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InfoBarrel 101 - Keyword Research and Choosing Topics

By Edited Feb 11, 2016 12 23

One of the best ways to increase your views and potential earnings exponentially is to start getting in the habit of doing keyword research on all of the topics you decide to write about. There is a ton of things that go into keyword research and that's why many people are intimidated by it and would rather just write naturally.

Keyword research can sometimes give you a headache, but it's always well worth it in the end. I don't claim to be an expert, but I have definitely spent many moons studying this topic and I am confident that I know more than most people (except jcmayer777). Without making this too technical of a read, I will help you on your way to increasing your InfoBarrel earnings by using simple techniques that you may not have thought of, as well as clear up some of the common misconceptions there are out there.

Choosing a Topic


Before you do anything, you obviously need to choose a topic. The great thing about InfoBarrel is that you can write about anything you want, just so long as it's appropriate of course. As an easy example for me to explain since I just wrote about it, let's say YOU wanted to write about BBQ grills.

After deciding on your topic, in this case, BBQ grills, now comes the fun part. Google has this wonderful tool called the Keyword Tool External. This free and easy tool is made for advertisers who use AdWords to run advertising campaigns, the same ones you earn money off of when someone clicks on them through your article. However, you can also use this keyword tool to your advantage by finding out exactly what people are searching for.

UPDATE: The Google Keyword Tool External has changed since writing this article. However, you can still get back to the old interface by clicking on the link in the top-right area of the new Keyword Tool page. The old one, in my opinion, is better for content producers like us. The new one is probably best for advertisers.

Doing Keyword Research


Go to the keyword tool and simply type in "BBQ grills" and the security code and hit the "Get Keyword Ideas" button. Now you should see a huge list of words along with columns of numbers and bars. All those words are search queries that are used by people just like you, that are related to the term "BBQ grills".

You should also see 2 drop down menus. On the drop-down menu towards the top you will want to scroll down to "Show Estimated Average CPC". On the lower one you will need to select "Exact". It's important that you do this every time you go to do keyword research. The exact option is crucial to finding to best keywords for your topic.

Example 4


The first column displays the list of related and similar keywords. The second column displays the average cost per click for each ad that is triggered by that set of keywords, the third column shows advertiser competition for that set of keywords, while the last 2 columns show monthly search volumes from all Google-powered search boxes on any website.

The key to finding the best keywords for your topic is to look for ones that have a Global Monthly Search Volume of anywhere from 300-1000. If you know how to use SEO techniques, then you could probably get away with looking in the range of 1000-2000. These are good options because there probably isn't very much competition for them from other websites, making it easier for you to rank high on search results for those keywords.

Checking the Competition


Now for the competition. After finding a keyword in the range of 300-1000 searches/per month, you'll need to see if it's worth your time by checking out how much competition it has. This is where a very common misconception starts to come in. Many people will tell you that you need to look at the bars on the Keyword Tool to determine your competition. While this does work in many cases, it's not fool-proof, and here's why.

That column is actually for the advertisers who are bidding on these keywords to display their ads on either Google search results or ad units like here on InfoBarrel. Those bars are not there for article writers like ourselves - all they do is show the competition of other advertisers.

A low bar means that there will only be a few relevant ads on your AdSense unit because there will only be 2-6 different companies bidding on that set of keywords, while a more full bar will represent upwards of 10-20+ different companies fighting to be displayed on your ad unit or on Google Sponsored Search Results. Nevertheless, you as an article writer do not need to pay too much attention to this column as it is really only for advertisers. However in many cases a low bar will be a good one to check out since it's so unappealing to everyone else.

Example 3


If you really want to check your competition, you need to go to Google.com and perform a special type of search. So let's say you scrolled down the Keyword Tool and noticed the keyword phrase "BBQ grills for sale". It has a Global Search Volume of 1300, which is a little high if you don't write with SEO, but we'll use it anyway.

After getting on Google you're going to do what's called an allintitle: search. These are searches that only retrieve content that have, whatever words you want, in the title. So for this example you would type in "allintitle:"bbq grills for sale". You will see (at least at the time of writing this) around 533 results. This is a great set of keywords for you to use, as anything below 1,000 results means you have relatively low competition and a high chance of ranking on the first 2 or 3 pages right away for that specific set of keywords. So now you can still write about BBQ grills, but you would make your title and theme "BBQ Grills For Sale".

Example2


More Keyword Research


Now you could stop there and just write your heart out about BBQ grills for sale and still rank pretty well for that keyword phrase, or you could take it a step further and type in "BBQ grills for sale" on the Keyword Tool External and see what other kinds of words you can add in your article to pull in more traffic.

