Keyword Research for Maximum SEO Benefit

How Does SEO Work?

So you’ve just entered the world of search engine optimization.Maybe you’re a blogger trying to make your site go viral, or a marketer trying to make your website more relevant and noticeable in the constantly evolving digital marketplace.Whatever your reasoning for entering this brave new world, I can assure you of two things:you’re heading in the right direction, and there’s no going back!

Search Engine Optimization is wildly complicated, and the rules and best practices are always changing, but the very basics of the concept never change:

  • Search engines like Google or Bing look at (or crawl) websites for content
  • People search for content
  • Search engines provide people with websites that match their search for content


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These are SEO truths that have never, and will never, change.But your website or blog is probably filled with content – how do you choose the words or phrases (aka: search terms) that people are actually searching for?And how does Google or Bing know which words are important to your page?

Let’s tackle keywords first.

If you have an interest in SEO, whether it’s to help rank a company website in the search engines or you want your own articles to have high SERPs (so you can earn from AdSense), it’s important to learn how to do keyword research.

There are three major aspects of keyword research you must get a handle on in order to have success in SEO. Each of these three things go hand in hand which is why it’s important to learn how to utilize both.

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Before writing around a niche topic (I will explain what a ‘niche’ is a bit later) you should ensure these three things:

  • Your niche is something you realistically compete in
  • Your niche can earn enough money
  • Your keywords are things people actually search for

Getting Started: What You’ll Need

You will need some tools before we move on, to help you find out how much you can make with Adsense.

Don’t worry, they are free!

You can go the easy route and install Firefox and SEO for Firefox which you can learn about (and download) on my list of 7 Must-Have SEO Tools SEO for Firefox will help you find the PageRank of sites in Google SERPs. If you don’t feel like using it, you can just use one of the many websites that have a PageRank checking tool.

You will need some sort of spreadsheet software. Microsoft Excel is great, but I’ll be using OpenOffice Calc in my examples since it’s free, works great, and I’m cheap. One word of advice, Google Docs are absolutely amazing, but their spreadsheet software won’t work for this since it doesn’t have the functionality you need for keyword research.

Setting Up Spreadsheets for Keyword Research

We’re going to start with a bit of work in our spreadsheet so that it’s all ready for our keyword research. Go ahead and open up a new Calc Document and name it something like “Keywords” and hit save. Fill out the spreadsheet by putting the word “keyword” in A1, “[searches]” in B1, “CPC” in C1, “Monthly $” in D1.

In the D2 cell we are going to input a function which will do some math to find out how much a particular keyword can earn per month. The example will use the HubPages function.

After you paste the function into cell D2, hit escape on your keyboard. Then, right click on cell D2 and then click “copy.” Then, click and hold cell D3. While still holding cell D3, pull down your mouse, selecting several cells on column D3. Pull down until cell D500 or further (so you can do research on several keywords without having to constantly add the function to cells.) With all those cells in column D selected, right click, and hit paste.