Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brief Keyword Competition Review

OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review
Brief Keyword Competition Review

Today I am going to break up some of the keyword fallacies that are floating around, tell you what data points you should care about, which ones don’t really need to know, and this is going to save you a whole whack of time!
I am going to say this. There are only THREE things that you care about.
(1) How much competition does the keyword have
(2) Does it get enough traffic
(3) Does it make sense to a human being
OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review

How much Search Engine Competition

What would you rather do. Compete for rankings under a term that has 100 results in Google or one that has 100,000? There was some rhetoric in that question.
Obviously the one with 100. If you don’t have access to this data or understand how to find this data, then you should pay close attention here.
There are two ways you can get at the exact number of competing websites for a particular keyword. One is quick, and another can take quite a bit longer but it is still very effective and does not require the purchase of a tool.
When analyzing a keyword, you want to know exactly how many websites have the exact search term in question within them. To do this, you want to do a quoted search in Google and see how many pages Google has listed under that search term.
Here is an example:
“best guitar for beginner”
OK, so when you type this into Google, click Search you are going to be given the Google Search Results.
 OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review
Since early 2010, Google stopped giving accurate results #’s for one reason or another (the number above is totally wrong), so to get at the most accurate results, you need to click to the very last page.
OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review
Click, click, click…until we reach the last page.  Here is what the page looks like if we click the “5″.

OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review

There are really only 33 competing sites.  This is in fact a great keyword, but if you took Google’s initial results they showed you, you would have thought there were 29,500 sites.  This throws off many marketers, but it is good for you now that you know the secret.  There are millions of awesome keywords still out there that Google doesn’t want to tell you about.
This is your true competition. You are ONLY competing with 33 sites online for this keyword!
We used to recommend that anything under 5,000 competition would be easy to get 1st page rankings under, but Google has recently done a big dump of duplicate content sites, so this number is now far lower.
To get ranked these days you want a keyword with less than 400 quoted search results. Don’t worry, there are still millions and millions of these terms out there.

 This has taken years for us to refine and is very technically sophisticated, but this will literally chop down your research time by hours per week.
Here is an example of the QSR for the query “best guitars children”
OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review
This literally took seconds and I quickly know that this keyword will be easy to get ranked under (in terms of SEO).

Traffic – Doesn’t Have to Be Much to Be Powerful

Traffic is KING.
Well, that is a part truth, but without traffic you are not going to have people coming to your articles, your website or your blog. Without people, you have no effective way to earn money, capture leads or build a brand.
There are two types of traffic which people can get very confused about. People often times use keyword tools in the wrong way by searching “broad” traffic results. When you do a broad search, you in essence getting data based on every single variation of a search term. For example, if you were searching “how to build a website”, it would take all sorts of subsets of this term into consideration when offering traffic data.
build website
website how to
how to build
to build
a website
This will provide you with very SKEWED data. What you really want to know is the EXACT match type. How many people search the exact term “how to build a website”.
For more clarification on match types, visit Google’s page.
The metrics that I have always followed is more than 100 exact match searches per month. I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, but if you if you set your traffic standards lower, it opens up far more keywords and typically far more relevant, long tailed keywords.
Let’s look at the initial example again.
OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review
As you can see, it gets 170 exact searches per month and 36 QSR, so it definitely meets our “greater than 100 clicks per month exact” and “less than 400 QSR” criteria we have laid out.  This particular keyword will be very easy to get ranked for within article directories or within your website pages.
Think of it this way…
If you have 100 keywords that you get ranked under on the 1st page that get 100 searches per month, you have access to 10,000 searches. Say 40% of these people click on your site, that is 4,000 clicks every month (48,000 per year)!
So by targeting keywords that are less competitive and may get a few less clicks, you are much more likely to get first page rankings in the search engines.
There is no point in getting rankings under search terms that get 1,000 exact searches per month, but you end up on the 3rd page because of the competition. This will lead to next to no clicks.
So the next metric you need to follow is 100 clicks or more, “exact match” type. You can use the free Google Keyword Tool (make sure exact match is checked off), or you

The Keyword Must Make Sense to a Human

Have you ever been doing keyword research and gotten a really strange keyword…that makes absolutely no sense…that is grammatically incorrect and you wondered who the heck would ever type that term in?
For example, one of the search terms that yield from a guitar search was:
DOESN’T MAKE SENSE: guitar s for beginners
Does this makes sense? No.  What is happening here is Google has removed the apostrophe and added a space.  The actual kewyord is “guitar’s for beginners” but the most appropriate keyword to target would be:
MAKES SENSE: “guitars for beginners”
Well, you first instinct was correct. If a keyword does not make sense, it is useless. In other words, if someone would not type in a search term because it is peculiar, then chances are no one will ever search it.
Use your intuition. Of times Google will deliver a keyword that is has within it’s database, but doesn’t full make sense. I am not positive how they come up with these terms, but they ARE NOT instantiated by a human search. Chances there are internet “bots” out there searching for things.
So, remember these three keyword metrics to follow. First, your keyword must have less than 400 quoted search results (the lower the better), then your keyword must have more than 100 monthly searches (the higher the better), and finally the keyword must make sense.
And to avoid all the rest of the meaningless JUNK stats.
OneClickSEO - Brief Keyword Competition Review
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