This post is the 3rd post in a series of 5 about developing a Keyword Strategy.

The first post was about the three elements that form your Keyword Strategy. The other posts take a closer look at each individual element.

Today, I’ll explain how you can best research what people are searching on.

This process is much alike the process of doing consumer research to determine demand in the market. Here you are used to paying research companies top dollar in order to obtain this market data.

Doing Keyword Research online however… is free!

So, where do you start?

After you have translated your value proposition into approximately 3 to 5 Key phrases, you need to check if people are actually searching on these terms. After all, there’s no need to optimize for terms no-one is searching on!

A bit of a warning: don’t beat yourself up over getting exact search volumes. You need to get an indication!

Getting an indication of Search Volumes

Here are some tools and tricks you can use:

1. Google Keyword tool

Free & Easy: a great place to start. The Google Keyword tool gives you worldwide and local search volumes (depending on the language version you use). It also gives you suggestions for alternative keywords. For many long tail combinations however, you will get a ‘not enough data’ notification in the keyword tool. You can then also look at the number of ‘hits’ on Google.

2. Google Search

When you type your keywords into Google, the results you see are those sites ranked by Google for those keywords. On the top of the page, right under the search box, Google also gives you the number of results. Think of this as an indication of ‘market volume’: i.e. what your competitors are optimised for.

A last word on words: synonyms

You need to make sure that you are using the same words as what people are actually searching on. They might use a different word, a synonym. Both the Google Keyword Tool, as well as Google Search, give you keyword suggestions. Still, I recommend you check the synonyms of your major keywords separately.

Voila. That’s it. In the next post I will look at how you check out your competition. This determines whether of not you have a chance of being found on the keywords you are targeting.

Related posts:

Developing a Keyword Strategy: You, The People & The Competition
Keyword Research (I): Your value & product proposition… in Keywords

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