Q: OK, so now you’ve explained to me what SEO and keywords are. So how do I know what keywords to use?
A: Now the challenge is to determine what keywords you can use that describe your business the best. However, it’s not just the best description that you want, but you also want to choose a keyword that doesn’t have a lot of competition (if you can). You can do this by learning how to do keyword research.
Let’s stick with the example that we used in SEO Beginner – Part 1 of this series…Mike’s Pizza Restaurant. Now if you’re trying to get your website noticed for the keyword pizza, you may want to sit down. This is going to take some time. While it’s a vital part of your business and you should not ignore it, Pizza is a VERY competitive keyword. It’s one of our main keywords, but we need to do some research to determine some other profitable keywords as well.
Keyword Research – The Time Saver
Rather than sitting here trying to figure out related keywords that we may want to go after, lets just use the Google Keyword Tool. Once you’re there, type in some keywords that have to do with your pizza restaurant such as: pizza, pizza restaurant, pizza Minneapolis, pizza restaurant Minneapolis and then click the search button. Here’s what you get:
A Sample Keyword Search
Now while the tool states that they competition for the keyword Pizza is LOW, the fact that local monthly searches are more than 20 million tells me something else. But we can see that the keyword pizza Minneapolis has about 14,800 local monthly searches and that seems like a good keyword to go after.
Now you don’t just want to have 1 keyword, you want to have many! So let’s take this a step further.
Google Keyword Download Button
Below those results that you just looked up on Google, you will see other keyword suggestions. Just click on the little + sign to the left of the keywords and it will open up suggestions for you. Or you can just click on the download button (above the search terms) and it will open up a window allowing you to download a few hundred suggestions into an Excel file. This can be useful for sorting out keywords, competition, and searches.
Using Keyword Research to Gain Your Competitors Business
So when I click on the plus sign next to one of the suggestions that says: “Keywords like: stadium pizza Minneapolis”, here is what I get:
Now while the competition for all of these keywords is low, they are also all the names of my competitors pizza restaurants. That’s not really what I’m looking for right at this time.
However, in the future, maybe I will write a blog article on my site about how MY pizza is better than Stadium Pizza because all of the ingredients that we use are fresh daily (just make sure you don’t badmouth anyone, keep it professional). When done correctly I may be able to rank that blog article so that when people try to look up Stadium Pizza, they may find my article and I may get some business out of this.
This is a good way to use your competitors keywords to your advantage.
But right now we are looking for primary keywords for our website so I’m going to scroll down and then I see this:
Good Keyword Research
Right now there are 880 people a month typing best pizza in Minneapolis into Google. Do you think that I want to write a page about how Mike’s Pizza is the best pizza in Minneapolis? You bet!
Now you may be thinking that when doing this keyword research, there are a lot of other keywords that get more searches than 880. Yes, there are, but have you ever heard of the term “low hanging fruit”? There are not a lot of people using that keyword on their website and there are almost 1000 people looking for it. Do you think that it’s worth 20 minutes of your time to write one page about how you have the “Best Pizza in Minneapolis”? Because with this one page, if you got just 1 customer a month for the next year, is that worth your time? And we’re just talking about ONE customer. What if you were to rank really well for that keyword and you got maybe 2,3,10,20 more customers a month? I think that’s worth 20 minutes of your time don’t you?
So use the Google Keyword Research Tool and find some keywords that are really relevant to your business. Let’s just start with 10-15 keywords that you really want to rank for. Now once you have these keywords, just put them on a list. Don’t do anything else with them yet because next we’re going to get into Keyword Density and how too many keywords or non-relevant keywords can make all your work for nothing
Coming Up… SEO Beginner – Part 3 – Keyword Density