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SEO Tips - How to do keyword research for your website
SEO Guide - Selecting The Right Keywords
Selecting the right keywords to get visitors to your website is one of the key aspects of Internet marketing. There are a few basic steps you need to go through when hunting out the keywords you are going to use on your website.
Today we are going to cover:
- Using Traffic Travis to hunt out good keywords and avoid the 'bad' ones.
- Selecting the right parameters when picking keywords (including language and location).
- How to pick a good domain name (if you don't have one already) based on the keywords you find.
Picking good keywords and avoiding the 'bad' keywords
What makes a 'good' keyword good, and what makes a 'bad' keyword bad? There are a few criteria that we can use to find good keywords, these include:
Low competition. What defines too much competition? There are no hard and fast rules. But using the Competition checker in Traffic Travis will give you a good idea of whether a keyword has too much competition or not. Traffic Travis uses multiple factors to calculate competition. And provides a difficulty rating on a scale from 'very easy' to 'very difficult'.
In this example (found using the Traffic Travis Competition checker - 'SEO' , 'Competition') you can see that 'dog training' is going to be very difficult to rank for, while 'problems with training dog' will be much easier.
- High search volume. There is no point ranking highly for a keyword if nobody is searching for it. Generally the higher the search volume the better. However, this needs to be balanced with the level of competition. A good minimum to aim for is 200 global 'exact' searches per month (we will cover what 'exact' keywords are in a moment).
- Relevant to the website topic. Most websites are based around a theme or niche. You want the keywords you are building your site around to be relevant to the topic. For example, if your website is about dog training, then keywords about training your hamster are going to be of little use.
- Likely to convert. There is a big difference between 'browsers' and 'buyers'. You want keywords that attract buyers (for higher conversion rates) rather than those who are simply browsing for free information - even though the search volume for buyer keywords is usually much lower. An example of a browsing keyword would be 'free dog training tips' compared to the buyer keyword 'best dog training book'.
- Competitive costs per click (CPC). If you are going to be marketing your website using pay-per-click advertising like Google Adwords then you want keywords that won't cost you a fortune to build an ad campaign around. If your site sells a $30 product, then it's going to be hard to make money if you are paying $5 a click.
Using the right search method for your keywords
Traffic Travis features a powerful keyword research tool that offers different ways of searching for keywords.
From the dashboard, click on 'Research' then 'Keywords' to open up the Keyword analysis. You can then search for keywords using a 'broad', 'exact', or 'phrase' search.
Access this 'Keyword Match Type' menu by clicking 'Advanced Settings' from within the Traffic Travis Keyword Tool (see image below).
'Broad' keywords are not very specific. If you use this option then keywords that are loosely related to your initial phrase or word will be displayed. Searches for these deliver the widest possible range of results. However, broad keyword searching can also deliver less relevant keyword ideas.
'Phrase' searches contain your initial phrase, but with other possible words included. This brings more specific and more targeted results than a broad search.
For example, a search about 'dog training' could bring back results on 'dog obedience training' or 'dog training for obedience'.
'Exact' keyword searches contain your initial phrase in its exact order, and are the best for finding closely related keywords that you might also rank for. Use the Traffic Travis keyword tool set to 'Exact' (like in the picture above) for the most accurate search volume results and best potential keywords.
Below is an example of 'Exact' keywords found by Traffic Travis for the phrase 'dog training'. Notice how they are all highly relevant to the original phrase. Also notice that 'dog training collars' is one of those potential buyer keywords you should look out for; it has 8,100 global searches per month (over our 200 count minimum) and mentions a specific product type.
Read the Google Adwords guide to keyword matching options to learn more about broad, phrase, and exact matches and how they relate to keyword research.
If you are building a site based on a local business or service, or specific to a particular area (city, region, or country) then you want to be searching for keywords that are localized.
From the 'Keyword Match Type' menu under 'Advanced Settings' in the Keyword Research Tool you can pick keywords by country and language too (see image below).
For example, if you have a website called Dog Training in California it would make sense to search for keywords related to dog training coming only from American search engine users. Traffic Travis allows you to select keywords based on location and language.
For those of you building a website in a language other than English, make sure you tell Traffic Travis what language you want keywords for.
Picking A Domain Name Based On Your Keywords
Now that you know how to pick keywords, it is important to build those keywords into your site. Picking a domain name (e.g. www.example.com ) with your main keyword phrase is one way to increase your chance of ranking well in the search engines.
If you are using this method, ideally you want to pick a domain name that is an exact match for the keyword you are targeting. Traffic Travis has a domain finder tool that enables you to look up domain names based on your keywords. You can instantly see whether the .com, .net, or .org domain name extensions are available to buy.
To do this, access the domains tool from the 'Research' panel of Traffic Travis, and then add keywords you want to consider domain names for. You will see something similar to the image below:
You can access the 'Domains' tool from the Research panel of Traffic Travis. You can also shortlist and purchase domains from within Traffic Travis - this is a very useful time-saving feature.
You may also notice that Traffic Travis only offers to show .com, .net, or .org domain names. These top-level domains (TLDs) are the best for getting high search engine rankings, especially if your site is aimed at a global or US-based market.
Traffic Travis Keyword Research FAQs
Here are the answers to the most common questions or problems that people experience when researching keywords with Traffic Travis:
- "I can't find any data when searching for keywords". Make sure you are connected to the Internet, and that you have logged in with a Google account when prompted by the keyword tool. To return results for the keyword tool you also need to have Internet Explorer 7 (or above) installed on your computer (and not have the plugin 'Google Frame' for IE7 installed).
- "Google keeps blocking me. What can I do?". If you are getting blocked by Google then you will probably need to wait an hour or so before searching again from within Traffic Travis. You should also set up some proxies if possible. Another thing that might help is increasing the Timer Delay from (File > Program Options > Internet). This will slow down your searches a bit and reduce your chance of being blocked.
To recap, today we have covered:
- The difference between Buyer vs Browsing Keywords.
- Using Traffic Travis to find keyword ideas.
- The difference between 'broad', 'exact', and 'phrase' match keywords.
- Localizing keywords to a particular language or location.