Keyword Research: How to Find Long Tail Keywords


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The complete guide to doing keyword research using free keyword research tools. Discover simple strategies you can use to find long tail keywords that are easy to rank for in search engines.

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Keyword Research: How to Find Long Tail Keywords

  1. 1. gainpro f it inco m e .co m http://www.gainpro fitinco m/keywo rd-research-find-lo ngtail-keywo rds/Keyword Research: How to Find Long Tail KeywordsPhilip A.Keyword research is the f irst step when you’re startingyour blog or af f iliate niche site or when your writing anew post on your website.But what does keyword research really mean? Well, f orme it means f inding those keywords or keyphrases thatpeople are using in search engines like Google whenthey are looking f or inf ormation, and af ter thatanalyzing each one in terms of competition and numberof monthly search queries.First of all there are 3 dif f erent types of keywords.1. T he “Head”: T hese are very popular keywords but there not worth targeting by their own because most ofthe times they’re related to big brand names, f or example: Facebook, Google, Wikipedia… but also generalterms like marketing, f ashion, etc.2. T he “Body”: T hese are two or three words that f orm a more specif ic search query. For example: internetmarketing or internet marketing strategies, Youtube f unny videos.3. T he “Tail”: Or the long tail keywords. T hese usually contain more than three keywords and get lesssearched than the Head and Body keywords but there are more of them. T hey of ten come in the f orm of aquestion, here are some examples: how to build a blog, what are the latest f ashion trends… you get mypoint.Creat ing an Init ial Keyword ListNow considering that you’ve chosen a topic on which you want to start a niche site or write a new blog post,its time to brainstorm what keywords you want to rank f or. T his is very important, because if you won’tf ocus on a set of specif ic keywords to rank f or and just be all over the place, its more likely that you won’trank f or anything.Creating your initial keyword list shouldn’t be hard, there are a lot of ways you can do this. T he f irst step tothis process is to f ind the seed keywords, these represent your niche site’s main topic. Here are 5 dif f erentstrategies to help you do this:1. T hink like a customerAsk yourself what would you search f or when looking f or your products/services or the inf ormation youprovide. You can use a f ree tool such as Seed Keywords. All you have to do is create a scenario f or a searchquery and a url will be given to you to share it with your contacts and then see the results. An examplescenario would be “You’re starting a website and you have no idea how to do keyword research, what wouldyou search f or?”. T hen all you have to do is bookmark the link and share it. You will f ind the results on thesame link.
  2. 2. 2. Look at the Google “related searches” boxYou can f ind this box right at the bottom ofthe search results page. Just type in your mainkeyword in the search box to see relatedsearches that include it.3. Use the Google Adwords contextualtargeting toolYou can f ind this in your Google Adwordsaccount under the “tools and analysis” tab, all you need is a Google Adwords account which is f ree tocreate. It’s Google’s new Wonder Wheel.4. Browsing Q&A sites like Yahoo Answers or QuoraAs I’ve mentioned in the beginning of my post a lot of the long tail keywords are f ormed as a question.Yahoo Answer has a massive database f ull of questions and answers on any topic you can think of .Questions are most of ten addressing a problem, and problems can be heavily monetized by providing usef ulsolutions.5. Use Google TrendsT his can help you establish the popularity your chosen keyword has on Google, and some additional relatedkeywords that are on the rise. A great way to put this tool to use is to look f or popular searches on specif icdates, holidays, sports events and other events that get a huge media coverage. Looking at popular searchqueries f rom the past will give you a pretty good idea on what people will search in the f uture on a specif icday or month.Ranking your keywords based on t he number of search queriesAf ter you’ve got yourself an average of 20 to 40 keywords the next step is to rank them based on thenumber of monthly search queries. You can do this very easily f or f ree using the Google keyword researchtool or if you’re using Firef ox you can install the SeoBook Firef ox Addon which will give you the monthlysearches f or Bing and Yahoo along with a lot of insights.If you’re starting a niche site I recommend that you stick with keywords that are averaging 4000 – 7000monthly searches, these are most likely to have low seo competition.T he Google Adwords keyword tool is f ree to use but you should create an Adwords account which is alsof ree. If you have a Gmail email use that to login to Adwords. You should do this because you will get 800keyword ideas based on your initial keywords instead of only 100 without an account.Now insert each of your keywords in the f irst box of the Google keyword tool.Make sure you have selected [Exact Match]f or your keywords on the lef t side panel. Youwant to f ind out how many monthly searchesthe exact match of your keyword or keyphrasegets.So f ar so good, now let’s analyze the results.
