Keyword Research - Are You Making This Common Mistake?

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  • SEO
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The Mistake:

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a lot of Warriors and product owners talking about the Google Keyword Tool. One thing specifically stands out that is a misunderstanding within the tool, the Competition Column.

While many would like to believe that the Competition column is a good representation of how difficult a keyword would be to rank, this is not the case. If this was the case, it would extremely easy to sort out Low competition keywords using the filters provided.

So what does "Low", "Medium", and "High" stand for?
Competition: This column shows the number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. The shaded bar represents a general low-to-high quantitative guide to help you determine how competitive ad placement is for a particular keyword.
Found at Google

While the "Shaded Bar" is now shown as Low, Medium, or High, the information behind them is the same. The level of competition is a mark of how competitive the keyword is in respects to Adwords Advertising.

So how can you determine the level of competition for ranking the keyword?

While this may add a few steps to your keyword research, it is worth taking these extra steps in order to have the best chances for generating traffic if you are focused on Keywords.

First, get a list of Keywords and their traffic statistics in the keyword tool.

Second, click on a keyword that you are interested in using to drive traffic to your website. The word should appear as a Blue Link, and when clicked it will bring you to a Google search of that keyword.

Third, enclose the keyword in quotation marks and click search. Beneath the search bar, you should see. . .
"About xxxxx results (x.xx seconds)"
This is the number of pages that Google has indexed that has your exact keyword within the Title, meta description, or on the page being shown.

At this point you have a few options. Some people suggest staying away from any keyword with more than XXX amount of competing pages (Generally 200-500 thousand pages). The problem with this theory is that there may be 10 million pages using the exact keyword you are targeting, but none of them may be specifically targeting that keyword in their marketing campaign.

Downloading the Firefox plugin SEOQuake can show you Page Rank, AlexaRank, and the number of inbound links the page has. This can be a good way to determine how many links you would need to create to outrank the page for that keyword.

Next, look closely at the Titles and Descriptions of each of the pages listed on the first page of results for the quoted keyword. If the keyword is not in the Title AND Description for the pages on the front page, it could be a fairly easy word to rank for. Not having the keyword in the Title and Meta Description shows that it's not a primary keyword for the page.

So a quick recap of what to look for.

* Keyword in Title
* Keyword in Description
* Competing Pages - Quoted Keyword
* Inbound Links - SEOQuake

Looking at multiple competition factors can give you a real edge when determining which keywords to rank for. A keyword with 15,000 competing pages may be difficult to rank for simply because the few marketers in the niche may know a lot about SEO. While a keyword with 15 million competing pages may be easy to rank for if the competing pages aren't directly targeting that keyword in their SEO.

I hope this helps someone. I would love to hear questions, comments, and suggestions for Keyword Research and Competition Analysis.
#common #competition #google #keyword #mistake #tool
  • Profile picture of the author G56Ace
    Pretty good advice. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author killerobotninja
    Good post, thanks. Here's a question for you.

    I have an e-commerce site with a few products and keyword stuffing can be a problem since some of the descriptions of the product are short. How do you get around this? Also, when picking a keyword that you want to rank 1st on, do you do this for one page or for the entire site?
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    • Profile picture of the author freight
      Killerobot Ninja ,
      heres an idea - What you might like to consider is chasing long tailed key words to start with. Grab your keyword then mix it into a combo if easy to taget long tailed phrases your potential buyers may type to get to your product.

      Long tailed are easier to rank for if postioned correctly. For example I wanted to target my keyword " cheap courier"

      so I made a long tailed page called /cheap-courier-quotes

      Cheap Courier Quotes - Courier Quotes – Compare Couriers Instantly

      Fill the page with images and relevant text then throw a few decent back links at the sub page.

      Yes you should put lots of effort on your prime page however it does not hurt putting some seo effort into your back pages with a mixture of your actual key words.

      Anyway - I hope this makes sense and helps you out over the weekend.
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    • Profile picture of the author Teravel
      Originally Posted by killerobotninja View Post

      I have an e-commerce site with a few products and keyword stuffing can be a problem since some of the descriptions of the product are short. How do you get around this?
      It sounds like you are promoting physical products, such as those found on Amazon. Many of these products do have short descriptions, and often lousy ones at that. What I would do in this situation is. . . "Become the Reporter"

      Visit other websites where the product is being sold, and look for reviews written by people that have purchased the product. This gives your reader an idea of what other buyers think. Before people buy things, they often research what others are saying about the product. By giving them that information in one place, you are taking that stress away from them, allowing them to make a more informed buying decision.

      Also, when picking a keyword that you want to rank 1st on, do you do this for one page or for the entire site?
      When it comes to review sites, there are problems that can quickly stack, leaving you with a website that doesn't earn money.

      First, keywords are difficult to use properly. You either have to put them in specific places for SEO purposes, or use them multiple times and sound repetitive. This can make your content difficult to read and understand, make you look like a poor reporter, and makes your readers want to find someone that speaks their language.

