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Let’s explore the process of keyword research and how Market Samurai can lend a hand with this task. Specifically, we’ll be looking at…
- Understanding the keyword research process
- The 4 Golden Rules of keyword research
- How to use Market Samurai to generate a list of relevant keywords
A great way to understand the process of keyword research, is to compare it with the process of panning for gold. In the days of the gold rush, prospectors would take their gold pans down to a river and scoop out the collection of rocks, dirt, and sand.
Initially, they’d discard the large rocks that were clearly not relevant, and they’d swirl their pan to separate out the heavy gold from the lighter sediment. At the end of this filtering process, they’d hopefully be left with a few nuggets of gold at the bottom of their pan.
The process of keyword research is very similar. You begin by selecting a niche to explore, which is the equivalent of choosing a river to prospect. You then generate a large number of keywords relating to your niche, which is like scooping up a collection of rocks, dirt, and sand. Then, you can use a tool such as Market Samurai to filter out the good keywords from the bad. At the end of this process, you will hopefully be left with a few gold nugget keywords.
The obvious question then becomes, what are the characteristics of a gold nugget keyword?
Analysis by the expert team at Market Samurai has led to the development of 4 Golden Rules for identifying the best keywords to target in your online business. The 4 Golden Rules are:
A gold nugget keyword is highly relevant to the content on your website, is has a good level of traffic, it has acceptable levels of competition, and it has a high level of commerciality.
We’ll be exploring each of these in more detail, but for now, let’s take a look at the first golden rule, relevance.
Relevance is something that many people often overlook in their excitement to get their business up and running as quickly as possible. The fact of the matter is, if you target irrelevant keywords, you may obtain a top ranking in Google and you may even generate a lot of traffic to your website. However, if the content of your website is not relevant to the keywords you’ve targeted, then the people who visit your site will probably not be interested in what they find.
In this scenario, you may end up with a lot of traffic and a big bill from your hosting company, but very few sales. It’s important to realize that the secret to online success is not just traffic. The real secret is targeted traffic.
So, according to the first golden rule of keyword research, you should always start by identifying the keywords that are most relevant to the content on your website.
Let’s take a moment now to see how this works in the real world using Market Samurai.
In this example, I’d like to show you how to generate a list of keywords relating to a niche, and how to refine your list to make it as relevant as possible to the content on your website.
To begin, I’ll create a new project and I’ll use the well-worn Internet marketing example of “dog training”.
Because I want to generate a list of keywords relating to my niche, I’ll select the “Keyword Research” module in Market Samurai. And to generate my initial list of keywords, all I have to do is click the generate keywords button. I enter a capture, and click the submit button.
Market Samurai then generates a list of keywords relating to my seed keyword, in this case “dog training”. Going back to our prospecting analogy, this is the equivalent of scooping up a pan containing rocks, dirt, sand, and hopefully some gold nugget keywords.
Now, as I mentioned, the first golden rule of keyword research is relevance. Market Samurai provides you with several ways to improve the relevance of your keyword list. The simplest way to eliminate irrelevant keywords is to scroll through the list, and if there’s a keyword that is clearly not relevant to you, just click on the cross icon to remove it from your phrase list.
For example, the phrase “crate training” is probably not going to be relevant to my dog training website, so I’ll click the cross and eliminate that keyword.
You can also use negative keywords to eliminate all phrases containing a particular word that you’re not interested in. For example, let’s imagine that I’m not interested in dog collars. All I have to do is come down here and click on the word “collar”, and you’ll notice that the program underlines the word to show that it’s selected, and I can come across here and click on the cross icon. The word collar is now listed in the negative keyword area, and all keyword phrases that include the word collar have been filtered out of my list. In this case, four extra phrases have been removed.
One thing I should point out is that if you want to eliminate the word “collar” and “collars” with an “s,” you will need to add them as two separate negative keywords.
And now with collar and collars selected, I filtered out seven phrases. If you ever want to see the phrases that have been removed, you can click the “Show Removed” option.
The second way to improve the relevance of your keyword list is to identify positive keyword phrases. This will eliminate all phrases except those containing a particular word.
For example, imagine that I was only interested in keyword phrases containing the word “behavior”. All I have to do is select the keyword “behavior” and then come across here, and this time I’ll click the tick icon. The word “behavior” is added to my positive keyword list, and you can see that Market Samurai has now filtered out all of the keyword phrases except those that contain the keyword “behavior”. Now I don’t actually want to use these filters at the moment, so I’ll just click the clear button here and here to remove my positive and negative keyword filters.
The next way I can modify my keyword list is to add keywords manually. To add a keyword, all I have to do is type it into the “Add Keywords” area and click the “Add Keywords” button.
Now the next way to improve the relevance of my keyword list is to use the “Phrase Length Filter”. Let’s say, for example, that I’m only interested in targeting phrases that contain three or more keywords. All I have to do is change the Phrase Length Filter from one to three and now I’ve filtered out 32 keywords, and all my phrases now contain at least three keywords. For the sake of this example, Let’s just reset this to one for now.
Having generated a list of keywords and eliminated the keywords that are not specifically relevant to my website, I can now click the “Analyze Keywords” button. This takes us to the “Analysis Panel”. If I ever want to return to the “Generate Keywords” screen, all I have to do is click the “Modify Keywords” button.
We’ll be exploring this panel in much more detail in future videos, but for now, I want to focus on the final aspect of relevance, which is the “Phrase to Broad Match Ratio”, or PBR.
Google generally does a pretty good job in returning keywords that are relevant to the original seed keyword. However, occasionally, Google returns the words in the wrong order.
For example, if I scroll down towards the bottom of this list, you’ll see that Google has returned the phrase “dog train”. In reality, it’s much more likely that people are searching for the phrase “train dog”, rather than “dog train”.
When Google returns misleading keyword phrases, the big problem is that sometimes people can find these types of phrases and think that they’ve found an untapped niche. They then build an entire business focusing on a phrase like “dog train”, only to find that they did not obtain the results they were expecting, because very few people are actually typing “dog train” into the search engines.
To overcome this problem, we developed the concept of the Phrase to Broad Match Ratio. In a future presentation, we’ll go into the detail of how PBR is calculated, but for now, the important thing to understand is that PBR is a way to eliminate those misleading and dangerous keyword phrases that Google can sometimes return.
So, the first thing I’ll do is click the “Phrase to Broad Match” checkbox. The lower the PBR, the more likely it is that a phrase contains words in the wrong order.
As you can see here, the term “dog train” has a PBR of 6%, which means it’s not really a phrase that people are typing into the search engines. In our experience, we’ve found that setting a PBR filter of 15% is a great way to eliminate any misleading keyword phrases. So I’ll just click the plus sign and enter 15, and then click the “Refresh Filters” button. This should now eliminate any misleading phrases, and it leaves us with a high quality list of keywords, which we can then analyze in detail.
So just to recap, in this video we introduced the 4 Golden Rules of keyword research, and identified that gold nugget keywords have the following characteristics…
- They’re relevant
- They have good levels of traffic
- They have acceptable levels of competition
- They have high levels of commerciality
We then looked at the first Golden Rule, which was Relevance, and found that once you’ve generated your initial list of keywords, Market Samurai provides you with several ways to improve the relevance of your keyword list.
- Removing irrelevant keywords
- Using negative keywords
- Using positive keywords
- Adding keywords manually
- Using the phrase length filter
- And finally, on the analysis panel, setting a “Phrase to Broad Match” filter of 15 to eliminate any misleading keyword phrases from Google.
As you can see, using these tools within Market Samurai, you can generate a list of targeted keywords that are highly relevant to the market or niche that you’re exploring.
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