Here’s a chapter from a book that I was a co-author on. This explains exactly why online keyword research and competition analysis is critical for any local Lake Tahoe Truckee area business that is marketing on the world wide web. I hope you find it very helpful …
From the book – Online Wealth: Proven Step-by-Step Power Techniques the Internet Gurus Use to Generate Cash Online
Is your website helping you make as much money as you want? Would you like to double or triple your income? How would you like to learn what 90% of SEO gurus don’t tell you? Here’s the REAL secret to getting what you want from your online marketing. Read on to learn how you can get more of your ideal clients to come to your website and become customers.
There are a few chapters in this book that explain search engine optimization [SEO] and the importance of it. This chapter explains the one secret to making it easy to crush your competition online. You may have heard about SEO before, but in this chapter, it will stand for “Self Employment Optimization”. Many authors contributed great content to this book. My recommendation is to read this chapter first, so you can build the foundation of your online marketing and SEO success on these principles.
Many SEO experts are chasing Google’s multivariate analysis and creating gobs of backlinks and charging quite a bit of money for their services. Why is it that we rarely hear about keyword research and competition analysis?
For online marketing, keyword research is the first key to getting organic traffic to your website.
Would it be wise to start a brick and mortar business or launch a new product line without getting some information on the amount of demand and level of competition? It’s no different with online marketing. Finding out how many potential customers we could get and how much competition we would be facing helps immensely in positioning our business or products for success and profits.
It would be crazy NOT to get this data!
The fact is that with online marketing, the large majority (95+%) of business owners and entrepreneurs fail to do this research properly BEFORE launching their website or online marketing campaign. I’ve met with entrepreneurs, talked to them and analyzed hundreds of existing websites and only a handful were properly designed to maximize their potential for free traffic. They’ve spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on their websites and now they wonder why there’s little or no traffic, few orders and the phone is not ringing.
Here’s your chance to get a huge head start on your competition.
Many say they used Google’s free keyword analytics tool to do their research or they simply gave their webmaster a list of keywords to optimize for. In this chapter, you’ll learn why that simply doesn’t work and what to do about it.
You want your website to be on the first page of the search engines so people can see your site and hire you or buy your products. 40% of people click on the #1 result in a given search engine, 12% on the #2 site, 10% on the third listing … and by the 7th listing, the site gets 3% of clicks. Ranking well in a search engine can easily double your business.
For online marketing, keyword research is the first key to getting organic traffic to your website. Organic traffic is web traffic that isn’t paid for (advertising, pay per click, etc…). Organic traffic comes from people typing a word or set of words into a search engine (Google, Yahoo, Bing …) and then seeing a list of results. They then click on the most relevant and compelling description link to visit one of the websites. If the website is what they are looking for, then the website owner has a great chance of making some money. Therefore, anyone with a business website would want as much organic traffic as possible.
Another important note: We are talking about keyword phrases here (2-5 words), not individual words. Why? Single word phrases often have MILLIONS of sites indexed for that word. It could take years and thousands of dollars spent on search engine optimization [SEO] to ever get on the first page of Google results. An example I often cite is a car sales dealership using the keywords “new car”. At the time of writing this article, there are 114,000,000 web sites optimized and indexed for the words “new car”. On the other hand, a more specific keyword phrase like “new convertible BMW car” there are only 2 sites indexed for exactly that phrase. Phew, that would be much easier to sell the new convertible BMW car with almost no competition! Yes, the traffic would be lower, but the competition would make it easy to be on the first page of Google, and the potential buyers coming to the site are looking for exactly what is being sold. This is an extreme example, but you get the point. To use your marketing budget effectively and efficiently, would you want to compete with Coca Cola (like wrestling an 800 pound gorilla) or a company your own size?
Keyword research is to a website what market analysis is to a brick and mortar business. The key criteria or measures that you want to optimize your keyword research for are: 1) high traffic, 2) low competition, and 3) good monetization value.
Generally, high traffic comes with high competition. The secret is to find relevant keyword phrases for your business that set you apart from the competition and allow you to optimize your website for the type of person you want and that are looking for what you have to offer.
The first step I recommend is for business owners to survey at least 20 clients or potential clients and ask them what they would type into Google to find products or services like those offered in the business. Note that I didn’t recommend asking “what would you type into Google to find an SEO expert?” You don’t want to lead the client – ask an open question and let them use their words. Often we know our business so well that we would pick terms that are common in our industry yet not always common in our clients’ vocabulary. The better you know our clients and listen to them, the more profitable your business will be.
Once you have your survey results, look for common answers and then brainstorm more until you have a list of 50 – 80 keyword phrases [KWP’s]. It’s important that the keyword phrases are relevant to your business and they are easy to use in a sentence so you can optimize your content with the exact words.
Then use Google’s keyword analytics tool. If you have a gmail account, you can sign up for an analytics account on www.Google.com/analytics to access the tools. By getting an analytics account with a gmail account username, you can get over 800 results vs. the normal 200 synonyms. Copy the KWP’s from your survey and brainstorming and paste them into the “word or phrase” field (you can enter up to 100 KWP’s) and then press search to get your results.
The most important results data you need can be set up by clicking the columns button – select “local monthly searches”, “competition” and “average cost per click”. If you are in a seasonal business, “trends” will give you a bar chart of traffic over the last year. By clicking on the column headers, you can sort the keywords and select the best ones by relevance, traffic, low competition and high CPC. Once you have done this, simply click the download button to export your selected results to a spreadsheet. You are then free to manipulate and sort the data to make your best choices.
In general, the higher the cost per click for a keyword phrase, the more valuable it is from a commercialization standpoint
You can also use the tool’s “advanced filters and options” to narrow down your search to the best KWP’s.
For local monthly traffic, look for KWP’s with more than 3,000 searches a month. That may sound like a lot, but if you break that down, that’s only 100 searches per day, and each site on the first page only gets a fraction of that traffic.
I often use average cost per click data as an indicator of how valuable a keyword phrase is from the standpoint of a web searcher’s readiness to buy. Look for KWP’s with a CPC greater than $1.00. In general, the higher the cost per click for a keyword phrase, the more valuable it is from a commercialization standpoint. You can also use words like “best”, “reviews”, “guide”, “bonus offers” in your KWP to attract more people who are ready to buy.
Very important note: the Google analytics’ competition data is only relevant to PPC customers. In order to get real competition data, you can enter your keyword phrase into the Google search bar with quotation marks around it, and Google will display the number of competitive sites on the top of the page. You will want KWP’s with less than 100,000 sites indexed for that phrase.
If you want to analyze hundreds or thousands of KWP’s, you’ll want to buy and learn to use a tool like Market Samurai, Micro Niche Finder or Keyword Elite to get accurate strength of competition or the number of competitive sites. All of these products are affordable, but I’d only recommend you buy and take the time to learn them if you are going to build multiple sites for yourself or others.
Can you see now that you can find keyword phrases that are perfectly relevant to your business, get lots of traffic, have low competition and people who are ready to buy? What great news! Now you can use these exact keyword phrases in your content, header, titles, descriptions, meta tags and anchor text backlinks to get your site ranked on the first page of the search engines! How exciting is that??
One *key* note: It took me two years and hundreds of hours to learn to do keyword research and competition analysis efficiently and quite effectively. In some competitive niches it can still take me 6-8 hours to find the optimal keyword phrases and micro-niches that will ensure a client’s success. If you feel like this isn’t the best use of your time, feel free to call me at (530) 426-8404, mention this book and you’ll receive a special bonus price.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Jim@TruckeeWebDesign.com