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Unread 7th October 2011, 04:28 PM   #1
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Default What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

Hey guys, new on the forums. This is a bit long but hopefully very relevant and something a lot of people will be interested in. If there is already a thread that answers this very well, then I apologize and feel free to refer me there. And I hope this post is in the right section of the forum.

Here's my story.

Last year I did The Challenge and loved it. I got Market Samurai and followed the Challenge's process to pick keywords. If you don't know, their process is this (or at least this is what it was last year and I think it's still the same):

Find a keyword with:

Broad match SEOT > 80/day
PBR > 15%
SEOC < 30,000

This keyword needs to also have several other keywords that Google sees as related and come up under the same Market Samurai seed word search that also meet these criteria. One becomes your theme keyword, the rest category keywords.

Then you look at the SEO Competition matrix and use PR, BLP, Yahoo Directory, Keyword in Title and Keyword in URL. Your theme keyword must have one line of all green to pass. Only the theme keyword needs this, not the category keywords.

Then you look for some commerciality and if it passes that too you're set with your theme and category keywords.

I used this last year and it worked and I got a site that eventually ranked #3 for my theme keyword in Google and made a little money which was exciting.

Now I want to do more of this and create additional niche sites. I had hoped to just follow the same process to a tee over and over again. But now, for various reasons, that doesn't seem feasible.

First of all, even Market Samurai itself apparently no longer sees the Challenge's criteria as making sense. Along with their "The Challenge" filter, they added a filter called "Golden Rule" where, for example the SEOC is < 100,000 instead of the < 30,000 in the Challenge criteria, which is a big difference. And MS specifically said this is a more realistic number for SEOC, especially due to some changes in how MS gets numbers from Google since last year, I believe.

In addition, even using the easier to meet Golden Rule criteria, I still find it unbelievably hard to find keywords that meet these. I have searched for days, putting in very common terms to get hundreds back to analyze and sometimes ended up with only one or none out of all of them meeting these Golden Rule criteria. Far from being able to find a theme keyword and category keywords that all meet the criteria.

Then I came across a site offering Market Samurai keyword research tips and the guy basically just blows up the entire thing. He recommends not even worrying about SEOC at all, since who cares how many other sites there are as long as the top 10 are easy enough to beat. He uses exact match Total Searches instead of broad match SEOT as the Challenge does. As far as the competition matrix, he does a whole bunch of in depth analysis, not only in MS but also using some other things to cross check, that I couldn't even follow, but a lot more complex than "just find one green line." And a lot of what he said made sense.

So now I'm confused. I really want to have a basic heuristic I can use that works and makes sense and sadly I don't think the one taught in The Challenge works that well for me anymore. The Golden Rules that Market Samurai itself suggests also don't seem to work well. And as far as SEO Competition matrix analysis, I'm really unsure what I should be doing in MS, as well as if I should be looking at anything to compare in other programs or places as some have suggested.

I know there are some people around here who have this down to almost a science and seem to be able to find working (or at least probably good) keywords almost at will. I'm completely clueless as to how they are doing this given that the process I had thought works is now giving me almost no keywords after days of searching.

So I was hoping to get advice. But let me be specific. I'd really like to hear advice from people who use Market Samurai and know how it works well and who have actually had success picking keywords. Not just people who have a theory, but people who have a process that consistently gets them good rankings and makes them some money.

I'd really appreciate any help with this. Again my hope is to decide on a basic process that I can follow again and again. I understand there are always special cases or times you have to make an exception here or there. But to have a strong set of guidelines would be fantastic.

Thanks so much to anyone who can help!
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Unread 7th October 2011, 11:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

Welcome to the forum!

The thing with MS or any other keyword research tool is that it only does what you tell it to do and shows what you tell it to show.

You have to KNOW what all of the information means. Green boxes = good; Red boxes = bad is the type of characteristic oversimplification that sends Market Samurai users running to me for help! (whereupon I promptly instruct them to uninstall the sluggish, ram-sucking dinosaur from their harddrives :p )

You have to understand the PRINCIPLES of proper keyword research, then you can use any tools or no tools and get the same results (albeit faster with a good tool like SECockpit).

When the MS people tell you to follow a bunch of rules and instructions for finding "golden nugget" keywords, there are some basic assumptions that you have to question like why THIS search volume, why THIS competition, or for that matter, why does volume of competition matter in the first place? (as you astutely pointed out)

Judging by the fact that you resonated with the MS tips guy's advice, it sounds like you've already begun to figure out the need to understand the underlying factors of niche selection, keyword research, etc., in order to do it well consistently.

Hope that helps!

Good Vibes
Vic

"As to methods, there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Unread 8th October 2011, 12:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

I recommend spending several hours on YOUTUBE watching videos on Analyzing top 10 Google competition with Market Samurai

SEOC I couldnt care less about that
its not a top 10 SEO competition factor.

