack”. On this site we had a $50 product with a 10% conversion rate because people REALLY need to solve this.
500 x .10 = 50 x $50= $2500
See how 500 visitors in the right niche is worth more than 20,000 in another. Always keep the visitors problem in mind.
This is fairly simple. If a person types in “buy monkey body guard”…They more than likely are looking to buy something right then and right there. This will of course result in more sales
On the flip side, if someone just types in “monkey body guard” they might be looking for pictures, information, or might just be bored at work.
What people type in directly reflects their intentions. Their intentions represent the chance that they will make you money. When people type stuff like
-How to _____
-Get rid of _____
It means they are searching with the intention of finding a solution. Searches like this have a higher conversion rate and will generate your more money per visitor.
This also applies when people are searching for something VERY specific, preferably a product. If someone types in “Canon Rebel x2100″ they are more than likely in the market for a Canon Rebel x2100.
I am not going to go to deep into this because it is common sense.
Searches based around Christmas will not have a large search volume year round.
Searches based around events will not have a large search volume in the future. For example “Justin Biebers New Haircuts” was a huge search a year ago. 2 years from now it will likely not drive the same amount of traffic though. Be sure to watch for when he cheats on Selena Gomez though…Now THAT is gonna make some nasty search volumes =)
This is something very advanced that I look at.
When I see big keywords that cannot clearly be monetized (no affiliate product or low CPC) I like to think of how much interaction I can generate and if I could start a business off of it.
For example I used to kill it for the search “kamasutra book pdf”. Now this was a hard niche to monetize because people were not looking to buy the book, they just wanted a downloadable PDF. However, their search ALSO indicated they were looking for relationship advice
So I determined it had high interaction potential if I had something they wanted (a pdf) and a business potential because they had a problem (dating).
I then got them to interact by exchanging their email for a free PDF, and then I created a business by marketing dating advice to their emails.
See how that works?
If you can generate interaction and turn it into a marketing relationship you can monetize even the weirdest of niches.
Finding A Great Keyword Is Only The First Step
So now we know everything that goes into making sure a keyword makes sense. Now we need to know if we can actually rank for it. We do this with\
Keyword Competition Analysis
Now this is the part where most bloggers will try to sell you on some piece of shit keyword analysis tool (market samurai, etc)
As a person who makes a comfortable living from this, I will tell you this…YOU DO NOT NEED ANY TOOL TO ANALYZE COMPETITION
You are constantly going to see people swearing by these things. You will also notice that these are the same people who have a VERY hard time ranking websites quickly…Wonder why..
Keep your money in your pocket because keyword research tools are stupid.
Basic Keyword Competition Analysis
Just like in the last section, their is a common basic way to do this and then their is the way a smart person does it. However, before you jump into into the clever stuff you need to understand the basics.
Here are all the thing you look at in basic keyword research
Competition Page Rank
One of the first things people look at in terms of competition is the PR of the first 5 sites in a search. While this CAN indicate low competition, it is pretty shakey to go off of.
The rule of thumb is to make sure none of the top 5 sites have a page rank of 3+. A high PR indicates high competition/authority. You can analyze this with free tools such as SEO quake.
With that being said, I have seen tough searches with PR 0′s at the top and easy as pie searches with PR 6s in the top 4.
In short the PR of the top sites is a “generalized” competition measurment
The Amount Of Backlinks A Site Has
This is another “generalized” competition analysis. The rule of thumb in basic SEO is that if a site has a ton of links, run away!
However, links (especially post updates) do not generally mean good optimization or even represent a SEO threat. However, you can easily analyze how many links a site has with a free account at majestic SEO
Pretty simple. Old sites have more trust with Google. Young sites do not. If one of your competitors is an ancient Greek god of a website, you might be in for a fight
Again this is not the end all of rankings though.
Advanced Signs Of Low Competition
Now that you understand basic signs of competition understand this…Going off of basic signs (like most SEOs) is very very stupid and short sighted.
