Now that you have narrowed down your niche, it is time to begin drilling down to your keyword focus. Your goal now is learning how to find cash-generating keywords for your niche. But, first, so many words involved in online marketing!!! So, before we look at research, let’s talk about what keywords are and their importance in online marketing.
First, a keyword is one or more words that succinctly describe the content on your page or post. In short, when someone goes to a search engine to search for a topic, the keyword is the word or words they enter to search. Ideally, when someone enters keywords relevant to your niche, your page appears in the list on the first page of search results. As you can probably guess, then, your keyword choices are supremely critical to your success in almost every online business model. Whether you’re pursuing affiliate marketing, blogging, Pinterest marketing, or any number of additional Internet marketing opportunities, your keywords largely determine your success.
Relevant keywords are critical to your success
How are keywords so critical? Well, keywords are important for several reasons. First, keywords drive traffic to your site. I remember a relevant quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson discussed in my Marketing 101 class in college. To paraphrase it, “Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” But, my professor was careful to point out the fallacy of this statement – because the world WILL NOT beat a path to your door if they don’t even know you built that better mousetrap.
How does this relate to keywords? Well, if you choose the wrong keywords to target, you probably will not get nearly as much traffic as you’d like, if any. To make money, you must choose keywords that will appear in search engines close to the top of the list of sites. If you think about it – what do you do when you conduct a search? Do you generally look at the first few entries or do you look at the 100th or 200th link that appears? Most people stick to the first 10 entries, while a few other people go to the second or third page of listings. So you need to find and use keywords that will positively affect your ranking (how high up you are on the listing) and link performance (how many people click on your link).
How do focused keywords drive traffic?
Another reason keywords are so vital is that you need targeted traffic coming to your site. For example, ten thousand visitors coming to your domain via the keyword “books” might be worthless if you are selling books about Harry Potter. However, if your focus is books about Harry Potter, then 500 visitors who come via the keyword phrase, “Harry Potter books,” will be interested in what you are marketing.
Likely, someone searching for “books” is just browsing. They may not even be interested in buying anything – they could be interested in selling books, book bans, book publishers, and number of other topics.
On the other hand, someone who is searching for “Harry Potter books” is more likely to be interested in buying something immediately. You see, it’s not enough to just get tons of traffic. You need a lot of focused traffic willing to take the action you want them to take. Whether selling eBooks, promoting affiliate products, getting leads for an offer, or just getting sign-ups to your list, you want targeted visitors. These niche visitors provide you with likely now or in the future.
Conducting research on your niche
All right. That was a rather lengthy, but important lesson on keywords. So, let’s explore how they relate to your niche. If you have chosen your niche that matches your passion and seems to have a huge profit potential, you need to research the keywords to use. If writing articles, you need to choose keywords to use in the titles and text. When building niche websites, you need to use keywords in the domain name. When using pay-per-click marketing, the keywords you choose will likely be one of the biggest factors determining whether your campaign is profitable.
Research your keywords for free using Google
Google provides a way to research keywords that is quite extensive. And free. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the method of using it is somewhat obscure and can be confusing. So, let me provide a little tutorial that will step you through how to use Google for conducting keyword research.
First, make sure you have a Google account, if you don’t already. You can sign up for free here. This Google account will benefit you in a number of ways, so even though Google can be intrusive, it also provides many services for the online entrepreneur. Once you sign up you will have access to their keyword research tool.
This tool is not perfect. It gives you approximations of searches ranging from 1-100 up to 100K-1M. While this is quite broad, it will nevertheless give you ideas about keywords. Time to take out your journal and start taking down notes. Remember, you will be writing many posts and so you want lots of ideas about popular keywords to use. Google’s Keyword Planner is absolutely FREE to use, but you have to sort of jump through some hoops to get to it. Warning – some hoops look scary – like you might have to pay for an ad campaign first.
But, follow the directions as indicated below and you will get behind the scenes to conduct your research. Trust me, it is easy peasy once you know the steps.
How to navigate the tool to find keywords
First, click on this link to be taken to an opening page. Once you get on this page, be sure to review the content. It will give you an idea of what the Keyword Planner does. When ready, click on Go to Keyword Planner button on your page, as seen below.
On the next page, click on NEW GOOGLE ADS ACCOUNT.
You will need to ignore most of the choices on the next screen and go to the bottom of the page. Click on Switch to Expert Mode.
On the next page, click on Create an account without a campaign.
Ok, here is where the kinda scary looking stuff comes in. Don’t worry though. You won’t have to spend any money. Just click on SUBMIT to go to the next step.
Ready to explore your account?
Whew! You are almost there. Keep going. On the next screen, you will even get a trophy. Click on EXPLORE YOUR ACCOUNT.
I promise, you are almost there. Click on TOOLS & SETTINGS, then go over to the PLANNING tab and select Keyword Planner. WHY do they make it so complicated?
All right one more screen to get through. I swear, Google has a lot of skill in developing cool tools to use. Why oh why are they making this so difficult. Anyway, on the next screen, you can click on the little arrow on the bottom right of the screen to see what the planner is all about. Or you can just click on GET STARTED.
Seriously, almost there! Laughing yet about all the clicking? Yes, take a deep breath and laugh. Now, you are really really ready to start. First you’ll want to enter a base keyword for your niche. Let’s say you’re targeting the golf niche. You might enter “golf” into the keyword tool of your choice. Then the keyword tool will show you a number of related keywords.
Finally, you are at the keyword planner tool!
Start adding your words to begin exploring the significance of keywords in your niche. I added the words baby clothes and boys. You can add as many keywords as you want. You can also go back and delete and add words. Take some time exploring the many keywords and their significance.
Once you do this, you will get a report about the average monthly searches. The information is rather general, but it can provide information about the significance of the number of searches. It will also give you ideas about other keywords you can focus on in your niche.
OK- now you have the basics. Please take time to explore the many options on the Keyword Planner so that you can find the best cash-generating keywords. Look for different keywords and drill down again and again. Take notes and jot down keyword ideas as you run across them. This will help you to write your articles with a focus on the most popular keywords. You particularly want to focus on words that have high popularity but low competition. This means many people are looking for this product, but competition on the niche is not high.
The Google Keyword Planner tool should be bookmarked because you will be referring to it frequently as you build your business.
Why finding keywords is so important to your niche?
All right. Lots of steps to access the Google Keyword Planner. But remember, as discussed in previous articles, selecting your niche is critical. Why is that? Well, there are four important reasons to consider your niche carefully.
- Reduced competition. At the time, your niche may have less competition. It might after all, be rather new. Smaller businesses may not yet have your niche on their radar. At the same time, large businesses may not consider it profitable. Thus, at the time you find the niche, you have optimal conditions for expanding. This would be high interest and low competition. This condition may not last – so jump on it as quickly as you can.
- You become the expert. Because the niche is somewhat under the radar, then you can easily become the specialist. Thus, as the expert, you become the recommended source of information. Once established as an expert, you will likely remain significant in the niche.
- Focused effort on your niche. If you have a narrower audience, then you can focus on catering better to the needs of that audience.
- Gaining a toehold in market. Once you gain significant standing within the niche, your business can confidently expand into new and broader markets.
After deciding the niche you are going to focus on, you have a critical next step – finding keywords highly relevant to your niche. In addition to just finding keywords that are relevant, you also want to learn how to find cash-generating keywords for your niche. These cash-generating keywords should be relevant AND high interest/low competition. Those keywords are critical to the amount of profit you will make in your online business.
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