The Three Principles Of Keyword Research


photo credit: woodleywonderworks

Anyone who runs their own website / blog and uses it for Search Engine Optimisation will have heard at some point of the importance of keywords and keyword research.

Keywords are like the holy grail of content provision, making sure our sites get taken notice of, customers can find us, and the content we publish online is targeted to reach the right audience, at the right time.

Every forum ever published about website / blog best practice will stress the need for keyword research.

Without it, our publishing activity will be random, unfocussed and predicated on a large amount of guesswork and very little tangible strategic effort.

Having the best set of keywords in place to attract your target market turns your site from a static receptacle for information in to a potential powerhouse of marketing.

All well and good, right?

We know that keywords are important.

However, one of the questions I’m asked more than any other is – ‘How do I actually work out what keywords to use?’

It’s a very good point.

While we may understand the importance of choosing the right language to strike a note with the search engines, knowing what to do in principle is very different to understanding the fundamentals of keyword methodology, and then applying it to our sites.

So, for those of you out there who are new to this type of research, and for the rest of us who need a benchmark for assessing our existing strategy from time to time, here’s your keyword research refresher!

How Keywords Work

When we go online to a search engine like Google, we have a fair idea of what we are looking for.

If we’re, for example, hunting out a quote for competitive service for cleaning a sofa, we might simplify our request for Google in to a handful of words.

These could be ‘sofa cleaning’, ‘upholstery cleaning’, ‘competitive’ or ‘cheap’, and our location.

Google then pops off with our request and brings back a search return based on our request.

The words our customers key in to the search engine strip are our keywords.

If we want to make sure Google and others return to our site when people query exactly what products and services we provide, we need to make sure that we tell the search engines that that’s what we do.

Again, and again, and again.

So our keywords form the absolute foundation for all of our content.

As website / blog owners we should use our keywords on our pages and blog (as long as we don’t stuff our pages with the same keyword phrase time and time again), so we can shout out to Google that we are exactly the right site that your customers are looking for, when they specify their specific requirements.

Choosing the best keywords to attract visitors

When it comes to selecting the best keywords for your site, there are three simple rules to remember:

Keyword Research Rule #1:

90% of keyword phrases get no traffic.

When determining your keyword phrases you should only target keyword phrases that have significant traffic to make it worth the time and effort.

This will make sure that your site is focussed upon attracting the highest number of customers possible, through effective SEO.

Keyword Research Rule #2:

90% of keyword phrases have very poor profit potential.

You should only target keyword phrases that will bring you in cash, not just traffic.

Many keyword phrase DO NOT convert into sales.

Keyword Research Rule #3:

Unfortunately, for most website owners / bloggers, 90% of most keyword phrases are simply too competitive to appear on the first page of Google.

How many other websites are in the same niche as you?

You want it to be as low as possible.

Choose your words by researching how much competition there is out there, and if it’s too high, consider establishing a more specialised niche for your industry to set you apart from your competitors.

Whether you are new to keyword research or have been going for a while, it’s worth testing out your chosen phrases to make sure that they adhere to these three principles – leading to more traffic, more purchases, and more valuable content on your static web pages and your blog.

What’s your experience of targeting the best keyword phrases for your site?

Please share your views in the comments below.

18 Responses to The Three Principles Of Keyword Research

  1. Joel April 8, 2013 at 5:00 am #

    Hey Andrew Very Informative Post on choosing the right keywords for SEO.Keywords can be classified into 4 types :Traffic,relevancy,Niche and Money.Keep up the good work

    • Andrew April 10, 2013 at 10:59 am #


      What makes you say:

      “Keywords can be classified into 4 types :Traffic,relevancy,Niche and Money.”


  2. Alina April 8, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Excellent posting is one of the best ways for getting links and increase your site rank. It shows that you are not a spammer and try to provide some useful content to your users.

    • Andrew April 10, 2013 at 11:01 am #


      As long as you post using the best and right keywords!


  3. Ajay April 8, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    We find almost every keyword with higher CPC as higher competitive. Moreover, if our blog is a new one we should not aim at higher competitive keywords as they cannot get rank well by Google.

  4. Vkool April 8, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    Great post. thanks so much. These are the reasons sometimes we have to do keyword research before writing anything. Otherwise the problem like yours always arise.

  5. Steve April 10, 2013 at 7:40 am #


    You have taught me some great approaches to keyword research and it has certainly helped my site.



    • Andrew April 24, 2013 at 7:43 am #

      Thanks, Steve. I appreciate the kind words.


  6. Andrea T.H.W. April 11, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Good advices Andrew, keywords are and will remain important because that’s how human beings search for content. But as you say they should be checked well because traffic doesn’t always mean money especially using adsesne. Also from time to time their value can drop or lose importance as people look for something else and what is good today is not that good tomorrow.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Andrew April 24, 2013 at 7:44 am #


      You make an excellent point.

      Re: reviewing the keywords you target.

      How often do you review?


  7. Rohit April 17, 2013 at 5:44 am #

    Nice article Andrew,keyword research is the basic requirement to get good rank in Google search..,
    it is required to use key phrases so that one can get targeted visitors.. 🙂

  8. Plaban Manna April 19, 2013 at 7:12 am #

    Keyword research is very essential. Many well written articles get unnoticed due to poor keyword selection. I usually target multiple keywords in every post. Thanks for the tips.

  9. Malik April 26, 2013 at 3:19 am #

    Keyword research should be properly done as it is only responsible to attract organic traffic to your blog.

  10. Lalita Bisht April 28, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Keyword research is an important thing to be considered for a blog success. As I am new in blogging these type of information is very helpful for me. Thank Andrew for sharing these details about keyword research.

  11. Jessie B April 29, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    I must think twice before decide any keyword for my forthcoming posts. now i will use google analytics for this as i know little about keyword research.

    Andrew keep sharing posts like this as ‘sharing is caring’ so thanks for caring for us.


  12. vicky May 1, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    Keyword research is truly the holy grail of blogging without which our site would just be present out there without being noticed. I use Google analytics for keyword research. Its also important as you said that a high competition keyword should be replaced by something that has a low competition and it increases our chances of being ranked by Google.

    • Andrew May 1, 2013 at 4:09 am #


      Google Analytics is a great resource to find keywords.


  13. Sudipto May 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    Hey Andrew,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this post. I have learned lots of good stuff related to keyword research and as we all know keyword research is the most important factor for getting success ib blogging and this post really helps me in that field.

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