What Is SEO? Part Four – Keyword Research

What Is SEO? Part Four – Keyword Research

Keyword Research Is The Most Important Part Of SEO

Keyword research has always been one of the most important skills a webmaster or online publisher could learn when it comes to search engine optimization.  But unfortunately it could quite possibly be the most neglected skill as well.  The fact of the matter is that it could be complicated.  And very time consuming when your first starting out.

And in this day and age of short attention spans and a desire for quick results.  Its the part of the equation that is typically cut short.  Or even worse, left out all together.

That being said this is probably going to be the longest and most comprehensive part of the whole series.  And if you have been reading up until now, you’re really going to benefit from it from this point forward.  I have included images and video’s to help you out along the way.  I have also included some keyword research tools that can help you along the way.  Some are free and some our paid.  The difference is really easy of use and automation.  I have personally used all of these tools.  And most of time I use them in combination during my research.

Also this can be a really boring topic.  I know when I was getting started I was bored out of my mind with it.  So I will try to keep it like and as simple as possible for you.  But if at any time you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section.  I’ll use your comments to expand on topics and update the post as they come in.  Who knows you might even get some free publicity if the question helps a lot of people.

What Is A Keyword?

Google Search Screenshot

There are all kinds of complicated and long winded answers.  And in the interest of not creating yet another one I’ll keep it simple.

A keyword is any word that you enter into the search engines.

Searching for “bicycles” and that word is your keyword.

A keyword phrase is the same thing.  But your using more than one word.

Searching for “how to ride a bike” is using that keyword phrase.  Three or more words together in a string like that is using what is commonly known as a long tail keyword.  These long tail keywords are the best option to use.  But we will get into a bit more into that in a minute.

What Is A Traffic Keyword?

There really is a significant difference between keywords.  You may find a keyword that has tons of traffic available from the search engines.  But is that traffic right for your content.  Now this really doesn’t matter if your not selling something.

For example, if your website it designed to talk about a topic in general.  Like your stance again green house gases or some other topic.  So I am going to go into this first.  Since most people are just blogging about topics that they really care about.

But if your a business owner don’t discount this.  Your customers may have the same types of causes as you.  And using these keywords can really bring awareness to  issues that you care about.  Nothing better to bring awareness to your brand then to be seen supporting something really important, like helping people.

Here is a video on traffic keywords.


What Is A Buyer Keyword?

These are keywords that your customers our using to research products and/or services.  There will most likely not be that much traffic coming from these types of keywords.  Unless you get lucky and are able to rank for a really hot product.  But these words bring you paying customers.  People using these words have all but given you their money.

Here is a video on buyer keywords.


The Best Keyword Modifiers To Target Buyers

There are many ways to target a main keyword.  In order to help you understand the concept I am going to use a some of those that I use on this very site.

Not many people will do that for fear of competition on their sites.  So I would recommend that the ones you pick you keep to yourself.  But because “marketing” is such a broad keyword.  And the competition is already fierce, I won’t be hurt myself all that much by sharing this with you.

Now as I said “marketing” is the main keyword for Central87.com.  And if you look in any keyword research tool you’ll see that competition and traffic for this keyword is pretty high.

It definitely fits into the traffic keyword column.

keyword results for marketing

In a perfect world I would be able to rank the site for that term on the first page of Google.  But the fact of the matter is that its pretty hard.  I can be done, but its going to take a lot of time and effort.

So we want to add some keyword modifiers to it.

In this case we are going to add some marketing methods to it.


video marketing keyword research

social media

social media marketing keyword research


inbound marketing keyword research


content marketing keyword research


affiliate marketing keyword research


affiliate marketing keyword research


mobile marketing


search engine

search engine marketing keyword research


Ok as you can see the amount of traffic for each of the new keywords with the modifier added is significantly less than the original keyword.  But the competition for those particular keywords could be less as well.  (In this particular case my keywords are still high competition in both Adwords and on the search results)

But most of the traffic coming from these keywords is still at the traffic level.  These really are not targeted buyers.  Which is what we are looking for.  So lets play with one of them and see if we can’t break it down just a bit better.

what is video marketing keyword research


In the example above I added the modifier “what is” to the keyword “video marketing”.

You will see that there is significantly less traffic to that particular keyword.  But we are also on the verge of a buyer keyword.  The people searching for this term are looking for information.  But the could also be open to training on the topic.  This is a good thing.

Now the competition says that its medium in Adwords.  Which means advertisers are spending money there.  But not a whole lot, and I think that has something to do with the search volume.  So we are not going to walk away from it, we are going to target it.

But we also need to look at the search competition so lets take a look at that.

what is video marketing competition

Looking at this you might have the initial fear of walking away.  But I think we still have a pretty good chance at ranking for it.  There are a lot of pages listed there that don’t have their meta tags optimized.  There are quite a few with no backlinks to the page in question.  And looking at the list a bit better most are a bit dated.  Google likes current information after all so we are going to see what we can do about that.

