Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Market Samurai - Keyword Research


In yesterday's post, I gave a little background about how important it is to do keyword research up-front, prior to spending a lot of time and effort on a site.  The reason for that is so that you can concentrate your efforts on a particular niche and specific keywords where there is already an audience hungry to devour your content.  If you're interested in the discussion portion, head on over to that post and check it out.

Today's post will provide specific, step-by-step instructions on how to identify a killer keyword phrase with the Keyword Research module of an excellent software package called Market Samurai.  In tomorrow's post, I will continue this example and dig into the Market Samurai SEO Competition module to size up the competition for the keyword phrases we come up with.  

Market Samurai is an essential software package to set yourself up for success online.  It is available for both Mac and PC.  My recommendation would be to download the free 12 day trial and follow along.  The first time through, I'd recommend you type in the same keywords and do exactly as I did in the screenshots below so that you can see the results for yourself up close.  Then, go back and type in your own keywords and do some research on a particular topic which interests you.  Repetition is key. 

Let's get started.  Click this link to get Market Samurai and enter your name and email address.  You will instantly get an email with a link to download the software.  Click the link inside the email and then follow the steps to perform the installation.  Once you have it installed, you're ready to continue on. 

I have a sister that is pregnant and due in just over a month.  For her baby shower my wife and lots of others enjoyed shopping for baby clothes as a gift.  Since that was fresh on my mind, I thought I would use "baby clothes" as the example niche site idea for this post.  I'm sure there are lots of parents, or soon to be parents out there that are interested in finding and sharing information about baby clothes and perhaps want to buy/sell baby clothes and would be interested in setting up a blog or website on the topic.  

If you did not have access to the Market Samurai tool and wanted to setup a serious website/blog about baby clothes, my guess is that you would go to a place like or to search for some different domain names that have something to do with baby clothes.  Then once you found one that was available you'd register the site and work on setting up a site.  While that is all well and good, I'll show you why that is not the best use of your time and effort.  

Open up Market Samurai and click on New Project.  Then type baby clothes in the keyword box and hit the tab key.  That will automatically fill in the title field.  Then click the Create button as shown below. 

After that you will be presented with the screen below.  Click the Keyword Research button. 

On the following screen change the phrase length from 1 to 2 and click on the Generate Keywords button.

At that point the tool will go out and connect to Google AdWords to pull in data.  I'm going to assume you do not have a free Google AdWords account and do not wish to set one up at this time.  It is not required.  If you do have an AdWords account or want to setup a free account at a later time, entering your login/password into the software will allow you to get up to 800 keyword results and you can also avoid the CAPTCHA box shown below.  Since we're not setting up an account now, you will receive up to 200 keywords, which is fine in most instances and will also speed up the results.  Enter the CAPTCHA text that is shown in the box on your screen and click submit. 

You will then be presented with the Keyword Research screen below, showing approx 100 keyword results in alphabetical order such as "adorable baby clothes", "babies clothes", "baby boy clothes", "baby clothes boutique", etc.  The number of results may vary from one day to the next as search data changes constantly, but the results are always current as of when you run your query.  So far it's just a list of keywords.  Click on the Keyword Analysis button as shown.

You are now on the Keyword Analysis portion of the Keyword Research screen.  The original list of approximately 100 keywords from the prior screen are now filtered down to just under 30 by the software based on what they call the 4 Golden Rules.  Those are Relevancy, Traffic, Competition and Commerciality.  Now click on the Analyze Keywords button. 

At that point, you will see a screen similar to the one that follows.  This is our final results screen.  Let's analyze our results below. 

What we see on our last screen above is that of the 100 or so keyword results that we started with, the Market Samurai software has narrowed that down to 8 active, top quality keyword phrases.  They are ranked in terms of greatest SEO Value.  SEO Value (SEOV) is a term utilized by the software to indicate the total daily value of traffic that a site ranked #1 in Google could potentially achieve.  The exact amount is not of great importance.  The important part is the amount relative to the other phrases in the list as well as the value in the SEOC field.  That is the SEO Competition field.  That is the total number of webpages globally that mention the specific keyword phrase in the same word order in Google's index.  Basically, how many other sites you'd be competing with for that keyword phrase.  Ideally you want to pick a keyword phrase that has the highest value in the SEOV column with a relatively small number of competing webpages in the SEOC column.   You also want a decent number in the SEOT column, which is the maximum daily clicks a #1 site can expect to receive.  75 or above is decent, the higher the better.  Let's zoom in on our results below.