I dont care if there are 10 million sites with my kw in the site, why should that matter? People who teach using this SEOC, IMO are doing a disservice to webmasters, this SEOC is not important. I guess though if all webmasters believe it is, thats more kws for the smart ones who realize it makes no difference

I worry about
1. backlinks to the page (BLP)
2. I ignore backlinks to domain
3. I look for backlinks to page less than 500 if possible, but then I also pull up the analysis for the backlinks, and check HOW MANY of those backlinks have anchor text targeting MY TERM (very important) also what is the PR of those backlinks

4. PR of the site, (some say this is irrelevant but most agree high PR sites will be harder to outrank)
5. Age of site or when their domain was indexed is a bit irrelevant

6. Pay attention to ONPAGE SEO factors (kw in title, url, desc and header) sites with N N N N on these columns are much easier to outrank even the ones with decent backlinks. However Ideally you want the backlinks to the page to be as low as possible combined with N N N N on the SEO columns. Most important SEO column? Kw in TITLE..........pay attention to that one

Non important factors IMO

1. PR (unless 5 or higher)
2. DA , domain age
3. SEMoz and Yahoo indexing
4. Indexed pages IC

Mostly I just leave checked

1. BLP (page backlinks)
2. Onpage SEO factors
3. DA and PR just so I can look at these

IMO
SEOC is irrelevant, who cares if 5 million pages have this kw in it

The ONLY Thing that matters is the TOP TEN ON GOOGLE

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Unread 8th October 2011, 03:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

Thanks for the replies guys.

I do know what all the information means and the basic principles. I am just struggling with the fact that I get so many conflicting rules of thumb as to where cutoff points are for making yes/no decisions.

I think my biggest confusions have been:

1) Does SEOC matter at all or not? Despite The Challenge and Market Samurai both giving specific numbers, both under 100,000, I'm leaning toward the conclusion that if the top 10 ranked sites look beatable, it doesn't matter if the SEOC is 10 million and that the only real use for SEOC is to compare two keywords that in other ways are equal and choose the lower SEOC if it comes down to that. In other words, SEOC being lower is nice, but not really that important and certainly a pretty high SEOC shouldn't stop you from choosing a keyword that otherwise looks good.

2) SEO Competition analysis - The "look for a green line" worked pretty well for me in the one site I built with the Challenge. But now I want to go beyond that simplicity because I rarely see a full green line and even when I do it's usually in position 6 or 7 or 8 which leaves me confused as to whether there is any point because I want to get in the top 3. So I'm confused as to when a matrix is really looking good or not. The confusion mostly comes in because of the fact that a lot of keywords have pages that don't look that well optimized for the keyword but have huge numbers of backlinks and high PR. I never know if I should be more excited by the lack of on page optimization or more daunted by the backlinks and high PR. So I'm having trouble really having a guideline for when a matrix is beatable or not. People say that you can easily beat authority sites like Amazon and others even though they may have tons of backlinks and high PR on certain keywords, for example. So I know that a matrix or top 10 that looks intimidating at first might be an illusion. But I'm not yet clear when it's an illusion and when it isn't.

Outwest seems to be recommending that unless the PR is 5 or higher on sites in the top 10, I shouldn't worry too much about it if the page has poor optimization otherwise. Whenever I see a PR 4 or even 3 in the top few slots I feel like "Wow that will be hard to beat because it could take me a year or more to get that high of a PR on my own page." This is probably obviously wrong thinking. But yeah I do just need a lot more help with the subtleties of matrix analysis. I will watch more YouTube videos on it but having some good guidelines really would help. I appreciate any continued feedback on this or recommendations of places to get better at the matrix and top 10 analysis that will give me some better insight into when to choose go vs. no go.
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Unread 8th October 2011, 10:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

Quote:

1) Does SEOC matter at all or not? Despite The Challenge and Market Samurai both giving specific numbers, both under 100,000, I'm leaning toward the conclusion that if the top 10 ranked sites look beatable, it doesn't matter if the SEOC is 10 million and that the only real use for SEOC is to compare two keywords that in other ways are equal and choose the lower SEOC if it comes down to that. In other words, SEOC being lower is nice, but not really that important and certainly a pretty high SEOC shouldn't stop you from choosing a keyword that otherwise looks good.
You're exactly right, Builder, SEOC is irrelevant. Your only competitors are the top 3 or so. I say top 3 and not top 10, because if you look at the distribution of clicks in the top 10, you'd have to have a pretty high volume search term to make it worth your while to be anywhere but the top 3. Personally, I only pick terms where I know I can get to #1 because as you see, there's a huge jump in clickthroughs between #2 and #1.




Quote:
2) SEO Competition analysis - The "look for a green line" worked pretty well for me in the one site I built with the Challenge. But now I want to go beyond that simplicity because I rarely see a full green line and even when I do it's usually in position 6 or 7 or 8 which leaves me confused as to whether there is any point because I want to get in the top 3. So I'm confused as to when a matrix is really looking good or not. The confusion mostly comes in because of the fact that a lot of keywords have pages that don't look that well optimized for the keyword but have huge numbers of backlinks and high PR. I never know if I should be more excited by the lack of on page optimization or more daunted by the backlinks and high PR. So I'm having trouble really having a guideline for when a matrix is beatable or not. People say that you can easily beat authority sites like Amazon and others even though they may have tons of backlinks and high PR on certain keywords, for example. So I know that a matrix or top 10 that looks intimidating at first might be an illusion. But I'm not yet clear when it's an illusion and when it isn't.

