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How To Research Keywords For Search Engine Marketing

By Dan J. Fry
Posted Saturday, June 26, 2004

The core element of any type of marketing utilizing the search
engines is the keyword. Why is it so important? In terms of
general marketing principles keyword search is equivalent to
targeting a niche. It can help you focus your advertisements on
certain key areas that will already have an interest in what you
are offering.

Targeting proper keywords or key phrases, groups of 2 to 5
keywords, is the way to market successfully with pay-per-click
search engines and obtain high ranking in search engine indexes.
It is a rather arduous task, but one that can yield massive
returns in ranking, traffic, and sales if done correctly.

So where do I start?

Many free resources exist to research which keywords you should
target. The two deciding factors are the number of searches
performed on a particular keyword or key phrase, and the number
of sites currently targeted these. Its nothing more than supply
and demand.


The premiere pay-per-click search engine who previously supplied
search results to several major search engines, is now on its
own. The free search tool can be found at:
( .
Search results are displayed only for the previous month. This
should be sufficient. The internet changes so quickly that what
happended 6 months ago is not of much importance. What makes
Overture's tool king in my view is that it provides hard numbers
on how much a phrase was searched, allowing you to directly
compare with the number of sites targeting each phrase.

Google Suggestion

Google has their own keyword suggestion tool. If you have an
Adwords account then you are already familiar with this resource.
Check it out at
( . This
tool also provides related keyword information. It provides
synonyms that might be used to target areas relatively untouched
by others.


This PPC engine is steadily gaining in popularity. I have used it
in the past to build my subscriber base and saw modest results.
To use their keyword tool simply create a free account and log
on. Then click on "Edit Bids" and go to "Keyword Suggestions".


This search engine provides related search results and keyword
suggestion in the results returned to the searcher. It can open
up new avenues of keywords and phrases not thought about before.
This resource can be found at (

Web Host Statistics

Unless your site is free, i.e. a free several page site through
your ISP, you will most probably have . Have a look. My service
is through StartLogic. The statistics are compiled through
AWStats, which by the way is a free program for analyzing web
site access. When I log into the server, I can view the
statistics using AWStats. It also shows me which keywords and key
phrases people are using to find my site. One great advantage I
have found with this method is that you can come up with keyword
ideas that you would have never thought about. Because people are
finding you with these keywords the search engines must have you

Online Dictionary and Thesaurus

Well, you may have wanted to stay away from them in school, but,
crack them open. These can provide you with additional ideas to
then use in Overture, 7Search, etc..

Word Tracker

This service is packed with many rich features to assist in
keyword research. It starts at $6US per day. For $225US
annually you are free to use it as much as needed. There is also
a free version which does not have many of the extended features.
I however recommend starting with this version. It will give you
a taste of how it works.

Use this resource to investigate how much traffic a site is
receiving. You cannot research individual keywords and key

As a final note put the required time into researching keywords
and key phrases prior to submitting your site or starting a PPC
campaign. Otherwise you are feeling around in the dark trying to
find your niche. It is time expensive, but not so for your
wallet. This fares well for online home businesses where time is
usually not a concern.

For more information on keyword research I suggest checking out They offer a lot of advice on search engine
About the Author
Dan J. Fry is an independent researcher and owner of, a site devoted to providing resources for small
budget home businesses. He has a PhD in Physics and is married
with two daughters and two cats. Subscribe to his free E-Zine on
home business resources at or by
visiting his Home Business
Resources and Tips site. He can be reached
at .


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