SEO Keyword Research 26 Comments
SEO Keyword Research

Hey Guys,

In this post I am going to be looking at SEO keyword research.

We are going to cover free ways to find keywords and then discuss how to weigh up whether or not a keyword is worth going after for SEO purposes, and how difficult it would be to get on the front page of Google for a particular keyword.

Commercial Intent

Before we look at places to find keywords, I first want to discuss the ‘Commercial Intent’ of a keyword. This simply means how close to buying a product the person who types in that particular keyword is. I see a lot of people get this wrong and end up doing hours and hours of SEO and getting their web pages ranking in the search engines, only to find that the keywords don’t convert to sales for them.

This truly is a tragedy, however with a little thought it can be avoided.

There are a lot of paid tools you can use to assess whether or not a keyword is making PPC marketers money in the niche, and they are great for working out whether or not you should put effort into SEO to rank for the same keyword phrase organically.

However as I mentioned let’s just stick to the free methods. Therefore the first thing to do is at least make sure there are a decent amount of PPC ads showing when you type in a particular phrase, as this is always a healthy sign.

More importantly though it is essential to ask yourself the question: “What is someone who types this keyword into a search engine thinking?” By doing this when you scan your potential keyword list you can quickly get rid of keywords that are not going to make you money.

For example if you were in the Cure Acne Market, the keyword “Acne Information” may not necessarily be a great one, because although some people who type this word into the search engines may be ready to buy an acne cure product, a large amount will probably just be information seekers, and may not even have acne themselves.

However a keyword like: “Help Cure Acne Fast” would be a different story altogether. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that someone who types this keyword into Google is most likely to be an acne sufferer that is willing to try anything to cure their acne. These types of emotionally charged keywords convert very well.

Another type of keyword that has high commercial intent is the review keywords. This is where someone is typing in a product name plus the word ‘review’. These people are well aware of the product, and have most likely already been pre-sold by another website, and are very close to pulling out the credit card and making a purchase.

Review keywords convert at approximately 10 times higher rates than other words and are well worth going after for organic traffic.

Keyword Research

Google Keyword Tool

The Google Keyword tool is possibly the best free resource for finding great keywords, and I am well aware that most people will already know about it. However apart from the usual keyword searches you may do using the tool, I encourage you to use the ‘Website Content‘ search function, which is found on the left hand side.googletool2

A great way to do this is to search in Google with the most root keyword for your niche, for example in the cure acne niche, this would be the word ‘acne‘.

Once you have done that look for an authority site, such as and place that into the ‘Website Content’ search and Google will tell you what it thinks this page is about, by providing you with a list of categorized keywords..

If you are an affiliate for a Clickbank product then a good way to start your keyword research and get a feel for the niche is to place the products sales letter URL into the website content search, and check out the keywords that Google tells you about the site.

Wonder Wheel

Another free tool that is helpful is the Google Wonder Wheel function. On any Google results page you will see the linkwonderwheel seo keyword research that says “SHOW OPTIONS”. Once you click on that, scroll down until you see the link for “WONDER WHEEL” as you can see in the image to the right.

Google then gives you further ideas for related keywords, that you can take note of and start plugging back into the Google Keyword Tool.

You can then simply rinse and repeat and keep putting news words through the Google keyword tool, and provided the ‘synonym’ function is selected the tool will keep finding new keywords related to the additional keywords you are adding.

Of course you should also be using your own brain to come up with keywords and use other tools, if you have them, however these are two simple, free, and also very effective ways to find keywords.

SEO Competition

Once you have used all your methods for finding potential keywords that you want to rank in the search engines, it is then a good idea to analyze how difficult it will be to get on the front page of Google for them, because ideally that’s where you want to be to get maximum free traffic, and preferably in the top five positions.

One of the best SEO tools that I use is ‘SEO for Firefox’ add on.

Once you have installed this add on, you can then get some very valuable information for SEO. When I am looking at the results on the front page of Google for a particular keyword, there are a many factors that I consider, however to keep it simple I have summarized the key things below.

When you are looking at these factors it is important to look at them together and not as individual elements to base you decision on of how difficult it would be to out rank the websites.

1.) Page Rank: If all the results on the Google front page are PR 6+ then this isn’t a great thing, however Page Rank alone is not the deciding factor of whether or not to tackle a keyword phrase, however it plays a role.

2.) Age of the Domain: If all the domains in the top 1-10 spots in Google are 8 years+ then this isn’t great either, as Google trust older sites. However again this is one factor that goes into the mix, as I have outranked many 10 years and older sites with a brand new domain before, because the other elements were weaker for those sites.