      Second, trying to use multiple keywords can make things worse. It
      s hard enough to rank for a specific keyword when you only have 75-300 words on your page.

      Most of my visitors enter my website through a Blog Post that gives them the information they are looking for. They are then directed to other pages where I can capture their email, promote a product, or give them more information to build rapport.

      When I write my content, I try to focus mostly on the information presented than actual keyword use. Instead of following the normal suggestion of 1.5-3% keyword ratio for a single keyword, I will often choose a small group of 2-5 closely related keywords that I will use throughout the copy. This allows me to be more creative in my writing, and helps the copy flow.
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      • Profile picture of the author killerobotninja
        Originally Posted by Teravel View Post


        When I write my content, I try to focus mostly on the information presented than actual keyword use. Instead of following the normal suggestion of 1.5-3% keyword ratio for a single keyword, I will often choose a small group of 2-5 closely related keywords that I will use throughout the copy. This allows me to be more creative in my writing, and helps the copy flow.
        So what I'm getting at is just throw in keywords but keep it natural looking. Some of my products have 300 words or less and some have 500 words or more. I will be adding an article section about my product and maybe I can start worrying about keywords in those.
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  • Profile picture of the author outwest
    You CANNOT tell if a kw is competitive by looking at Google kw tool
    you need to look at a tool like Market Samurai SEO analysis,
    which shows onpage SEO factors, backlinks to page, PR, age of domain etc etc
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    • Profile picture of the author Teravel
      Originally Posted by outwest View Post

      You CANNOT tell if a kw is competitive by looking at Google kw tool
      you need to look at a tool like Market Samurai SEO analysis,
      which shows onpage SEO factors, backlinks to page, PR, age of domain etc etc
      I agree that you cannot determine Keyword Competition with Google Keyword Tool. But. . .

      I do not agree that you need to use special programs such as Market Samurai. Yes, they show Backlinks, PR, Age Domain, and some other details. But, you can find all that information for free, and it isn't very difficult to do.

      For someone just starting out, paying for a costly product (Such as Market Samurai) can rob you of money that could be better spent on Outsourcing difficult tasks.

      I know, it's a great tool to have that can save you loads of time. But hear me out. Market Samurai currently cost's $149 on their sales page. Using this you can find Keywords that you can easily rank for.

      Do keywords make you money? If Keywords made me money, I would be the richest person in the world.

      So lets save the $149 and do the work ourselves. What takes you 20 minutes on Market Samurai should only take you 45-60 minutes without. I generally find groups of 10 keywords at a time that are all closely related. Each has no less than 1,500 local monthly searches for an Exact Match, with low competition. I use SEOQuake to get PR, Backlinks, and other stats. I check for visual signs of SEO, Title, Metas, and Headers.
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      • Profile picture of the author stodog77
        Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

        I agree that you cannot determine Keyword Competition with Google Keyword Tool. But. . .

        I do not agree that you need to use special programs such as Market Samurai. Yes, they show Backlinks, PR, Age Domain, and some other details. But, you can find all that information for free, and it isn't very difficult to do.

        For someone just starting out, paying for a costly product (Such as Market Samurai) can rob you of money that could be better spent on Outsourcing difficult tasks.

        I know, it's a great tool to have that can save you loads of time. But hear me out. Market Samurai currently cost's $149 on their sales page. Using this you can find Keywords that you can easily rank for.

        Do keywords make you money? If Keywords made me money, I would be the richest person in the world.

        So lets save the $149 and do the work ourselves. What takes you 20 minutes on Market Samurai should only take you 45-60 minutes without. I generally find groups of 10 keywords at a time that are all closely related. Each has no less than 1,500 local monthly searches for an Exact Match, with low competition. I use SEOQuake to get PR, Backlinks, and other stats. I check for visual signs of SEO, Title, Metas, and Headers.
        I disagree. If someone is not willing to invest $149 to make their time and business more efficient, they shouldn't be doing business at all. Using tools like Market Samurai not only free up your time, but they also give you a competitive advantage.
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      • Profile picture of the author Laubster
        Originally Posted by Teravel View Post

        I agree that you cannot determine Keyword Competition with Google Keyword Tool. But. . .

        I do not agree that you need to use special programs such as Market Samurai. Yes, they show Backlinks, PR, Age Domain, and some other details. But, you can find all that information for free, and it isn't very difficult to do.

        For someone just starting out, paying for a costly product (Such as Market Samurai) can rob you of money that could be better spent on Outsourcing difficult tasks.

        I know, it's a great tool to have that can save you loads of time. But hear me out. Market Samurai currently cost's $149 on their sales page. Using this you can find Keywords that you can easily rank for.

        Do keywords make you money? If Keywords made me money, I would be the richest person in the world.

