The Benefits of Using an Illogical “Anything Goes Approach” to Your Keyword Research

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    Before we discuss the benefits of using an “anything goes approach to research” as it applies to keyword research or behavioral research for the process of search engine optimization (SEO), let’s take a minute to talk about logic or the reverse (for lack of a better term) anti-logic.

    Logical thinking versus illogical thinking

    In our everyday life as mature adults, we find value in approaching things with a logical thinking process. We choose to formulate ideas and thoughts that “make the most sense” and contribute to what we are trying to achieve. For most things in life, the more logical planning you do, the better results you will obtain.

    For most aspects of living our lives, using a logical approach delivers much better results than taking an illogical approach. Performing certain tasks in a methodical, step by step approach only makes sense, especially in cases where you are taking specific actions to reproduce a certain result over and over again.

    However, the process we refer to as keyword research is one place where we can benefit by taking more of an anything goes approach for research. If logic rules in your research (which for most of us it naturally does) then you often discover the same keyword phrases that any other logical person might be guessing at or researching.

    But true research, is not limited to guessing at things but is better thought of in terms of: “a process of exploring existing data for the hottest and freshest trends in search behavior.”

    Good research technique allows the researcher to discover many different trends that the casual guesser will never even notice.

    Every time I write another article describing examples of high KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) type phrases, it does not take long before people jump on the examples and naturally start using them. So by the time you read these examples the data may have changed, but the reason I share these tips is to help you research your data more effectively using a tool like Wordtracker.

    Don’t just limit yourself to the examples, but dig in and try exploring data for your own industry specific phrases.

    Taking one of the oldest examples like “baby names” you might think after this time that people have worn it out. The original article I wrote talked about how soon to be parents love to use the Internet to research baby names. Therefore, by offering such a resource in a baby clothes or baby furniture Web site you could attract “soon to be parents” to the Web site based on what a specific audience wants to find. They may want to research what they will call their child but end up realizing that there are other things for sale that they need here too.

    The examples I gave years ago are getting fairly competitive, so let’s give you some new examples:

    • “Baby boy names” has about 419,000 competing pages on Google at the time of this article.
    • “Unique baby names” has about 131,000 competing pages on Google at the time of this article.
    • “Uncommon baby names” has at least 40,000 competing pages on Google…

    And people begin to panic and say, oh well, so much for this strategy…all the baby name keywords have been used up.

    But let’s not jump to conclusions so fast.

    How about some of these searches:

    • “Traditional English Baby Names” has only 8 competing pages and a KEI of 55.0
    • “Modern baby names” has only 755 competing pages and a KEI of 205.0
    • “Old south baby names” has only 60 competing pages and a KEI of 336.1
    • “Southern Female Names” has only 136 competing pages and a KEI of 339.0
    • “Colonial baby names” has only 2 competing pages and a KEI of 480.5

    It took me less than 2 minutes to find these phrases, based on one simple action. But once you are on to it, you will expand your keyword research ability by several thousand times.

    When performing comprehensive research inside the member’s area of Wordtracker.com, people tend to go with keywords that make sense logically. This is only natural since for most of us, we want to guess at terminology that makes the best sense. People often tend to only want to enter into Wordtracker, the most logically descriptive terms instead of taking a little broader “anything goes” approach to their research.

    TIP: To find the terms above in just a few minutes, I did not research the keyword phrase “baby names.” I narrowed it down to the single word “name” and allowed Wordtracker to instantly show me how that word is being used in multiple phrases.

    When you attempt to research a specific phrase that is lodged in the front of your mind, you are limiting the results you will see to those that using that exact two word combination together. In the meantime, there could be hundreds of searches being done that you will never ever see or find, because you are logically guessing at a specific phrase that you ***think*** may be important. By using a single word, you are going to get a much wider cross section of keywords and understand exactly how they are being used by the searcher within the last 90 days.

    Many people take the approach of checking all of the keywords that make the most logical sense, rather than using a root word that is not illogical or not the most obvious.

    Let’s go through a few more quick examples to show you how to do research that will open up all kinds of new windows for discovery:

    Suppose you are an affiliate marketer who has a website around the topic of lighting. Maybe you are trying to find interesting keywords based on low compete counts for words like lamp, lighting, light bulbs etc. Of these primary keywords that first come to mind, what would be an interesting single root word to go exploring Wordtracker data with?

