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How do we research keywords?


Ever since I had my Google API revoked for a tool that was extracting Adwords suggestion data at the rate of 800 keywords in 4 seconds with full competition info too (they will give it me back again!), I've been examining what the market is offering in terms of keyword research tools.


It looks like, at the moment I can:


- take the keywords from a competors website (assuming that they are putting the keywords in the right places)

- take the keywords from internal anchor text links on a competors website that is appearing in the organic listings.

- run keywords through the Google adwords tools (takes ages, and only really reflects keywords that have volume)

- can look for related searches on sites such as Amazon/Ebay and take those.

- use something like Soovle to get long tail keywords.

- Analyze strength of the competition based on the keyword and the number of backlinks that the site in the first top ten results actually have in Google.


Let's build a nice list of sources!

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I use a combination of Google AdWords and SEOMoz Pro, together with a Google Doc Spreadsheet that I invented.


Here's the spreadsheet. It's open for anyone to edit, so please do File > Make A Copy!! Don't edit this copy directly online!




I get the phrase-matched traffic from AdWords, and I get the top 10 competitors from SEOMoz Pro's Keyword Difficulty Tool: http://pro.seomoz.org/tools/keyword-difficulty


You can actually copy & paste the data from the Keyword Difficulty Tool's grid straight into the spreaddie, which is great!


You also enter your own page's Page Authority and Domain Authority (on the "Lookup" tab).


The spreadsheet then estimates the amount of traffic you could get for the keyword at each of the top 10 slots (using average data which you can see on the Lookup tab), and also uses the differential between your PA and DA with the competitor at each level, and generates a "Score". A higher score should indicate attractive search "fruit" (whether it's low-hanging or worth the climb).


I've used this a few times now, and it's shaving a LOT of time off my keyword research.

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Thanks for sharing, looks like a good method.


Don't you use Google trends at all?

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Nope, never bothered with Trends.


You know, the ideal strategy would be to post about something BEFORE it becomes popular!


For example, I've got a post at #6 on Google for "Google web fonts / Google fonts", which is now one of our top 20 inbound searches.


I was also on page 1 for "Google Plus Project" - now slipped to about page 4.


The reason was that the same in both instances - we posted about it round about the day it came out.

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I'll toss in a recommendation for Keyword Strategy for people who are using Wordpress. It does a pretty good job of helping you see how your content is performing and surfacing suggestions on keywords that are underperforming.

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