How to do keyword research

In this training I’m going to show you how I do my keyword research to find a niche market.

The difference between Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords

Before we move on I think it’s best that I explain to you the difference between short and long tail keyword phrases.

You’ll understand why as we go on.

Short tail keyword phrases: These are your more generic keywords that cover a general interest. These are also the more popular keywords and are usually much harder to rank for. An example of a short tail keyword phrase would be “iPhone Cases“.

More specific keyword phrase: These are a little bit more specific, not as popular but still a little hard to rank for. An example would be “iPhone 4 Cases

Long tail keyword phrases: Now these puppies are what we are looking for. These are very specific keyword phrases that might not be as popular as the short tail keyword phrases but they are much easier to rank for and still have plenty of people searching on them. An example of a long tail keyword phrase would be… “iPhone 4 Mickey Mouse Cases“.

Understand? Sweeet, lets move on.

Step I – Performing a search for your general interest 

Lets head on over to the Google Keyword Tool.

google-keyword-toolWord or Phrase: In this field we are going to put in the short tail keyword phrase “iPhone Cases”. This is going to give us a huge amount of results that is going to open our eyes to see what else people are searching for.
Match Types (located to the left): Uncheck Broad and check Exact…I’ll explain why in a bit

Step II – Determine what phrases are being used to find your niche market

The Results:

Notice: Google only shares with us whether that long tail keyword phrase has low, medium or high competition. It does not tell us “how much” competition.

Competition (If you click on this it will reorder the competition): This tells you what sort of competition you will have with other websites in order to rank for this EXACT keyword phrase. I always like to start with the keywords that have low-medium competition to do further research on.
Global Search: This is the amount of searches that were performed on that EXACT keyword phrase all over the world
Local Search: This is the amount of searches that were performed on that EXACT keyword phrase in the United States (This was my search criteria so if you are doing this search based in Canada then the local searches would be for all of Canada)

I don’t know about you but I’m pretty excited. We have found some great long tail keyword phrases that we can further investigate to see if these are really as good as they look.

Step III – What is the true number of competitors for each keyword phrase

Ok this next part of keyword research can be very tedious, if done by hand, but there is a FREE keyword tool that I use that takes all the hard work and does it for me. This keyword tool, along with other Internet Marketing tools and support can be found at Wealthy Affiliate. (NOTE: you will need to sign up for a FREE membership account in order to use this tool but it is well worth it, trust me)

So, let’s dive deeper into the first keyword phrase “top iphone cases” to determine the exact number of competition we will have. Below are the results…


Now, in order to find out how many actual websites we’ll be up against we’ll click on the “View Result” link which will return that number to us. After clicking on the text a window pops up (like the one below) shows us that we would be competing against 457 other websites that have that exact keyword phrase.


If you are just starting out with Affiliate marketing I highly suggest starting out with a keyword phrase that has > 400 competing website. Keeping in mind that the lower the number the better chance you have of getting your site optimally ranked. 😉

I’m not really thrilled with the results so we’re going to continue going down the list and continue to review the Results.

I found the PERFECT keyword phrase that could ultimately become our niche market. You ready for this???

How about “top rated iphone 4 cases” it has a Local monthly search in Google of 390 and only has 112 competing websites. I’d have to say this is THE one.

Congratulations!!! You have officially walked inside my mind and got to witness how I do my keyword research. How did you do? Did you try using the same steps above but with your interest?

Give it a try and if you get stuck or have any questions don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below.

I’m here to help you!


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4 Responses

  1. Very good article. I’ll be very interested to see an update of it once Google completely switches over the keyword tool to the new format, whatever they’re calling it.


    1. Carey, thank you soooo much for stopping by and commenting. That really means a lot to me. I have actually been doing research on the Google Planner, that’s what their calling it, and it’s not to much different but of course I will definitely have to do a new tutorial. Once I’ve written another post about it I’ll be sure to send you the link.
      Be Blessed,

  2. Fantastic article. I’m pretty new to WA and although I’ve been through a fair bit of the training and I’m aware of the terms “keywords” and SEO etc, I’m not 100% about what they are exactly. Your article has cleared up quite a few things for me.

    Thank you

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting John. I’m so glad it could clear up some things for you. I think my absolute favorite part of Internet Marketing is doing the keyword research. It’s blows me away to see how people search to find what they are looking for.
      WA is an amazing place that’s for sure. So much talent and knowledge in one place and such a wonderful community. What is your user name within WA, I want to make sure I’m following you to watch your progress.
      Thanks again for stopping by and commenting.
      ~ Audrey

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