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Keyword research

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Tarky7 10:29pm, 4 July 2007
Proper keyword research is the cornerstone of building a successful business online. The next page is possibly the most important page in this tutorial and the most important step to get right if you want to succeed online.

Keyword research

The life blood of SEO

Keyword research truly is the life blood of internet marketing. If you know who is searching and what they are searching for then it makes your choices as to "what and where" to offer your products much more obvious. For the purposes of this tutorial however we will strictly concentrate on evaluating the best keywords to use in order to increase conversions from visitors that come by way of the major search engines.

What keywords are people searching with?

This is the basic question that needs answering before you can start constructing you site. The first and most natural thing that comes to mind is asking yourself "what would I type in if I was looking for my product?" and this is a great place to start. Type in the terms you use and see what comes up, If the sites you see at the top of the search results are offering similar products and services then you are right on the money. Sadly this is where most people stop.

Try to reverse engineer those at the top (if they have done the research, then you won't have to) pay particular attention to what they place in their meta desc H1, H2...H6 and their anchor text.

In order to accurately gauge who is searching for your products and services you must use statistical data which will provide the historical search volume as well as suggest permutations on your keyword phrases that perhaps you have not yet conceived of. A few such tools such can be found at:

* Google adwords suggestion tool

* Wordtracker

I have no affiliations with any of the aforementioned sites but all of these pages contain great places to do keyword research based on popular opinion as well as my own personal experience.

As a secondary research project try putting together a quick questionnaire 5-10 answers based on 2 questions:

Describe the top 5 products/services on my site?

1. _______________________________

2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________

4. _______________________________

5. _______________________________


What would you type in a search engine to find these products/service?

1. _______________________________

2. _______________________________

3. _______________________________

4. _______________________________

5. _______________________________

Finally to test emphasis (where you should concentrate the most) you must determine keyword conversion value. To me this is easy, once I have created my keyword list (at least 50 keywords should be present) I go to all of the major PPC engines that offer "bid for placement" and I check the cost per click of each term. Those with the highest costs usually have the highest conversion assuming that those paying for those terms are also in your market. My logic for this is as follows: (cost per click * conversion rate) must = at least a break even point to justify paying said amount for each unique visitor. The math for any ROI (return on investment) calculation is very simply and only requires any 2 of the 3 variables considered.

Variables: Cost per click, Average sale, Conversion rate

A question people often ask me is how can "Phentermine" dealers afford to pay $12.00 per unique to remain at the top of the PPC for that term? My answer is this:

Go to the sites and find out what the average "phentermine" sale is (It's around $160.00) Now determine the cost per click? (in this instance its $12.00) Therefore the breakeven point (assuming they earn 100% of the gross sale which is unlikely) is at least 7.5% or mathematically $12.00/$160.00=.075 However in the real world most "phentermine" affiliates earn no more than 50% so either the conversion is 15% or that person is losing money on that keyword.
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