- Keyword Researcher
- Google Keyword Planner
- Text Editor
This recipe will help you build a starting point for any web project by establishing a list of keywords and search ideas that your target audience uses. The result of this recipe is an organized list of words and phrases that will drive your content strategy.
Step 1 – Brainstorm an Initial List of Words
Your first objective is to brainstorm an initial list of words that you believe are most relevant to your project. In most cases, three words or phrases is all you need to get started.
For example, let’s say I wanted to start a website which teaches people to use a free tool (Mautic) to attract and develop customers by sending emails. My list could look something like this:
- email marketing
- email conversion
Step 2 – Use Wildcards to Discover Search Phrases
Now that you have your initial list of words, your going to use the Keyword Researcher tool to expand these words/phrases into a much longer list of phrases that your target audience actually uses when they search the internet.
In order to do this, we first have to add a wildcard symbol (*) to all the possible places around your keywords. Continuing with my previous example, my update list will look something like this:
email marketing *
* email marketing
* email conversion
email conversion *
Now take this list and plug it into input form of the Keyword Research and hit the big round play button on the right hand side.
The tool will now go to work and crawl through Google’s auto suggest results and save all the ideas it provides.
Step 3 – Determine How Many Searches Each Phrase Gets
It’s time to actually get some interesting data from your long list that the Keyword Researcher has generated. And the best way to get this data is directly from Google itself.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to do next:
- Export your list from the Keyword Researcher
- Navigate to the Keyword Planner Tool
- Paste your list into the “Get search volume data and trends” form
- If your list is bigger then 700 words you will need to use the tool multiple times to get all of your data
- Save the data to a local spreadsheet
- For bigger lists, you will save multiple spreadsheets and then copy the merge the contents using copy and paste
Step 3 – Filter Your List and Remove Irrelevant Keywords
Once you have all your keywords in a spreadsheet file (csv), it’s time to sort through and remove everything that is irrelevant. These are the items that you can remove:
- Keywords with too many searches
- Keywords with not enough searches
- Off-topic keywords
- Columns that you don’t need
Here’s how it’s done using excel:
Here are some general guidelines fro what’s considered too many or not enough:
- Too many searches – more then 300
- Not enough searches – less then 40
Step 4 – Evaluate How Difficult It Will Be To Rank
This last step is essentially to finding out weather or not it actually makes sense to target these keywords that you’ve generated. There are a lot of tools that can be used for this purpose, but we’ll use an online tool called Term Explorer.
Here’s what you need to do next:
- Navigate to the Term Explorer website
Create an account or sing-in if you already have one
Navigate to the Keyword Analyzer tool and click “Start a Keyword Analyzer Project”
Paste your keywords, name your project and wait for the results
Once the Keyword Analyzer has finished, you should have specific difficulty ratings for your chosen words. These difficult scores should give you a rough estimate for how hard it will be to rank on Google for the given keywords. Aiming for a keyword difficulty of under 3 is a good target during the beginning stages
Free accounts on Term Explorer are limited
With a free account the Keyword Analyzer tool on Term Explorer will only let you analyze 5 keywords per day. So if your using the free plan, predetermine which keywords you think will be most valuable for you.
By the end of this recipe you should have a good idea of which keywords you should be targeting with your online project. These keywords will enable you to better plan your content strategy and create exactly what your audience is looking for.