Update (Jan 15, 2015): After you’re done reading this post, be sure to check out Han and Nate’s new keyword tool that makes it easy to scrape your competitor’s keywords and do bulk keyword difficulty analysis.
This is Part 1 of a video series showing how I do my keyword research. This video shows how I do it manually using 100% free tools. NOTE: If you’re using IE9, please try Chrome or Firefox :)
In this video I go over:
- How I use Google Adwords Keyword Tool
- How to use the Contextual Targeting Tool to accurately judge CPC for content sites (DONT USE THE SEARCH CPC!).
- A simple formula to determine how much your Adsense will earn
- Avoiding brands and local results, and previewing searches as a user in any location.
- Exactly how I judge the competition of a key phrase using the Keyword Difficulty Tool from SEOMoz (aff. link to free trial here – note that I get paid whenever anyone signs up for a free trial, you don’t have to purchase after 30 days. So if you think I deserve a tip from an 80 million dollar organization, use my affiliate link!).
- How to find a list of 100,000 keywords with search data
Tools mentioned in this video:
I hope you enjoyed the video! Please leave a comment if you have any questions or uh.. comments!
Edit: Part 2 and 3 of these videos are available! If you haven’t seen them yet, they show how to scale these processes, and speed them up substantially! Also if you want the details, you can see the exact formula I use to calculate the adjust page authority here.
Update July 16: Adrian pointed out that I neglected to mention all the universal search adjustments (I only mentioned place pages).
There are many verticals in which the rules are changed. Basically if universal search is showing something, then there is a real bonus for results of that nature. IE News results, shopping results, local results, video results, etc.
Now to really get the bonus associated with these results you need to be registered for the associated Google service. Google News, Google Shopping (with feed), Google+ Places, Youtube, etc. If there’s no-one registered that has a page matching the target query, nobody get’s the benefit. This is often why the APA / keyword difficulty score is so low on these SERPs, if you looked at the 2nd/3rd page results you’d likely see higher results.
So if the SERP has universal search results, either consider registering for the appropriate service, or skip it and move on.
Update October 17, 2012: Google has made some changes and I have posted an update to my keyword research tactics here: http://www.nohatdigital.com/blog/how-to-choose-keywords-for-your-adsense-domains
Hayden “NoHat” Miyamoto