Plan Your Internet Success – Part 2 – Search for Keywords

Search for Keywords

Assuming that you have located an area of business that you’d like to pursue, the next step (before doing anything – forget domain name or Web site style and background color) is to make sure that there is a market on the Internet for this business.

There are three very distinct reasons for looking at keywords to decide if your choice is a good one and how to explore related opportunities and potential difficulty.

1) Use keyword searches to gauge the number of searches that were conducted daily, weekly, monthly, etc.

This is done for obvious reasons, since it will allow you to estimate how many people are interested in the keywords or key terms associated with your business.  You obviously do not want to build a business around keywords (and by that I mean product and/or services) that nobody is looking for on the Net.

Alternatively, never let a keyword popularity dictate the kind of business you should be in. For example, would you want to create an X-rated or sex Web site simply because this is one of the most commonly searched keywords on the Internet.

Your objective is to look for keywords that fit your business and make sure that the number of searches is solid.

2) Look for keywords that are very popular and that can relate in some fashion to your own business.

Here is a “live” example of why you should not let a keyword or key term dictate the type of business you want: As I am writing this manuscript, I looked at AOL for its most searched terms (they call it “Hot Terms” at http://hot.aol.com/) and I came up with the following:

John Hughes

Steven Tyler

Rielle Hunter

‘So You Think You Can Dance’

Sharon Stone

Hugh Hefner

Anna Paquin

Rihanna

‘G.I. Joe’

Unemployment

Most of those are related to episodes in some well known person’s life and are going to last for a very short time.  For example, John Hughes had just died when I was writing this, hence his name is at the top of the list (note that less than a week later his name was gone from the top and disappeared all together from AOL searches).

I can probably conclude the same of the other names and as I reviewed the AOL “Hot Searches” three months later, I noted that none of the searches listed here are on AOL top searches.

However, there is also something to be learned from these keywords.  For example, and to illustrate the concept of niche, can you make something out of the keyword “unemployment?”  Absolutely, and especially in this economy. However, there are already hundreds of Web sites that are offering resources and solutions for people looking for jobs, and some of them are quite dominant. Think of Monster and Hot Jobs to name only two.

However, is there a unique angle on unemployment that you could explore? What does an unemployed person do? Search for a job of course, but this person also may be looking for ways to generate revenues using his or her skills. Unemployed people may be looking to save on their grocery bills, reduce their car payment, find a cheaper place to live, get individual insurance, get a degree, —fill the blank—

What is important is to recognize a possible opportunity when you look at keywords that fit into your realm of interest or within the business you are trying to build. Again, taking the example of cars, people who are buying cars not only will be interested in insurance, but also in gas coupons, child seats, video players and other electronic gadgets to keep the kids happy, seat covers and more. The same applies to unemployed people who will be looking to buy their own computer after losing their job; they may also be interested in becoming members of a job board, in need of coupons to save additional money and any other resource that may help them through a rough time, financially-speaking.

The bottom line is that you must open your mind to all possibilities no matter how much of a stretch they may seem to be at first.  And if you explore enough and look carefully at all options, you may find an area of interest in many unrelated businesses that you may be able to explore for your own. Moreover, you can find all of this by simply looking at keywords.

3) Use these same keyword searches to evaluate the competition (and price) that you will have to deal with if you were to bid on Google or one of the major search engines.

One of the critical issues with keywords is to find the best possible keywords or key terms for your business with the least possible competition. This is done in order to ensure that you will be prepared to know how much a campaign on search engines will cost you. Furthermore, it is very important to identify keywords, as well as key phrases, by popularity, by competing offers and by searches in order to have an overview of what you are getting into.

Note:  That being said, the type of keyword you will use for your meta tags (code that will allow search engine to identify and classify your Web site – see SEO) and for an SEM campaign (buying keywords on AdWords, for example) will be very different.

Resources:

http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

http://www.google.com/sktool/

http://searchenginewatch.com/2156041

http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/?keywords=seo

http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/login.html

While the first resource (wordtracker.com) will give you an idea of the volume of search and similar terms, adwords.google.com can give you a good idea of what to expect to pay for these keywords and key terms.

Finally, once you have a Web site, I would recommend that you open a Google AdWords account (adwords.google.com) and set aside a small budget for testing your idea and your creatives as well as landing pages on your Web site. However, for now, there is no need for that as you are still in the process of building your business on the Net.

The complete manuscript is available at http://www.jtouboul.com

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