Case Study: How Keyword Research Works in the Wild

Case Study: How Keyword Research Works in the Wild

Reader Comments (42)

    • One of the columns in Google Keyword results is Competition. If you don’t see it, click columns (top, right of results) and check the box next to Competition.

      [from Google] Competition: The number of advertisers worldwide bidding on each keyword relative to all keywords across Google. In the “Competition” column, you can see whether the competition for a keyword idea is low, medium, or high.

  1. You really rocked it Beth with this series.

    I think that this part is the most important one in the series. There is no better that using scribe to optimize our content and get the most out of it.

    It helps us do the search and also do the optimization for us.

    Most importantly, is that it tells me where to promote it after I publish the post.

    Thanks Brian for this awesome plugin. Waiting for more from you.

    Thanks Beth again for this awesome series. I am eager for your second series.

  2. This is the best keyword research/content marketing series I’ve seen.

    I read all the TOP blogs for the #IBCT so trust me I know.

    Outstanding job Beth.

    This is inspiring, informative, and innovative.

    Will the case study example continue?
    It would be awesome to watch Sarah’s progress.

    • Thanks, Darnell! I’m really glad it was helpful! Not sure if the case study will continue, but I’ll check in with Sarah in a few months and see if I can do a follow-up piece.

  3. Do I have to pay for Google Keyword Tool? It asked so many questions and said it’d help figure out how I’d pay for it.

      • The Google Keyword’s design is not very user friendly, that’s why it seems scary and complicated to many people!
        It takes more then the willingness to learn to bypass the small icons and general feeling that you are being secretly charged for using it….
        Just kidding… It’s an awesome tool, once proved helpful.

  4. If you’re working to optimize a website that’s relatively new and/or unestablished, would you change your recommendations any?

    On the one hand, if you choose keywords that are competitive at all, you’re gonna be pretty low in the search results, at least until you’ve had a good content strategy going for a little while. Do you have any tips for identifying more long-tail keywords that might get good rankings sooner, but still work strategically towards getting rankings for more competitive keywords down the line?

    • Kristen, one approach is to focus on niche terms that have low Competition scores in Scribe and some popularity. The competition levels displayed in Google Adwords are about people willing to advertise while the Scribe competition scores are based on what people are publishing online. Try and find niches where there are not a lot of people publishing about a topic and then build from there.

      For example, “widgets” may be really hard but “unique widget techniques” may do well and once you have it, you can build up.

    • Hi Sasha – yes, I’ve used Scribe on my own site with fantastic results. I have a WordPress website, and the plugin for Scribe is very user friendly. It makes researching and optimizing really fun.

    • Scribe is available for WordPress, Joomla AND we have a Web version as well. In addition, we are in beta testing on Scribe for Microsoft Word.

      All of the platforms we support are included with your Scribe subscription.

  5. Great post! I learned a lot. I am confused about the competition column on Scribe though. Do you want to choose key words that have a lower competition because then you have words that are not highly talked about or is it better to go with higher competition so you can be sure your keywords are being talked about?

    • Katlyn, the lower the competition, the better. The idea in Scribe is to show you the intersection of Popular terms with low Competition so that you can find opportunities that others are not writing about.

      In Scribe, Competition is based on the number of sites that are “actively” targeting the term on the web versus sites that just mention the term. We actually have a patent-pending for the way we calculate competition in Scribe.

      This is not the same as Competition in Google which looks at advertising spend.

  6. Great case study. I use Google keyword tool to look for low competition, high volume keywords. But, I’ve never seen such a detailed info on that before. Never thought that one needs to get into such depth to get related keywords.

    Thanks for the awesome post.

  7. Fantastic example of how to “think outside ofthe box”. It is easy to get caught up on a single tool but the suggestion of using the Social Media Networks to improve keyword refining was the ah-ha I have been looking for. Thank you!

  8. Thanks for the great article, Beth! It is really informative.

    I’ve been considering Scribe for some time. It certainly seems powerful.
    Just I have to wonder, until I am running the website business full time, can industry the subscription costs… Maybe I just need a freelance assistant to do the research… I do have fun researching though.
    Anyway, thanks again for the article and I look forward, as always, to the next from Copyblogger!

  9. Great article! Thank you. My only issue is that I would put more emphasis on number 6. ‘Examine your research results, and choose the keyword(s) you want to target for your site’. Checking your competition for how serious they are about a particular keyword will help you establish how difficult it is for you to compete against them. Scribe is an interesting tool, but how is Scribe using its algorithm to check how strong the competition is? Is it using Google results for a given keyword? Intitle for a given keyword?

    • Hi Alicia – Yes, I believe Scribe does use Google results to calculate how strong the competition is for any given keyword. Sean Jackson, please correct me if I’m wrong! 🙂

  10. Hi Beth,
    Thanks very much for the article on keyword research using the Google keyword external tool. But there are so many ways to conduct keyword research and its actually very confusing. The example keyword that you gave here is how to organize and get organized. Can anyone use this as a standard system or steps to do keyword research for any other terms?


  11. Hi Sunil – my intention in writing this was to lay out a system that anyone could use, no matter what your topic is. If you look at the last three posts in this series (look at the end of this post for links) you can see what the system is and go through it step by step. Thanks!

  12. Hi, Beth!
    Competition in adwords advertisers referenced but that also means that demand is high. I always looks at the SEO web sites that make the first page of the SERP’s to see if I can attract traffic.

  13. Now that Google have implemented Keyword Planner tool. Does anything change? Really valuable post. Once things are implemented in steps it becomes obvious. Thanks

  14. Really great and exciting article.

    Even though I’m only picking up on it months after it was posted.

    And even though this tool is not available anymore–now it’s Google Keyword Planner. It doesn’t seem to provide similar terms to the ones you put in anymore.

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