Keywords – are they still relevant?
Absolutely — even after Panda, Penguin, and all the other animals Google is choosing to throw at website owners, it’s still vital to know what people in your market are actually searching for.
Of course long gone are the days of stuffing your site with keywords and that being enough to get you into the top ten. And actually only recently gone are the days of pointing lots of links to your site using the same keyword again and again, and that working.
That said, Google still needs to determine for which keywords to rank your site, so including relevant ones on your site (but not over doing it) is still very worthwhile, as well as building a varied profile of quality links pointing to your site with varied linking text.
So whether you’re looking to put a huge list of keywords together for article writing ideas, on site optimization, a pay per click advertising campaign, or for link building, here’s a few proven ways to putting an absolutely huge list together surprisingly quickly:
Step 1 – Using Keyword Tools
Keyword tools should be your first port of call whenever you’re thinking of researching keywords. They’re easy to use, often very accurate (but do take some of the traffic numbers with a pinch of salt), and many of them are free to use.
Let’s initially get started with the best known one:
The Google AdWords Keyword Tool
This keyword tool comes free with your Google AdWords account, and you don’t even need to be actively advertising to use it.
You may need to pay a small initial fee when opening an account which gets applied to your advertising budget, but you can then pause your advertising immediately if you choose so that you don’t end up spending any more, and that way you have access to all the tools in your account, without any advertising expense.
To get started with the AdWords keyword tool simply enter a root keyword and Google will come back with dozens, or even potentially hundreds of related terms.
Unless you’re looking for very niche keyword ideas, your root keyword will generally be quite a high traffic phrase, and then Google itself will do the hard work of drilling down into niche terms and reporting those to you.
Examples of very broad and high traffic root keywords would be:
Make money online
Examples of niche root keywords that will return you far less related keywords would for example be:
Car insurance for a Volkswagen beetle in New York
Make money online selling crafts on etsy
Then from the results Google sends you, you can take some of these and run these through the keyword tool to produce even more results, potentially building a list into the thousands quickly.
And Google does offer a number of ways to either broaden, or narrow the keyword search — you can specify whether you’re looking for global keyword searches or country specific searches, and you can also broaden or narrow the results you get by asking only for closely related keywords, or allowing broader results to be returned.
Plus, Google offers the functionality of “scraping” keywords automatically from your competition’s website using this tool. To use this feature simply enter your competitor’s web address in the suitable part of the tool, and Google will examine their site quickly and return with a list of terms they’re targeting.
Further Keyword Tools
Microsoft’s search engine Bing offers a keyword tool as well. If you sign up for “Bing Webmaster Tools“ (it’s free) that’s another free tool to give you keyword ideas and suggestions for building your list.
Plus there’s a number of paid options including the well known WordTracker.
The benefits of getting keyword ideas from multiple sources in this way helps to greatly broaden your list, and break out of the ‘Google rut’ so to speak, as the vast majority of website owners depend on the Google keyword tool, but seldom look further when researching keywords in their market.