How to Conduct Keyword Research
Copyright © 2005 Keith Baxter
One of the questions I’m most often asked is how I perform keyword
In this article, I will explain how I personally perform my own keyword
research as well as some alternative methods.
Let’s begin with an explanation how most people do it and why this is a
First, most people use the Overture suggestion tool. This is a free
solution which does give some useful info… if you know how to find it. I
will explain this in a moment.
I do want to stress why I don’t personally care for this.
Keyword research is the foundation for your search engine optimization
efforts. These are the VERY WORDS you are trying to have the engines
rank you highly for. In my mind, this leaves little room for error, and
by using the Overture suggestion tool, you are certainly leaving room
Let me explain…
Overture assigns a search count to each one of the terms in their
database. Unfortunately, these numbers are skewed. When ANY automated
keyword search tool is used to query their DB for keywords, their
numbers for that search term also increase. By inflating these numbers,
it’s giving the keyword searcher false data. You see, the goal is to get
the data on searched terms from the search engines, not by people
Another downfall to the Overture system is that the search terms are
often mixed up from the originally searched term. For instance, if I
were to search for ’24 hour fitness’, I may actually get a result that
shows ‘hour fitness 24’. If you optimized a page for the mixed up term,
and you wonder why you’re getting little traffic (but have a number 1
ranking on that term), it’s because that term is very rarely searched
for, despite what Overture may show.
There are other negatives associated with the Overture keyword search
tool, but the two I presented should be sufficient to warrant you to
look for alternatives.
Before I proceed, I do want to tell you that some innovative
entrepreneurs have come up with solutions that use the Overture database
in a fashion that’s MUCH better than using the database directly.
I’ve listed them below. I suggest you check them out for yourself. I own
them, and have used them in the past.
Product Idea Evaluator -
Niche Finder -
Better Keywords -
This is how I personally do my own keyword research.
It’s actually simple, but does require a paid version of
For my most common use, I will use the ‘Keyword Universe’ feature. Note…
there are occasions where the best starting point is the ‘Comprehensive
Search’. Start there if you have a very generic starting keyword.
Here’s what I do…
I input my starting keyword into the Keyword Universe search box. I then
drill down in the results that appear below this box and find the top
3-5 terms that best fits what I’m looking for. I then click on the first
of those 3-5. All terms that are actually search on are presented in a
results column on the right hand side of the screen. Beginning at the
top, I navigate through each of the resulting terms and add any to my
list that I find will be potentially beneficial to me. Wordtracker
allows you to put these keywords in a ‘basket’ in order to use them for
Once I’ve completed going though each list (for my 3-5 terms). I will
continue to the competition search function within Wordtracker. I use
Google and Yahoo as my market gauge. These are the primary two search
engines I generally focus on, so I want to know how I may fair in their
Now, most people stop here, I don’t. I use the export to email function
of Wordtracker and email myself the results. Once I receive the email, I
import them into a program called ‘Keyword Results Analyzer’ which can
be found here:
Once I have these imported and sorted through this software, I extract
any and all keywords with a KEI score over 10.
Now, I have a list of keywords to work with.
If you follow my method, you will consistently find yourself using
keywords that have the greatest probability for being highly ranked in
the search engines.
This article has been authored by Keith Baxter, the founder of
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