Keyword Research: Why 95% of Marketers Are Doing Wrong?

Keyword ResearchDo you know the reason why over 95% of people fail at building successful niche websites no matter how hard they try?

Do you know that the success of your websites depend on just one simple first step?

If you follow some successful people like Pat Flynn, Spencer Haws, Justin and Joe, you will probably know that their niche site’s successes largely rely on just one thing : Their ability to find golden keywords.

In other words: They know exactly how to do keyword research the right way.

The reality is that one of the most important skills for any internet marketers or website builders for making an authority site or having success with SEO in general is KEYWORD RESEARCH.

In this update of Public Niche Website Project, I will be sharing with you all the information and tactics you need to master the art of keyword research, to escape the group of failure and to start making big bucks online with your niche websites. Let’s get started!

Understanding What Makes a Golden Keyword

If you go anywhere and ask what is a golden keyword, you will get back dozens of different very passionate answers:

“The one with HIGH SEARCH VOLUMES !!!”

“CPC, CPC is everything”

“Go for low competition ones”

Honestly all of these are right… and wrong. This is because a golden keyword is not made up of just any one factor.

In fact, it’s a combination of many things that are going to be listed below. Here they are:

Basic Sign of a Golden Keyword

1. Search Volume:

This is the factor people often look at first when it comes to choosing keywords.Yes, it matters and it’s important. But there are several things you need to know about keyword’s search volume:

Broad Match vs Exact Match: Put it simply, go for exact match. It’s more accurate. The exact match volume is exactly the amount of searches per month of a certain keyword. This volume will show us estimatedly how much traffic we can expect when we rank for a certain keyword.

2. Cost per Click (CPC):

I do not really look at this as my prefered monetization method isn’t Google Adsense, but this is basically an indicator of how much the traffic is worth. CPC represents how much people are willing to pay for a click for a specific keyword. It also represents how much you can make per ad click if you have Adsense ad on your website (roughly 60% of the number showed). In short, if people are paying a lot of money for a click for a certain search term, then the traffic is lucrative and can bring in a lot of money for you.

3. Global vs Local Search:

A lot of people make this huge mistake by analyzing the potential traffic of a keyword based on global search instead of local search. Global search volume represents the world-wide search volume while Local search volume represents the amount of searches in the country your keyword tool is set to.

Ideally we want to target traffic from the USA. There are many searches that have huge global search volume but very tiny local search volume. You have to keep in mind that countries like INDIA have massive internet users and they use English as a main language so that they can make up a high percent of global search volume. Unfortunately, these kinds of traffic are insigfinicant because they’re not willing to pay and actually their online purchasing behaviors are not as huge compared to the American. In short, Aim for high local (USA) search volume.

Sign of a Golden Keyword

 1. The Level of Need For a Solution

Answer this question: Why do people search on Google? To solve an issue.

The issue can be anything varying from fulfilling their needs to finding funny pictures or to a real problem like finding treatments for their serious diseases. Take a look at these 2 examples:

– How to cure diabetes: 480 searches per month
Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 3.42.47 PM
– Funny dog pictures: 12,100 searches month
Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 3.39.34 PM
Most people will instantly go for funny dog pictures because it has much higher searches which means more money according to common advice of some “so-called experts”.

But if we dig deep and think further:

Would you be willing to pay $10 for a collection of funny dog pictures? No…

Would you be willing to pay $100+ to cure diabetes and live a healthier life? Yes, absolutely.

This is why I’m saying that the search volume is not that important as people thought it was. You want to mainly focus on how big the problem a person is having when they search on Google. The bigger the problem, the higher chance they will spend a lot of money to fix it.

2. Buyer Keywords

Buyer keywords are keywords that include some phrases that show the interest and intent in buying things of a searcher. This is fairly simple. If a person types in “buy canon t3i”, it clearly shows that they’re looking to buy a new camera. Targeting this keyword will result in more sales.

On the flip side, if someone just types in “canon t3i”, they might be looking for photos, information and some other things related canon t3i. This keyword is still great but it’s not as profitable as the first keyword.

