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SEO: How to Do Keyword Research

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SEO: How to Do Keyword Research

The first component of optimizing your site for the search engine deals with deciding on the keywords your site is going to target.

This is a crucial decision and a fundamental part of achieving success with the search engine optimization. You could do everything else perfectly, but target the wrong keywords and your site will be a total failure. in this topic I'll tell you exactly what to look for when searching for good solid keywords.

Most Internet Marketing "experts" and the self-proclaimed gurus will tell you to use the Google Keyword Tool (now called: "Keyword Planner" and is only available to Adwords account users) for your keyword research. This is a big mistake! if you only use the Google tool you'll end up going in circles with the rest of the herd achieving no success. Why? although the Google tool will provide you with a nice list of several hundred keyword variations, it will tell you nothing as to the competitiveness of the terms. You have no clue as to how hard it will be to rank in the search engines for any specific term. This is critical. Most newbies will choose a term from the Google Tool that is too competitive and end up hitting a brick wall. You certainly don't want to be spending any time or money building a site that will never rank in the SE's.

In order to to do a proper keyword research I recommend you use a tool named Keyword Canine. Keyword Canine (KC) will also provide you with a nice list of several hundred keyword variations but it goes beyond the Google Tool in that it will also analyze the competitiveness of each keyword variation. This is crucial and that is where you gain your "unfair advantage" over the 99% that only use the Google Tool.

How does KC do it? it has a special algorithm in its backend that looks at the top 10 Google search results for your chosen keyword and produces an accurate analysis in the form of "Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Hard or Fierce" so you can literally plug in your keyword and get an instant answer.

Keyword Canine has a ton of additional features that can help you as an Internet marketer but for the purpose of keyword research, the competition analysis is what we need. I'm not going to walk you here thru the steps of conducting a keyword research with Keyword Canine as they have pretty good tutorials explaining everything. Simply sign for the service and follow their instructions.

Now let's see what properties a keyword must have in order to make us the most money.

For starter it has to be of a commercial value. This relates to your business model, the way you monetize your site.

Many internet marketeers derive income from two sources:

a. Google AdSense ads.
b. Affiliate Programs

To maximize your income from those two you need to look for keywords in markets that has AdSense advertisers and affiliate programs that are willing to pay top dollars.

Another property that you want to consider when looking for a good keywords is the search volume. Obviously, even a #1 ranking isn't going to do you any good at all if nobody searches for the keyword that you rank for. I would say that the minimum search volume you should look for is 200 monthly searches (Keyword Canine shows you the search volume right next to the keywords in the list). Some will say that this is too low to target, however I had many successes with pages targeting close to this number of monthly searches.

The next property you need to consider for a good keyword is how competitive it is, how hard it will be to have it ranked in the first page of Google's search results. This is critical, however if you use Keyword Canine it will do the competition analysis for you and come with a recommendation in the form of "Very Easy, Easy, Moderate, Hard or Fierce". I would not go beyond "easy" with a new site.
So to summarize, in order to find a good keyword you need to consider:

* Commercial value

* Search volume

* competition strength

How many keywords should you target in one site? Some will tell you that you need to look for several terms and optimize each page in the site for a different term, now this depends on the size of your site. For a small niche site it is best to dedicate each site to only one keyword and direct all your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts towards the main page that is optimized for that keyword. In a small site you don't want to dilute your efforts by targeting several keywords in a site.

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