There are so many articles out there on keyword research it is untrue. The subject has been covered to death and in many ways it is difficult to offer anything new.
Difficult, but not impossible.
I am going to have a good crack at it anyway.
- 1 My take on Keyword Research
- 2 But what exactly is keyword research?
- 3 The no stress approach to keyword research
- 4 Browsing your product niche
- 5 Selecting a product
- 6 Buyer intent keywords
- 7 Buyer intent keywords
- 8 Using Google Keyword Planner
- 9 Checking the competition
- 10 Finding connected keywords
My take on Keyword Research
My main beef with the way many online marketers talk about keyword research is this: they make it seem such a big deal that it can end up scaring the shit out of beginners getting started online.
I remember when I first started. I spent several months researching keywords and products terrified that if I chose the wrong ones all the hard work that followed would be completely wasted.
The fear factor does not need to be anywhere near this high. Especially when dealing with a brand new website. To a certain degree, and well written (relevant) content is great to have. You do need to be more discerning if you expect to rank in Google for certain terms though.
That being said, as long as you choose a domain name with scope, (do not pigeon hole yourself with a spammy Exact Match Domain that ends up restricting the range of products you can sensibly review), you can afford to target a few keywords that might miss the mark.
It is all part of the learning curve.
And as you will see, as you get better at the research you will hit home runs more often than not.
The important issue is to just get started!
But what exactly is keyword research?
It is simply the process of looking for keywords that form a back bone to your articles. For instance, the keywords for a lot of the buildasitelike content is “how to build a site like (insert name here).
The research element centers on two main variables:
- How many searches does a given keyword receive in Google (i.e how many people are typing the sentence in to the search engine)
- And how competitive is the first page of the Google results for that keyword, (if lots of very well known sites dominate the first page, your brand new site is going to have a very hard job getting up there too).
In this guide I am going to show you how you can look into those two areas; with no paid SEO tools required!
The no stress approach to keyword research
The fact is, I want to get this done quickly and efficiently. I am only giving myself 8 hours a week to work on the challenge site after all.
There’s no time for endless research, or for deliberation. We want to find our keywords and get cracking on the content.
I am also going to be using only free tools.
The reason is this:
Using free tools is the way I first started out.
In the early days of my digital income journey, the many keyword research suites and monthly service packages available were overwhelming to me.
Choosing which to go for was a mine field. They don’t come cheap, I didn’t know what tools I needed and money was tight.
For what it is worth, I now only use Ahrefs. Their Lite package contains all the analytical tools I need to successfully run my online business. I highly recommend you use this as soon as you have the budget to do so.
With above being said, free tools or paid, Keyword research for product review sites really isn’t rocket science.
Are you ready? Let’s get to it.
Browsing your product niche
Because I am doing keyword research for an Amazon Affiliate review site, it makes sense that my research starts there.
I am looking for products to discuss; therefore the product name will form part of the keyword.
This approach works whether you are adding content to an existing site or are actually building a review site from scratch and are trying to find your target niche.
You are basically looking for viable products to write about.
This is so easy you can do it while relaxing in front of the TV.
All you are doing is a bit of online window shopping.
Let’s say for arguments sake that my site is called SparkleKing.com (this is the example I used of a brandable domain in Niche Site Challenge E01). I am looking for cleaning products and appliances to review.
Heading to Amazon I would punch in washing or cleaner (words to that effect) into the search bar. I could also search via the category menu.
I am just browsing at this stage to get an idea of what products are relevant to my niche.
Punching in ‘cleaner’ gives me a screen full of vacuums and surface cleaners. Straight away these are two potential products I could go off and write about. It would make sense for the site to have reviews of both these product types.
However, I am going to dig a bit deeper than that.
I like to have a mix of high and low ticket items. Let’s say I am in the mood for reviewing something really pricey, (a more expensive item means higher commission rates).
To find these I head to the top bar and sort my results by Price: High to Low.
The search results will show some mega pricey top ticket items.
However, many of them will not have customer reviews (meaning not many have been sold). They may also be completely irrelevant to your original search term.
So, we need to filter the results one more time.
In the left sidebar you will see the option to filter by average customer review. Choose 4 stars and above.
Now we’re in business.
We can browse through these results looking for a suitable product.
Selecting a product
Scrolling down the page I can already see a couple of viable options.
(I am conducting this ‘cleaner’ search for the first time while writing this article. It has taken me all of 5 minutes so far and that’s alongside these words).
Alkaline Water ionizer makes the list a few times.