Here is the list of 85 buyer keywords:
[wpsharely id=”390″]
– Cure
– Improve
– Get rid of
– Reduce
– Recover
– Deal with
– Code with
– Heal
– Treat
– End
– Fix
– Repair
– Protect
– Avoid
– Prevent
– Relieve
– Remedy
– Restore
– Solve
– Rebuild
– Buy
– Purchase
– Gain
– Eliminate
– Increase
– Order
– Compare
– Overcome
– Learn
– Alleviate
– That Works
– Top
– Fast
– Quick
– Easily
– Best
– For sale
– On sale
– Vs
– For women
– For men
– For girls
– For guys
– For children
– For kids
– For couples
– For students
– For newbies
– Cheap
– Cheapest
– For seniors
– Reviews (s)
– Guide (s)
– Bonus
– Scam
– Solution
– Comparison
– Training
– Technique
– Program(s)
– Method (s)
– Plan (s)
– Software
– How to
– How do you
– How to get rid of
– How do I
– How can I
– How to make
– Get rid of
– review
– bargain
– budget
– inexpensive
– low cost
– low priced
– reduced
– model numbers
– brand names
– new
– deals
– need
– discount
– coupon
– discount code
Searches like this have a high conversion rate and will result in getting you more money per visitor.

3. Seasonality

Search based around the word “Valentine” will not get high search volume in the summer. Search based on events will not get a large search volume in the future. This is a common sense. Be sure to enter your keyword to Google Trends  to know that whether it gets sustainable search volume for all the year or just peak on a period of time.

Good Keyword
Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 4.59.52 PM
Seasonal Keyword (only peaks at Christmas)
Screen Shot 2013-02-25 at 5.00.21 PM

You’ve learned what makes a good keyword, but that’s not all. It’s only the first step. Now you have to know if you can actually rank high for that keyword to get decent traffic.

How to Analyze the Top 10 Competition For Your Keyword

There are hundreds of guides out there telling you about analyzing the keyword competition, each of them will share a different way to do that. There are also dozens of tools that promise that they will help you to easily figure out golden keywords. But you have to understand the basics first, tools can only help you get things done faster. Here are some basic ranking factors you have to look at:

1. Onpage SEO – The importance of relevant content.

First and foremost, you have to look at the meta tags and the relevancy of the content on the site.

Question. What is the most basic thing you do when you create an SEO site?

You write relevant content and put the keyword in the title, description, headline and url.

Now if a website falls to do this, what does that mean? It means they are 1) Not trying to rank for the keyword you are after or 2) not even doing SEO.

It also means they’re not intentionally ranking for that keyword and you can easily beat them and get their ranking.

Fortunately for you, there are thousands of keywords like that waiting for you to be uncovered :).

So, the first thing you have to check is whether there are unintentional & unoptimized pages that are ranking for your targeted keywords. If so, go for it immediately!

Examples of an optimized page: (Check another ranking factors)

Keyword: viral marketing

Title: Viral Marketing: The Ultimate Guide

Description: This guide will show you information about viral marketing.


See how the page is optimized with the keyword in the title, description and url?

Examples of an unoptimized page: (Forget anything else and go for it!)

Keyword: viral marketing

Title: How to make your blog post viral | marketing tips

Description: Some blog marketing tips by Tung Tran


What we have is a page that is  loosely optimized. (a.k.a weak page). It’s not aiming to rank for that keyword and can be beaten effortlessly. The reason why this type of page is ranking because it inherits the authority of the root domain. You can see this happen a lot of times with article directories, Q & A sites, forums, etc.

2. Competition Page Rank

Many people says that page rank doesn’t matter anymore. But in my opinion, it still means that Google give pages with higher PR more trust and authority than pages with lower or no PR.

My rule of thumb is to make sure that none of the top 5 sites have a page rank of 3+ and at least 2 pages with Pr 0 in the top 10.

You can still outrank sites with page rank of 4 or 5+ but you should only do that when you’re pretty good at SEO. But for the success of our niche websites, it’d be better to focus on low-hanging fruits keywords with page rank of 0 sites on top.

You can use SEO Quake (FREE) to check PR of any site.

3. The amount of backlinks to the page (not root domain)

This is another important and basic factor. The rule of thumb in basic SEO is that if a page has tons of backlinks, run away and find another keywords!

