Search engines are powered by the words users enter when they conduct searches. These are called “keywords.”
Google and other search engines use keywords to provide the links to websites they think the user will find most helpful. These results are then ranked according to Google’s search engine algorithm.
By discovering the best keywords for your internet marketing niche and including them in strategic places on your web pages, you can improve your ranking on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) for those keywords.
Conducting Keyword Research
Keyword research means finding the best keywords for your product niche. When you optimize your web pages with the best keywords, search engines like Google and Bing will index your pages and rank them higher, ideally in the top three spots.
If you use bad keywords or don’t optimize them correctly within your web pages, your pages will be ranked so low that nobody is going to find them.
The first step is to create an initial list of possible keywords. Basically, you will be brainstorming ideas. For example, if your product is a dog obedience course–which happens to be an evergreen niche–your initial list might include keywords like:
Puppy house training
How to train your dog
Write down all the main categories of your niche and any other words or phrases that might fall under each of those categories, and then create as many variations as you can of those keywords.
Come up with the best list of both general and specific keywords that you can. You will test them later to see which ones are the most effective.
Make sure you pick between two and five words within your keyword phrases. Anything longer than that and the likelihood that people will type them into the search engine goes down. An exception to this rule is when you include “How do I …” or “Top 10 Ways to …” as part of your keywords. These tend to work pretty well. However, in most cases, your keyword phrases should be brief.
Finding the Most Successful Keywords
Ideally, the keywords you choose should be overripe and underexploited. In other words, they should be keywords that describe things that have a lot of people looking for products in that sub-niche, with not a lot of other people offering them. Find these and you can virtually print money.
Now you want to do monthly searches in keywords for your niche, and also find out how much competition each has. Google has a free Adwords Keyword Tool you can use to search for various keywords. Because Google has the biggest and most popular search engine, it makes sense to use its tools to find the best niches–especially when they’re free!
The next step is to find within this general niche those sub-niches that are overripe and underexploited.
Long Tail Keywords
Long tail keywords are the words and phrases users type in to search for a particular niche. They make it easier for you to hone in on the specific target audiences within your niche.
For example, they can be geographically based–such as “Atlanta dog obedience schools”–to make them more specific. Keep track of all the long tail keywords you find so you can focus on these secondary ones that still get a lot of searches but aren’t already being used by other marketers.
Where you place the keywords is really important. Search engines prefer to see your keywords and phrases in the headline, in sub-headlines, and in the first and last paragraphs.
Your primary keyword also should be included in your URL, or web address name.
WordPress has a handy All-in-One SEO Pack plug-in that automatically includes keywords in your metadata, which are the little descriptions beneath each link on Google. You should also break up your page with headings so that search engines know which keywords are important on your pages. Type one or more keywords into your image file name and also include it in the ALT text for the image for extra measure.
In the remaining part of your page content, where you distribute them isn’t as important as long as you have the proper saturation level.
Include keywords within your content the optimal number of times, known as keyword saturation. Search engines give a higher ranking to pages that have keyword saturation of about 2%. If your web content is 500 words, your keywords should be included about 10 times:
500 (Total # of Words) x .02 (Optimal KW Saturation Rate) = 10.