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Keyword Research: The Wrong Way And The Right Way - Part 2

May 22 2012

This is Part Two of an article on SEO keyword research. To read the first part, click here.

The RIGHT WAY To Do Keyword Research

1. Use ONLY the exact match option in the Google Keyword tool. Notice below how many results the tool is now showing for my phrase. Although 12,100 is much smaller than 110,000, it is the only number that matters when the objective is to optimize for 'San Diego Real Estate.'

3596 the right way to keyword search

2. Notice in the screen grab above it says the competition is "high." Before running from this phrase, you need to ask yourself, "What factors are making the competition so high?" By looking deeper, you may find that the top results are not optimizing for your phrase as perfectly as they possibly could be. This may give you the edge to win the second race after all.

3. Do a deep competitive analysis on who is ranking at the top. Look for things like:

  1. How well written is their Title tag? Does it include their exact keyword phrase in its proper order?
  2. Look for YouTube videos in the top spots. These can be knocked out with a dynamite blog post or an even better video than what currently exists.
  3. Find out what their Page Rank and Domain Rank is. Anything under four (possibly a five) might leave a big door open for you to reach number one.
  4. Research their back-links from authority websites...only! If they don't have a ton of them, you can easily work to get these type of links for your own content.
  5. Look at their page to see who they are linking out to. If they aren't, this is another opportunity for you. Google is now looking for pages that link out to authority websites and this tactic will also help you insert your content into the online ecosystem.

What worked in the past in SEO isn't likely to work today in terms of 'gaming the system.' Google has come down hard on website owners that use deceptive and spammy techniques in order to rank high in search results.

Today it's vitally more important to create engaging and original content that capitalizes on what people are looking for via good keywords. Finding great keywords means doing great research properly.

Have some fun with this: next time an SEO guru approaches and claims he can rank you number one for a keyword phrase that has 30 million monthly searches ask them if that's "broad or exact?"

Until then good luck – I can't wait to see you make that victory lap!

To learn more about Erik Goldhar, visit his Google+ profile.