Keyword Research for Beginners

The first hub I ever wrote, I looked at the FAQ's and read some very helpful hubs and hints from all over the place. I kept seeing Keyword research. I swear I could hardly understand what this meant. I asked myself, "What are keywords?" My self did not answer. My first Keyword research started several months ago.

I launched a concerted search for the definition and understanding of what a keyword is. I found so many articles, hubs, forums entries, Google search results, that my mind was a blur. I tried to find the secret. I even contacted my Buddhist friend who always seeks the truth in order to see if there was a way to find the truth. He told me that all things in life are temporary. I pondered that for some time. Then I realized that maybe he did know a secret.

After many weeks of making a big deal out of something that is not a big deal (I sometimes specialize in that) I came to the conclusion that a keyword, is just a word. Nothing more. That given the correct situation, any word can be a keyword.

For example, 100 people were surveyed and asked the question, "What is your favorite color?" 85 said blue. If you were to use colors as a way to engage these people, then blue would be a keyword. Everyone will know this and so anyone wanting to connect with those 85 people would use the keyword blue. Since there are 500 people trying to gain the attention of the 85, there would be a possibility of having 500 different ways of presenting the color blue to the 85. 10 of the 500 make most of the connections. Those 10 get the attention of the 85 most of the time and on a daily basis. In order to get my share, I have to have something that can compete with this. I try all kinds of blue approaches, but only one or two of them look at my blue article a week. Most of the 85 stay with the top 10, who continue to bask in the glow of the 85 people's attention.

It is hard to break into the ranks of the top 10. The views they get from the 85 tend to keep them ranked high and indexed pages ahead of a newcomer who has no ranking to speak of, nor is there any indication of a rising index.

So I asked the question of myself, "How do you get started?"   I then spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to go about this.   Through forums, hubs, etc., I discovered the Google Keyword Tool.

With this tool, you can type in a word or website and it returns a list of possible keywords and how many times they are searched for and what the competition for the word is, etc.  You can also put in a website and look at the keywords they are competing for. 

So I started using the keyword tool in the most unimaginable prehistoric way.   I would put in a word, and look at the statistics for that word and then I would write down the words that had lots of searches and about how many and then I would have a list.

Of course, I was going about it in a unsophisticated way.  Let's face it, I am still far from sophisticated in the Keyword research game.    I couldn't use the complicated schemes that I read about, because I could not understand them.   Most of the Keyword tool looks like Greek to me and so I am not ready to use the sophisticated aspects of the tool.   I needed to stick to some basic things.

I had to and still have to remind myself that this part is not that complicated, it is just words.  So I set about devising a strategy that has some positive results with minimal effort.   I want to share that strategy for beginners who are as lost about this whole thing as I am.   The only way I could cope with this whole idea is to come up with my own private way of dealing with this phenomena.

Step 1: Choose a Title

Don't just name something unless you have no plans to promote your hub or make money from it. Spend time with the name, it is your baby, you want as much attention as you can get.

I am working on a hub about buying a blender for parties. The idea is to choose a blender that will be fun and functional and could be the hub of a party, mixing fun crazy drinks and making that a big part of the fun.

So I started with what I thought would be a good title:

Buy the Best Blender for Fun Party Drinks

To make sure that this is a good title, I used Google's Keyword Tool and put it in. The first thing to do is find the tool.

Go to google search and type in: Google Keyword Tool

Press return, and click on:

Keyword Tool - Google AdWords - Online Advertising by Google


Once you arrive at the Keyword Tool page, you may be asked to enter a captcha, a captcha is the goofy mix of letters and numbers in different fonts that prevents spamming of the site and provides security.

You will see a screen like the one below.

Type in the Name You Want to Use

The first thing you do is type in the Title you want to use in the box that says "Find Keyword" and the click on search.

Easy so far, right? Okay, the next thing you want to do choose to display the columns that are helpful to you as a beginner. This is not a time to overthink the process, just follow along and see if it makes any sense.

The screen shot below shows the Find Keyword box with the title entered.

Choose the Columns to Display

To start with, click on the columns button on the right top, when the dialogue box comes up, click on only two things and unclick all others. Click on Global Searches and Estimated Avg. CPC.

Global Searches reveals the number of searches have occurred over the months for the keyword. These are keywords typed in by people searching for your topic and related topics.

CPC is the Cost Per Click. Cost per click is the amount an advertiser pays when the visitor is directed to the advertiser's site.

You can see how these might be important.

In addition, scroll down to the left side and choose exact match in addition to broad in the Match Types.

The screen below demonstrates these settings.

Start Looking at the Results

Now is the time to start looking at the results. You want to choose Keywords that have a solid global searches and high CPC. Go through the list and click the boxes that relate to your topic the best.

I like to choose words that have search result not too small or too large. Simone recommends 500 to 40,000. Who am I to argue? I make exceptions for keywords that I like a lot, even though it may not be the best strategy, I just can't ignore them.

The first thing I notice is that there are no searches for my title. I should be able to rank very high on that, but who wants to? I need a title that might be searched for once in a while.

The Next thing I notice is that there are a lot of keywords relating to recipes.

