In a nutshell, “keyword research” is just trying to find out what people are searching for online. There are quite a few ways to do this. I’ll introduce a few basic ones and a few advanced ones in this book, but just keep in mind that if you are writing stuff on your blog that you think people are looking for, then you are doing the right thing.
Even if you are very familiar with your niche, keyword research can give us more insight into what’s going on inside search engines every day. You might know that people are searching for ways to lose weight, but you might not have known that there’s a group of people looking to lose weight before
a high school reunion. It can also help you find out which phrases and niches have more/less traffic/competition.
First I’m going to talk about some basic concepts, then get into some tutorials on how to actually conduct the research part. Detailed keyword research tactics are beyond the scope of this book, but I will link to some resources I’ve created so you can dig in once you get started with your
Don’t skip this chapter (or the next one)! Using keywords properly to get your website ranked
in Google is one of the most important things about building a WordPress site that makes money through blogging.
Also, keep in mind that if some of the number stuff we’re about to go over makes your head spin, just use them as a general guide for now. High traffic is good. Low competition is good. That’s pretty much all you need to know to get started.
When I start a brand new site, the keyword research I do is not very organized. I just find anything and everything that looks interesting, and put what I find into a spreadsheet based on the metrics.
High Traffic, High Competition
High Traffic, Low Competition
Low Traffic, High Competition (But still a good keyword)
Low Traffic, Low Competition (The majority of your keywords will land here)
This gives me a long view of where my site is heading. What are things that people are searching for related to this niche? What are topics that I will probably be writing about in the future?
I sometimes even get into closely related topics just to see possible future expansion possibilities for my site. For example, if I’m doing a site about barbecue grills, maybe I want to look into camping keywords, or RV keywords. That’s because people who do those activities will probably want
to barbecue at some point.
Without even looking, I can guarantee that there are some juicy, low competition keywords related to RV grills or portable grills. In fact, the whole RV niche I think is ripe for money! Think about it – retired folks with money wanting to live out their dreams of traveling, but not without the comforts of home. When else is a better time to splurge on a nice things?
This concept applies to any website topic. What if we had a website about vegetarianism? Visitors wouldn’t blink an eye if your domain is called vegetarianrecipes.com and you have wine reviews
or organic gardening tips. Some wines are not vegetarian because they use animal products for fining agents. That would be a great discussion for a vegetarian niche website. Gardeners grow vegetables, and that’s what vegetarians eat. Makes sense, no?
You can also use these keyword stats to pick a domain name if you want. I talked about this
in a previous section, but if you do find a high traffic keyword with a .com available, that might
be a smart choice to pick up the domain. At the very least you can sell the domain at a premium later, or flip a very basic site with lots of potential.
But as I mentioned in the domain section, a good keyword will not make or break a website. The best niches will have a good mix if high traffic keywords and low competition keywords. If you find that all your keywords are high traffic high competition, you may be going too broad with your niche. For example, something like “lose weight fast” is not going to reveal a lot of opportunities to muscle your way in, and you probably want to refine your target audience a bit.