Before we get started it’s important that our data is logged properly. Getting everything set up now will save a lot of time in the future so open up Microsoft Excel (or similar) and create 5 columns:

  1. ID
  2. Keyword
  3. Searches
  4. Competition
  5. KOI

An ID column is always a good idea because it means keywords can be kept in a particular order. If you, for example have a clothes website it is best to keep everything to do with shoes on a different ID that say, shirts…it keeps everything organised.

When the term ‘Keyword‘ is used you should first of all know this could be a phrase, or a string of words. This column quite simply shows the keyword in question.

The searches column will show how many searches, per month the keyword gets…I will show you how to get this figure soon.

The competition is pretty much how many other sites are trying to promote the keyword, if they mean to or not.

And last but not least is the KOI column, this is a simple formula to give us a very general look at how good our keyword is.

Next up, where the figures came from!

The monthly searches first of all come from the Google keyword tool (link at the foot of the page article). This tool is nothing short of amazing, it’s all the marketing information you could ever need free of charge and it’s updated constantly. Type in any keyword, click search and it will both tell you the number of searches but also provide other information such as competition (different to what we discuss here). So, type in your desired keyword and click search then write down the number of searches in your spreadsheet.

NOTE: The tool includes global and local, the local (where you are)  is usually correct but you may need to check the settings; I won’t cover that here but it’s easy enough to do using the Google Help.

NOTE: The annoying capture to prove you are human will go if you sign in, I would create an account here it will save a lot of hassle.

Moving on to the competition.

The competition column is simply a Google search, so open up Google and type in “allinanchor: keyword“. NOTE: keyword here is of course your selected keyword.

For example, the first column for the above table would be “allinanchor: cardboard baler”. This will then produce a set of results. Google kindly displays the amount of search results, write this down in the competition column.

NOTE:For those wondering, the allinanchor: operator displays all websites that have links that include you keywords. Links mean there is some sort of SEO going on (intended or not) so it’s a good figure to use for a round about look at how much competition you’re up against.

Last but not least is the KOI, this stands for Keyword Opportunity Index and the formula is as follows:

searches x searches / competition

or in Excel: =c2*c2/d2 (NOTE: You do not need to write this out for each row, you can simply drag the bottom right corner of the first row down to the rest of the entries.)

The KOI column is a great way of having a quick look at what’s effective and where the niches are.

What is this list for?

You can now use this list to see generally where your niches could be, if you have used a speadsheet application you can simply order the KOI column from largest to smallest in order to check which keywords look good.

The ID column can then be used to get the order back to how it was originally, I also like to use different colours for different ID so get it that bit more organised.

And that’s about it, but bare the following in mind:

  • When it comes to selecting keywords look at a wide range of synonyms and use plurals, even if it doesn’t sound too good and you don’t think people will search it; you could be surprised.
  • This isn’t all you need to do, it’s also important to see how strong the competition is. If there are only 20,000 search results but the top 10 have worked hard to get there it might be difficult to knock them off the top spot.
  • Be realistic when choosing keywords, aim low at first and work your way up; some keywords are extremely hard to work with so don’t be too ambitious. It’s horrible spending a lot of time and effort only to yield no good results.

Useful Links:

Google keyword tool

Checking out the online competition – A further look in to competitors and their SEO campaigns.

Source by Charles Bannister

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