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Keyword Basics: How To Do Keyword Research For Marketing With Articles
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Doing keyword research in preparation for marketing with articles is essential to getting the absolute best results possible.

If you forge ahead with your article marketing campaign without paying any attention to keywords, then you will at best be leaving a lot of benefits you could have otherwise had on the table.

Lesson: Do your keyword research!

You don’t know how? Not a problem!

In this post I’m going to show you a very simple (and free) way to do some basic keyword research.

Background Info:

We are going to be using the term “keyword” interchangeably with “keyphrase”, “keyword term” and “keyword phrase” in this post. A keyword does not have to be just one word (actually, most of the times it is 2 or more words). For more basic information about the different types of keywords (main keywords and long tail keyword phrases), please see this post.

You are looking for two things when doing keyword research:

  • The demand for a keyword (the number of people conducting searches using the keyword)
  • The supply for a keyword (the number of websites that exist to supply that demand; for example, websites that contain that keyword)

If there is a keyword term that has a very high demand (lots of searches being conducted using that phrase), and also a very high supply (tons of sites that are competing for those searches) then that is a very competitive keyword term.

If there is a keyword term that has a very high demand, but a comparatively low supply, then you’ve found a golden nugget just waiting to be mined.

Step 1: Find The Demand

Today we’re going to be using Google’s own keyword research tool (it’s free) to assess the demand for certain keywords.

Let’s say you are working in the field of dog training. You enter the words “dog training” into Google’s tool.

Google’s keyword results will bring up a lot of related keywords that you might also add to your list. You can also see the number of searches that are done for each keyword term per month (that is your demand).

Step 2: Find The Supply

You will use Google’s own search engine results data to discover how many websites are already competing for this term.

Go to Google.com, and type “dog training” (in quotation marks) into the search box.

As you can see, the results returned nearly 5 million competing pages:

Here’s what you’ve learned:

The demand for the keyword term “dog training” is 823,000 and the supply is 4,780,000.

The demand is relatively high, so if you were to rank highly for this term, there would be very high potential traffic levels. This keyword term might be good to have as a ‘main keyword‘ that you wanted to rank highly for.

If the demand was low, it wouldn’t really be worth your effort to go up against such steep competition, but in this case the traffic levels make it potentially worthwhile.

Your Homework:

What we’ve covered in this post is a very basic introduction to keyword research. If you are just getting started with this, then try your hand with the simple steps covered in this post using keyword terms in your own field.

We’ll continue next time covering how to research long tail keyword terms.


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17 Responses to “Keyword Basics: How To Do Keyword Research For Marketing With Articles”

  1. Nice post Steve and just a quick point to add to the post is make sure you use Google’s wonder wheel when creating your post on the selected keyword you want to optimize.

    Using other related keywords in your post will help further optimize your post for SEO purposes while also making your post more user friendly.

    All the best,

    Marco :)

  2. Steve Shaw says:

    @Marco Carbajo: Doh! Marco, how did you read my mind? I just finished writing a post on using Google’s Wonder Wheel (it will come out in the next week or two).

    Thank you for being a few steps ahead :) ….

    Your point is right on target. Thanks for chiming in.

    Have a great weekend,

    Steve

  3. I utilize the Google keyword research tool to create my article titles. I will surround my keywords with effective adjectives that will enhance the main keyword.

  4. Tecnoguide says:

    i used google keyword tools to see if the keyword i want to use pay a little or much.

  5. @Marco Carbajo: I love using the wonder wheel. It’s great to know what Google sees as appropriate keywords for your content and sites.

  6. Ramachandran says:

    I got lot of useful information from your article.

  7. Monica-MarthaA.Jordan says:

    Hi Steve
    Thanks for the informative posts. I find your messages extremely useful and practical.
    Best
    Monica

  8. Steve:
    A little more help on the wonder wheel appreciated. What exactly is this telling you? Are these support keywords for the main one to put in your tags, articles, etc.

    Something else of note on Google Adwords that perhaps you can clear up. I believe that sometimes you will see single words that have huge demand and little competition on the Adwords tool. Try putting in “sales” and you will see millions of hits/mo with little on the competition bar. I think Google is looking at anytime “sales” is used and totalling in where it occurs in combinations, like sales training, sales tools, etc. Demand is low because no one is buying the term “sales” because advertisers intuitively know people won’t search simply on sales, but usually add 2-3 words to get specifically what they want. My point is, I think you can get fooled into believing that there is low supply and high demand for individual words like this.

