Get Top SEO Rankings

The purpose of a web page is to provide visitors with information. Whether that information is a sales pitch or free information, the function of the web page is the same–to provide information. If the web page doesn’t get visitors, you as the webmaster have failed, and the destiny of the web page is to become lost amongst billions of others in an increasingly tangled world wide web. If you want to get visitors, you can pay for them, or get them for free at search engines like Google. Why Google? Right now, Google is the only search engine worth optimizing for. Besides providing other smaller search engines with results, I am increasingly seeing other search engine algorithms becoming closer to that of Google. In short, optimize for Google and eventually you will rank well on other engines too.

To get free traffic from Google, you need to come up in the top search results when someone searches for a keyword or phrase related to your web page. We need to know what terms people are typing into the search box at Google, relating to our web page. By knowing this information, we can design our web page around these terms and hopefully Google will think our page is important enough to show in the top of the search results.

Here is the equation:

A top 10 position for our chosen term
knowing that people are searching for that term
Free Traffic.

{mospagebreak title=Hypothetical Case Study:Web Page About Carp Fishing}

The first step is to find out what terms people are typing into the search boxes at the search engines in their quest to find information about carp fishing. The obvious phrase would be “carp fishing.” As far as I know, there is no decent way of finding out what keywords or phrases people type into the search box of Google. Google does have a keyword tool for those who want to use its pay per click advertising model, however, it is not really detailed enough. We need another tool. There are several available, and luckily there is a good free one. The first one we should mention is the ‘Overture Suggestion tool’. You can see this in action by visiting the following site:

Below is a screenshot of this tool:

Search Term Suggestion Tool

Type in your keyword phrase and click the go button (small arrow). Overture will then show you a long list of related keywords and how many times they were searched for.

You do need to be aware of a few limitations of the Overture Keyword Suggestion tool:

  1. Singles & plurals are lumped together.
  2. Suspiciously high searches for some terms (see story at the end of this chapter), so number of searches may be inaccurate.
  3. Word order is often changed from that which was actually searched.

Because of these limitations, you need to use common sense. For example, Overture reports that the phrase ‘canada carp fishing holiday in’ is searched for 161 times. What was probably typed in at Overture was “carp fishing holidays in canada.” (Notice the order of words.)

{mospagebreak title=Other Keyword Suggestion Tools: Good Keywords}

Good Keywords allows you to type in a generic phrase like “carp fishing,” and it will produce a list of related terms that have been searched for in the last few weeks. It also provides the number of times each term has been searched for. Download it and try it for yourself. The help is a little sparse, but the software is fairly intuitive. Here you can see the screenshot of when you start this software.

Softnik Technologies

Basically, click on the Overture tab of Good Keywords, type in the phrase you are interested in, and click the Go! button. Below, you can see a screenshot showing the first few results I obtained using the Overture tab of Good Keywords:

Good Keywords

Note The numbers that follow are the number of times that keyword phrase has been searched for in the last few weeks. Obviously bigger is better here. Also note is that Good Keywords uses Overture’s Keyword Suggestion Tool. Good Keywords therefore suffers from the same problems that the Overture tool does.

Another thing to note is that the more searches there are for a term, the greater the number of web sites that will probably be competing for that term, and the harder it will be to get a top 10 position. You always need to check out the number of competing sites to decide whether a keyword is potentially valuable or not. This can be done at the search engines by typing each phrase in manually.


Typing in each phrase is time consuming, but it is something you must do. If you don’t, you will end up choosing keywords that you have very little chance of ranking well for in the search engines.

Good Keywords is obviously flawed, but it can be a useful free way of researching terms for your pages. Other Research Tools which are not free include Nichefinder & WordTracker. Let’s look at each of these, and then we can compare the results obtained.

{mospagebreak title=Other Keyword Suggestion Tools: Nichefinder}

For an overview of Nichefinder, and my opinions on this software, read my review at

The same query ‘carp fishing’ in Nichefinder produced these results:





Keyword Phrase





bait carp fishing recipe





bow carp fishing





canada carp fishing





canada carp fishing





canada carp fishing in





canada carp fishing holiday in





canada carp fishing in





carp fishing





carp fishing and bait





carp fishing france in





carp fishing holiday





carp fishing ontario





carp fishing rig





carp fishing tackle





carp fishing tackle uk





carp fishing tip





carp fishing uk





carp fishing usa





fly fishing for carp

The output above was produced using the Nichefinder Results Analyzer (see resources at the end of this section). This tool can clean up the results and make them easier to interpret than Nichefinder itself.

Key to Column Headers

  • KEI (Keyword Effectiveness Index) – This value is not provided by Nichefinder, but the Nichefinder Results Analyzer will calculate it for you. KEI is based on a calculation devised by Sumantra Roy, to indicate the potential or profitability of a keyword. The higher the value the better the keyword. Typically values above 10 are worth considering. For more information on KEI, see

  • DtoS – the demand to supply ratio

  • Supp(R) – the number of competing sites. The (R) refers to Raw. Nichefinder displays its results as both raw and nice, where raw is the actual number, and nice is a simplified number. Personally I like to have the raw numbers as they show how many people are searching for a keyword.

    The good thing about the Nichefinder Results Analyzer is that you can import any of the Nichefinder results into it, and only output the values you want to see.

  • Dem(R) – the number of searches in the last few weeks. Notice demand figures for Nichefinder are the same as for Good Keywords. Not totally reliable, but a good indicator. Nichefinder on the whole is a much better and detailed analyzer than Good Keywords in my opinion for the extra data it provides.

