Keyword Terms to your success
I have put a brief description here of the most important terms used in keyword research that you must understand to set up a successful keyword campaign for your site (for a longer version of this article, please see the end of this abstract).
Vertical Keyword Research
The term Vertical Keyword Research is fairly straight forward and describes the variations that can occur on one speficif keyword or keyword phrase.
Lateral Keyword Research
Lateral Keyword Research is the process of finding the keywords or phrases that are similar to your original keyword, but do not necessarily contain that word or words exactly.
Often you'll need to do this kind of lateral thinking yourself or hire someone who can do it for you, but many tools are smart enough to offer really useful suggestions.
Lateral Keyword Research also relates to building your list with a variety of keyword combinations or misspellings.
The more creative both your mind and the Keyword Research tools are, the better your outcome. SEO people and Niche Miners may find words they hadn’t thought of that are popular but have little competition.
In a similar way, PPC advertisers may generate a huge list of keywords that are overlooked and consequently inexpensive to advertise on. Lateral Keyword Research really is powerful in the right hands.
This is one of the most talked-about subjects, when it comes to copywriting for search engine optimization.
Since keywords (or keyphrases) play such an important role in copywriting for search engines, it would make sense to have certain rules and regulations or formulas that should be followed. However, the latest take on SEO experts is that there are no unquestioned keyword density formulas.
But there are very successful online marketing companies who follow some keyword density formulas and text structures like using your keywords and -phrases in an hour glass like shape on a page. This means you would start with more density in the beginning of the text, whereas the middle part would have less keywords and the end would have more keywords again.
Digging is often automated or partly automated. It involves processing large lists of keywords to reveal the keywords that have the characteristics of terms that are going to make money! Often digging is done by keyword research software and will often involve both Vertical and Lateral Keyword Research.
It is kind of like having a big bucket full of coins and having someone sort through all the nickels to find the quarters. When digging is done right it can save you lots of time and make you lots of money.
Keyword Popularity one of the easiest to understand yet most misunderstood concept's in Keyword Research. Simply it's the number of searches performed during a certain period - per day, per week, or per month. That's the easy part to understand.
What many people don’t understand is that this is only a relative indicator. If one tool says that there are 1000 searches a month for a particular keyword, that doesn’t mean this is an exact figure. You cannot then say with any sort of accuracy that during the past month throughout the whole Internet there were 1000 searches for that keyword.
What this figure means is that in the chunk or sample of data that was taken from this particular search engine during this month that keyword was found 1000 times. Sometimes this really is all of the searches that were done on this search engine, other times this is just a portion of all the search queries. The only time we could ever be sure that there were 1000 searches done a month would be if the sample data were taken from every single search engine on the Internet. No tool does this - not even close.
Keyword Research tools use only samples of data. This means that you cannot assume that your list is 100% correct. It’s really just a best guess based on the amount of data your specific tools looks at.
Firstly, you can get a rough indication of the search volume and fairly safely conclude that the actual search volume is going to be greater when you consider traffic across all search engines.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, you can get a relative indicator. By relative indicator I mean it allows you to be able to compare one keyword with other keywords in the same group of data (except if you were using the Overture suggestion tool due to the way it combines phrases).
Even though the actual volume isn't exactly correct, by being able to compare relatively you can still get some amazingly powerful information.
Another important concept in Keyword Research is keyword competition. This information can help you assess how well you will be able to do in a particular market, from both a search engine ranking perspective, as well as a business competition perspective.
There are a two common methods that Keyword Research tools use to give an indicator of competition. The first one is called the R/S ratio, which shows the ratio of searches (demand) to web pages containing that keyword or keyword phrase (supply).
Basically the tool compares how many times something is searched for against how many pages are found in the search engine with that keyword or phrase included in the page.
The second common indicator is KEI, which stands for Keyword Effectiveness Index. This is very similar to R/S.
However, it's weighted so the higher the keyword volume, the more tolerance it has to lots of competing pages. So keywords or phrases with lots of searches will have a higher KEI compared with ones that have fewer searches, even though their R/S ratio may be exactly the same.
In most experts opinion, both concepts are fundamentally flawed because they assume that the number of pages on the Internet for a given keyword is a reliable measure of competition.
This is not neccessarily true.
In reality, it doesn’t matter how many competing pages you are up against. All that matters is how good are the websites that appear on the first (and maybe second) page that a search engine returns for a query.
What really matters is how good the top 10 results on a search page are!
- Are they well optimized?
- Are they already popular, high traffic sites?
- Do these sites have lots of links pointing to them?
If you want to get a real competitive analysis, you should include factors such as Incoming Links, Keyword Density, PageRank, Alexa Rank and PPC competition data to name just a few. These provide a better way of assessing competition in real terms.
Also, consider other factors in the equation that a tool cannot tell you directly. For example, think about the conversion potential of the keyword area. If you’re niche mining, how easy is it to get your hands on a product to sell? Or is there a suitable affiliate product to promote? There's no point having lots of traffic going to a site that has no way to turn that traffic into dollars.
Keyword Case Studies
The best book on how to apply keyword research, with useful examples of ways to use your own mind as a keyword research tool was published recently by Wordtracker. It's called Keyword Research Guide and it's free.
Although the e-book appears to be aimed at beginners, it is full of insights, tips, and techniques on keyword research that you can apply to your own website, whether you're using Wordtracker or some other tool. For anyone serious about making the most out of keywords it is a must!
The book features contributions from some very knowledgable 'keyword gurus', like:
- Bryan Eisenberg - Convert more traffic using Wordtracker.
- B. L. Ochman - Understand your customers' real motivations.
- Kevin Lee - Combine thousands of phrases for an effective PPC campaign.
- Stephen Mahaney - Use Wordtracker to find the size of the market.
- Ken McGaffin - Discover the most important sites in your marketplace.
- John Alexander - Find inspiration in Wordtracker's Top 1,000 Words report.
- Neil Davidson - Learn how an ad agency uses keyword research to position a client.
- Robin Good - Use Wordtracker to identify niche opportunities.
- Nick Usborne - Incorporate keywords into your content and copy.
Related links: You can download Keyword Research Guide here.