Online marketing and sales carries one of the biggest advantages to any business in the world. This advantage is often underestimate and not given enough emphasis. What exactly am I talking about?

Keyword Research

With keyword research you can fairly quickly establish many important data points. For example:

  • Weather or not a market has enough potential
  • What the market wants
  • How much competition exists in the given market
  • You can even get a glimpse of new ideas you never had previously.

This is why each of your projects should always start with keyword research. It’s easy to do, inexpensive (can be free depending on the cost of the tools used), and essential to the viability of your project.

Starting MauticMan

To begin the MauticMan project, the first step is doing some keyword research. This will provide a glimpse of the market and see what sort of content should be created to serve the market demands.

Step 1 – Wildcard Google Scraping

The first step to any keyword research is to build out an initial list of relevant words and phrases which the market uses. There are many ways this can be achieved, but my own preference has always been to use a wildcard Google scrape.

This process basically involves, selected a few (1-3) main words which will serve as roots. For example, since the MauticMan project is essentially dedicated to Mautic, the main root word is mautic.

The root word is then plugged into any of the available Google wild card scraper tools and off we go. The tool searches Google using our root word and scrapes the search suggestions. And these search suggestions are essential things that our audience is likely to be searching for.

Keyword Research - Google Wildscard Scraping

Once finished, you should have a list of keywords that your target audiences uses when searching. Save this list to a .txt file and store it somewhere safe for use later. This list is very valuable and is essentially key items that your audience is interested in.

My favorite tools which can achieve this include:

  • Keyword Researcher – Paid tool with annoying landing page (does not indicate price, but from what I remember it’s somewhere around $80-100)
  • ScrapeBox – Another paid tool, but much more robust. Pricing is typically $97, but there are coupon codes available online (believe I bought it for something like 30 dollars)

Usually I use Keyword Research as it’s main purpose is the wild scraping. However, similar results can be achieved with ScrapeBox and at it’s price you get a ton of other tools/features. In any case, this isn’t a tool comparison post.

Step 2 – Get Search Volume

The next step is to actually see if the keywords your got from step 1 are of any value. To do this you will need to find the search volume of these keywords. Search volume will actually demonstrate if these keywords and your project have any actual value.

Again, there are a number of tools available to get the search volume for a given list of phrases and words. The most popular of these is the actual data supplied by Google via their Google Keyword Planner tool.

Keyword Planner is free, but Google has recently limited the tool
The Keyword Planner tool is free to use, but from my knowledge they have recently made some restrictions on who actually get’s full access to the tool. If I’m not mistaken, you now need to have a paying Google AdWords campaign to actually access valuable data from the KeyWord Planner.

Regardless of which tool you choose, the premise is simple. All you need to do is plug your keyword list you got from step 1 and run the search volume tool.

Getting Google Search Volume via the Keyword Planner Tool

Once finished, you will have a list of your phrases and the relative search volume for each one. And this list will quickly give you an idea of how much interest there is in your subject.

Phrases in the 70-200 search volume area should be a good starting point. Typically, the search engine competition for these is quite low, but they provide enough juice to start a project and begin building an audience.

Step 3 – Evaluating the Competition

The last step we will go over is taking the keywords from step 2 and seeing how easy it will be to rank for them in the search engines. Again, there are a ton of tools which can achieve this, but from my experience two tools have stood out the most for me:

  • TermExplorer – Paid keyword analyzer with restricted free plan
  • RankTracker – Another paid keyword tool, but also has a restricted free option

Whatever tool you use, the core purpose of these tools it go through search engine results for each phrase and evaluate how relevant and strong the ranking pages are. And if for a given phrase the search results are fairly irrelevant, it will be fairly straightforward to secure a spot on the top if you provide good content with high relevancy.

Getting Keyword Difficulty Using RankTracker

Get rid of irrelevant keywords from step 1 first
One recommendation at this step is that before you run detailed keyword analysis you first filter out your list from step 2. Get rid of the keywords with low volume, too high of volume and ones that are not relevant to your root word and project.

At the end of this step, you should have a list of key phrases/words and should know the following important aspects of each one:

  • How much people are searching for the exact phrase
  • How relevant is the content currently available to answer these queries
  • Weather or not it makes sense to create content on the subject

Essentially these aspects will give you a clear understanding if it’s worth perusing the target market and how hard/easy it’s going to be.

Consider long term prespectives
As you can see from some of the screen caps above, the keyword volume isn’t too high for Mautic. However, I believe that as the tool grows in popularity so will the target market. This is a risk I’m willing to take, but you should evaluate these risks for yourself as well.

Summary

This post walked through the three essential steps to keyword research and highlighted some of the tools which can be used at each step. The most important thing to understand is that at the core of any good keyword research are three core principles:

  1. Gather a large amount of relevant keywords – the more keywords the better
  2. Evaluate which of the keywords actually have potentially – keywords with large enough volume should remain
  3. Pick which keywords you should actually create content for – the last part is to filter out keywords and phrases which are not currently served by other market participants

In the end you should have a solid list of 5-10 keywords that you can pursue immediately.

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