    None of these suggestions would be wrong to check out, but let’s use this as an example to find a product that we could sell from our informational affiliate site.

    Would you use a word like light or lighting or lamp or light bulbs?

    The first few words jump off the page at you because they are logical and make sense, right. Let’s go exploring with the single term “bulb.” It is still logical to a degree, but it is not the first thing you probably thought of.

    Rather than listing all of the words I found, such as:

    • “Inground pool light bulb”
    • “Fluorescent light bulb containers”
    • “Sunwave light bulb”
    • “Fibre optic light bulb replacement”

    Let me say that it was not until about 260 words in the list that the competing counts were above 20. In other words, there are literally over 200 keyword phrase combinations I found in about 3 minutes.

    Try and take the broadest anything goes approach to research and test ordinary everyday terms. The boring little terms that most people assume have no value. Don’t be in a rush to try and research multiple terms, but start with a single word. Most of want to think of a solution and then explore data to find a keyword that relates to that solution.

    TIP: Try it backwards. Stop thinking of the solution first, but explore the data to find a need. Once you find a need of your searching audience, then dig into a solution at that point.

    Example of exploring an everyday boring word:

    The word I am just grabbing to demonstrate this anything goes approach is the word out of my last sentence. I am thinking about the word “everyday.” I think I’ll just shorten it to the word “day.” How boring is that? Do you think we’ll discover anything even remotely useful with a word like “day?” Let’s try it out:

    • Father’s Day E-cards: KEI 432.6
    • 30 day free trial Websites: KEI 784.0
    • History of Patriot’s Day: KEI 1700.0
    • Daylight Savings Time Map: KEI 1762.0
    • Labor day travel: KEI 1859.0

    So we see some very interesting search terms that carry nice potential for a variety of applications. In just a few seconds we’ve learned about several words and exactly how they are being formed to create exact search phrases that could be helpful in any number of scenarios.

    I hope this is enough to get you thinking more open mindedly about the process of keyword research. There is a wealth of data that can be instantly tapped into and made use of. Check Out Wordtracker’s Free Keyword Tool Now.

    If you’d like a free copy of my best selling e-book Keyword Forensics 2.0 the instructions for downloading it are included in this free Webinar called How to Start Your Own SEO Business at: Http://bit.ly/uNTVKM

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      About John Alexander

      John Alexander is Director of Training at the Search Engine Academy offering live, hands-on SEO workshops and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries. John is author of an e-book called Keyword Forensics 2.0. John's articles can be read in publications like REALTOR Magazine, Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News, Website Magazine, Pandia Search and many others.

      Comments

      1. Alan Hunter says:

        John, that’s something that I have been wondering about all along when looking for keywords. As I read your article, I realized I had been “straying” from the “Guru” path in what I was doing, and that I was picking up good keywords/phrases. After reading your article, it will be a concerted effort, not just exprementing.

        Good stuff!

        Alan

        • John Alexander says:

          Hi Alan, thank you for your comments. The key to expanding our scope of insight and finding the best results, comes by reason of practice and lateral thought. Never being afraid to check out some of the more common tiny words, (the ones nobody ever checks because they assume they are useless) are often the keys to tapping into those telling little phrase clusters that reveal the conditions in the searchers life why they searched in the first place. Best wishes to you my friend as you explore more and more.
          Thanks for writing,
          John Alexander

      2. Nancy Wigal says:

        John, great points made about thinking differently – illogically! It never ceases to amaze me when I type in a single, seemingly unrelated word and get what I call money-making phrases. Great examples in this blog post – hopefully others who read this will be spurred to thinking differently.

      3. Hajime says:

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      4. Marilena says:

        Excellent goods from you, man. Top SEO Tools for Keyword Research | AuroIN Blog I’ve usndrntaed your stuff previous to and you are just too magnificent. I really like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a terrific Top SEO Tools for Keyword Research | AuroIN Blog informations.

      5. Mina says:

        Your website has to be the eeltcronic Swiss army knife for this topic.

      6. John Alexander says:

        Thank you Marilena, I’m glad ou are enjoy reading the blog.
        Best wishes,
        John

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