Earlier today I had a friend of mine visit me at my pad and he looked quite worried . When inquired I realized that he was worried about his site not doing good enough in the search results and making even lesser money for him from even little traffic that he received. He was clueless about why a site wont rank in the search engines when the keyword research was done , onpage optimization was at its best , there were natural links built to the site , except that he was wrong about a small part – the keyword research was not done right !
It is no brainer that the friend in the picture is just a metaphor to symbolize any webmaster or a writer out there suffering from the same dilemma – why does my site not perform like I want it to even when the right keywords are selected. The simple answer – the keywords are wrong ! You could end up choosing the wrong keyword even if you have the best tools for keyword research . Find out how your keyword research tools can be deceptive and how to make sure they don’t !
Difference between broad match and exact match
Alright you might have heard this a couple of times already so I am going to touch up the topic quickly. Every keyword research tool presents a broad match and an exact match for each keyword and there is a lot of difference between those numbers . While an exact match will tell you how many times the keyword has been searched ‘as is’ but the broad match will only give you a rough estimate of the number by including the semantic keywords in the deal. It might sound silly but more than half of the people have their ‘exact match’ option turned off out of sheer ignorance. Don’t forget to turn it on the next time you are trying to find a good keyword. Let me illustrate it with the help of an example :
This is the search volume for the keyword “blogs” and you can clearly see the difference between broad search and exact search statistics ! So make sure you short list the keywords with moderate to low competition and send it over for further filtration and brainstorming in step 2.
Even exact match can be deceptive sometimes
So you think you are all scored because you already knew that the exact match option already and that you are all equipped to find the gold keywords ? think again !
Even exact match keywords can be a lot more deceptive than they seem. If you are wondering how an exact match keyword can be wrong choice let me explain with the same example:
If you are thinking that you have got a good keyword with an exact match then have a look at the search results you are going to compete with if you are hoping to rank for that apparently ‘low competition’ keyword.
The glitch ? You are going up against some of the top websites which have a very high authority in the search engines since years and it is going to be nearly impossible to rank for those keyword. If you still go ahead and select the keyword then you will be one of those thousands who tried and failed with the same thing in the past. That is the reason these keywords appear to have low competition. Not because they are easy to rank for but ironically because they are too difficult to rank for !
Now let us see another keyword :
Same issue? You may be wondering why these keywords even though good paying, with massive search volumes are still untouched by marketers ? and if they were left out by some of them why have they not been picked up by anyone else ? There is a simple reason to it – the sites are of very high authority and people looking for ‘brand’ keywords are not going to click beyond the first search result since they will be presented by the exact website they were looking for as the first result. So the other search results will have virtually no CTR and that is why these keywords are best untouched and this is one case of ‘low competition, high search volume’ keywords you don’t want your keyword research tool to fool you into spending your fortune !
So what should you do? Just filter out such keywords from your keyword shortlist and now you have a narrower keyword list and you should be happy about it.
A good keyword may not always be a goldmine
So now you have learnt which keywords to target and which keywords to not target in the first and second step respectively you may be feeling all tempted to buy that shiny domain that fullfills both the above conditions, but wait , there is one more step between success and utter failure – Commercial value of the keyword
Finding a good keyword with low competition and high search volumes and fulfilling the above two conditions may have a very low market value meaning that even if you succeeded in getting traffic to your blog via the keywords you will make little or no money from them irrespective of the monetization you choose. Reason- Low CPC !
So now things become very simple, just make sure you select that keyword from the previously shortlisted set which has a highest and yes- You have a winning keyword now!
Good keyword research is the only thing that differentiates a successful online business from a lost battle, so make sure you do yours very well and stay on the greener side of the fence. If you analyze these three – niche, competition , commercial value you will always strike gold with your online ventures !
Mark M is a marketing executive working with LSF Interactive. When he is not rambling with keywords and backlinks he loves spending time with his family and loves relishing sea food . You can connect with him on twitter @LSF Interactive