1. Choose the Keyword Selection Tool
As far as keyword selection tools are concerned, there is one clear leader among the free keyword search tools – Google keyword suggestion tool. There are good paid keyword research tools but why pay when some of the free alternatives are so good? There are other free keyword research tools but they are not that reliable. That is why the recommendation is to use Google’s tool.
Google Wonder Wheel is a very recent addition to the family of keyword research tools but since it is still not as powerful as the tool above, it is possible to try it out of curiosity, but leave the serious research for the veteran tool.
2. Find a Couple of Very Popular Keywords to Use as a “Base Camp” for the Search
The first thing to do is to open Google’s keyword suggestion tool and type a keyword. For instance, if the purpose is to find less competitive keywords for a website in the dating niche, the first keyword to search for is “dating”.
“Dating” is a very lucrative keyword because it has over 30 million monthly searches, Then go to Google and type “dating” in the search field to see how many search results are listed. For “dating”, the number is impressive – over 250 million. It is utopia to think that it is possible to rank in the top 10 for “dating”.
3. Narrow Down the Search to Less Competitive Keywords
Next, go back to the keyword suggestion tool and pick up a couple of other keywords with fewer searches – for instance, “dating advice”. At the time of writing of this article, “dating advice” has over 100,000 monthly searches and over 50 million search results. This is still a lot of competition!
That is why, it is necessary to filter the selection further. So, proceed to the next keyword phrase.
4. If Necessary, Filter the Selection Further
For instance, try “dating advice for men” or “dating advice for women”, both of which have under 5,000 searches a month but still their search volume is not under 1,000. The search results for “dating advice for men” or “dating advice for women” (without quotations because this is how users search) are still almost 50 million but a substantial part of them are search results for “dating advice”. The search results for “dating advice for men” or “dating advice for women” (with quotations) are less than 50,000 each, which is much better than 250 million or 50 million.
Of course, nobody says that after a web master has found a couple of lucrative keywords, he or she should stop here. He or she can pick up 10 or more less competitive keywords and it is not necessary for them to be with the same root (i.e. “dating” in the example above). However, in order to be able to come up with meaningful less competitive keywords, a web master must know the subject matter.
5. Include Synonyms in the Keyword Research Process
For instance, for a dating website, “single”, “lover”, “partner”, “relationship” and other similar words (synonymous or not) with a root, which is different from “dating” are also worth checking. The Google keyword selection tool offers synonyms (if this option is selected), so it makes sense to check them as well. Less popular keywords with a different root could be a golden mine because it might never occur to other web masters to optimize for them.
Once a web master learns how to discover less popular keywords and starts optimizing for them, it is realistic to expect that this will drive more traffic. When a website starts getting more visitors, as a rule this to a higher page rank. The higher the page rank of a website, the better the prospects to rank well for more competitive keywords.
In a sense, if optimizing for less popular keywords doesn’t pay off directly, it pays off indirectly – via increased page rank. This is one more reason to pay attention to less popular keywords and to invest time and effort to optimize for them.