Now that you have a list of keywords, you need to understand how much traffic these keywords receive in Google. Without search traffic data, you could end up targeting keywords that receive zero searches. Armed with the right knowledge, you can target keywords that can lead to hundreds or even thousands of potential visitors every month.
Once signed in, you need to access the Keyword Planner tool. To do this, sign in, click on ‘Tools’ in the top-menu, click on ‘Keyword Planner’, then click on ‘Get search volume for a list of keywords or group them into ad groups’, copy and paste your keywords into the box and click on ‘Get Search Volume’. Now click on ‘Keyword Ideas’ in the middle of the screen and viola!
When you are finished, you will have the exact amount of times each keyword was searched for in Google. Mmm. Fresh data. This is just the kind of data we need. Now we know which keywords receive more searches than others, and more importantly, we know which keywords receive no searches at all. You can focus on keywords that will lead to more traffic to your website. How to find keywords you can target for easy rankings Now you need to find out how competitive your desired keywords are. Armed with an understanding of how competitive your desired keywords are, you can discover keywords that your website can realistically rank high for in Google.
Let’s say you are a second-hand bookseller and you are going up against Amazon for ‘book store online’. It’s unlikely you are going to beat Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Borders. But, maybe there’s a gem hiding in your list that very few people are targeting, or have even thought of targeting— maybe something like ‘antique book stores online’.
If your competitors haven’t thought of targeting your keyword, you simply have to do better SEO than they are doing and you have a really good chance at beating their rankings. You need a way to wash this list and separate the ridiculously competitive keywords from the easy keywords no one has thought of.
There are many schools of thought on the best ways to do this. The most popular competitive research practices are listed below, with my thoughts on each.
1. Manually going through the list, looking at the rankings, and checking if low quality pages are appearing in the top results. This is a good strategy, and you should always do this for your keywords. However, it is unreliable and you should always supplement it with real data.
2. Looking at how many search engine results are coming up in Google for your keyword. The amount of results are listed just below the search box after you type in your keyword. This tactic is very common in online courses teaching SEO, but it is completely unreliable for determining if your site has a chance for ranking for this keyword. This is my least favorite strategy. The reason? There may be a very low amount of competing pages for a particular keyword, but the sites ranked at the top of the results could be unbeatable.
3. Using the competition score from the Google Adwords Keyword Research tool. Don’t be tempted. This is a common tool, lauded on the Internet as an easy way to judge SEO competitiveness for keywords, and it just simply doesn’t work! The competition score included in the Google Adwords Keyword Research tool is intended for Adwords only. It is an indication of how many advertisers are competing for that particular keyword through paid advertising. It is completely irrelevant for SEO.
4. Using a competitive analysis tool, such as Market Samurai. To get a realistic idea of your chances of ranking high for a particular keyword, you need to understand how strong the pages are that rank in the top-10. A great tool for this is called Market Samurai. With Market Samurai, you can simply enter in your keyword into their tool, click on ‘competitiveness’ and Market Samurai will show you the vital stats for the pages appearing in the top-10. Using Market Samurai, you can compare the stats for the websites that are currently ranking to the stats for your own website. This gives an indication of how difficult it will be to rank for this keyword. Market Samurai even makes it easy for you by color-coding the stats for each search result. The more boxes in red means the more difficult it will be to beat these rankings.