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How To Strike Keyword Gold

how to strike keyword goldThis is a guest post by Tim Arends.

Choosing keywords have been likened to panning for gold. You will get a lot of dust, dirt and sand and, if you do it right, a few golden flakes. Searching for the right keywords is a lot like this.

One critical factor in choosing keywords is going after what is known as the “long tail.” These are keywords (really key phrases) consisting of three or more words.

Why is long tail important? Because there is too much competition to rank well for shorter keywords. Another reason is that longer phrases are more likely to be targeted to the needs of the user.

One part of choosing useful, relevant and high-converting keywords is to understand your customers’ buying habits and what is known as the client purchase cycle. The main parts of the cycle are:

Attention > Interest > Want >  Action.

Let’s say you are attempting to sell iPods. You have had a site up on that subject for almost 6 months and have done some search engine optimization but have gotten little traffic and no leads.

The problem may be your keywords. The big boys like Apple, Best Buy, etc. are also targeting the search term “iPods.” How are you going to compete with them? You need to look at areas that your competition has ignored.

Think Like Your Customer

Another example: Imagine that you are a customer who is looking to find entertainment services in Northwest Illinois. Your search might go something like this:

Search Term 1: “Entertainers” — okay, that’s way too broad!

Search Term 2: “Northwest Illinois entertainers” — still a lot of options.

Search Term 3: “Comedienne in Northwest Illinois” — If this is a service you’re selling, this could be a keyword gold mine.

One way to get a good feel for the competition is to make use of the title tag. Using this type of search you can see exactly how many sites are using the same search phrase in the title. This is one way to gauge the competition you will be facing.

Now let’s examine how all the rankings in Google changed as the search becomes more and more specific.

The command in Google is intitle, so use intitle:”comedienne”  (this will return results with that word in the actual title).

intitle:”entertainers” – 271,000 results retuned

intitle:”Illinois entertainers” About 1,750 results

intitle:”Northwest Illinois entertainers” – No matches

Okay, how about:

intitle:”Northern Illinois entertainers”

This calls up only one match and a couple of Google ads, indicating that it might be a profitable keyword. If you do the proper search engine optimization and get a few of the links pointing to the page you may begin to see highly targeted traffic.

Whatever your niche, if you spend some time you can likely find some keyword treasures in your market as well. Now let’s take it to the next level.

Use Action Words

Okay, let’s say you want to sell the Apple TV. You know that the latest, much more compact model is the second generation. However, when you do an intitle: search on Google for Apple TV you get over 352,000 results.

This is where action words come in handy. Some great action words or phrases are Buy, Purchase, Lowest price, Free shipping etc. All of these words are used when the customer is in a buying phase, which is exactly when you want them to find you.

intitle:”Buy 2nd Generation apple TV” 0 sites

intitle:”Purchase 2nd Generation apple TV” 0 sites

intitle:”Lowest price 2nd Generation apple TV” 0 sites

intitle:”Buy apple TV 2nd Generation” 0 sites

intitle:”Purchase apple TV 2nd Generation” 0 sites

intitle:”Lowest price apple TV 2nd Generation” 0 sites

Keyword Research Action Steps:

Step 1 – Logs:  this is a great asset that you may not currently be using. For example, Google Analytics can give you great ideas of what people are searching for when they find your site. You can mine these logs for great niche keywords and use them as a basis for creating new content that matches what people are typing into the search engines.

By the same token, if you submitted articles to Ezine Articles, the monthly e-mails or the stats that you can access by logging into your account can give you more information on what people are looking for when they found your article. Remember that Ezine Articles wants you to be a success because that means more traffic for it as well.

Step 2 – Competition: This can also be a good source of keyword research, especially if your competition gets better traffic than you do. You can check the keywords your competition uses in its title, meta tags, body and so on. You may find something that you missed.

Step 3 – Keyword Tools: Now that you understand the concept, let’s explore a few free keyword research tools. You can use them to find 20-40 money-making keywords that you are not currently using. Here are three:



Google’s own KeywordToolExternal


SEO Books’ online keyword tool


Of course, any keyword tool should be used only as a guide. For example, some of those mentioned here are slanted towards pay-per-click and may not give you the most highly coveted “long-tail” phrases.

A few additional tips:

Tip # 1: Don’t overlook phrase variations. E.g. Macbook, Macbook Pro and Macbook Air.

Tip # 2: Use slang or insider terminology where appropriate. That’s why it’s a good idea to know your niche, so you know the terminology used by people involved in that niche.

Tip # 3: Remember that people type in some keyphrases as one word.

Don’t forget hyphenated and non-hyphenated variations of your keywords. For example, some people spell toolkit as one word, others as two. According to Google’s KeywordToolExternal, “toolkit” is searched for 1,220,000 number of times a day while “tool kit” receives 1,500,000 searches.

Of course, just because you find great keywords does not mean you can slap those in your title tag and get a new rank you need to do a good job with your on page SEO as well.

