Narrowing Keyword Research

In the fourth of our series of informative articles on The Honest Way to earn an income online, we look at narrowing down your keyword search to find long tail keywords.

In the last article, we looked at selecting a topic or niche that you want to start your business in and how to use the search engines to look at the competition you will be up against. Now we'll look at narrowing down your search criteria to make things a little easier. That doesn't mean things will get easy, they just won't seem quite so daunting.

With your keyword search of "alternate health" bringing up around 850 sites that will be going head to head with yours, things are looking much better than the 1.2 million google offered at the outset. You can still narrow that down a bit more by defining a more selective keyword search.

Finding Useful Keywords

A small break in the flow is needed here to explain a bit about keywords if you don't know what they are. Keywords are the words that people type into the search box on the search engine homepage when they are searching for a particular thing.

Say I wanted to search for some information on alternate health. I would go to google or yahoo or another of the top search engines and type in alternative health. I'd get a ton of related pages, but the search would not be very specific. I might end up with millions of pages that have nothing to do with alternative health, because I was not specific in my search criteria.

In other words, google (we'll assume google, as it's the biggest) gave me every web page that contained the keywords "alternative" and "health", although not necessarily both together. I might have lots of pages about the health of aardvarks and lots of pages about alternative music, for example. That is because I wasn't specific enough. To narrow that search down a bit, I'll put my keywords in quotes (""), ie "alternative health". That will only bring up pages on alternative health, but I still got a ton of pages.

I'll narrow that search down a bit more, because I might not want to know what alternative health is all about, I might just want to buy some products. So my new search will be "alternative health products". Let's see what google gives us now. Better. Google gave me 97,700 related pages. Now I go to advanced search and change to view 100 pages and then click on page 10. Google gives me 713 relevant pages with the rest omitted. That's narrowed it down a bit from 850 pages.

Keyword Search Competition

The next step is to find out how many people are searching on those keywords. A good keyword tool is needed here to do this accurately. One of the best free ones around today is the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. If you follow the link you'll go to the relevant page where you can log in to (or create a new) Adwords account to do your search.

Ok, so we search on our keyword phrase "alternative health products" and the results show there were about 2300 searches for the last month. That could be better but good enough, so now we know that for 713 sites that are in competition with us we stand a pretty good chance of getting traffic to the site we intend to build.

How do we know that?

Because further down this series of articles, I'll show you ways of getting above seven hundred or so of those sites in the search engine rankings, so a good majority of those keyword searches will find our site.

So now we feel confident about our niche to go on to the next phase of starting up our online business, which will be to start putting together our website. But before we get started with that, there are still a few things that you need to know.

In the next article, we'll look at some of the things you are going to need before you even start building your website in order to earn that honest income online.

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