Keyword Analysis Part 8 of 12
This is the part 8 in the series that is designed to guide you through finding the best keywords for your small business. If you missed it, here’s the link to read Part 1 Keyword Analysis: How Keywords Work, so you can get the series from the beginning.
Remember to have your business plan handy, so you can refer to it and make any additional notes to it. As mentioned before, if you haven’t had the opportunity to finish it yet, no worries, just do what you can when you can.
Now that we’re all the same page, let’s move onto part 8…
Learning from the Competition to Find Great Keywords
So far we’ve talked about analyzing the competition. Now let’s look at how we can learn from the competition.
When you did your initial keyword analysis research, chances are you came across words and phrases you never would have considered. People speak differently, so it’s reasonable to assume they use different words and phrases to search the Internet as well. In the American Midwest, a sandwich built on a large bun is called a sub. On the East Coast, that same sandwich is a hoagie. If you’ve never visited the East Coast, you might not even realize that word exists, but good keyword analysis research will tell you.
Google’s keyword tool will clue you in to lots of variations of your keyword, and if you keep digging deeper with each promising phrase, you’ll find even more useful words. But there’s another way to find out what the best keywords are for your niche.
In Google’s keyword tool, you can enter a website’s URL rather than a keyword, and find out exactly what Google thinks that page is about. You’ll see some familiar choices, but chances are you’ll find a few gems you hadn’t thought of. Do this for your biggest competitors, and you’ll fill out your keyword list nicely.
Spying on Yourself
Spying on your competition is good, but if you already have a site, it pays to spy on yourself, too. And Google is just the tool you need to get the job done.
You’ll need to have Google Analytics set up for your site, and while doing that is outside the scope of this report, it’s pretty easy to do. Once you’ve got a little piece of code installed on your site, Google will begin tracking all kinds of interesting facts and figures about your visitors.
You’ll find out:
- Where they come from
- How long they stay
- Pages they visit
- Where they click when they’re on the site
- What page they exit from
Most importantly for this discussion, you’ll find out what keyword they typed into Google to find your site.
Now, some of the keywords you find here will be completely useless, but some of them will offer genuine insight into your readers needs. Pick out those gems and add them to your keyword list, because after all, if you’ve been found for that keyword once, you’ll be found again. And next time you’ll be ready.
Types of Keywords
Not all keywords are created equal. In fact, we can break our keyword list into two distinct groups: buying words and information words.
As you might imagine, buying keywords are where you’ll make your money. That’s not saying there’s no use for informational keywords, because providing information for free to your audience is a great way to drive traffic, but buying keywords are where the money is.
Buying keywords look like this:
- Hand dyed sock yarn
- Claudia hand painted yarns
- Knitting yarns online
- Discount sock yarn
- Wholesale knitting yarn
- Knitting yarn shop online
You can see that these phrases clearly indicate an intent to buy. When someone searches for discount, wholesale, retail, or shop, they are looking to buy something. Likewise when they search for a specific brand or model number.
On the other hand, people looking for information are using terms like:
- How to dye sock yarn
- Free sock patterns
- Sweater knitting tips
- Download knitting needle gauge
These terms are all focused on getting something for free, whether it’s information or an actual item (like a sock pattern). While there is value in using these search terms, the people who are finding your site via these keywords are not at the buying stage yet. Treat them well, give them the information they’re seeking, and they may turn into a loyal customer, though, so don’t discount them completely.
Stop Words and Plurals
Unfortunately, Google does see stop words and plurals, so you can’t add words or letters to your keyword without changing it in Google’s eyes. For example, “ladies fashion online shopping” is not the same as “ladies fashions online shopping” or “ladies fashion online shop” or even “shopping online for ladies fashion.”
Those phrases are all related, but still different as far as search goes. You can try it out for yourself by Googling those three phrases. You’ll see that you get three different – though similar – sets of search results.
It’s Homework Time
We’re getting close to the end of our Keyword Analysis series, so it’s time to start getting your keyword list together. Start by picking the keyword tool you feel comfortable with: Wordtracker, Market Samurai, or Google AdWords Keyword Tool (free). Narrow your list to 10 keywords. As a refresher to what terms your list should include, review the second article in this Keyword Analysis series. Take a look at the different related terms that also appear, these might be real good keywords for your business.
Remember, to help you organize the terms and search numbers make a table and enter the terms on the left. Across the top make columns for Board, Phrase, And Exact Match numbers.
In the next part of the keyword analysis series we’re going to talk about organizing your keyword list.
How are you coming along with your keyword list? Let me know in the Comments section below.