3.) Back Links to Page: If the results on the front page of Google all have a huge amount of back links then this can be a problem, however as a rough rule of thumb, if there are some below 50 then it’s a good sign, because getting more than 50 back links really isn’t hard to do.

4.) DMOZ: I also like to check if the page is listed in the DMOZ directory, as Google favor sites which are listed in DMOZ (if your’s isn’t then I advise you to try and get it listed, as its free but can be difficult to get accepted).

5.) ON PAGE SEO: A very important thing to check is how well the sites have done their ON PAGE SEO. The main factors I look at are the; Title, Description, Keywords, H1 Tags. If you find the keyword phrase here then these pages have done their On Page SEO well and are trying to rank this page for that exact keyword phrase.

When making a decision whether or not to go after a keyword, you then have to weigh up all these factors and give the top 10 pages a sort of overall score if you like, based on all the factors we just looked at. For example, if a page has 80 back links, none of which are .edu, and they have not done their on page SEO, then the high back links would not be as much of a concern for me, and I would then continue to look at the other factors involved.

If you then think you can do better than a competitor, the search volume for the keyword is worth the time spent on SEO, and the keyword phrase is a high commercial intent one, then you have a green light to go for it!!!

With that said, this is where the SEO for Firefox add on comes into play. As you can see in the image, when the add on is seobook for seo keyword researchactivated it shows you below each result, the core factors we looked at.

I have highlighted them to make it more obvious. These factors are Off Page SEO factors that we looked at; being Page Rank, Domain Age, Links etc…

In order to have a closer look at what each site is doing with their On Page SEO, you simply click the website and when it opens, right click anywhere in the page and select “SEO for Firefox—>SEO XRAY” then the tool will give you a wealth of useful information about this particular page.

As you can see in the image I have highlighted the On Page factors of; Title, Description and Keywords.

seobook2 for seo keyword research

There is also another very useful function which is not for this post, but I will briefly mention it now, and that is the External Links function, which is highlighted in the image above in white at the bottom. This allows you to view where this page is getting their back links from, and can be a great resource for helping you find places to also get links from, after all Google must think these links are ok if this site is on the front page!!

Now there is a huge number of factors that go into SEO keyword research, however this will give you a great start and if you are not going after hugely competitive keywords like ‘weight loss’ then with some basic SEO, combined with this analysis you will do fine.

With all that said, a rough rule of thumb that you can use, if you find this a bit too difficult is to target keyword phrases that consist of 3 or more words. Usually these keyword phrases are less competitive, however not in every circumstance.

For example you might have the keyword phrase: “Learn Spanish Online” which is three words but is still rather competitive, because it is the root phrase for the learning Spanish online niche. Once you start to branch away from the root keyword phrase you will find the competition drops off.

That’s all for now.


Matt Carter

Hate your day job? Build an online business with my free 12 part internet marketing video training course now!

We take your privacy very seriously. Your email address will never be shared or sold.
Hi, my name is Matt Carter and this is my blog. I write about various topics to do with Internet Marketing and strive to provide the best free resource for people wanting to develop online businesses. More about me..
Enjoy this post? Save it, or Share it with the world! -> Bookmark and Share Comment

15 Comments to SEO Keyword Research

  1. September 22, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink


    This is worth gold! Your blog is stuffed with valuable information that I can actually do. Thanks for sharing your knowledge in such dept.


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Trevor,

    Glad you found it useful and thanks for dropping bye!



  2. September 22, 2009 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt

    This is yet another piece of very useful information from you. There are so many people on the internet ‘selling’ information which is not a patch on what you are giving away for free. I have been informed about these products before but it has taken you to put a very simple spin on it that anyone can understand, especially me.

    Thanks Matt

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Phil,

    Great to hear from you!!!

    Also glad to be of service to you. I hope your online ventures are going well too.

    Have a great day,


  3. September 22, 2009 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Great Stuff Matt keep it coming! Norm

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Norm,

    Thanks my friend, glad you liked it.


  4. SteveMax's Gravatar SteveMax
    September 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Hey Matt
    Ive paid serious money over the last 12 months and I cant believe these tips are not only free but really are “top notch”.

    I’m off to play with my seo for firefox tool.
    Thanks again
    Steve Max

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Steve,

    Thanks for stopping by, look forward to more comments from you.



