Having a list of focused keywords is really important in any online marketing campaign. It lets you identify the trends as well as the competition in your niche which then can be used to fine tune your targeting. Keyword research is mainly discussed in search engine optimization. But it is also crucial in pay per click advertising.

Keywords are the terms people use in search engines to find what they want. These can be single words or phrases. All search engines can track the keywords used by their users but only a few of them reveal that data. By analyzing available data, you can predict overall performance of any keyword which will be sufficient to get started.

Broadening Keyword List

First you need to have your main keyword in hand. Think about the best word or phrase which describes your business. Then you can use it to find related keywords. Most of the keywords you find under your main keyword can have its own set of child keywords. The may go bit down or stop at this level. Broadening lets you identify the different sections in your niche.

Keyword Hierarchy

Understanding Keyword Analysis

Not all keywords are worthy to target. You should select your list by considering the Demand and Competition for each keyword. Here Demand means how many people used the keyword during a certain time period and Competition means the number of web pages a particular search engine brings as the result. Competition will determine how easy or difficult it to fight for that keyword.

  • Low Demand and Low Competition
    Worthy to target.
  • Low Demand and High Competition
    Won’t be profitable to target.
  • High Demand and High Competition
    Will be hard to dominate.
  • High Demand and Low Competition
    Preferred Ones. Begin with these.

Above list indicates just the natural preference. You should always use your subject knowledge and experience when refining your keyword list.

Keyword Demand Research and Keyword Suggestions

For a given keyword, some keyword services not only show the demand but also related keywords which are called keyword suggestions. Below are widely used and well recognized services for keyword demand research and keyword suggestions.

  • Overture brings data for last month from Yahoo search network which covers high volume of global search. Only concern is it doesn’t distinguish between plural and singular terms.
  • WordTracker extracts data from variety of search engines for last 90 days and has a parameter called KEI which points out profitable keywords.
  • KeywordDiscovery is just like WordTracker but brings data for last 12 months.

Keyword Competition Research

Your targeted search engine (most of the time Google) will be your best source for keyword competition research. Search for your keyword and see how many results it brings (at top right corner). For exact competition, use double quotes (” “) around your keyword. This tells the search engine to look for exact phrase you entered, not the ones which have single words of your phrase. That means “search engines”, not search or engines.

Third Party Keyword Research Tools

Third party keyword research tools are the ones which combine data from major sources. Below are some of them to consider.