  3. 3. In the above picture are the stats f or the keywords you inserted in the keyword box at the top of the page. Itwill give you the number of searches world-wide, the local monthly searches based on the location youselected, the paid search advertiser competition and an estimate of how much a click on an ad containingthis click would cost, in other words how much you get paid f or a click on your website f or that keyword.Go through these results and choose keywords in 4000-7000 range f or global searches.If your planning to monetize your site with Adsense choose keywords that have high advertiser competition,these will earn you more money per click.It’s also a good thing to pay attention to the search trends on each keyword, it will give you an idea onf uture number of searches f or it.Based on the keywords you inserted more related keywords and keyphrases will be generated f or you tochoose f rom.
  4. 4. So now you’ve chosen your keywords based on the number of searches they get each month, but your workis f ar f rom over.Some keywords will be more dif f icult to rank f or, pref erably on the f irst page of Google and it could take youa lot of time. You should target dif f icult keywords only if you’re 100% sure you can get to f irst page,otherwise stick with keywords that are easier to rank f or.T his leads us to the next step in the keyword research process, checking the competition.Time t o check t he compet it ion f or each keywordObviously some keywords will be more dif f icult than others to rank f or. You’re going to want to look f or 3things when it comes to keyword dif f iculty: 1. Competition: T his is the number of pages indexed by the search engine f or a search query. 2. Authority: T his involves the webpage authority and the overall domain authority which is determined by the quality and quantity of incoming links(backlinks). 3. Relevance: Is the content on that webpage relevant to the search query? T his includes on page keyword optimization but also the presence of the targeted keyword in the anchor text of incoming links.T his is the number of pages Google has indexed f or the specif ic search query. Now, this will not tell youwhat the competition f or that keyword is, or how dif f icult it will be f or you to rank f or it. Your goal is to rankyour webpage on the f irst page of the search results, to do that you need to analyze the top 10 pages thatrank f or your chosen keyword.What t o look f or when analyzing t he t op 10 ranking webpagesT his step gives you a very good idea on how dif f icult it will be to rank f or your keyword on the f irst page ofGoogle. T he main f actors are Authority and Relevance. So here is how you analyze each of these 2criteria.AuthorityDomain authority and page authority, basically this tells you what are the chances f or a page or a domain torank high f or any given content. You can read this post f rom Seomoz if you want to know more aboutdomain authority.Both domain and page authority are inf luenced by a variety of f actors, what we’re interested in is the age ofthe page or domain and the number and quality of the incoming links to that page or domain which alsoinf luences the Google Page Rank.You can easily check this using a f ree tool such as the SeoBook extension f or Firef ox.
  5. 5. You won’t need to look at all the data this tool provides you with, in the above picture I’ve highlighted whatyou need to investigate. OSE links means Open Site Explorer links to the page and to the domain.Open Site explorer also shows you the authority of the page or domain f rom where the incoming link iscoming f rom. Based on that you will have some idea of the quality of each incoming link. Not all incominglinks carry value or in other words are “do f ollow” links. So what you need to look f or are the do f ollow linksthat carry link juice.T he Page Rank of the top 10 positions is another thing you should be aware of which is also dictated by thenumber and quality of the backlinks it has. Although there are a lot of websites or pages that out rank higherPR sites, it’s better to take page rank into account too.RelevanceNow, when you look at relevance the important thing to f igure out is this: is the ranking page or domainspecif ically targeting that keyword or it’s just randomly mentioning it in their content.A lot of websites are ranking f or specif ic keywords without any intent or optimization f or those keywords,simply because it’s mentioned within the page’s content. If this is the case, than you should be conf identthat you can outrank these pages even if they have a high page rank with more relevant content and aminimal number of backlinks.So, in order to f ind out if the page is targeting the keyword you will have to look at the keyword use on thatpage:1. Is the keyword in the title of the page/website?2. Is the keyword in the description?3. Is the keyword used in the URL?4. Is the keyword in the subheadings(H2, H3)?5. Is the keyword in the body/content of that page or website?6. Is the ranking page a home page or just an individual page?
