Admit it, you had pictures like these in your head when you decided to start your own website. In fact, if you didn’t, you really shouldn’t have started it in the first place. Believe it or not, this can become your reality, just not without work. And part of that work is knowing how to use the right keywords. In today’s post we’re going to talk about keyword research using a free SEO keyword tool.
Gone are the days of “If you build it, they will come”. The internet currently has over a billion websites. So if you want yours to stand out, you have to make it stand out. And the best way to do that is to get your site ranked on the first page of Google’s search results.
Did you know that 75% of the time people click on one of the websites found on the first page in Google’s search results? That’s the power of rankings on Google. And that’s why you need to harness the power of SEO using the best free SEO keyword tool. By the end of this post, you will have all the tools necessary to get your site ranked on the first page of Google search results.
What are They, why are They Important, and How to Use Them Effectively
Keywords are the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is just a term used to describe the way to get free traffic to a website from search engines. In other words, when someone is looking for a product or service that you have and they type it into a search engine, you want to optimize the chances that your website pops up in the search results. And, the higher you rank, the better. Why you may ask? Well, approximately 75% of traffic to a website comes from the being on the first page of search results. With about 33% going to the number one spot, 15% going to the number two spot, and 9% going to number three and it just keeps dropping the further down you go.
One of the first things you need to do in order to get ranked in Google is provide informative and valuable content to the reader. Without good content, you’ll never see traffic. For tips on writing blog content, click here. But for this post, we’re going to focus on keywords.
Keywords are the actual search terms that people use when using a search engine. For example, “leather wallet” would bring up a bunch of sites selling leather wallets, “vintage Barbie dolls” will show you places to buy old Barbie dolls. So, if you sold leather wallets (or Barbie dolls), you’d want your site to rank on the first page of the search results. But how do you do that? This is where keyword research comes in.
When choosing keywords try to think of the search terms people would use when searching for your product or service. Make a list, ask friends and colleagues for their suggestion. Basically, just brainstorm the various keywords you think people would use when searching for your product.
Having trouble coming up with a keyword list? Just type one of the keywords into Google and at the bottom of the page you’ll see a a box that says, “searches related to XX”. This shows other search terms that are related to the same product or service. Google is basically telling you what terms people are already using to find products like yours.
Probably the best-known free SEO keyword tool is Google keyword tool. It’s easy to use, you just type in a keyword and more suggested keywords pop up. You can also use Google to find keywords for your product using the “alphabet soup” method.
The alphabet soup method is just typing a keyword into a Google search box, let’s say “leather wallet” and then typing in the alphabet one letter at a time after it. So, “leather wallet a” “leather wallet b” and so on. When you do this, Google automatically offers suggestions on what searches are popular with that letter. For example, when typing in “leather wallet a”, Google suggests the following, “leather wallet amazon”, “leather wallet and chain”, “leather wallet and money clip” Etc…
So while Google is a good resource as a free seo keyword tool, it does have its limitations. First of all, Google keyword tool limits the information and number of search results it give you unless you upgrade to the paid version. And using the alphabet soup method doesn’t give you any information about the number of monthly searches and how many other websites are using that keyword. I do think a better option is a site called Jaaxy, but more on that later.
When deciding which keywords you want to use, it’s important to look at four key factors:
- The number of searches done for that keyword per month.
- The amount of traffic the keyword gets per month.
- The number of other websites that are using that keyword.
- How easy or hard it is to get ranked on the first page of results for that keyword, the quality of the keyword.
The number of searches per month tells you if the keyword is even worth trying to rank for. Depending on your niche, the number of people who search for “speckled belly fruit flies” may be zero! But, probably not. In fact, the more specific your niche, the easier it is to get ranked #1 on Google. What you really want to stay away from are those keywords that aren’t specific enough. Generally, you want to look for keywords that have a decent number of searches per month.
The amount of traffic that keyword gets tells you what to expect once you do rank for that keyword. After all, ranking for a keyword that doesn’t get traffic is a waste of time. You want to look for keywords that generate the most traffic.
The number of other websites that are using that keyword, this is your competition. If you want to rank for that keyword, you need to beat out all the others on this list. Try to find keywords with as little competition as possible.
How hard is it to get ranked for the keyword. This number is basically a combination of the number of searches a keyword gets and the amount of competition it has.
