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We could also call this post “Keyword Research for Complete Beginners“. This post is designed for those that are new to keyword research or for those that haven’t been having much luck with their Squidoo lenses. In this post I will take you from my topic idea to how I choose the 3 main keywords my Squidoo lens would focus on. Hopefully, this little tutorial will get teach you good basic keyword research skills and enable you to see your Squidoo lens rise to the top of a Google search result. If you are completely brand new to keyword research, read Keyword Research 101 to understand WHY keyword research is important.
Keyword Research For a Squidoo Lens
The topic for the day is ‘ear infection’. Why? Simple. The past few days a nasty ear infection has just about brought me to my knees and it has been all I have been thinking about…haha! So, for the sake of example in this keyword research lesson, we will pretend I have found a great ebook on Clickbank that I want to promote via Squidoo. I now need to find the keywords that I can rank for in Google…those wonderful keywords that will bring me free traffic to my lens.
The first step I will take, before I even choose a url for my new Squidoo lens, will be to do some basic keyword research and pick 3-5 main keyword phrases that I feel I have an opportunity to have my lens rank highly for. There are many keyword research tools available online (some free, some not), but I have a favorite free online keyword tool that I use again and again. I use the keyword research tool at SEOBook.com.
I just enter my topic – ear infection – into the search field, click submit, and get a TON of great information. While this keyword research tool returns a TON of information, for the sake of this post we are only going to focus on researching keywords for Google. Naturally, I can go much deeper into this whole process, but I want this to be a basic lesson on keyword research and not get too confusing.
After typing my topic, ear infection, into the SEOBook keyword tool, I see a screen like this:
The words on the left are the words internet users are actually typing into search engines to find related information. The numbers to the right reflect how many times a day these words are being used by searchers. We are going to focus on the numbers I have highlighted in yellow. These are the numbers that show how many times a day these words are being used on Google exclusively. If you click these numbers from within the SEOBook keyword research tool, a new window will open showing the Google results for that search term. I find this feature VERY handy.
As the next step in the way I get the right keywords for my Squidoo lens, I scroll thru and scan the keyword phrases the research tool returns for me. I am looking for about 3 phrases that when I click the searches per day number those phrases will have less than about 400,000 other pages on Google competing for that phrase.
As I check the phrases, I will then put quotes around each phrase in the Google search to see how many other web pages have that EXACT phrase on their web page. I like that exact number to be less than 25,000 – anything under 10,000 is great.
While there is not set rule as to how many competing pages a keyword should have in order to be a ‘hot’ keyword, for the sake of this lesson, I would like you to keep it as low as possible. What I want is for each of you that are struggling with getting organic traffic from Google, to learn how to find keywords and then see your lens rank for the keyword phrases you choose. Once you have gotten positive feedback from your work and have learned the basics of keyword research, the sky is the limit and you will be able to shoot for more competitive keywords as time goes by.
Ok, so I have scrolled the search results that SEOBook’s keyword tool gave me. I have found three keyword phrases that interest me. Each has less than 400,000 in a general search (without quotes), and each has less than 25,000 in an exact search (with quotes).
My chosen keywords are:
home remedies for ear infections – 150,000 general/4,610 exact
ear infection symptoms – 339,000 general/14,500 exact
treating ear infections – 271,000 general/20,200 exact
Where Do I Put Keywords On My Squidoo Lens?
There are definitely strong places to make sure your keyword phrases are within your Squidoo lens. For this lesson, I will refer you back to How to SEO Optimize a Squidoo Lens. This article goes over the entire process of properly inserting your keywords on your lens. The ‘hot spots’ on your lens are your lens title (VERY important), your module titles, your intro module, your tags, your anchor text for links, and your bio (yes, make sure you optimize your bio!)
What Else Do I Do With My Squidoo Keywords?
After your lens is created you will need to build links TO your Squidoo lens. This is really, really important and helps with your rankings and the performance of your lens within Google. Whenever I build a link to my lens, the link will have one of my above chosen keywords within the anchor text link TO my lens. (Don’t know how to make a HTML anchor text link? Read this how-to make live links post).
That means, that if I book mark my lens, at least one of my keyword phrases I chose will be in the title of the bookmark. If I write articles to promote my lens, those keyword phrases will be the words in my article bio box that readers click to get to my lens. If I blog about my lens, I will make sure the words I use to link to my lens include one of the keyword phrases listed above.
