Keyword Research Insights for The Non-Professional Keyword Evaluator – Part 1

Have you ever wondered whether a keyword phrase might bring new prospects to your website, and whether it would be possible to achieve good search results on that phrase?

Clients and prospective clients ask us this question on a frequent basis. They ask because they don’t yet know how to gain the fundamental keyword research insights that will give them the necessary information on which to make an informed decision.

This begs the question, “How can I conduct keyword research without having to become a full-blown keyword research analyst?”

As a business owner or marketing director, you will want – and need – to be able to make fairly quick assessments on whether there is a chance to “win” with a keyword phrase. I want to share with you how you can gain at least partial insight on whether a keyword phrase has enough value to investigate further.

In this two-part article we’re going to give you three questions to explore to make an initial key phrase evaluation. They are:

  1. Does this phrase leverage existing organic optimization?
  2. Does this phrase have commercial intent?
  3. Does this phrase have the appropriate competition levels?

Does This Phrase Leverage Existing Organic Optimization?

The first step is to make sure your keyword phrase fits into one of the overall “keyword buckets” for your site. It takes energy, effort and dollars to achieve optimization results.

Ensuring that your new phrase fits into your core outreach allows you to piggyback onto the work that’s already been conducted, giving your efforts a bit of a boost. If your phrase does not fit into one of those existing buckets, additional strategic planning will be needed to provide the support required for the new phrase. How to tackle this will be covered in another article.

Does This Phrase Have Commercial Intent?

Your second assessment is to determine whether it makes commercial sense to optimize for a specific phrase. Why waste time looking at a phrase if it doesn’t seem to have “commercial intent”?

Your first step is to search the keyword phrase in the search engines. Look to see if anyone is “buying” that phrase in pay-per-click advertising. You can find these ads at the top and right side of the search results page. If people are buying the phrase, then look at how many companies are competing on that phrase. If people are paying for the phrase, there MIGHT be commercial intent, as most PPC marketers don’t want to spend money on phrases that do not convert.

An additional step you can take is to look at your keyword phrase in KeywordSpy. You don’t need a subscription to view the basic information you want in this case.

  • Pull up the site.
  • Put the keyword phrase in the box.
  • Make sure you chose your country of choice in the drop-down box.
  • Click search.

A wealth of information is returned on the overview page.

The tactics with KeywordSpy give us information only on whether people are buying the phrase for paid advertising. It tells us nothing about the competitive level of the phrase for organic search, or how many people are actively optimizing for your phrase. This is what we will cover in Part 2 of this article.