You probably know what a keyword is, but do you know the different between a killer keyword and a dud?

It’s all about competition. You might have a great keyword with lots of search volume, but if there’s too much competition, you’ll never get traffic to your site. And on the other hand, if you’ve got a keyword with little to no competition, you might also be choosing a keyword that will get little to no traffic.

Whatever your niche, it’s important to do your keyword research before starting your site-building. The correct use of keywords determines how the search engines index your site, which impacts how easily web users can find the products and/or services on your website.

If you post content to your site without doing keyword research, it’s likely you’ll have a site with lots of great content that nobody can find. It’s best to determine what people are looking for before you start writing … and before buying a domain name.

Finding your target keyword

Once you know your niche (let’s use dog training as an example) you can start brainstorming. Ask yourself these questions, which will help give more detail to your ideas, to start building a list of potential keywords.

What words are associated with your niche? If you’re niche is “dog training,” think about “puppy training” as well.

What buzzwords, slang, jargon, abbreviations, etc., if any, are associated with your product? For example, if you’re selling a course on how to train dogs, expand on phrases that contain both the term “dog training” and “puppy behavior.”

Do related products or potential upsells suggest new phrases? If you’re selling a book on puppy training, products such as collars or dog crates might be needed by the same shoppers.

Which keywords will help sell the most expensive products in your niche? Focus on high-dollar items for the best return.

What keywords are your competitors targeting? Be sure to look at other sites and understand their keyword strategy.

How to use the Google Keyword Tool
Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to do your research. Here’s a quick video on how to get started using the Google Keyword Tool:

And if you’re having trouble with the Google interface, you’ll definitely want to check out Wordtracker, which is one of the easiest-to-use keyword tools on the web.

Action Items

  • Determine your niche
  • Make sure there are products in your niche to sell as an affiliate
  • Do your keyword research
  • Find high-volume, low-to-medium competition keywords

The next article in our Site-Building Challenge is on Monday, when we’ll discuss the importance of SEO and choosing the right domain name.