(The fourth in a multi-part series that covers finding and using lucrative keywords.)

In last week's article, What Makes Them Lucrative?, I looked into what it is about lucrative keywords that makes them so worthwhile for your to optimize your web site or blog for.

This week, I'll be exploring some of the tools that can help you find lucrative keywords.

Unlike past articles, you'll want to have another browser window open while reading this one. I'm going to give you a few quick tips or brief tours of some of these tools that you can use to do the research, then we'll start the research itself.

First, go to Google.com/api and get your free API key.

We'll need the API key in order to use two of the tools for Google, GoRank's keyword research tools and the Search Guild Difficulty Checker.

In your email you'll get a string of characters that you'll need to keep handy to cut and paste into each tool where necessary.

Let's go to the first keyword research tool, Search Guild's Keyword Difficulty Checker.

This page at Search Guild uses its access to Google's database of search terms to determine how difficult it would be to rank for a certain keyword. I've been using it for over a year and still find it quite reliable - you can compare it against Wordtracker's KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) - the difference being mainly that the Search Guild site only measures for Google and is free to use.

That first box marked "key" is where you'll be inputting the string of characters you got via email from Google. It's good for 1000 queries a day, which is far more than most people need. You'll probably use it from five to twenty times during our exercises.

The second box is where you'll type in the keywords we'll be researching. For practice now, you can type in the keyword you'd like to pursue under ideal circumstances, and press the "fetch difficulty" button.

I used the phrase "internet marketing" from our example earlier. When the results page shows up, look to the right side of the screen where there is a box marked "Comparison Queries."

The higher the score, the harder it is to get a ranking for that term in Google. If you'll type in free traffic, you'll get a ranking of "hard". I currently have first page rankings in both Google and Yahoo for "free traffic".

For practice, go ahead and type in the keywords you are currently using from your meta or title tags. Make records of their scores.

Using the methods I'm going to teach you, combined with a technique I teach in the Google Blog connection, it was fairly simple, over time, to rank for this keyword.

I quickly learned that, despite my site's name, this was the wrong keyword for my site to initially target, regardless of how much traffic it gets me, due to the nature of my site and my normal clientele. However, I re-claimed this key phrase, just to prove that I could, ranking on the same page as sites like Traffic Swarm.

Determining Ranking Difficulty

Search Guild's keyword difficulty tool is the one we'll be using to determine how hard it is to rank for a chosen keyword.

If, during your practice, you got a score of 'easy', or 'intermediate' for your current primary keyword, you won't need to do the primary keyword portion of this exercise - just familiarize yourself with the tools to do the research for your secondary keywords that we'll be using later on.

We're also going to be using some tools that will help estimate the amount of traffic you can expect from each keyword. You're going to want to select a primary keyword as a result of the study we're going to do, and target the configuration of your blog primarily to that keyword.

Of course you want to show up in the search engines for more than one keyword though. So the rest of the keywords you have in your current list you can save for now, and I'll show you how you can use them later to get better rankings.

For now, you'll want to open up one of the following three sites we'll be using, to continue your research. You can use Nichebot, Digital Point's Keyword suggestion tool, or Wordtracker's free trial. The first two are pretty self-explanatory, you just enter your keyword and the results are generated and displayed on a new page in the same window. However, Wordtracker will take a bit of an explanation that we'll go into shortly.

In order to determine your primary keyword, you're probably okay using any of these three tools. However, if you find through these exercises that you want to rank highly for a group of keywords, or want a longer list of potentially hundreds of related keywords, I strongly suggest you pay to use the full version of Wordtracker. A day there will cost you about $8 in US currency.

It's a serious tool for serious Do-It-Yourself SEO, so if you really want to maximize your traffic possibilities, you'll want to get Wordtracker. I learned about 20% of what I know about keywords just using their site and reading the tutorials.

If you're not familiar with using Wordtracker, you'll want to take a brief moment to read through the companion article: Navigating Your Way Around Wordtracker. If you already know how to use Wordtracker, you only need to know a little about the other two tools we'll be using in this part of the process.

We're going to use them for analyzing the current keyword density at your site and later, to make sure your keyword density has changed once we're done with our modifications.

They'll will give you some idea of how search engines analyze your blog (and the rest of your site for that matter) to determine what keyword phrases they should be ranked for and where they should fall in the listings.

Now we're ready to do the actual primary keyword research. Tune in to the next installment in the Lucrative Keyword Series to start the step by step approach to finding and selecting a keyword.

Discuss this article in the Small Business Ideas forum.
July 11, 2005

Tinu Abayomi-Paul is a website promotion specialist and author of five books and ebooks for the online entrepreneur.

Her last project was a contribution to Rok Hrastnik's comprehensive guide to RSS, "Unleash the Marketing & Publishing Power of RSS". You can find more of her daily tips on RSS, Blogs, Google tools, and more, at her main blog, Free Traffic Tips.

Search Engine Guide > Tinu Abayomi-Paul > Lucrative Keyword Series: The Tools