Part7: How to do keyword research

When it comes to SEO, many people talk about keyword research but nobody really tells you how to conduct it. This was the problem I faced in the earlier days of my SEO training. So I decided to walk you, step by step, through complete process of keyword research. 

Figure out the keywords for you:

First thing you need to figure out is the keyword or more than one keywords that “you think” are good for you. It is more of a mental activity. Just sit down in a cozy chair, grab a cup of coffee, a page and a pen. Now do some brainstorming to find out some words or phrases you can write about. If you are over 18 years old, I bet you must have something you can write about and you would love to do so. It may be anything. It does not have to be some complex, professional looking, fancy phrase. Whatever comes to your mind just write it down. It is good to have as many keywords as possible because they need to be evaluated on the basis of certain parameters and due to the increasing competition in online industry, you will have to cut most of them off the list.

Use Adwords to find monthly searches:

If you have been looking for SEO before this lesson, I am sure you know Google Adwords. If you don’t, let me explain it to you. Google Adwords is an advertising service offered by Google to help advertisers find better leads and traffic sources for their businesses. However you can use Google Adwords to your advantage in this keyword research process. The good thing is, it’s absolutely free.

Just sign up for Google Adwords and set up your account. Set your country and currency and you are ready to use it. Just scroll to “Keyword planner” and write the first word you have written in your list in step 1.

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The moment you hit enter it will give you a list of many keywords with lots of variants. All you have to do is select those keywords and copy them.

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Copy in spreadsheet:

Paste the keywords from step 2 in a spreadsheet. Now repeat the process 3-4 times so that you have a list of about 500 keywords in your spreadsheet. Now repeat the process for all other keywords on your list and copy all the related keywords in their separate sheets.

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Check for competition:

The easiest way to check for competition for your keyword is to install an extension named “Page Rank”. It is available for both Google chrome and Mozilla Firefox. “Page Rank” displays the Google page rank of all the open pages in your browser. With the extension installed, you are ready to start checking for competition.

Copy each keyword from the spreadsheet into Google search and open the top 4 search results. You can skip the news section on the search page. As the pages are loaded, the extension will display the page rank for each one of them.

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Search results for “off page seo”- a blue keyword

Don’t pick keywords with sites having page rank 4 or greater:

If any of the sites found in previous step has page rank 4 or higher then mark that keyword red in your spreadsheet. If all the 4 WebPages are PR 3 or less then you can mark the keyword blue.

Search results for "seo"= a red keyword

Search results for “seo”= a red keyword

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Note: this approach is from page to page basis so don’t be fooled by domain name. For example if one of those 4 links is a Wikipedia article, it is not necessary that the page will have PR 4 or higher just because Wikipedia is a high PR site. So check top 4 pages no matter what.

Repeat the process for all the keywords in your spreadsheet. Yeah, it is a very time consuming job but don’t blame me because “SEO takes time”. Once you have got a list of some blue keywords and they start making passive income for you, that income would be worth your time and effort.

Find keyword variants:

After you have a list of all the blue keywords, then open Google Adwords again and type the first keyword in the search box. It will give you a list of keyword variants (similar keywords). Copy 5-6 relevant keywords with maximum monthly searches. Place those keywords in front of the main keyword in your spreadsheet. It will give you a one main keyword for title of the article and other 5-6 keywords to put into the body of that article. Repeat the process for all the keywords and you have an outline for all the articles you are going to put into your blog.

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Now that you know how to do keyword research. Proper keyword placement is also very important for better SEO. Click below for next lesson.

Part8: Keyword Placement

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