Do it yourself SEO Keyword Research

Do it yourself SEO keyword research.

Dive right in by learning SEO with these simple steps!

Learning SEO can be a daunting task if you have no idea what Search Engine Optimization is all about; especially if your goal is to do it yourself SEO. The only way to do it is to dive head first into SEO and just do it. This article will share 4 simple steps to build a list of SEO keywords for your website. SEO is not fast, quick or easy. But once you get the idea, you’ll be able to do SEO keyword research efficiently and effectively.

What is SEO?

SEO, by definition, is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. (Wikipedia)

If you want SEO for your website, one of the tasks is to find keywords that match your niche. This is the scary part right? How do you go about starting out in SEO keyword research if you’ve never done it before?

Well, lets get your feet wet – instead of paying to get your website at the top of Google’s search engine results page (SERP) via an Adwords or PPC campaign, also called SEM or ‘artificial SEO’, lets learn how to start finding those keywords that will add value to your page as well as Google’s search results in order to achieve organic SEO.

Be familiar with Long Tail Keywords and Broad Head keywords as you build copy. Long Tail Keywords generates specific traffic and Broad Head Keywords are just as the name suggests, broader keyword traffic. Long Tail Keywords will probably generate more traffic for your site right away, as these are specific keywords that people are searching. The Broad Head Keywords will also generate traffic and over time, both can leverage upon each other to generate a substantial amount of traffic.

In the example below, the specific niche is for a photography website in the section of: Wedding Photography – this would be a Long Tail Keyword. The Broad head would support this and may bring traffic in with search words like: cameras, wedding venues, wedding prices, wedding singer, cakes, open bar, etc. Why? Because if someone searches for ‘cakes’, your site may pop up somewhere on the SERP because ‘wedding cakes’ or ‘cake photography’ was used as part of a Wedding Photography page.

Here is a quick, down and dirty way to research keywords:

1. Build a list
2. Get suggestions
3. Determine your top 10 keywords and get more details
4. Find 10 Keywords and make them shine!

It’s as simple as one-two-three and four really. And once you dive in you will want to learn more and more about SEO to really pinpoint the high traffic, low competitive keywords, to drive visitors to your website.

Step 1 – Build a list

Do it yourself SEO is manual labor. And this is the most common sense part of SEO. The question you should ask yourself is: What would YOU search if you were looking for Wedding Photography?

Again, this is hands on work – whether it is writing things down on a piece of paper or typing it into a spreadsheet or word-processor, your goal is to brainstorm for obvious and natural words and phrases that fit your niche, in this case, “Wedding photography”.  Again, ask yourself what type of information is on your site that people are going to search for!

Write down all the relevant words and add them to your list!

Step 2 – Get suggestions

Go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and copy and paste your list into the search window. If you have more than 200 words it might be a good idea to cut and paste a group at a time because the maximum result will be 200 words and you want to find ‘suggestions’ and search volume to build a bigger list.

Click on the ‘Use Synonyms’ button and finally, click on “Get Keyword Ideas”. Your results will generate up to 200 words for you to go through.

Go down this generated list and click on “Add” next to the relevant keywords for your website. This will add them to the right column and you will find many suggestions you did not even think about during your brainstorming session.

If there is an extremely low search volume, it is probably not a great keyword to be used. If the search volume is extremely high, you might not be able to compete and might not make it to the first page of SERP.

If you set goals to be at least on the first page of SERP (or in the top 20 of search results), add the keywords with good search volume (not too low and definitely not too high). This is a good start!

Your bigger competition is already capitalizing on the high searched keywords.

For example: If I search for the exact match type (the exact keyword entered) and search for “wedding photography” I will find:
“wedding photography” with 165,000 global monthly search volume
“wedding photography tips” with 8,100 global monthly search volume
“wedding portrait photography” with 1,300 global monthly search volume

as seen below (click on image for a new page to view the image)

do it yourself SEO - keyword research
If I type, ‘wedding photography’ into Google search it will tell me there are 28,500,500 results for this search.

‘Wedding photography tips” has only 9,600,000 results and
‘Wedding portrait photography” has only 1,390,000 results.

Which one do you think will be easier to compete with?

Yes, more searches are done for “wedding photographer” but the chances of your website to climb the ranks of the SERP will be difficult as you are fighting to get it past 28 and a half million search results!

The goal is to find the right keyword and be competitive with it!

Now that you’ve built a list, and collected several (could be 100s) of suggestions and added them to your keyword research, you can download the file to your computer as a .txt file, .csv or .csv (for excel).

3. Determine your top 10 keywords and get more details

From your big list of keywords, find 10 keywords that you think you can use effectively in your website copy. Then expand that list!

For this example we will use “wedding portrait photography” and use Google to give us more suggestions.

Start typing “wedding portrait” into the Google search bar and stop. You’ll see a drop down of other searched words that begin with “wedding portrait” as seen below.

If you type a space and the letter ‘a’ you will get more starting with ‘a’.

In this case: arnolfini, albums, artist

You can do this with the whole alphabet, next ‘b’: by jan van eyck, backgrounds, etc.

Write the words down that fit your niche!

I found one as I got to ‘t’: “wedding portrait tips” that can support copy for wedding portrait photography.

4. Find 10 keywords and make them shine

Find the 10 keywords you finally decided on and use one keyword per page of copy or article. Make sure to use them naturally as Google frowns upon keyword spam where you flood your copy with keywords so that search engine crawlers can pick it up. This will eventually hurt your website more than help it in the long run.

These 10 keywords will help you climb the SERP, and if you have quality content throughout your website, your PageRank (PR) will also increase in value.

These 4 steps are a quick way to get started as you start learning SEO. As you see how this helps your website climb the search page results, you might want to find more powerful keyword analytical tools and resources, free or by subscription, as you continue your do it yourself SEO keyword research! The 4 steps are a great way to start building keywords for your blog or website and will lead to more visibility on the web which will drive traffic, ad-revenue and increase sales.

Other SEO Related Articles:
Learning SEO -The Art and Science – SEO Book recommendation
Do it yourself SEO steps
Do it yourself SEO for Bloggers – Online Resources

About Glenn Magas