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Keyword Research Free and Easy

There is doubt about the Search Engine Optimization process.  Keyword research is the first, and possibly most vital, step.  Surely, you can get heaps more with a paid membership (i.e., Micro Niche Finder), but this “How To” is aimed at the budget-conscious Keyword Researcher.

Deciding on the correct keywords is more than just crunching numbers. Here are some tips to follow in your research using a free and easy way to mix the raw data with your internet marketing intuition.  The goal is to find a successful combinations of keywords that have a high search count and a low competition profile.  These two factors are sure to bring traffic to your site.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Start by getting a list (5-10 at least) keywords and plug them into the Google AdWords: Keyword Tool. Depending on the keywords entered, you should get back an extensive list (usually between 50 and 100).

Your Keyword Research report

Once you open up the Competition/Search Volume (CSV) in Excel, you can sort the keywords based on their Search Volume or their Advertiser Competition.  Also, go through the list and delete any irrelevant keywords as there are always a few.

Your Keyword Research report

Now create a column for each of the criteria you’ll be using in your Keyword Research, like sites you are planning on using (“WT” for Wordtracker, “KWD” for Keyword Discovery, SEO Book). Then, head over to each site, fill in your keyword and start grabbing that data.

You can also hit these other Free Keyword Research sites (others, most just as good):

Overture, SEO Toolset, Self SEO, Wikipedia Article Traffic.

The purpose of submitting each of your keywords to these sites and recording the data is to discover additional keywords that were either missed the first time through, or weren’t included on the other data sets.  I have found some unique and  valuable niche phrases this way.

Remember, you get what you pay for, I recommend you join up on these sites:  SEO moz, Bruce Clay, We Build Pages.  These guys offer heaps more than just keyword research as well.

The Competition

The most telling way to determine the competition towards any selected keyword(s) is to insert the entire phrase into the Search Bar of Google (Has 64% of all search traffic.*).  If there are already results on the top page with Page Ranks of 2 or higher, go to the next keyword choice.  If the search results do not have Page Ranks, and, if the Dot com of the keywords is available (for example:, buy it!  The keyword will dominate the niche.

Google Guide also offers a comprehensive explanation of all of the Google Search Operators. Those listed below are the ones that I recommend you use:

    “allintext:  keyword research”

    “inanchor:  keyword research”

    “allintitle:  keyword research”

    “allinurl:  keyword research”

These results will present a rough idea of how competitive a keyword is.

The Traffic

Now, go plug the entire list into Google AdWords: Traffic Estimator.

This tool is nice because you can get a select a region for your data and also because you can grab the CSV and copy and paste the data from relevant columns directly into your keyword research spreadsheet.

This is just another of your indicators giving you a better idea of which keywords are more or less likely to give your client some quality traffic.

This process will almost guarantee that you find not only some quality keywords, relevant and viable to your client’s site, but also that you’ll dig up some niche keywords that your competition hasn’t quite thought of yet.

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