Additionally, or optionally, you could just use the Google search box. If you type that keyword phrase in quotes on the Google search box, it will automatically give you a drop-down menu of popular related versions of "BBQ grills for sale". For this example you will see quite a few, like "used BBQ grills for sale", and "charcoal", "custom", "engine", and so on. If you want to pull in traffic from people searching THOSE terms, then you simply need to add those extra words into your article a few times.

Example


There are plenty of other things that go into keyword research, but implementing these simple strategies will get you awesome results as it is. The best part is, as InfoBarrel continues to grow, you will be able to start aiming for keywords that have higher monthly search volumes and competition because InfoBarrel will have more authority on the search engines.

Good luck!


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Comments

Apr 16, 2010 5:31pm
Sookie
very informative, and well written article!
Apr 22, 2010 12:06pm
jowenc
This comment has been deleted.
May 2, 2010 2:38pm
gowriter
Wow, Travis. I love the way you wrote this article. Very informative. You had pictures to demo and a conversational tone.

You know, there are a lot of people out there who are experts and know what they're doing, but good teaching skills and the ability to explain things clearly and concisely is not a gift everyone has. Apparently you do.

Well done.
May 17, 2010 10:09am
dmcmahan
This was very helpful. I was kind of confused about the reason people were doing searches but this helped alot.
May 20, 2010 12:26am
SommerNielsen
This helped me a lot! Very easy to understand. Thanks!
Jun 7, 2010 1:04am
Glunn11
God bless you! This is the best, most understandable article on SEO I have ever read. Many of the other how-tos I've read seem to get caught up in abstractions and professional lingo that isn't really starter friendly at all.
Jul 26, 2010 5:51pm
weianow
Thanks Travis. I've already thanked you a millioin times on forums but just found this article thanks to a forum post and it is wonderful. I like the demonstration photos and the way you wrote it so even an " internet numbskull" like me can understand it.
Jul 29, 2010 6:43pm
HealthFitnessTips
So helpful Travis! I'm wrapping my head around as much keyword and SEO stuff right now as possible. Hopefully it will pay off...literally! ;) Thanks!
Aug 5, 2010 1:04am
pwarlick
Bookmarking this to my favorites.
Sep 22, 2010 1:55pm
Smoo
Thanks a bunch, Travis. I'm going to try out these techniques right away. I look forward to the day when I can have a similar level of expertise!
Sep 23, 2010 11:14am
AJWalton
Another winner. Bravo Travis.
Oct 25, 2010 12:18am
dynsight
Great article! Cheers mate
Nov 19, 2010 6:22pm
southerngirl09
What a great informative article. I have bookmarked this article for reference. Thanks for sharing
Nov 19, 2010 9:17pm
aidenofthetower
Thanks Travis! This is a great article. Thank you for putting numbers on it. I am a bit tired of hearing "choose keywords without a lot of competition" and so on.
Jan 13, 2011 1:20pm
Insanekitten
Sweet, short, and to the point - I like it! Will definitely be saving this article for reference.
Sep 12, 2011 6:04am
SincerelyT
Thank you so much for this article Travis. Through this article, I've noticed that I've been doing my research all wrong. Thank you once again!
Nov 18, 2011 11:30am
impact
You got all this positive feedback. Here's my honest opinion. Your post gave me hope because you made it seem so simple. I don't know if anyone who read this try to implement it but I did... and I couldn't find a single keyword with under 1000 competing pages when doing the allintitle search! Not 1. For that reason, I'm not a happy camper. What would you recommend?
Jun 19, 2012 3:13am
DaddyDadChris
One mistake I first made was to do the google searfch like this:
allintitle:list of keywords

I think it is important to do the search with quotes:
allintitle:"list of keywords"

This gives a more exact match of similar pages
Nov 18, 2011 12:44pm
brlamc
You want to choose the "low" keywords and if it's under 30,000 results or so it can be good.
Nov 18, 2011 12:45pm
brlamc
Sorry meant 3000
Nov 18, 2011 8:01pm
impact
thanks!
Feb 23, 2012 8:19am
Black-phoenix
Thank you! this article has helped me a lot!
Jun 19, 2012 3:14am
DaddyDadChris
Great and concise article, has certainly helped me. Thanks!
Aug 13, 2012 8:20pm
jromero1
wow!! this is a great article!! i have searched the internet and read articles about keyword research and so far this is the best article i read about it! I may have to use your methods to push my articles to the first page. Again great article!!
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