We can also go to all of these sites and get a good backlink from each of them.  Believe it or not getting backlinks from your competition is a good thing if your smart about it.

Now that we know how to break down a keyword with some modifiers let me give you a good list of some to use for your research.

Buyer keyword modifiers include find, get, buy, purchase, locate, compare, shop, shopping, search, sell, store, review, and bonus.

Traffic keyword modifiers include information, website, site, help, directory, resources, how to, pictures, samples, examples, plans, ideas, news, tips, learn, tutorial, and guide.

And here is a spreadsheet from the folks over at SEOBOOK.com that can help you with tons more.

Free Keyword Research Tools

Tools are designed for one purpose.  And that purpose is to fill a need.

Think about this.  The last time you bought a tool, say a drill for instance.  You don’t buy a drill because you want a drill.  You bought a drill because you needed a hole.  And online tools are pretty much the same thing.

The problem is that there are so many different tools out there.  And just like the tools in your garage some can collect dust, while others get worn out from being used so much.

So I am going to show you the tools that I use.  And believe me I have used a ton of them.  But these ones are the ones I go to every time I do keyword research.  I will give you a tour of them via video so you can visually see how to use them.  And I will put a link to them below the video so you can check them out yourself.

Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool






Market Samurai

*Note: Market Samurai has a free and paid option.  So there is absolutely no excuse not to use this in  one way or another.  I will show you the full paid version in the video.






Paid Keyword Research Tools


This is the only paid option that I use anymore.  The data is awesome and its well worth the price I pay for it.  This is my go to tool for all things keyword research and if you want to do this full time you need a premium tool like this that you trust.









I know that I gave you a lot of information so I hope that you take the time to reread the post and watch the videos again.

Keyword Research is far and away the most important thing that you can do for your marketing efforts online.  And if you skip this valuable step your going to find it very hard to be successful without a whole lot of luck on your site.

If you have questions PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave them in the comments and I will answer every one.  Now get out there and spend an hour or so playing around and picking your keywords.

That way your ready for content creation in Part Five.

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  1. Great post Clint! I really like your attentive detail to targeting buyers. It’s important to choose keywords that buyers would be searching for instead of those who are “just interested” and not really serious!

  2. Wow. What a great post. There is a lot of science to this stuff that I was never aware of until reading your piece. I am going to look into some of these tools. Thanks for the tips.
    STEVEN J. FROMM, ATTORNEY, LL.M. (TAXATION) recently posted..2012 Year End Tax Planning StrategiesMy Profile

  3. Thanks for sharing it, it’s valuble infor. However, I am confused with the second tool, could you describe what the columns mean since you just highlight with green or red color but you did not explain what the others mean or how can I optimize my keywords for high ranking ?

    • Kli, good questions. On the topic of the columns its really best to get the Market Samurai free trial. But the important ones that I use are BLP (Backlinks to Page), BLD (Backlinks to domain), DA (Domain age). I know the power of my site and how well it will stack up against them. SECockPit gives me my last signal, and that is the social shares section.

      What Is SEO? Part Five – Content Optimization will cover all your questions on how to best use your new found keywords within High quality content.
      Clint Butler recently posted..What Is SEO? Part Four – Keyword ResearchMy Profile

  4. I love SEO Clint! It seemed a bit complicated at first for me and took me some time to really grasp it. Wish I had seen your post back when I started it’s a goodie! Love the content you share Clint! You ROCK!

  5. Leave it to Clint to package the most valuable SEO post that I have ever seen. I’ve been avoiding keyword research like a bad habit and this has helped me realize where I need to improve. Thanks a lot!
    Brian Cain recently posted..Brian Cain gets Caught with an open fly while doing back flips at the Austin JumpolineMy Profile

  6. Clint,
    This is one of the stellar posts in the market. I have never come across a blog so well done on keywords. Kudos my friend you have explained it in detail. So much so, this would be a webinar I would pay for!

    Thank you so much for this great information.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..The Voice Of Freedom – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.My Profile

  7. Great tips! You always have a new insight.
    Alecia Stringer recently posted..Good Vs. EvilMy Profile

  8. This was a great post about SEO! For someone like me who doesn’t really know a lot about SEO this is a good meaty post! We still need to get together on that post we discussed!
    Wade recently posted..The Best Twitter Tools For Traffic and NetworkingMy Profile

  9. Hey Clint,
    SEO always possess a number of dimensions which always remain under wraps. This is a comprehensive post which encompasses a wider aspects of SEO in such an efficient manner. The tips are simply great. A big thanks, for sharing such an informative post. Much appreciated!!

  10. This is basic yet very valuable information for all those new in the SEO world and the existing ones who may need some guidance on the subject. Thanks for sharing.

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