Nichefinder Resources

Wordtracker is a subscription service. There are no two ways about it, Wordtracker is by far the best keyword research tool. It may not seem cheap, but it is worth its weight in gold. You can dig very deeply into your niche area and find hundreds–even thousands–of potential keywords. It is well worth buying it for a day (which usually lasts longer than 24 hours if my past experience is anything to go by). It is possible to do the keyword research for lots of pages in a day–certainly enough to keep you busy for a month or more.

In some ways, Nichefinder suffers the same limitations as Good Keywords, although it is a far better tool. Its advantage over Wordtracker is that you actually own the software; there’s no monthly or annual fee like Wordtracker. There is a free Wordtracker trial that you can use as many times as you want. Although limited to a single search engine and by how many words it retrieves, the free version is still a great way to do preliminary research.

The beauty of the paid version of Wordtracker is that you can query all the main search engines for competition including Google. See my review for a list of all extras you get with the paid version. I would recommend going to the Wordtracker site and trying out the trial version. Get familiar with it . Download the WordTracker Manual and read it. Once you have the basics, buy WordTracker for a day and do your research. You will be amazed at how much you can dig into niche areas. For what it’s worth, I believe that the numbers reported by Wordtracker, (for the number of monthly searches), are far more accurate than any other tool available.

{mospagebreak title=Using Keyword Tools (in Our Sample)}

Using the free trial, here are a few of the results from Wordtracker for the search term ‘carp fishing':

Keyword chart

Once you have selected the keywords you are interested in, you can get Wordtracker to calculate the competition at any of the main search engines. (Google’s included; this is a great feature.) Once you finish, you can get the results sent to you by e-mail and import them into a spreadsheet. Below I have shown a portion of the e-mail Wordtracker sent me (I have tidied it up a little to make it clearer).

KEI SEO chart

NOTE  Wordtracker provides the KEI value too.

In the above diagram:

  • Count figure is how many searches for this keyword were carried out in the last 60 days.
  • 24Hrs refers to how many searches in the last 24 hours.
  • Competing is the number of competing web sites (in this case at Altavista as that is the only Search Engine you can use in the free trial version).

Comparing the keyword research tool results
Notice the phrase: “carp fishing tip(s)” and compare the results from each software:

Using both Good Keywords & Nichefinder we get 437 results for “carp fishing tip,” while Wordtracker returned 151. Wordtracker suggests that there were far fewer searches for carp fishing tips than the Overture Suggestion Tool, which is used by both Good Keywords & Nichefinder. This may be in part due to Overture lumping plurals and singulars into one phrase & possibly misspellings.

What this means is that Overture lumps “carp fishing tip” and “carp fishing tips together, in addition to common misspellings of this phrase.

The failings of the Overture Suggestion Tool are a big disadvantage. With Good Keywords and Nichefinder both using Overture results as the basis for keyword counting, they too must suffer the same handicaps. You can see why Wordtracker is the choice of professionals.

{mospagebreak title=So We Have a List of Keywords, What Next?}

I would like to suggest that you chose 3 or 4 different but related keywords to use on each of your web pages. I would probably look at the list above and choose these for a web page about carp fishing baits:

carp fishing tips
carp fishing bait
carp fishing baits
carp fishing bait recipes

“Carp fishing baits” would be my primary keyword for this page as it encompasses all that this web page is referring to. The primary keyword is the keyword I mainly optimize my web page for. “Tips” and “recipes” would be secondary keywords that I use within my page, to try to capture search engine traffic looking for these words also.

These secondary keywords can help increase the potential audience of your page by capturing visitors who use them in their search. It is always a good idea to use several secondary keywords or synonyms of the main phrase.

In general, you want to choose highly relevant keywords with a high number of searches and a low number of competing web sites.

Let me finish this chapter with a true story: Last year I carried out keyword research for a web page of mine about pheromones. I was going to send my traffic to a merchants site and get commission on any sale generated. Using the Overture tool, I found 4 or 5 terms with reportedly 47000+ searches in recent weeks–and that is just on Overture! I thought, “Hey, great!” Should be several times this many searches originating from Google. I created a couple of pages and optimized them. I got the number one position on MSN, and later, number one on Google, too, for some of my chosen terms. I could see the money in front of my eyes. Two days later, I had received only 6 visitors. I was heart broken. My millions were melting away before my eyes! I checked on WordTracker and found that in the last month, there had only been 41 searches for my main keyword!

Want to know which is my favorite keyword search tool?

Great Resources Software

Good Keywords – free keyword tool
Nichefinder – More advanced keyword tool
Nichefinder Results Analyzer – Make sense of the Nichefinder results
Overture Suggestion Tool – The keyword suggestion tool that is used by Good Keywords & Nichefinder for search data
WordTracker – The keyword tool of choice for professionals Free Reports
Sitemaps – This Missing Link of Search Engine Optimization. This report should persuade you that you do need to create a sitemap. It also tells you how to do it properly.
ezSEO Newsletter – Tips and advice on getting top listings.

Did you like this report?

This article on Niche Keyword Research is actually chapter one of an exciting new Search Engine Optimization eBook. In the book, you will find out what to do with your keywords when you have found them.

After taking you by the hand to optimise your web pages for the search engines, the book then takes a good hard look at two factors which are perhaps the most important today for good rankings in the search engine: Page Rank & Link reputation. For more information on this must have resource, visit here.


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