Ideally, you want to look for keywords that have a lot of searches, a lot of traffic that are easy to rank for but without a lot of competition. Remember, I said “Ideally” because that doesn’t happen in real life. So, now let’s talk about.
It’s important that you decide on a keyword strategy early on. Depending on which strategy you choose will determine what kind of keywords you should go with. There are basically two ways to approach keyword strategy. Using keywords that get a lot of traffic and using keywords with low competition.
Using Keywords That Get A Lot of Traffic
If you take this approach, you are trying to rank for keywords that get searched thousands of times per month. If you can get ranked on the first page of Google for a product or service that gets searched out 40,000 time a month, you are sure to generate a lot of traffic.
On the other hand, getting ranked on the first page for these keywords is extremely difficult. As you can imagine, there is a lot of competition for these keywords meaning that you have to out rank thousands and even hundreds of thousands of other websites to get on the first page. So, that means that the websites that are ranked have been well established. Knocking them out of their spot could take years.
Additionally, these websites have other SEO advantages like thousands of backlinks that you probably don’t.
For most small entrepreneurs it’s understandable that they want a lot of hits, but it’s almost always a better strategy to:
Use Keywords with Low Competition
By using keywords with low competition, it’s much more likely that you’ll get ranked on the first page of Google search results. Remember that 75% of website traffic comes from the first page of search results. Less competition means better chance of a high ranking, maybe even #1.
The downside to this approach is that the reason that there is less competition is that fewer people are searching for these terms which means fewer clicks.
So, if you found a keyword that only 40 other websites use, and you ranked #1 in the results. You would only get around 6 clicks per month. And we know that not every click is a sale.
But we’re not done yet, there are ways to use this strategy successfully. By getting a high rank using a lot of low competition keywords, it really starts to add up. For example, if you can rank for 100 keywords that all get only 6 hits per month, you’re getting 600 visitors to your website per month. If 5% buy, you are generating 30 sales per month.
Let’s look at an example:
We’re going back to our leather wallet example. You have a website that sells leather wallets, should you try to rank for the keyword “leather wallet”. (And, here I am going to be using what in my opinion is the best free seo keyword tool, Jaaxy).
According to Jaaxy, the keyword “leather wallet” gets over 4300 searches per month. You could expect over 730 visitors to your site if you were to get ranked #1 on Google for this keyword. You would be competing against 148 other websites that use that exact keyword, and it has a quality rating of 88 (pretty good). But what are my real chances of ranking on the first page of results?
Well, there are only ten spots on the first page of most Google search result (some less). So that means that there are 148 other websites that you’ll be competing with for a spot on the first page. The websites that are already on the first page are well established with a lot of backlinks (sometimes thousands). So in reality, my chances of getting on that first page are almost zero.
But there’s still hope, let’s look at some other keyword combinations.
“Western leather wallets” gets searched 136 times a month, the number one ranked site gets 24 visitors per month, there are only 56 other websites as competition and the quality ranking is 94 (very good).
“Fine leather wallets” gets searched 112 time per month, the number one spot gets 20 hits per month, there are only 102 other websites using that keyword and it has a quality rating of 93.
“Mens designer leather wallets” gets searched 80 times per month, The number one spot gets 24 hit a month, there are only 53 other websites using this keyword and it has a quality rating of 98.
Notice anything about the low competition keywords? They are all at least three words. These are called long tail keywords and they are a good way to find low competition keywords. They are also useful because they are more specific. When people are ready to purchase they will search for exactly what they want to buy.
Searching “leather wallets” is what they do when they just want to browse, searching “mens designer leather wallets” is what they do when they are ready to buy. So, by being specific and adding words that describe your product or service, you can not only find keywords that you can rank for. You’re also getting clicks from people later in the buying process who are more likely to buy.
How to Get Higher Rankings Using the Best Free SEO
Keyword Tool: Conclusion
Using the right keywords with the right strategy is critical to the success of your website. And while it may be tempting to swing for the fences and try to rank for a keyword that will generate a thousand hits a month. Most people are better off taking the slow steady approach to building their business. Besides, with Google the only permanent thing is change. The algorithm they use to create ranking is in constant flux. What got you a high ranking yesterday may do nothing for you tomorrow. You don’t want to be dependent on one big ranking for all of your sales, losing that to an algorithm change would be devastating.
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