The Secret Method to Keyword Research

The Secret Method to Keyword Research

July 22, 2015

This post will walk you through how to find and make your keyword lists to focus on in 2015.

The Background Info

You may not have noticed Google’s smooth integration of their new tool Google Autocomplete, but odds are you have definitely used it hundreds of times by now. The way it works, is when you start typing in your search terms, the algorithms will look at what other people are searching for and the websites for content with the terms. Some of the factors that are taken into account when deeming whether a prediction is worthy to be suggested or not are how often other users have used certain search terms, or search queries that you have inserted in the past.

The bottom line is you want to find the most effective keyword or phrases that people are using to search to increase your web traffic.

The Process

Step 1: What are your viewers looking for?

Come up with a basic list of words that can be related to your website. For example, if you have a photography website, then you could jot down: camera, lens, tripod, or lighting. *Include your location if you have a local site.

Step 2: Make Your Basic Terms List

Start typing in a short search phrase that someone would type in using some of these words. The point of this step is to help you come up with more words for your basic words list.

With our photography example, we’ll use the words “camera” and “clean”, and will get the following predictions:

Keyword Research Example 1

As you can see Google has already started to provide us with a couple of suggestions. We have camera cleaning cost, camera cleaning kit, and camera cleaning service.

Step 3: Finding Your Money Makers

*The trick to keyword research is to go for the long tail keywords, since the shorter ones will have too much competition that you don’t want to compete with yet. Now we get to elaborate more and find the phrases we can use to optimize our site.

With our photography example, we had the short phrase “camera cleaning service”, and we are going to use that as our starting search query by typing it in the box and clicking enter. You should have a short phrase such as this one to enter into the box as well.


Once we have done so, we are given two options to look for more variations.

The first is provided by simply clicking in the box where the query is and looking at the drop down list for the term.

Keyword Research Example 2

The second is at the bottom of the page where it says, “Searches related to …”, which will have another list of variations. We can see that, “canon camera cleaning service” is suggested, and can possibly use  this as one of our main keywords for optimization after going through the next step.

Keyword Research Example 3

Step 4: Calculating Performance and Finding More Phrases

There are two actions you can take at this point.

The first is to check to make sure the phrase that you have found actually has traffic. If you put quotes around your keyword phrase, then you can see the exact number of traffic that phrase gets per month. If it is a smaller number, ex. 1,000, then your keyword is too narrow or specific and needs to be broadened.

Keyword Research Example 4

With our photography example we have, “canon camera cleaning service”. If we type it in with the double quotes, then the web traffic given for that phrase per month is about 848. It is too narrow, so we would have to broaden it with less specific terms or take one out, which could leave us with, “camera cleaning service” as one of our final phrases.

The second is to find alternative phrases that are similar to the one you just found.

For example, instead of typing in, “camera cleaning services”, we could type in, “camera repair services” and repeat the same process to determine whether or not it has enough traffic or not to use as one of our phrases.

Note: Just because you have a good idea of how a keyword will perform, it doesn’t mean that it will. Make sure that you always track the terms you use and their performance.

I hope this helps you with your future research. Stay tuned for more posts.