Now do not get me wrong, I will go after high competition keywords all day long. However, when it comes to keyword research 9/10 are goal is to choose searches we can rank for FAST!
To get first page rankings in 1-2 weeks, your goal shouldn’t be able to roughly identify low competition. Your goal needs to be able to spot NO competition. We want to look for signs that people are not targeting the keywords we are.
Here is what I look for and consider signs of easily destroyable niches
The Optimization Of The Sites Ranking
Remember when I talked about broad rankings? Their are many high PR big sites that rank broadly. What this means is ,yes, they will rank for searches. Their ranking will not be as strong as ours because they are not INTENTIONALLY ranking for a search though.
You will see this happen all the time. So when you see a big authority site ranking highly, we want to check if someone is purposefully ranking that page or if it is just ranking unintentionally.
The first sign of an unintentional ranking is a non optimized page.
For example when a SEO makes a page this is what its urls and metas look like
Keyword: Keyword research tips
Title :Keyword research tips
Description: Some idiot named Becker share keyword research tips
If you see purposeful SEO like that, then there is probably a SEO you are directly competiting with at some level. While this is not horrible, its not optimal.
We want to see a page like this ranking
Keyword: Keyword research tips
Title: Tips for finding the best keywords
Description: Becker gives out some SEO tips
What we have here is page that is loosely optimized. See how its meta and URL are not really aiming for any one keyword?
It will only rank because of the domain it is attached to. If it goes up against a totally optimized domain it will lose head on. This is a sign of lack of competition
The Type Of Pages Showing up
Another thing to keep in mind is that the type of page that is showing up matters a lot. There are tons of times where random inner pages of sites with zero SEO will show up in search results. This will also happen a lot with user generated page as well.
For example in a lot of searchs you will see a forum post show up. Newsflash…No one create forum posts and ranks them in Google. Nine out of ten times if a forum post is showing up highly there is very little real competition.
This same theory applies to
-User created pages on file download sites
-Facebook and twitter profiles
-Ezine article pages, and other crappy article sites (squidoo, hub pages, etc)…Yes I am aware Squidoos can rank but this is generally not the case.
-Inner random borderline empty pages on large sites (school sites do this a lot)
When you see pages like this showing up, it is a very good bet that you are looking at a low competition search. This is because pages like these never have any SEO behind them.
Beyond Stupid SEO Errors
Another sign a search is VERY uncompetitive is when you see beyond stupid SEO errors in the top spots. Not every SEO is created equal, but we all share some common traits. For the most part we make clean logical pages (at least SEO wise)
If you see a site with a url structure like this
you can know without a shadow of a doubt that there is not a SEO working on that page. This can be a pretty broad sign though. The best way to go about this is when you look at your competition, ask yourself…Did someone design this page for SEO. If it is obvious that no one did, then assume your search is low competition.
Misguided Anchor Text
When you inspect a sites anchor text in Majestic SEO it will come out very neat if done by a SEO. For example if a page is targeting the search: ninja turtle swords, the anchor text will look like this
-Ninja turtle swords
-Buy ninja turtle swords
-Donatello Ninja Turtles
Now if there is no SEO behind the page, the anchor text will be totally random. For example for the same keyword it would look like
-(The title of the page)
This is not how a SEO builds anchor text. If you see this, it means there is no one doing SEO for the page and you can beat it.
Exact Match Domains Open
Wait! This is not what you think.
I have never been a big supporter of buying exact match domains. However, if the .com,.net and .org are open it means one thing…No one knows about this search.
You see, the second a decent search is discovered and the EMDs are gobbled up in minutes.
If they are not it means that this search has yet to be targeted by SEOs. If it is not being targeted, then it means you can sweep in and gobble it up
(Quick note: Instead of buying EMDs, I simply make pages about the wide open keyword)
Wooo…3000 words later.
This is virtually every tip I can give you for keyword research. With that being said if you have any questions hit me up in the comment section and I promise to answer your question with in 24 hours