The Keyword Conundrum

Keyword research is (or should be) the essential foundation upon which a website is built if the objective is to obtain “free” organic listing traffic from the search engines.

Organic listings are the ten websites shown on each search results page, above and to the right of which appear sponsored (paid for) listings. To be more accurate, the top ten pages are listed as the search engines rank pages, not websites.

Search engines means Google which is used for around 2/3 of all searches performed.

The ultimate aim is to have your page ranked at number 1 on Google for a search term or search terms (keywords) that have a large volume of searched performed daily.

So just how do we go about doing that ?

Here’s the process using “personal coaching” as the topic.

1) First we have to determine the number of searches performed for a set of keywords related to and including “personal coaching”.

There are a number of commercially available programmes available for this purpose, but most of them make use of the free tool available from Google themselves at:

Using that tool here’s a snapshot of the first 6 UK based results for “personal coaching”

Keyword Cost per Click Trafic pm Local Trafic pm Global
personal coaching £2.34 1,600 18,100
personal coach £1.51 1,300 22,200
personal development coach £1.44 320 1,300
personal development coaching £2.55 320 1,300
personal life coach £1.80 320 2,400
personal fitness coach £1.04 260 880

So now we have some related keywords and numbers to work with. I’ve included the “cost per click” which gives us a read on a) how commercially viable it is to make the effort to rank for a keyword (if someone is willing to pay £2.55 to get one visitor to their website, you can bet they are making money) and b) how difficult it is to rank for that keyword (if it was easy to rank for the cost per click would be lower).

Including the Global monthly search count gives up the information that people in the UK search for personal coaching, but worldwide are more likely to search for a personal coach. These are small but significant differences and highlight the fact that keyword data benefits from some interpretation.

Finally, consideration has to be given to “commercial value” irrespective of cost per click numbers. To use a different example, there is probably a lot of search traffic for the keyword “shoes”, but the term is too broad and competition too great, to indicate that you’ll make money from it by being number 1 on Google.

There is a tool that calculates the commercial value of a keyword. I’ll reveal what it is and delve deeper into keyword analysis in the next article in this series from web profit solutions.