Performing proper Keyword Analysis for SEO purposes is the first thing you should be doing when you start or create a new website. The good news is that keyword analysis is not rocket science. It is a simple process that make sense. There are basically 2 elements which we want to know – (1) the potential traffic and (2) competitiveness of the KEYWORD(S).
Checking Potential Traffic with Keyword Planner
Keyword Planner is Google’s Keyword Tool and AdWords Traffic Estimator tool. Since the search engine is more or less dominated by Google, it makes sense to use Keyword Planner since it’s a tool by Google themselves – data will be accurate and it’s free! (But for those who use Keyword Planner for the first time, it now requires you to enter your credit card details and putting up an ads; no worry, just give ’em a dummy ads, as the ads will not be live/active anyway)
Keyword Planner > Find new keywords and get search volume data > (1st row) Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category > Click “Get ideas” button > Click “Keyword ideas” tab
You should be able to see the “Avg monthly searches”. For my keyword “lifelong learning”, it has an average monthly searches of 18,100 – that means every month, if my site is ranking #1 in the search engine, I’ll have literally 18K traffic clicking and coming into my site. That’s the potential traffic – IF I’m on 1st page #1 ranking. So the rationale here is, do NOT go for keyword that no one is even searching for it online. You do not want to rank #1 and yet no free search engine traffic coming your way.
Checking Keyword Competitiveness
Relatively, if you want to get the “average monthly traffic” (as above) coming to your site, you must rank #1 in the search engine (result). If you are ranking on say page 5 on Google Search, you can forget about that traffic since people seldom go to even page 3 of search results. You ought to be on page 1, ideally top 5 (generically; not Google Adwords ads) in order to enjoy the free search engine traffic. Hence, 2nd step in keyword analysis is to check the keyword’s competitiveness – how easy is it to rank on page 1.
Key into Google Search the keyword with [intitle:”lifelong learning”] (no spacing except for the natural spacing between keywords).
This is the command to ask the “spider” to return the results with “lifelong learning” in the webpage’s title. It shows 288,000 results for my case. Ooops, this result is way toooo high and competitive for me to rank #1. We’d need a result of less than 10K for our keyword/site to rank #1 relatively easily. I added in keyword :
Walah! For keyword-combo “lifelong learning online”, it yields a result of only 121 competing webpages! That means my site will be able to easily rank on page 1, if not #1, relatively easily. Btw, I bought the domain LifelongLearning.ONLINE 🙂
Wait a minute. My keyword-combo changed from “lifelong learning” to “lifelong learning online”. Now, in tandem, I’ve to put the newly found low-competition keyword “lifelong learning online” back to Keyword Planner. Ouched! The “Avg. monthly searches” drops to a dismal 10 only 🙁 Anyway, I’d proceed with acquiring LifelongLearning.ONLINE anyway, lol. Considering .ONLINE is a TLD, it’s as though my keyword is just “lifelong learning”. Anyway, my project is to create a LMS portal and LifelongLearning.ONLINE looks/sounds highly feasible.
The above is an on-site SEO process that, in my opinion, is THE most important step everyone must perform before starting any website or e-business. Keyword Analysis is equivalent to “business feasibility study”. As such, it is the FIRST thing all must do before any site development.