You can see our original search term "baby clothes" at the top.  That has a pretty high daily potential value of $48,251.44 that could be generated from a site that ranked #1 on the first page of Google for the term "baby clothes".  Pretty impressive.  However, there is a catch.  Check out the SEOC column.  The number of websites out there competing for that keyword phrase is over 31 MILLION!  As an individual just starting out, your chances of moving up to #1 or anywhere on the 1st, 2nd, or even 10th page of Google search results for the term "baby clothes" are pretty much non-existent.

However, check out the 2nd phrase in the list.  "Clearance baby clothes" has the 2nd highest daily potential value of $223.28 and the lowest overall competition with 13,200 sites competing for that keyword phrase.  If I was interested in creating a site about baby clothes and was ok with targeting the phrase "clearance baby clothes", that is the phrase I would investigate further.  It has the highest potential daily income and the lowest overall competition in the list, setting the broader phrase aside.

If the phrase "clearance baby clothes" wasn't what you envisioned as the keyword target for your new site/blog, fear not!  That was only one particular phrase of any number of potential options.  All you have to do is start over with a new phrase.  I will do that right now in video form with the phrase "vintage baby clothes" instead and you can see for yourself just how quickly you can type in any number of different ideas and get results.

It took only 2 minutes and 12 seconds and the results look pretty good.  It has higher max clicks at 112, but also a higher number of competing sites at 42,300 and lower daily value at $147.64.

For comparison, we'll investigate both "clearance baby clothes" and "vintage baby clothes" in tomorrow's post when we size up our competition with the SEO Competition module. 

That is the exact process I'm going through with my niche site ideas right now.  If you have a broad topic and are trying to come up with keyword phrases to utilize to narrow things down, one good way you might not have thought about is through Amazon.  Go to Amazon and search for books on your broad topic.  Check out some of the top selling books on the subject and click on the 'Look Inside' free preview available on many books and go to the Table of Contents.  There you will find a treasure trove of keyword phrases that you might never have thought of. 

Hopefully those specific examples showed you just how powerful the Market Samurai Keyword Research module really is and how it can save you a lot of time and effort up-front by identifying specific keyword phrases which have the best chance of setting you up for a successful online venture.  If you didn't actually install the software initially, but followed along with the screen shots and video tutorial, hopefully now you see just how cool and valuable a program it really is. 

Remember, today was just about how to identify a killer keyword phrase with the Market Samurai Keyword Research module.  In my next post I will continue this example and show you why it is critically important for you to evaluate your keyword phrases using the Market Samurai SEO Competition module to size up your competition.  That module effectively allows you to run a background check on the top 10 sites that are also targeting your desired keyword phrase to get a visual snapshot of whether you have a chance to compete or need to target a different set of keywords.  Those top 10 sites are important because they are the ones on the first page of Google for your keyword phrase and 95-98% of all search traffic for a particular search phrase goes to those sites.  Very cool stuff and a post you won't want to miss.

In full disclosure, I receive an affiliate commission if you decide to purchase the Market Samurai software, at no additional cost to you. You will also be eligible for a 35% discount if you sign-up during the first 6 days of your free trial, which is exactly what I did when I purchased the software myself.


Jen said...

Very good info. Don't you also have to look at the CPC value column as that is the cost per click/or to bid on that key term? The clearance baby clothes one is more expensive, but I guess that's because the competition isn't as high for it?

Chris said...

Good question! The SEOV column takes that into consideration. Here is the full definition for that term: SEOV - SEO Value - The total value of traffic that a web-site that ranked #1 for a keyword in Google. Its value is as an indicator of the value of a keyword market. (SEOV = SEOT x AWCPC) So the SEOV field is most important $ wise because it does take into account the traffic and the AdWords cost per click value.

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