What Is SEO? Part Four – Keyword Research

Keyword Research Is The Most Important Part Of SEO

Keyword research has always been one of the most important skills a webmaster or online publisher could learn when it comes to search engine optimization.  Unfortunately it could quite possibly be the most neglected skill as well.  The fact of the matter is that it could be complicated.   And very time consuming when your first starting out in this day and age of short attention spans and a desire for quick results. Its the part of the marketing equation that is typically cut short.  Or even worse, left out all together.

Keyword research

This is probably going to be the longest and most comprehensive part of the whole series.

If you have been reading up until now, you’re really going to benefit from it from this point forward.

This can be a really boring topic.  I know when I was getting started I was bored out of my mind with it.

So I will try to keep it as simple as possible for you.

If at any time you have questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section.

I’ll use your comments to expand on topics and update the post as they come in.

Who knows you might even get some free publicity if the question helps a lot of people.

What Is A Keyword?

Google Search Screenshot

There are all kinds of complicated and long winded answers. And in the interest of not creating yet another one I’ll keep it simple.

A keyword is any word that you enter into the search engines.

Searching for “bicycles” and that word is your keyword.

A keyword phrase is the same thing.  You’re just using more than one word.

Searching for “how to ride a bike” is using that keyword phrase.

Three or more words together in a string like that is using what is commonly known as a long tail keyword.

These long tail keywords are the best option to use. But we will get into a bit more into that in a minute.

What Is A Traffic Keyword?

There really is a significant difference between keywords.

You may find a keyword that has tons of traffic available from the search engines.  However, is that traffic right for your content.

Now this really doesn’t matter if your not selling something.

For example, if your website it designed to talk about a topic in general. Like your stance again green house gases or some other topic.

I am going to go into this first since most people are just blogging about topics that they really care about.

If your a business owner don’t discount this. Your customers may have the same types of causes as you.

And using these keywords can really bring awareness to issues that you care about. Nothing better to bring awareness to your brand and to be seen supporting something really important, like helping people.

Here is a video on traffic keywords.

What Are Traffic Keywords

Traffic keywords are those words that have the potential to bring your website a lot of visitors. The best ones out there have a high search volume and a low competition.

What Is A Buyer Keyword?

These are keywords that your customers our using to research products and/or services.

They will most likely not be that much traffic coming from these types of keywords unless you get lucky and are able to rank for a really hot product.

These words do, however bring you paying customers.  People using these words have all but given you their money.

Here is a video on buyer keywords.

The Best Keyword Modifiers To Target Buyers

Since your reading my blog you’re than likely a small business owner just learning about keyword research so I will focus on buyer keywords.

There are many ways to target a main keyword. In order to help you understand the concept I am going to use a some of those that I use on this very site.

Not many people will do that for fear of competition on their sites.  So I would recommend that the ones you pick you keep to yourself.

Because “marketing” is such a broad keyword. And the competition is already fierce, I won’t be hurt myself all that much by sharing this with you.

Now as I said “marketing” is the main keyword for ClintButler.net.  And if you look in any keyword research tool you’ll see that competition and traffic for this keyword is pretty high.

It definitely fits into the traffic keyword column.

keyword results for marketing

In a perfect world I would be able to rank the site for that term on the first page of Google.  The fact of the matter is that its pretty hard, it can be done, but its going to take a lot of time, money, and effort.

So we want to add some keyword modifiers to it.

In this case we are going to add some marketing methods to it.


video marketing keyword research

social media

social media marketing keyword research


inbound marketing keyword research


content marketing keyword research


affiliate marketing keyword research


affiliate marketing keyword research


mobile marketing


search engine

search engine marketing keyword research


As you can see the amount of traffic for each of the new keywords with the modifier added is significantly less than the original keyword.

The competition for those particular keywords could be less as well. (In this particular case my keywords are still high competition in both Adwords and on the search results)

Most of the traffic coming from these keywords is still at the traffic level.

These really are not targeted buyers.

Which is what we are looking for.

So lets play with one of them and see if we can’t break it down just a bit better.


what is video marketing keyword research


In the example above I added the modifier “what is” to the keyword “video marketing”.

You will see that there is significantly less traffic to that particular keyword.

We are also on the verge of a buyer keyword.

The people searching for this term are looking for information.  But they could also be open to training on the topic.  This is a good thing.

Now the competition says that its medium in AdWords. Which means advertisers are spending money there. Not a whole lot however and I think that has something to do with the search volume.

So we are not going to walk away from it, we are going to target it.

But we also need to look at the search competition so lets take a look at that.

what is video marketing competition

Looking at this you might have the initial fear of walking away.

I think we still have a pretty good chance at ranking for it.

There are a lot of pages listed there that don’t have their meta tags optimized. There are quite a few with no backlinks to the page in question. And looking at the list a bit better most are a bit dated.

Google likes current information after all so we are going to see what we can do about that.

We can also go to all of these sites and get a good backlink from each of them. Believe it or not getting backlinks from your competition is a good thing if your smart about it.

Now that we know how to break down a keyword with some modifiers let me give you a good list of some to use for your research.

Buyer keyword modifiers include find, get, buy, purchase, locate, compare, shop, shopping, search, sell, store, review, and bonus.

Traffic keyword modifiers include information, website, site, help, directory, resources, how to, pictures, samples, examples, plans, ideas, news, tips, learn, tutorial, and guide.

And here is a spreadsheet from the folks over at SEOBOOK.com that can help you with tons more.

In Conclusion

I know that I gave you a lot of information so I hope that you take the time to reread the post and watch the videos again.

Keyword Research is far and away the most important thing that you can do for your marketing efforts online. And if you skip this valuable step your going to find it very hard to be successful without a whole lot of luck on your site.

If you have questions PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE leave them in the comments and I will answer every one. Now get out there and spend an hour or so playing around and picking your keywords.

That way your ready for content creation in Part Five.

Share on Pinterest

I have so much more to bring you in terms of marketing training over the coming days and weeks. I just know you’ll love all these micro-lessons…so make sure you jump on our mailing list if you already haven’t so you don’t miss any updates. Thanks for joining me!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

One thought on “What Is SEO? Part Four – Keyword Research

  1. Hey Clint,

    Nice write-up. I’ll second what you say about finding some keyword “modifiers” to find more niche specific or lower competition keywords that you can rank for. Depending on your topic, I always like looking for opportunities to do “best of” lists, and comparison posts.

    So if you’re an appliance dealer, looking for keywords like “best washer and dryers of 2015” or maybe “Model A vs. Model B” and do a really good write up on comparing the two.