    Thoughts?

  9. Steve Shaw says:

    @Karl Walinskas: Hi Karl,

    Thanks for your questions. I’ve just published a post explaining the Wonder Wheel. I think that will give you the info that you’re looking for. In a nutshell though, the Wonder Wheel is giving you ideas for semantically related keywords – by linking back to your site using a range of semantically-related keywords, it not only looks more natural to Google and other SEs than if you always link back with one keyword (not a good idea), but means you can rank across a range of keyword terms your prospects are likely to be searching for online.

    For your question about Google’s competition stats on the keyword tool: When you are establishing what the competition is (the supply), rather than looking at the “competition” bar on Google’s keyword tool, just go to Google.com and type in the word “sales”. That will bring up accurate competition data.

    To be honest, I don’t take much credence with the competition bar within the Adwords tool itself – and this relates to the amount of competition in PPC rather than number of competing pages in natural search, so entirely different anyway. So yes, certainly shouldn’t equate an indication of low competition within the Adwords tool itself with a low supply of pages in natural search.

    And yes, you are right about the single words–most main keywords will be 2-3 words long. True, a word like “sales” is not specific enough to help most sites.

    In the Google keywords tool, the demand for “sales” currently is almost 25 million monthly searches, and the supply is 1,180,000,000 (that’s almost 1.2 billion)–so, seems like that word is saturated, as you would expect, but the bar on the keyword tool made it look like there wasn’t much competition. I would ignore the bar–just do a simple Google search to assess the supply.

  10. Marco and Steve,
    I’ve been wondering how to use the Wonderwheel – no pun intended. Keep the great information coming…Cathy

  11. Jumaidil says:

    Thank you steve and also other friends for this good information. I will try the tips to make a post on my blog.

  12. @Jennifer Johnson: Right on Jennifer! Also another quick tip is to make sure you use your header tags in your posts. For example the H1 => keyword as well as the other H2, H3, H4 and so on.

    All the best,

    Marco ;)

  13. @Steve Shaw: Lol, I was using my jedi mind training. ;) Your welcome and appreciate you providing this great info and tips. Nice work!

    Marco :)

  14. Tom Dewell says:

    A good, short, sweet intro for a newbie. Well done.

    Something that I picked up recently: instaed of looking at the raw SERPS data when I search a term, I look at the number of relevant pages that Google says they find out of the maximum 1,000 they return.. That number is always on the last SERP. If G returns, 4 million raw pages, but says only 835 are relevant, that competition is pretty high. On the other hand, if the raw SERPS count is high, but the relevant pages are low, then you’ve found an under-served niche.

    One other comment: a huge # of SERPS in 0.14 seconds seems unrealistic when compared to another search term that brings, let’s say 259,000 SERPS, but G needs 0.35 seconds. It would seem that G is just estimating in both cases and not really looking at all those pages. That would seem to make the relevant page count even more valid.

  15. Tom Dewell says:

    @Steve Shaw: The Wonder Wheel is an excellent tool for getting long-tail KW as is the external KW tool from Google because they reflect actual searches being made.
    I, however, disagree that typing the KW into the search bar brings up a true idea of competition. Unless you have modified the search to phrase or exact match, the returns include all pages that have any of the KW in them no matter how irrelevant they are to your actual search meaning. “Dog training” brings up all SERPS that have anything to do with either dogs or training, not really a true competition indicator.
    Google provides their own evaluation of how many pages they think are relevant on the final SERP and that number is always less than or equal to 1000, the max # of SERPS returned. Measuring that # as a percentage of 1000 gives a much more accurate evaluation based on Google’s own search algorithms.

  16. Steve Shaw says:

    @Tom Dewell: Thanks for your comments, Tom – the post does refer to using exact match when assessing competition levels, so “dog training” (in quotes), rather than, dog training (no quotes) – the latter gives ten times the results, and you’re right, isn’t a measure of competition on the exact phrase in question. You can also certainly go deeper into it, perhaps as you’ve suggested here, though I’m not convinced it’s entirely necessary as the data in question is constantly changing anyway and will no longer be accurate after a month or two … for me, it’s more about getting a rough idea of potential for a keyword phrase, and find that perfectly adequate for article marketing purposes, especially when you consider its long-term nature.

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