Anyone can select related keywords for their websites to rank for. The astute webmaster, on the other hand, is the one who can find multiple keyword goldmines among the thousands of possibilities.
The “long tail” is one popular strategy. In this strategy, you target three word + phrase combinations in the hopes of facing less competition. The main issue with this strategy is that it has a second aspect that most people overlook. The second and most important aspect of the “long tail” approach is that you are more likely to directly meet the needs of the user if you use longer, more targeted phrases. While this may seem self-evident, many people overlook it or execute it incorrectly. This is due to their lack of understanding of the significance of their client’s purchase cycle in relation to search engines.
The Buying Process:
The “Purchase Cycle” is the first concept you must grasp before beginning keyword research. The following are the main steps:
Attention is followed by interest, desire, and action.
It’s as simple as understanding your customers’ buying habits to find a slew of low-competition, high-converting keywords. You’ll want to be there with them when they’re ready to take action.
Allow me to provide some examples. Let’s pretend you’re a brand-new real estate agent in the crowded but lucrative Los Angeles market. You’ve had your site up for almost six months, done some SEO, but have received almost no traffic and no leads as a result of it. The issue is most likely the phrases you’re looking for. For obvious terms like “Los Angeles Real Estate,” everyone will be competing in the SERPs. There’s nothing wrong with competing for the best phrases, but the goal of this guide is to teach you how to look at the areas your competitors have overlooked when they’re nearing the end of the buying cycle. Trust me when I say that there are fantastic opportunities in every market.
Consider your customer’s perspective.
Consider yourself a customer searching for or selling real estate in Los Angeles on Google. This is how a typical search might go.
1 “Real estate”
2 “Los Angeles real estate” (There are a lot of options; perhaps I need a local agent?)
3 “Real estate agent in Los Angeles” as a search term BINGO!!! This should be one of your many keyword goldmines if you’re a real estate agent in Los Angeles.
Now let me show you how the competition for Google rankings has dwindled as customers’ searches have become more refined. When you understand the process your customers go through, I want you to see how ripe the opportunity is.
The Title tag is a simple but crucial SEO factor for determining the level of competition for a phrase. We can quickly see how many websites have the exact search phrase we’re using as the title tag to their website by using Google. This is a great way to get a sense of the level of competition you’ll be up against.
“real estate” is the Google command I use (returns results with the exact phrase “real estate” in the title tag).
in the field of “real estate” In “Los Angeles real estate,” over 59 million pages have been retuned. Only 25,000 Pages Remain “Real estate agent in Los Angeles” was returned. Only 7 domains are listed out of 57 results!!!
This high-conversion keyword is just waiting for you to rank for it as “our new real estate agent.” You should start seeing highly qualified traffic if you do the proper SEO work and point a few quality links to the page.
Let me give you one more example before we continue. Let’s say you’re selling high-end condos on the beach in Hawaii, which happens to be where I live (Its OK to feel sorry for me). The condo market in Hawaii is extremely competitive, so any advantage you can gain is extremely beneficial. To find those keyword gems, all you have to do is understand how a potential customer searches and know your own product.
1st search: intitle “Hawaii Condos” – 11,100 pages
2nd search: intitle “Hawaii Condo Rental” – 147 pages (Great action phrase)
3rd search: intitle “Hawaii beach front condo” – 0 pages!!!
I could go on and on about how these two markets have so many great marketing opportunities. I guarantee you’ll find these all-too-easy keyword treasures in your market if you put in the effort. Let’s take what we’ve learned so far and apply it to action phrases.
Use action words as much as possible.
Let’s pretend you’re a retailer who sells the latest PC video cards at a discount. You’ve done your research and discovered that many customers conduct extensive research on specific video cards in order to find the one that’s right for them. When they’re in “purchase mode,” they look up the specific model of the video card they want.
Nvidia’s Geforce 6800 series is a popular video card right now. However, a Google search for “Nvidia Geforce 6800” returns more than 40,000 results. Action words come in handy in this situation. Buy, Lowest price, Purchase, Free shipping, and other action words come to mind. All of these phrases are used when a customer is considering making a purchase, which is precisely when you need them to find you.
3 sites in “Buy nvidia geforce 6800”!!!
0 sites in “Purchase nvidia geforce 6800”!!!
0 sites in “Lowest price nvidia geforce 6800”!!!
You get my drift. Now that you’ve grasped the concept, I’d like to recommend a few keyword research tools.
Let’s get you started on finding 20 to 40 money keywords that you aren’t currently using.
Steps to Conducting Keyword Research:
Step 1 – Logs: Your weblogs are a valuable resource that you may not be taking advantage of. You should always mine your blogs for niche keyword phrases and use them as a starting point for figuring out what kinds of searches your readers are doing in search engines. If you’ve never done anything like this before, it can be extremely beneficial. You will not only gain a better understanding of your target audience, but you will also gain access to a large number of keyword “goldmines” that you can use in your organic SEO campaign. If you have the time, I recommend doing this once a month or every two weeks.
Step 2 – Competitors: Your competitors can provide valuable keyword research. Examine the keywords in their title, meta tags, and body text to see if there’s anything you’ve overlooked.
The third step is to use keyword tools. SEO Books’ online keyword tool http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword/, http://www.goodkeywords.com/, a free desktop download that runs off Yahoo data, and http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/, which queries both Yahoo and http://www.wordtracker.com/ (a top tool if you’re paying) are three free tools you should check out. All three of these tools are extremely useful, and who can complain about the price?
A word of caution: these tools should only be used as a starting point. They are heavily skewed toward PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising and can be skewed by automated queries.
The most important thing to look for in any Yahoo-based tool is that it does not separate plurals. It returns the same results for Condo and Condos. So, when you’re doing your research, make sure to check out Digital Point’s Word Tracker tool, because the MSN version will show you how a phrase performs in singular versus plural form. While search engines are still working out how to handle plural searches, it is critical that you choose the correct one. Because there is less competition, you may want to go after a less commonly used plural or singular version of a keyword.
Bonus 1: Don’t forget about words that are hyphenated or could be hyphenated.
If you’re looking for a term like “increase online traffic,” don’t forget about hyphenated variations. “Increase on-line traffic” is searched for 186 times per day on MSN alone, according to Word Tracker. For an in-search on Google, the non-hyphenated version has over 1,000 pages listed. There are only 21 sites listed in the hyphenated version.
Bonus 2: When and where it makes sense, use slang or insider terminology. Here in Hawaii, we have a great example of this. The main island of Hawaii is referred to as the “Big Island” by locals. Every month, a term like “big island real estate” is typed in tens of thousands of times. However, Google claims that only one website has the phrase in its title!!!
Bonus 3: Keyword phrases are frequently typed as a single word. As a result, instead of typing “Hawaii Condos,” they will type “hawaiicondos.” Engines then return different results for these two phrases, and guess what? The kwkw version is almost always less competitive!
I should point out that just because you find great keywords that others aren’t using in their title tags doesn’t mean you can just make up a new one and expect to rank. In some cases, this will occur, but in the majority of cases, you will need to improve your on-page SEO and acquire a few relevant links. In any case, you’ll be putting yourself in a great position to succeed with little competition and the highest possible return on investment.
I hope I’ve sparked your imagination about the endless possibilities in your own neighbourhood market. If you follow these steps, you should be able to quickly generate a fantastic new list of keywords for your website that will allow it to dominate the “Action” phase of the purchase cycle. It’s relatively easy to strike keyword gold if you position your site at the end of the purchase cycle and away from the hordes of competitors.