  5. September 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Just like the 12 videos, fantastic stuff, After having a website for 12 months not converting now I can see the light,I know it will be a long learning curve,but I am going in the right direction

    Great Stuff mat

    Best Regards


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Steve,

    Yeah I know what you mean, it took me a lot of lessons and mistakes before I started to really make good money online, hang in there and you will get there.

    Thanks for your input


  6. September 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Useful stuff.
    I must install firefox one day!

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for stopping by, and yeah I highly recommend firefox for internet marketers.



  7. September 23, 2009 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Matt,

    Just wanted to say that your information on this blog, and your email video course is really great.

    If you offered a 4-6 week coaching course I’m sure it would be awesome [and would probably make you a million in a week, thats just a guess though].

    So thank you, your content is great.

    Speak soon.


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Tony,

    Great to hear from you and I am glad you are enjoying the free content that I provide. I am considering bringing out a full blown coaching course at some point, so will keep you informed.



  8. September 29, 2009 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Your videos and blog have so many tips and advice for internet marketers. You are so easy to listen to and understand. I have been learning so much about internet marketing for months now and have spent more money than I would have liked but you really try to help people by offering so many free tools and tips.

    Thanks again,

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hey Linda,

    I am glad I could be of service to you, let me know how you get on with everything.



  9. October 19, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Dear Matt,

    Thanks for this information.. For me it’s nothing new, but for most people this is peace of gold.


  10. January 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Matt, Great SEO advice! I always enjoy reading your blog.

  11. February 7, 2010 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Great info Matt,

    Another free tool that gets this done is Traffic Travis. I only use the free edition and find the SEO analysis tool as useful as Market Samurai. I had a trial run with that. The only fault is it doesn’t show a URL column. That is easily overcome and it is obvious if the keyword is in the URL. To save my work I just do a screen capture. I totally agree with you about the number of pages being focused on too much. If the first page competitors are weak then go for it even if there are hundreds of thousands of pages. We should only care about the first page anyway. Thanks again for the info, great site.


    Matt Carter Reply:

    Good points there Leiif



  12. Justin's Gravatar Justin
    March 5, 2010 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Hey Matt,

    Just like the rest of your subscribers, We would like to thank you very much for offering your extensive knowledge about Internet Marketing.
    We have been searching the web for a long time trying to find a legitimate – low cost offer for learning the actual procedures of how to make money with Internet Marketing.
    [Never believing any Guru’s – GET RICH with MY SECRET underground system for only $$, (a $,$$$ value) hype.]

    Imagine our relief when we finally stumbled upon the link from ClickBank to Mark L., and then from his to your websites.
    (victims of information overload – never noticed it before)

    Somewhere, we read a comment posted offering accolades for the truly helpful business mindset of the “Down-Unders”. Your free articles, blogs, videos and websites contain educational content that have actual value. Aussies & Kiwis seem genuinely interested in helping others succeed online.
    (P/C Whoops, are those considered bad nicknames?)
    Other IM training business models; (pay $,$$$ for THEIR perceived value) seem to only contain outdated and useless hooks to get people into their marketing funnel for constant upsale. Thanx for not following the herd.

    Hope this is the right topic thread to post these questions.

    While reviewing our notes from your video 11, (email marketing) we wondered about SEO tactics for the squeezepage “sign-up button”.

    Would there be any benefits using a targeted keyword phrase as the anchor text in the “download button” to aquire another on page link? Do the crawl bots, (google, etc.) count a link from a squeezepage?

    Again, thanx for al the help.
    Justin West

    Matt Carter Reply:

    Hi Justin

    Thanks for your feedback, glad you are learning some stuff.

    You can use squeeze pages for SEO and links, liked you asked, after all they are just another webpage. Just make sure that
    you have enough content on there for Google to want to index it. Also make sure you have more than just the squeeze page
    on the domain, because Google doesn’t like 1 page websites, so add some articles to the domain also



  13. June 25, 2010 at 3:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks Matt, after your response to my email I began searching you blog for more help. I found it on this SEO blog. This is just what I needed, a clear and step by step system when doing my keyword search.
    I had to much info and did not know how to use it.



  14. February 24, 2011 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    By utilizing good keyword research and good search engine optimization, there is no guarantee that this will get you to the top of the search engines, but by using these methods it will give you the best chance of getting there.

Free Video Coaching Series

Enter your details now for instant access...
your email will never be sold and
you can unsubscribe anytime.

About Matt

Hey, Matt here, I'm a full time Super Affiliate, 33 years old, and live in New Zealand with my wife and son.

The internet is a brilliant way to make money. I encourage you to sign up above and start with my free 12 part affiliate marketing video course, and follow on facebook