  6. 6. If a home page is targeting that keyword its most likely the whole website is centered around it.To check the keyword use on a page I like to use the keyword analyzer tool f rom Web Seo Analytics and theon-page optimization tool f rom Juxseo.T hey are both f ree to use and will give you all the data you need, so you can f igure out if a page or websiteis actually targeting that keyword and the level of optimization f or the keyword or they just happen tomention it in a remote f ashion.So now that we’ve gathered all the data we need, the next step is to decide whether we want to go f or aspecif ic keyword or not, based on our keyword research data.One more thing, insert all of the data you’ve gathered in an Excel f ile so you can have a clear view and makeit easier f or yourself to run everything through a selection process.Keyword select ion guidelines: To Be or Not To BeT his is the f inal stage of the keyword research process, and it involves running each keyword through aselection procedure.T he rules based on which you decide if a keyword is approachable or is too dif f icult to target are not thesame f or everyone. If you’ve got the resources to do it and your conf ident you would rank f or that keywordyou can def initely target even high competition keywords.But if you’re starting a f resh niche site or a blog here are some guidelines you should consider f ollowingwhen making your f inal keyword selection:Go f or keywords where not all results have the exact keyword in their titleAt least 2 of the top 10 results have 0 or less than 10 incoming links.At least 2 of the top 10 results have Page Rank 0.At least 4 of the top 10 ranking pages are not the root domain(home page).Finding the keywords that match these selection criteria will probably take you a bit of time to do, but it will
  7. 7. be less dif f icult to rank f or them on the f irst page of the search results.However if you’re conf ident that you can rank f or a specif ic keyword and got the resources to do so youshould def initely go f or it, even if it doesn’t f ollow the guidelines above.Free t ools t o help you wit h keyword researchI’ve mentioned a couple of tools that I use to help me f ind keywords and determine the competition f or eachone. Here is a list with all the tools:Adwords Keyword Tool – Free tool f rom Google.Seobook Firef ox extensions – You need Mozilla Firef ox to use this tool.SEOquake Toolbar – Works with Firef ox and Chrome.T hese tools are all f ree to use and can provide you with all the inf ormation you need to make the decisionof going f or a keyword or not. T he key to using these tools is to put all of the gathered data in one placewhere you can make comparisons between the competition f or each keyword and the number of searches itgets monthly.Paid keyword research t ools wort h ment ioningIf you took the time to read the entire post(thank you!) and not just scan it, by this time you probably knowthat you can do effective keyword research without the use of any paid tools.However paid tools have their advantages. First of all the time you spend on analyzing the competition f oreach keyword will be greatly reduced, because all of the inf ormation you need the make your decision isorganized neatly in one place. Secondly it makes your lif e a whole lot easier when you’re working on multipleprojects at the same time, whether we’re talking about niche sites or individual blog posts. If you’re jugglingyour “9 to 5 job” with blogging as I am, I’m sure you can appreciate the importance of saving timeand increasing your productivity.T he only keyword research tool I use and recommend to others is Long Tail Pro(af f iliate link). It drasticallyreduces the time I spend on keyword research and f inding domains f or building new niche sites.I won’t go over the advantages of using this tool and how it’s better than other tools on the market, I’mbasically addicted to it and its the keyword research tool I recommend all the time. If you’re interest in whatLong Tail Pro is about, here is a video tutorial on how I do keyword research using this tool.So I’ve reached the end of my keyword research guide, hope you f ound it usef ul.If there is anything I lef t out please let me know through the commenting box. If not I’d still love to hear yourthoughts on keyword research and niche marketing.Bef ore I end this I just want to let you know that I am an af f iliate f or Long Tail Pro, and if you decide to gothrough my af f iliate link I will receive a commission without any extra cost to you, so thank you f or yoursupport and I really appreciate it.Relat ed Post s 1. Mastering the Art of Keyword Optimization and On-Page SEO 2. How to Get More Youtube Views – 13 Youtube Ranking Factors 3. WordPress SEO: T he Ultimate Guide