Don’t get me wrong, I do not always search for big ticket items. I like to vary the product reviews on my Amazon Affiliate sites. In fact I will often review any product that makes sense to my overall niche.
However, bullets one and two above are conditions that I always like to see.
Buyer intent keywords
Now. It’s time to take a look at what kind of search volume this product has for buying intent terms such as Best Alkaline water ioniser, an water ionizer machine reviews, (and variations of the same theme).
Why those terms?
Well, if a person is looking to buy a water ioniser that’s the kind of thing they’ll be punching into Google.
User intent is probably the most important aspect of keyword research and the amount of income you can expect to make.
Buyer intent keywords
So, for my challenge site I will be going straight for the jugular with buyer intent keywords.
If you are creating an eCommerce website or online marketplace, you will want to look into the same thing too – buyer intent is key.
‘Best of’ articles and ‘Product name reviews’ fall under that category. The person tapping these terms into Google is getting ready to open their wallet but just wants a bit more information to tip them over the edge (and to pull out the credit card).
Other good search combinations to target include:
- Best/Top Rated + Product Type
- Best + Product Type + Online
- Best + Product Type + Review
- Best + Product Type + Year
- Buy + Product Type / Product Name
- Product Name + Review/Reviews
As are the following:
- Where Can I Buy + Product Name / Product Type
- Product Name + Vs/Or Product Name
- Cheap + Product Type
- Quality + Product Type
- Product Name + For Sale
- Bargain + Product Type
Your aim is to get in front of the buyer just before they pull the trigger on the purchase.
With the above terms in mind it is time to fire up Google Keyword Planner (GKP).
Using Google Keyword Planner
While we wait for that to load up I will share with you my thoughts on search volume.
When it comes to my product review articles I will very rarely allow search volume to put me off. If a product is relevant to my site I will cover it one way or another.
I want my site to be a valuable resource to fans of my niche after all.
However, with that being said it is still nice to see monthly traffic above 100, especially for the early articles.
Anyway, back to the task in hand.
Time to punch in my product along with some buyer intent keywords to see what we have.
Here’s how we do it…
Once you arrive at the Google Keyword Planner page, you should see the following options:
After I punched in my product name: water ionizer machine, along with my two favorite buyer intent words, (reviews & best), I looked through the results and found that ‘Best Alkaline Water Machine’ gets a healthy 100 plus searches a month.
Nice. This will likely be the main keyword for my review article.
Now it’s time to check what the competition has to say…
Checking the competition
I have to do to check the competition is to do a google search for the main keyword that I plan to use:
The first page of the results is all care about. Can I beat those pages?
With my Free Moz Bar Chrome Extension I can see that the page taking the number one spot for Best Alkaline Water Machine has a PA of 20, DA of only 10 and 5 backlinks.
In other words the off site SEO is easy to beat.
I am now very interested in this keyword and product.
Now let’s take a look at the page itself.
Good stuff. Again this does not break me out in a sweat.
The typical comparison table is there. They’ve included a very small buyer’s guide and some links to product reviews elsewhere on the site. There looks to be no more than 1000 words of content here.
I could ‘Skyscraper’ this article using my ‘Best Of Review’ template, (see Niche Site Challenge E04 for more on that).
As long as you feel you can add more value in the way of content for the given subject, you’re in.
That seems to be the case. In other words I have my product and main keyword for my first article.
Now there’s one final step to take.
Finding connected keywords
To get a nice list of other relevant keywords to pepper my review article with I am going to run the search term ‘Best Alkaline Water Machine’ through a free service called Keyword Shitter.
I will then put the results from the shitter through Google Keyword planner one final time.
This is how I do it:
- type the keyword sentence into Keyword Shitter
- Stop the search somewhere between 50 and 100 (you’ll start getting nonsense results after that amount)
- Copy and paste the list of shat keywords into Google Keyword Planner (We are now using the ‘Get Search Volume & Trends’ option).
- Download the resulting cvs and open in Excel
- Delete all the columns in the spreadsheet except for the Keyword and search volume
- Filter the results from highest search volume to lowest.
- You’ll normally have between 10 and 20 keywords left that have any volume at all.
- When you come to write the review article, you can pepper in some of these terms where and when it seems appropriate.
And there you have it. My simple method of keyword research.
Using this process I have come up with approximately 20 products that I plan to add to the challenge site over the next couple of months.
In the next episode I will layout my article template and will provide details of my overall content plan going forward.
If you have any comments or questions, please do in get in touch. It would be fantastic to hear from you.