Choosing Words That Have Some Interest

Ok, I went through the list and chose about 20 to think about.  You can do this by clicking on the little square next to each word you like.    Then there is a great feature that lets you download the words you selected to a spreadsheet.  In the spreadsheet, you can sort and re-sort the words you have selected.   I generally have to do this several times before I am 'inspired' with a new title.

Keywords I Chose and Downloaded to Spreadsheet

Google Adwords  Showing selections.
Google Adwords Showing selections.
More selections
More selections
Spreasheet
Spreasheet

Examine the List

Remembering the rules for selecting based on searches, I can easily see that there are only some that meet the requirements of 500 to 40,000.  Others who do keyword research believe that some keywords below 500 are still viable.   I agree, some 200 searches keywords are well performing.   That's why I say,  "There are words I cannot ignore just because I like them and maybe they pay well."

I am thinking now that I should try some simple titles:

Best Blenders
top blenders
blenders for drinks
blenders for frozen drinks
drink blenders
party blenders
blenders for parties
buy the best blender
how to buy the best blender
best blenders for drinks
best drink blenders
drink blenders
what blender should I buy?
what is the best blender to buy
buying a blender
best blender model
top blender model
buy a blender on line


I put all these in the search box in keywords and check the box 'only show ideas for my keywords' and get the following results.

Make a Choice

I decide that I like two keyword searches: Best Blenders and Top Blenders. I decide on the best blenders and do a keyword search. I decide to use the name brands as the tags and featured items to be found on Amazon.

Page Rank

Last thing to do is check out the page ranks of the competition. The first one has a page rank of 3. This may be doable. I will try this out and see what kind of traffic I get.

To get page rank, you can use the google toolbar, or similar product. You want to see the top pages with page rank to be 3 or less. This is a page you can compete with. The page rank is the search engine's ranking of the pages relative importance. The lower, the better it is for competing.

You want to have a title that has at least 500 searches, under 40,000 searches, pays something, and had a page rank of 3 or less.

Revision suggested by fellow hubber wilderness:  PageRanks of 3 can be difficult to compete for, a lower page rank is really better.  Much more realistic to compete for.


Summary

Keyword research is not easy and it gives me a great big headache, but the hubs that I have done a good job with have more traffic, more AdSense clicks, and earn more money. I don't do enough keyword research for every hub. I hate getting stuck looking for a title, and I don't like the titles that work the best. But when I follow the general theme of looking for the right title and stick to my guns, the hub does better.

If you are a beginner, just try to do the keyword research as I have described it, and soon you will start to understand it. I hope this helps some of you getting a kick start with your hubs.

You can use this keyword search method to revise previously published hubs and to refine your tags. I am just learning about how to deal best with page rank. It is only necessary at this point to know that a page rank of 3 or lower is the target.

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Comments 34 comments

wilderness profile image

wilderness 6 years ago from Boise, Idaho

Your experience sounds much like my own. I have ended up performing much the same tasks, although I do use the "broad" classification but only the "exact". I also do not use the "use only my keywords" section, possibly because I use only the "exact".

I also try, sometimes successfully, to incorporate 2 or more longtail keywords in the title and URL. Perhaps "The best top blender" for example.

Some good information here, SteveoMc. One of my biggest problems was learning to use the keyword tool, and you have explained it well.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I'll have to re-read this a time or two. I know that at first I wanted to create clever titles that only hinted at the content. . .titles that only someone who was already intimate with the content within would get. . . .bad idea if you want traffic and a buck or two.

So I started tweaking with the title tuner, and started paying attention to the stats, and hub metrics thing on top of the hubs. .. . .and then I realized what a keyword tool is.

By my mind is still blown in some ways-I tell you, someone, according to the keywords on the stats of my "Texas is Beautiful" hub had searched and found that hub by looking for something on the death of James Terry McIlvain-that's bizarre, because Mr. McIlvain used to be a half way well known actor(Platoon, Lonesome Dove, Pure Country), and he's an amazing artist still, and a personal friend of mine. . . .but he's not mentioned in the content, and he's not dead-so how the hell did someone search "death of JTM" and find my hub?


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Wow, SteveoMc-This Hub just may break through my block when it comes to those elusive keywords!

Bookmarked for future reference.

Thanks so very much!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@wilderness You are so right about all you say. I thank you for your support and all the comments. Remember, that this is aimed at 'beginners' and that the idea is to present a 'strategy' to help them get started. It is really difficult to keep something like this simple when it is also complicated. Also, this is not being presented as an 'authoritative' hub, but rather as a way to get going with keywords. Of course, I have revised where I cannot ignore your advice. I appreciate the help.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Wesman Todd Shaw Thanks for reading this hub. I tried to search for 'death of JTM' and could not navigate to your hub, so hell if I know. LOL That is just too funny! Well lets hope that more links point to us, and who cares from where? I always appreciate your point of view on things, it is different and fresh. Thanks again.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

What a great and detailed explanation of keywords. Now you're the 'key' man to go to on the subject.