I hope I have succeeded in giving a you a few ideas about the endless possibilities you can exploit in your own local market. With a little effort you can generate a great list of keywords with which you can dominate the action phase of the search cycle. If your site is placed firmly at the key stage of the purchase cycle you confine yourself safely sequestered from the competition. The effort you Put into finding keyword gold is surely worth it.

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36 Comments on "How To Strike Keyword Gold"

  1. Today i got to know the real fact behind keywords. You really have done a great research for us. Appreciate your article!

  2. Carl Mueller says:

    Hi Tim

    Thanks for this post. You gave some great real-life examples to help illustrate your point. For me it’s a matter of consistently trying to create good content while also keeping in mind what keywords people search for when they want to find information like what you’re producing.


  3. Tim at IMM says:

    Thanks. Keyword research does take some study and effort to master, but it’s worth the effort!

  4. Fazal Mayar says:

    Good stuff…I think keyword researching is definitely important, I would suggest a tool like Market Samurai

    • Tim at IMM says:

      Yeah, Market Samurai, while not free, is very good and it has a lot of free resources and training videos.

  5. thanks for the info. takes me a long time to full research my desired keywords.

  6. Brent Hale says:

    Hey, this is very beneficial stuff. As a new blogger, a lot of the information needed to succeed can be a little overwhelming. This post definitely helped me understand the keyword selection process much better. Thanks a ton.


  7. Zero Passive Income says:

    Thanks for the great post! I’ve been doing keyword research and isolating long tail keywords but I never thought to “think like my customer” this is definitely something I’m going to be doing from now on!

  8. Samuel says:

    This is awesome! I love the idea of thinking like a customer. It will definately help. Thanks so much for sharing these useful resouces. Have fun 🙂

  9. DiNaRa says:

    Thanks a lot for this post. I also knew that long tail keywords are better but you have explained everything in such simple words that even the beginners will have no problems in following them.

  10. Sridhar says:

    Thanks for sharing useful ideas! I was using google keyword tool for keyword ideas. You showed me more options.

    • hi

      i am agree with u that google adwords toolbar is a best choice for select a best keywords for seo

  11. James says:

    Using right kewords hs always been the most important aspect of link building and attracting traffic to your website as wel as getting the maximum possible featuring you can. I guess many people are going to benefit from this interactive article giving the eerie details about what its like exploiting the most from your limited resources.

  12. HP Toners says:

    I do agree, keywords are like golds. They can make or break your online business. Toping the SERPs for a highly competitive keyword can give you a fortune.

  13. Sam @ Free Business Listing says:

    These are really great Keyword Tool good for SEO. tHANKS FOR SHARING

  14. susan says:

    I agree to the fact that long tail keywords can be very competitive, but not every potential buyer can choose it as people, most people are a bit lazy just to write long keywords and they try to do it very quickly. I am for short keywords, although it is harder to promote them.

    • Tim at IMM says:

      One thing that makes keyword research a little hard is that it is not an exact science. You have to use a bit of intuition to find the best long-tail keywords, but a little effort is a lot better than none!

  15. this keyword tools are really impressive, thanks for sharing with us

  16. Jan says:

    I didn’t know the WordTracker Keyword Tool. Thanks.

  17. Hendri says:

    This is good information about how to get the keyword gold. some way was I ever did, but have not succeeded, probably because I was a little lazy in finding suitable keywords for my site.

  18. and if all the steps listed above sounds difficult, then the best solution is to buy Market Samurai.

    • Tim at IMM says:

      Actually, Market Samurai is sophisticated software and as such, has quite a bit of a learning curve too!!

      • thats very true. but as always everything has a learning curve of its own, some are difficult and some are easy. market samurai having lots of options has definitely got a steeper learning curve.

  19. I Used https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
    Toll. It is most relabel Keyword Search Tool for google

  20. Really an informative post about keyword research . I use Google adword for keyword selection for my new website

  21. Great post
    keep posting

  22. Ibn Omar says:

    well organized post, learn a lot

  23. Bob@ Flip Sites For Cash says:

    Some very good tips about keyword research, especially the info about action words.

  24. Scott Jarvis says:

    Traffic Travis is another great free Keyword tool. There is a new version just released with many enhancements. You can pretty much use most features with the free version. I like it’s ability at finding competitors backlinks.

  25. seo services says:

    Thinking like your customer is important. Thanks Tim for this insightful post.

  26. Allen Davis says:

    Thank you for the more insite way of looking at keywords. Since I happen to also be in the entertainment business, I appreciate your example of the defining a particular type of entertainer in a specific state. I will be listing myself like that soon. Thank you.

    • Tim at IMM says:

      Thanks for the comment Allen. Also be sure to list your business at Google Places if you have not done so already.

  27. Single Beds Cheap says:

    Hy tim, you are totally right choosing a great keyword isnt always easy.. I use adword too most to do that job.

  28. Alamin@towel racks for bathrooms says:

    Thanks……… for post..I use niche finder to do kw research.


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