In this lesson, we will cover the R part of R&D (Research and Development) for your website. This should always be your first step before you start building any website or web business online, because here is where a business lives or dies. If you already have a website and haven’t done this step, it’s still not too late to do the research and make all the necessary changes – nothing is carved in stone! The first part of the research stage involves looking at which keywords (searches) you want to show up for in the search engines. If you don’t have traffic, your business dies but – more than that – if you don’t get the right kind of traffic, your business will also die. Today you will discover:
- how and where to find out what your potential clients and customers are already searching for
- how to be sure you can get that click from the related search engine results
- what you can do about even if you can’t.
What is a Keyword?
Keywords are what your potential clients, customers and viewers type into a search engine to get to your site. To take our example type into a search engine to get to your site. To take our example from yesterday, ‘best cat food recipe’ are the four words that comprise the keyword that the user typed in. The user may have found the same site after typing in simply ‘cat food recipe’, ‘cat food’ or even (though extremely unlikely) ‘cat’ or ‘food recipes’. All these phrases are separate keywords. Each one has different and various amounts of competition and a varying number of people who type it in. To make it short, I am going to call this the supply
of the keyword. Supply
is the amount and power of the competition and demand
is how many people are looking for it. The supply for ‘food recipes’ is huge, at the time I was writing this tutorial it was 492,000,000 on Google Search (at 11.14 am, on 16th November 13). and the word ‘cat’ was 1,392,000,000 which even more. This means there is a big competition for those words. But would you to rank for those keywords, even if you could?
Why are Keywords important?
One of the simple truths of SEO is that, generally speaking, the more focused the keyword is, the better the quality of visitor you will receive because they are more targeted. However, you need to bear in mind that the more focused the keyword, generally the lower the number of searches that will be performed each month compared the to the broader keywords like ‘food recipe’ or ‘home insurance’. What I mean by that is, if you want large numbers of quality visitors coming to your website every day, you will need to create lots of pages, each targeting one of these highly focused keywords (these known as ‘long tail keywords’).
The term ‘long tail’ was adopted from an article (and later a book) written by Wired magazine’s former chief editor Chris Anderson, where he discussed the shift in business away from focusing on a relatively small number of one-size-fits-all products, services and customers and instead servicing a potentially much greater number of products and services targeting specific different customers and niches. His excellent blog on the subject is here
; it hasn’t been updated for a while but it still worth reading. Applying this principle to your keywords means that, instead of trying to compete with millions of other websites for highly competitive keywords, you can create a large number of long-tail keywords that are very specific. Each one will give you a smaller number of searches but, taken as a group, they can give you substantial traffic. Long-tail keyword searches now make up around 70 % of all keywords entered into Google and the other search engines. There will be more on reading the mind of your clients through their keywords later. Once you know what a keyword is and the types of keywords you need to be focusing on, it’s time to dive into creating your own keywords list so that you know which searches you want to show up for.
Generating your initial keyword list
Fortunately for you, Google has provided a free tool that shows you exactly the terms users entering into its search engine,