Between a simple process of having my chosen keyword phrases ON my lens, and having those keyword phrases as links TO my lens, my Squidoo lens will do well in Google and will receive organic traffic.
What Difference Do The Right Keywords Make?
One of the keywords I chose for my fictitious lens is ear infection symptoms. That phrase only had 339,000 competing pages on Google. Now, what if I chose the phrase symptoms of an ear infection? Those two phrases mean the same thing, right? Right. However, symptoms of an ear infection has over 1.5 MILLION competing pages on Google. Which battle would you like to fight – Against 339,000? Or Against 1.5 MILLION? Use the keyword phrases that give you a chance to rank your lens highly.
Basic Keyword Research For Squidoo – Summary
While I can go on and on about other more advance metrics of keyword research, my intent here is to keep it basic. I want each new lensmaster to not only learn how to get their Squidoo lens ranked well in Google, but for them to also SEE free organic traffic coming to their lens via Google search.
Any questions or additions – please feel free to add to the conversation. I imagine some of this post may be unclear ( darn ear infection) and I want to be sure all that need to understand this process DO understand this process.
Keyword research is not an exact science – it is more of an educated guess. As you learn more about researching keywords, your guesses will become even more educated.
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Nice tips Jennifer. I usually use Wordtracker and it give me good result.. Never used SEobook BEfore and I think it’s great. However, how about research with niche site? Is it the same as squidoo?
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As always, Jennifer, you have answered questions that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. Things like that subtle difference in whether to use the most popular keyword search (which anyone would tend to do) versus using a less competitive one. The light went on! And the way the SEOBook information is laid out is a lot easier for me to understand. You’re my silent business partner–well, actually not so silent :).
I don’t say much, but I’m a regular and very grateful student of yours. You are such a generous lady!
This keyword thing had me puzzled for months now, and my meager outside traffic stats are reflecting my state of ignorance. However, something has clicked in my dumb little Bavarian weenie-lover’s kraut mind, while reading this post. I think I’ve got it – I think I’ve got it! (from “My Fair Lady”, right?)
I know I’ve read about today’s topic several times before, but the way you laid it out today seemed to finally get through my mental blocks. Boy, have I got some work to do! I hope I’ll finally get somewhere with my lenses in terms of traffic other than from within Squidoo.
Thank you so much for your repeat lessons in different words, and simplified for bone heads like myself. You’re the best!
Many people have complained that they do not get any traffic from the search engines thru social bookmarking tactics. That is because they do not research keywords first and put them in places within their blog posts where Google will find them. Just getting lots of Social Bookmarking links coming into your site does NOTHING for the blog, it does allot for the post when you target keywords that have traffic. You are very right in bring this to the attention of your readers PotPie.
You should also point out that if your readers are using Squidoo to create links coming into their blogs that they should use the same keywords they are targeting in the link text.
Lastly, there is some evidence that Google is devaluing deep links to blogs over links to the domain, so you definitely want to link to the domain rather than deep linking when creating links.
I am going to test this more deeply and will have evidence next week.
By the way I got Malathy ranked #1 on Google as of last nite for “how to get more diggs” using all the tactics in the book you bought. The link to the new 85 page copy is in your email. See you on SMC.
HI THERE JENNIFER,
MANY TKS FOR THIS VALUABLE TIP ON KEYWORD RESEARCH.
AM I CORRECT IN SAYING THAT ONE MUST HAVE EXCEL 2007 TO USE SEOBOOK.COM KEYWORD RESEARCH?
I am your fan for life. I have been really struggling with this issue. Thank you so much.
Thanks Jennifer – as everyone else says “That’s really brought it to life for me”.
I’ve had a negative ROI for 5 years now, even since I tried to stop treating this as a hobby, but suddenly I believe I can see a way through the mire – you’ve opened a window on my life!!!
“Ancient John from Medieval York”
Jennifer how many searches per day should be looking for?
I love smc. They have helped me make my life so much better. Many thanks to the smc crew, you guys rock!
I officially have an Internet crush on you…:P
What is the general rule of thumb when doing keyword research ideally in quotes and not in quotes,i have just published my first lense thanks to you.