How To Do Keyword Research Without Using Expensive Tools
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Would you like to know how to do keyword research without having to buy expensive keyword tools like Market Samurai, Micro Niche Finder, Traffic Travis, Wordtracker, etc?
Are you fed up with getting figures from the Google keyword tool that just don't make sense in real life?
You're not alone...
When it comes down to it, almost all the available keyword tools (with the exception of Wordtracker) get their information from Google's Keyword tool.
Then, to justify the price of serving you up information that you could get free, they put a pretty wrapper round the results and maybe throw in some extra features...
Things like competition analysis, maybe weeding out "bad" keywords, that kind of thing.
Naturally, the aim of these tools is to give you a big list of keywords that you're going to use.
And they'll deliver on their promise of a big list of keywords.
It's then up to you to write all the content relating to those keywords. Which is enough to keep you going for weeks or months of solid typing.
Or, more likely, you'll work on one or two of the suggestions and put the rest away for a rainy day.
Somewhere on your hard drive where you won't ever look again.
And, even if you did, you won't actually re-use them because they're bound to be out of date.
So you'll run the analysis again and promise yourself that you'll actually use all these golden nugget keywords this time.
In practice, if you're like most people I know, you'll only use a handful of the results you get given.
Maybe a couple, maybe 10 or 20 if you're outsourcing your article writing. 100 at the outside but that's rare.
So your expensive software sits on your hard drive. You load it up occasionally and it goes through the motions of loading databases, checking your licence key, checking for updates, that kind of thing.
So, what's the alternative?
The one that regularly gets mentioned is the Google keyword tool.
It's actually the one that most of these fancy programs call, which is why you have to be cautious about using them too much otherwise you'll be subject to entering almost unsolvable Captchas to be allowed to continue harvesting Google's data.
So you go back to Google and load up the keyword tool.
If you're logged in to Adwords, you'll be given 800 results otherwise you'll have to make do with just 100.
The thing you need to remember is that the keyword tool is actually designed to sell advertising.
Its primary function in life is to serve people who want to know the keywords to bid for when they're placing their adverts.
The fact that we can use it for research is incidental.
Which leads on to one of the elephants in the room...
The figures aren't very accurate.
Sure, they're made to look precise. That's why you get results like 12,100 and 880 and 40,500 and 720. That kind of thing.
But if you sort the results by local or monthly searches, you'll see the figures are clumped together.
What Google are showing you is an educated guess, placed into bands for speed.
And it's a figure that isn't updated very often for most search terms.
So if you're looking at the keyword results and thinking you're going to get anywhere near that volume of searches, think again.
It's not going to happen.
The second elephant in the room (which makes this room kind-of crowded) is that the competition in the search results only bears a passing resemblance to the low/medium/high rating you'll see on screen.
Google are muscling in on all sorts of results.
For instance, I just searched weather in my local town. Competition is shown as low, which is true because no-one normally advertises for weather forecasts.
But that keyword tool doesn't show you the actual results - you have to click through to those.
And when you get there, you'll find the space that's normally taken up by the 3 adverts is swallowed up by Google's own weather forecast data.
Weather isn't the only place that Google are taking up more and more of the "above the fold" screen real estate.
So you need to check the actual results to see what they're doing in real life. Whether it's an extra search below the adverts (flights, travel, even mattresses) or paid-for shopping results.
Or any other combination of things that's designed to put more money in Google's bank account and push regular results further down the page.
So, as you might have guessed by now, I don't put much faith in the keyword figures Google dreams up. And, by definition, the fancy tools that try to add value to the figures.
After all, if the competition figure doesn't tell the whole truth and the search numbers are guesstimates, how can you add value?
You've heard the phrase often quoted about computer programs: "Garbage in, garbage out".
That applies here as well.
I still use Google for my keyword research.
I just don't rely much on the keyword tool.
Instead, I use the suggestions that come up when you type in stuff. The same as real-life searchers do.
It's like having the long-lost Wonder Wheel permanently updated and on tap.
There are several bits of good news here.
Just because Google reports zero searches for a phrase doesn't that's the case.
In fact, this method brings up hidden gems every time I use it.
Do they get hundreds or thousands of searches a day?
Do they get on page one stupidly fast?
Much like those WSOs that promise you'll get your video on page one almost overnight.
And you could level the same criticism at this method: it's easy because no-one is competing for it.
But that's not the same as saying no-one is searching for it. Because my Analytics for my sites tell me otherwise.
Maybe a click or two a day at position 5 or 6.
I'm fine with that - the article on my site took maybe half an hour to create. And it's often on page one within 8 or 9 days.
It will then creep up a bit higher and that figure of one or two clicks a day creeps upwards.
Maybe 5 or 10 clicks.
I'm happy - it's very targeted traffic with near enough no competition.
Few - if any - ads (remember, the keyword tool lied and said that there's no traffic, so why target an ad).
No real competition.
But real searchers. Often clutching their credit card because they're desperate to spend money but haven't found anywhere until they reach my page.
It's quick, which works well with the average attention span of an internet marketer like me.
And, as Dan Kennedy said, the bank don't give you a bonus on your deposit just because you worked hard to earn the money.
So in a couple of hours, you could target 4 of these phrases.
If they show signs of life (and my hit rate on these has generally been higher than with any other method I've used over the years) then create another page or an article or a video and you're dominating page 1.
Just a thought.
Anyway, I've created just over 66 minutes of videos where I'll talk you through this whole technique.
All the weird and wonderful things you can do to come up with as many zero competition, low (but definitely not zero) searches keywords.
If you want something flashy and earth shattering, you've come to the wrong place.
But if you want something you can follow and have one or more light-bulb moments while you watch the videos. Plus some real keywords that real people are searching for...