Foolproof Keyword Research

by Tanner Christensen April 21st, 2011 

foolproof

Have you ever tried to do that; in‒depth keyword research?

If you haven't, consider yourself lucky (for now). If you have,  you know that searching for the best keywords to target can be really tough. Like getting dressed in the dark.

Sometimes you get lucky with initial, stab‒in‒the‒dark keywords, but most of the time you have to work really hard to find keywords that not only bring in a lot of traffic, but also convert to customers, subscribers, or repeat visitors.

Most marketers or optimization specialists will tell you that the best way to do keyword research is to test, and test a lot. Test all the keywords that Google recommends in their keyword research tool, test all the keywords Google suggest brings up, test all the keywords your friends think would work best.

This isn't an argument against testing when it comes to keyword research. There is no better way to discover what really works for your website than testing, repeatedly.

When it comes to finding keywords to work with, however, you don't have to go through much trial and error or expensive – timely or financially – research to discover the keywords you should be targeting with your website.

Are you ready for this?

ready

The real method to foolproof keyword research is writing.

I'm not talking about finally starting that novel you've been meaning to begin or writing copy for paid ads. No, to discover the top keywords you should be targeting on your website all you need to do is sit down in front of a blank sheet of paper or computer screen and write until you just can't write anymore.

Specifically: free write about what your website's goals are, or what you believe the purpose is.

When you free write – don't worry about grammar or punctuation or where your thoughts are heading – you open yourself up to a ton of subconscious magic that you didn't even know was there. What is more important though: by free writing about your website you can relax and start to think like a customer, like someone who isn't out to sell something (necessarily) but instead like someone who is passionate and cares about what they're writing/creating/doing.

After just a few minutes of free writing – 15 minutes is a good target – take a step back and read through what you wrote.

If you were really writing freely (with no prior agenda) you'll start to see key themes developing in your writing. Key words (see what I did there?) will start to show themselves to you. When you start to see key words or themes developing from your free writing you can then start to target them in your marketing campaigns.

No need to fake content or goals for your website, all you have to do is open yourself up and write to discover who you should be targeting with SEO and PPC. It's really that easy.

What do you think about this method? Agree or disagree? How do you define foolproof keyword research?

Tanner Christensen

Tanner is a creative online entrepreneur who has been writing on creativity, design, business management, and web development for more than nine years. Recently he founded Aspindle creative publishing house.

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5 Responses to “Foolproof Keyword Research”

  1. [...] Foolproof Keyword Research, Search Engine People [...]

  2. Judith says:

    Good idea, Tanner! You are right about free write! ;-) When you know your goals, niche and market and write about what you enjoy and are passionate about, SEO pretty much is automatic! Then look at your stats, see how you are actually being found and free write more based on those terms.

  3. Vivian says:

    This is the first time I encountered this idea/technique of getting keywords. When free writing, you get all your ideas and goals poured out and you'll see what path you'll be treading on!

  4. Jeremiah says:

    I totally agree with Judith here Tanner, this is a FANTASTIC post and you are totally right about your idea to "just write." I even wrote about something very similar to this on a blog of mine, and told them to do the same thing, just WRITE AND WRITE AND WRITE, that's the best way to open up your mind to how a "consumer" is thinking, as you so elequently pointed out Tanner.

    Nice job again dude!

    Cheers,

    Jeremiah R.

  5. [...] Foolproof Keyword Research (searchenginepeople.com) [...]