        So lets save the $149 and do the work ourselves. What takes you 20 minutes on Market Samurai should only take you 45-60 minutes without. I generally find groups of 10 keywords at a time that are all closely related. Each has no less than 1,500 local monthly searches for an Exact Match, with low competition. I use SEOQuake to get PR, Backlinks, and other stats. I check for visual signs of SEO, Title, Metas, and Headers.
        Yeah man I gotta disagree. I've been in the industry for over 4 years and Market Samurai is the most efficient keyword research tool out there. First off, nothing takes 20 min in MS. Use AdWords to develop KWs based on your original KW, then copy/paste them into MS and filter them. From there run SEO competition on each term you're interested in. It would take you 45 min. to run one keyword manually, where as I can analyze any KW in 45 seconds (90 if it's going slow that day Not trying to shoot you down, but there's no possible way you can do efficient KW research manually.
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  • Profile picture of the author ralchevd
    Google Keyword Tool really helps me to understand how many advertisers are bidding for certain keyword. This can be done with SpyFu too. I personally avoid to go with "low" competative keywords according to Google KW Tool.
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  • Profile picture of the author outwest
    Maybe u search kws a lot less than the rest of us but I routinely check 100s of kws per day

    a difference of only a few mins per kw makes a huge difference, and doing it for free is not only inconvenient it doesnt give you a 10 sites "at a glance" option that MS or traffic travis gives you
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  • Profile picture of the author cagliostro
    I wonder if Market Samurai "collects" ideas from the keywords we search using the software ....
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  • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
    I've never found the competition analysis in the keyword tool to be accurate.

    What I do, instead, is grab a ton of medium / low(ish) volume keywords and analyze the first page of results. If it looks like I can get onto the first page, I'll save them. Then I'll look at the keywords I've saved and analyze the top 3 competition. (This is what you should be aiming for.) I usually end up with a pretty good handful of keywords by the time I'm done.
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  • Profile picture of the author benroger
    Thanks dear for this useful information. Majority of people feel all the key word selection tools unreliable for many reasons. It is good if you find something working for you truly.
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  • Profile picture of the author gvannorman
    I just read the thread. I have one question, I have SEOQuake. Where are the backlinks listed on the bar?
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  • Profile picture of the author echelon
    Thanks for making this post about keyword research. I too do not really take into consideration the number of results (broad) listed on Google serp. I do not see it as something I could rely on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Theeban
    I wonder in SEO Quake, Are you able to find out inbound links of a site on SEO Quake? You can find internal links and outbound links only using SEO Quake. I may be wrong there may be some ways to find inbound links, of so, how? please advice
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  • Profile picture of the author Allan Leadbetter
    I prefer to use market samurai and traffic Travis for checking out the strength of the competition
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  • Profile picture of the author ZumbaKassel
    I agree that you dont need to buy a product to do good Keyword research, it is possible with out it. Maybe more time consuming but still, its possiböe!
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  • Profile picture of the author Hthomas
    I agree with you but I am facing one problem now a days.

    I am working on a website that offer coupons to online shoppers. and for this we can use some basic common and usual keywords for all stores such as

    Discount coupons
    coupon codes etc.

    but I don't know why any of them keyword is not even entering in first thousand searches.

    One thing one of the stores is listed in top 40 right now after 2 weeks work.
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  • Profile picture of the author prcys
    Banned
    As per me the best method for choice of keyword is to observe the words that enter by people for their query that highly searched in own field. And use those words as per own keyword and provide best content with it. As this keyword assumption can take some time but it will provide best results.
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  • Profile picture of the author kentutz
    Careful when using market samurai or any other tools for that matter. You cant take it by book value as they might be using google result from one of their many servers that might give you massive difference with competition counts. This is also verified by market samurai and i believe is posted somewhere on their site. You have to analyZe keywords for a few days to get more accurate info. My 2 cents
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  • Profile picture of the author Balaji Naidu
    Hi Teraval, You have got the right thing as low competition don't mean with less work we can regain the top most position but it is all about the niche and their knowledge and spending ability for getting top most position. All such lucarative topics are too tough to get ranked for as the folks are ready to spend huge marketing budget to get top most position for the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Lett
    I agree with everyone who realizes why a niche keyword research tool is valuable. Why waste two hours doing something that you can do in ten minutes? That time adds up, day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. You get the picture
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  • Profile picture of the author Nika1111
    All I have to say is "Yep". Indeed, I picked a key-phrase that had half of a million local monthly searches and was marked "Low", so I figured this is going to be a gold mine - "how to get rid of acne". Guess what? After 3 months of extensive work all I could accomplish is the 3rd page of Google! I'm wondering now what is "High".
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  • Profile picture of the author outwest
    Agreed, searching manually with "free tools" is not free

    unless you think your time is not worth anything
    MS saves you at least 20 mins per kw
    if thats not enough to justify you spending the money, I cant help you
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    • Profile picture of the author Dexter AJ
      In my opinion keyword research is half the story, having competitive content is what makes you shine.
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  • Thanks.. Wisely explained.
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