Outwest seems to be recommending that unless the PR is 5 or higher on sites in the top 10, I shouldn't worry too much about it if the page has poor optimization otherwise. Whenever I see a PR 4 or even 3 in the top few slots I feel like "Wow that will be hard to beat because it could take me a year or more to get that high of a PR on my own page." This is probably obviously wrong thinking. But yeah I do just need a lot more help with the subtleties of matrix analysis. I will watch more YouTube videos on it but having some good guidelines really would help. I appreciate any continued feedback on this or recommendations of places to get better at the matrix and top 10 analysis that will give me some better insight into when to choose go vs. no go.

Here's the competition checklist that I use to determine competitiveness for a keyword:

The more of these that you can answer "No" to, the better! The * symbol indicates a particularly important factor.

  • Is it a generic type of site? (Article directory, answer site, about.com, wisegeek.com, etc.)*
  • Is it a Root Domain?*
  • Is it Keyword Optimized? (URL, Title, Description, Page)
  • Does it have a lot of Quality, Relevant Content?*
  • Is the whole site (NOT just the page) Laser Targeted to your exact keyword?*
  • Are there 20 Links or less to the PAGE? (not the entire domain)*
  • Are they Quality/Relevant Links?
  • Is the PR of the PAGE 4 or less? (0 is best)
  • Are there other affiliates who know what they're doing?
  • Is it an Exact match domain?

It's still guestimation and you'll need to build a few websites and rank them (somewhere) to get a feel for the importance of the various items on the list but I would definitely focus the most on whether their content is high-quality relevant content with high-quality relevant backlinks point to it, period.

Hope that helps,
Vic

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Unread 8th October 2011, 10:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

I think the one thing being overlooked is the "premise" of the Challenge. It is to teach new people how to target a low hanging phrase.

The reduction in the number of overall competitors will make it easier to rank highly almost immediately.

The reality of your business will be to mostly ignore SEOC and pay attention to those front page listings. Find the holes in the top 10 and how you can defeat them with the competition analysis:

Is their on-site optimization bad?
Do they have low number of BLP?
Do they have low quality links?
Do they have a low PR?
Is their Domain Age low?
Are they using an exact match domain name or is it a long URL?

Those factors play a much more crucial role...

Plus...The SEOT of 80...Only worry about that for your theme, not about all your supporting content and posts. I'll take a dozen phrases with an SEOT of 20 with extremely easy to target competition over a few SEOT 80 with stiffer competition any day. One I can target fast and easily and grab traffic. The other you battle for.

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Unread 8th October 2011, 10:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtotheyouknow View Post
You're exactly right, Builder, SEOC is irrelevant. Your only competitors are the top 3 or so. I say top 3 and not top 10, because if you look at the distribution of clicks in the top 10, you'd have to have a pretty high volume search term to make it worth your while to be anywhere but the top 3. Personally, I only pick terms where I know I can get to #1 because as you see, there's a huge jump in clickthroughs between #2 and #1.







Here's the competition checklist that I use to determine competitiveness for a keyword:

The more of these that you can answer "No" to, the better! The * symbol indicates a particularly important factor.

  • Is it a generic type of site? (Article directory, answer site, about.com, wisegeek.com, etc.)*
  • Is it a Root Domain?*
  • Is it Keyword Optimized? (URL, Title, Description, Page)
  • Does it have a lot of Quality, Relevant Content?*
  • Is the whole site (NOT just the page) Laser Targeted to your exact keyword?*
  • Are there 20 Links or less to the PAGE? (not the entire domain)*
  • Are they Quality/Relevant Links?
  • Is the PR of the PAGE 4 or less? (0 is best)
  • Are there other affiliates who know what they're doing?
  • Is it an Exact match domain?

It's still guestimation and you'll need to build a few websites and rank them (somewhere) to get a feel for the importance of the various items on the list but I would definitely focus the most on whether their content is high-quality relevant content with high-quality relevant backlinks point to it, period.

Hope that helps,
Vic
ROFLMAO good luck finding 20 or less backlinks
if you spend all day or week looking for that you pass up tons of good kws
who came up with that number?

I would be thrilled to death if I find BLs to page of 500 or less, even that is rare to find with kws with decent search volume

Hell with all the sites you run across with 20k 50k 100k 300k backlinks, finding a site with 500 or less backlinks is a great find IMO

Searching for sites with 20 backlinks is ridiculous

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Unread 3rd December 2011, 01:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: What is your Specific Method for Using Market Samurai to Consistently Pick Successful Keywords?

SEOC - don't care about it, just make a quick test: put in search field in Google you KW and then go to 50th page of result. Do you think those results are relevant or just some pages that have similar words but are complete irrelevant.

I would suggest NOT to use Broad match, ALWAYS use EXACT match
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