In our last lesson we discussed that all searches, and therefore all traffic, begin with keywords. We also talked about how anything that is typed into a search bar becomes a keyword. Anything someone searches for is a keyword, and your content can rank for any keyword. To find good keywords, we need to do a little keyword research.
Is Keyword Research Necessary?
You may have noticed that I’ve said several times that anything can be a keyword. This lesson is about keyword research, so I am going to mention keywords and research throughout this article. Google will find those words, figure out what my content is about, and rank me accordingly.
But, if anything can be a keyword, anything I write in this article has a possibility to rank. <– See those bold words? If someone types them into Google they become a keyword. If there aren’t many pages with that combination of words, I could rank quite high without even trying.
So I have a possibility to rank for a keyword that occurred naturally as I wrote. I did not intend to include this phrase. I didn’t do any research on it as a keyword. But if someone searches Google for “A keyword’s possibility to rank”, there’s a chance this lesson will show up in the search results.
So, is keyword research necessary?
If you know your topic and what your target market is looking for, you will naturally create keywords that people are searching for.
So What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is simply a means of determining how often a specific keyword is searched for, and how much competition you would have for that keyword.
We’ll use this lesson as an example.
Clearly, the overall theme of this lesson is “keyword research”, making that term my target keyword.
When I research the phrase “keyword research” I find that it is searched 9,475 time a month, and has a QSR (Quoted Search Results) of 430. That refers to the number of pages competing for rank for that exact keyword.
From a keyword research standpoint, that is a horrible keyword! Yes, there are a lot of searches, and therefore a lot of potential traffic.
But I am competing with 430 other pages for rankings in the search engines. That is a lot of competition fighting for the 10 spots on page one, and ideally the top 3 slots.
How To Do Keyword Research
If I were researching keywords, I would look for certain numbers. Ideally, I would like to see at least 100 searches a month (though more is definitely better) and a QSR of less than 100 (less is better).
I know that 100 searches a month doesn’t sound like a lot. It figures out to about 3 a day. That’s not a lot of traffic.
But if I can write 100 articles targeting keywords that get 100 searches a month and don’t have a lot of competition, I could get around 300 visitors a day. That’s 10,000 visitors a month. That’s decent traffic!
So how do you find a good keyword?
You choose terms within your niche, and then get a feel for what people are searching for related to that.
It’s a bit of a process, and it starts with Google.
Google Is Your Keyword Research Friend
I’m sure you’ve performed at least one Google search, right? Well, have you ever noticed that as you type, Google gives suggestions of what you might be looking for?
Those suggestions are based on the most popular searches for what you have typed at that point.
You can use that to your advantage!
My niche is “make money online”. If I type that into Google, this is what I see:
Now I have some ideas of what people are searching for in my niche. Each of these is a potential target keyword.
The next step in my keyword research is determining how many searches those keywords get, and how much competition there is.
A Good Keyword Research Tool
In order to determine a keyword’s monthly searches and competition, you’ll need a good keyword research tool.
There are plenty of paid keyword research tools out there. My favorite of the paid options is Jaaxy (full review coming soon).
But if you are just getting started, you don’t really need the extras that the paid Jaaxy options offer. Those extras are things like rank tracking and the brainstorming platform. At the beginning of your journey to work from home, these extras are just distractions.
There are also a number of good free alternatives out there. If you Google “keyword research tools” you’ll have plenty to pick from. You could even use the Google keyword research tool that is part of AdWords.
The keyword tool that I use is Jaaxy. I pay for the pro level, but for the following examples I will be using the free version that comes as part of membership with Wealthy Affiliate (If you haven’t already, and want to learn everything you need to know to make money online, I suggest reading my Wealthy Affiliate Review).
One of those keywords we found with Google was “make money online from home”. When I type this into the keyword research tool, these are the results we get:
This shows me that this keyword gets 4,619 searches a month.
If I click “Get QSR” it shows this:
The number we are concerned with here is the QSR. That is how many pages I would have to compete with for that keyword. In this case, it is 225. Not a great keyword, but not awful.
Keyword Research In A Nut Shell
That’s really all there is to keyword research.
Find a term related to your niche that people are looking for, find out how many people are searching for it, and see how much competition there is.
Try to find keywords that have at least 100 monthly searches, and fewer than 100 competing pages.
If you find a keyword you really like that only gets 50 monthly searches and has 300 competing pages, it’s still perfectly fine to target that keyword. It will be a little harder to rank for, but you can still do it.
To Research, Or Not To Research
I asked at the beginning of this lesson if keyword research is necessary. I answered by saying “Not necessarily”.
Keyword research is great for determining the potential of a keyword to rank in the search results. You can then use that as your target keyword.
This can be helpful, especially for beginners, because it helps give you a direction. It helps you discover what your target market is looking for and how to reach them.
But it isn’t entirely necessary.
You may have noticed throughout this lesson that I have emphasized “target” keyword. I also mentioned that you will naturally create other keywords as you write.
Your target keyword is the main topic of your content. It is the primary focus of your article, and the keyword you may be hoping will pull visitors to your site.
We talked about my target keyword (keyword research) getting 9,475 searches a month and having 430 competing pages. That means a lot of potential visitors, but a lot of competition for those visitors.
That’s where those other, naturally occurring keywords come into play.
You’ll notice the heading of the third section of this lesson is “How To Research Keywords”. That phrase gets 323 searches every month, and has 300 competing pages. Still not great, but less competition than “keyword research”.
I also mentioned the Google keyword research tool that is part of AdWords. The phrase “Google keyword research tool” gets 295 monthly searches, and has 191 competing pages. Even better!
There’s a chance I could rank for any (or ALL!) of these keywords. I could rank for keywords I haven’t even considered yet. And these are all terms that occurred naturally while I wrote. I had no intention of ranking for any of them.
These are called LSI keywords. LSI stands for “latent semantic indexing”. If you are a linguist, you can probably break down what that means pretty easily. For those of us that aren’t, what it refers to is being indexed for words (semantics) that occurred without intent (latent).
There are a number of LSI keywords in this lesson. Really, anything related to keywords is an LSI keyword (including “LSI keyword”!). This means this article has multiple chances to rank and bring visitors to my site.
How Did I Create Those LSI Keywords?
All of those LSI keywords occurred naturally as I wrote. That happened because I picked a topic (keyword research) and kept everything relevant to that topic.
By staying relevant to my topic, and creating quality, helpful content, I expanded my options for getting ranked by search engines.
That’s how you properly use keyword research:
- Get an idea
- Stay on topic
- Provide information people want
If you can do that, you’ve got the basis for SEO.
And SEO just happens to be our next lesson!
It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!
As always, thanks for reading, and the best of luck on your journey to financial independence,
If you ever have any questions, you can contact me here.
P.S. For the best keyword research training you could ever hope for, Wealthy Affiliate is the place to go. Not only will you learn about keyword research, you will also have access to Jaaxy Lite, the free version of Jaaxy I used for the examples in this article (review coming soon!). You will also learn from the tips and tricks that other members have used to make their own businesses successful. Read my full Wealthy Affiliate Review, and I think you’ll see that it really is the best training in the industry. I’m very active in the community, and hope to see you there!