Thanks for your painstaking research - it shows! :)


justom profile image

justom 6 years ago from 41042

Steveo, I keep telling you that you're the man and I'm sure you still are but my eyes glazed over on this one. Nothing to do with the quality I sometimes suffer from information overload :-) Hope you're feeling well, Peace!! Tom


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@drbj Thanks for the comment, glad you found it helpful. Main idea here was to test my learning against all your ideas. I hope it is helpful.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@saleheensblog Thanks for the read and the comments. You know, of course, that the next write up will have to be long tail keywords! I also use the wonder wheel, neat little invention, hard to be simple and included all the elements and still let it make sense.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@justom, thanks, I am feeling a lot better and doing pretty well. I relate to the information overload and believe me, it took me months to get this out. Sometimes you just have to hunker down and go total immersion to make it through a topic. Thanks for the comments and for reading.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

This is indead a very good and clear description of Keyword Research. It might even reach my sawdust.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Hello, hello, Thanks, I hope it helps people who are just starting the process, I would like to see someone benefit from my failures. LOL Glad you came by and read the hub.


paradigmsearch profile image

paradigmsearch 6 years ago from USA

Excellent info. Rated up.


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 6 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

AARGH! I have a headache. Not because of your writing, which is exceptional, but because the entire keyword research topic makes me want to dig a hole in the dirt and go hibernate.

The research process I use is similar to yours, and I guess I got to it kind of intuitively. What I admire so much in this Hub is how you were able to lay the process out in such a clear way. This Hub demonstrates great patience, the kind one needs to make a turducken. Cheers to you!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@paradigmsearch Thanks, I'm glad you liked it, hope is helps some.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Sally's Trove I know, it causes headaches all around. This is my least favorite part of writing hubs. But it is helpful even if done only partly right. LOL

Thanks for the compliments and the support. I hope we all go well with this.


MeGunner profile image

MeGunner 6 years ago from Lagos

I couldn't believe that finally my understanding of keyword research, albeit minute will be kick started by you. I actually practiced those things on Google Keyword tool and they look quite simple. I know there is much more to it and it's probably more time intensive but at least I can now meaningfully engage in discussions and ideas about keyword research. Then I can continue from here. Unbelievable. Thank you... Your presence here has been most helpful. Am going to do some research about my next hub and I will let you know if I get positive results.Thumbs up


danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest

This is one area I have a lot to learn about from you!


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@MeGunner Glad it was helpful to you. Of course, you are right, this is the tip of the iceberg but it is a way to start that I hope makes sense to people so that they will start with using some of the basics. Thanks for the kind words, they are appreciated.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@danatheteacher Really, you are the master and you know it. I am a dinosaur and crawling slowly into the present when I should be looking at the future. Thanks again my friend.


TopUniverse 6 years ago

Good keyword research is vital for getting success. Thanks for this useful hub.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@topUniverse I'm glad you found it useful. Thanks for reading.


Autumn Lynn profile image

Autumn Lynn 6 years ago from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

I am very new so I fit into your target audience perfectly. I have bookmarked this one. Sadly I followed a lot but not all of your steps. I am overwhelmed by this because it is so new to me. I hope I will get it little by slow. I am convinced it makes a huge difference in the amount of traffic and I want to learn to draw as much traffic as possible while improving my content at the same time. Thanks again for the help. It is wonderful to have a community of people so willing to help and pass on their knowledge.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@Autumn Lynn I am glad you read my hub. It is merely an introduction and I learned quite a bit just writing it. Don't be dismayed by how overwhelming this is, it is just a jungle of information and you have to start somewhere. Glad you found it useful and thanks for the support.


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

Very good tutorial here, the screen shots really help a beginner.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 5 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@mulberry1 Thanks for the props, glad the screen shots made a difference. Appreciate you leaving a comment.


JD Barlow profile image

JD Barlow 5 years ago from Southeast US

Great information! I am working on my first hub and learning the "lingo" (seo, keywords, etc) has been rather frustrating. Now I'm able to remove one more from my list.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 5 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@JD Barlow Glad it was helpful to you. It took me months to make any sense of it and I still look at the process with a deer in the headlights reaction sometimes. Sometimes I just ignore it and other times I work it, choosing your words carefully really does help. Glad to have your support.


SunUpSurfer profile image

SunUpSurfer 5 years ago from Land Locked Midwest

Thanks! I now have a Black and White path to start my title searches and keyword development. I think this article will change my entire approach to a necessary step that I probably made much more difficult.


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 5 years ago from Pacific NorthWest Author

@SunUpSurfer Glad this information was helpful to you. It is a starting point but I am happy with the basic approach to using this tool. It gets you started.


tenordj profile image

tenordj 5 years ago from Jamestown TN

This was a very informative hub thank you for the super information.


Treasuresofheaven profile image

Treasuresofheaven 5 years ago from Michigan

This is a good Hub. I will have to bookmark it - there is so much helpful information here. Thanks you very much.


Goonoo Munawwar profile image

Goonoo Munawwar 5 years ago from Triolet, Mauritius

This one is a must-to-bookmark. Even I was stuck! Thanks for clearing things!


joaniebaby profile image

joaniebaby 4 years ago

This sounds a trifle complicated for me. But I have the time so guess I will try to figure it out. Thanks for something to think about.

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