I prefer  to use SEO Spyglass (it’s FREE) to check backlinks and it’s by far the most accurate backlink checker available.

You should also look at the amount of Refering Domain. It means how many unique domains are pointing to the page. It’s more important than amount of backlinks because if the site has 10,000 backlinks from just 10 refering domains, it’s not well-diversified and that’s a sign of a weak site as well.

4. The Type of Pages Showing Up

Another thing you have to keep in mind is that the type of the page showing up in the top 10 does matter a lot. There are times when random inner pages of a site with ZERO SEO will show up in search results. This also happens a lot with user generated sites as well. If you see these kinds of site, you can build up your confidence because  you can outrank them easily:

  • Facebook and twitter profiles
  • Yahoo Answers.
  • Other Q & A sites.
  • Article directories (article base, ezine articles…)
  • Any kind of Forum.
  • Web 2.o sites (Squidoo, Hubpages, …)
  • File download sites (mediafire,  privatebay,…)

5. Site Age

It’s simple. Older sites tend to receive more trust by Google than new sites. I usually do not worry about site age unless I’m targeting ultra competitive keywords.

6. Exact Match Domain Available

It’s weird that no one talks about this. If you’re building niche sites or involving in internet marketing for a while, you should probably know that people prefer buying exact match domain to build sites.

If the exact match domain is available, it means no one knows about that keyword and it also means no competition.

7. Anchor Text

Keyword Research Guide
Nice Built Anchor Text for SEO

When you inspects a site’s anchor text in Majesctic SEO (FREE, no affiliate link) you can easily figure out if the site is targeting the keyword or not. For example if a site is targeting the keyword: keyword research, the anchor text will look like this:

– keyword research tips

– keyword research guide

– keyword research

– etc

If there’s no SEO behind the page, the anchor text will be totally random, like this:

– Why 95% of Marketers Are Doing Wrong Keyword Research?


– Tung Tran

This is not how a SEOer builds anchor text. If you see this, it means nobody is doing SEO for this page and you can beat it.

How I Found My Golden Keywords with The Help Of Longtail Pro

Once you learn and master the basic, it’s common that we human beings will be looking for something that can help us to get things done faster to save time and money rather than playing with manual stuff, right?

I’m not an exception. After spending countless of hours doing keyword research manually with Google’s Keyword Tool and SEO Quake, I finally discovered a piece of software that help me do the boring work 5 times faster than before. I’ve been using this tool for over a year and never look back since then.

Introducing Longtail Pro – The Best Keyword Research Tool Ever!

Longtail Pro

Let me show you how powerful and time saving Longtail Pro is by showing you my process of doing keyword research for my Public Niche Website Project. As you may probably know, in the last update about discovering website ideas that make money, I narrowed down my list from 18 ideas to just 3 : acne, productivity and getting fit. Today I will be using Longtail Pro to dig deep into these niches and uncover potential keywords and decide which niche I will establish my niche websites on. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Generate seed keywords

One of the good thing that makes Longtail Pro better than many competititors out there is that it allows you to add more than 1 seed keyword at a time. This is a huge time saver! I prefer to stick with 5 seed keywords as the more keyword you enter to the tool the longer you have to wait and it may causes some crashes. To start off with the first niche, I went to and entered the keyword acne in the field and clicked “Soovle”.

Generate Seed Keyword - Soovle

As you can see from the picture above, Soovle combined the suggest tool for 7 (up to 15) different Search Engines and retrieved results on the fly as you type the key phrase in the search field. Now I just have to choose 5 keywords from this big list and put them into Longtail Pro as seed keywords.

Step 2: Using LTP to Generate List of Potential Keywords

I added 5 keywords “acne”, “acne treatment”, “acne vulgaris”, “acne scars”, “acne medication”, set the “Average Local Searches” to 300 and clicked “Generate Keywords”. The reason why I chose the average local searches so low was because I was not only finding one main keywords, I also had to find other secondary keywords to add up the traffic my website might get. For my main keyword, I only pick the one with over 1000 searches per month.

Using LTP to Generate List of Potential Keywords

After clicking the “Generate Keywords” button, the software will take a few minutes to go through several hundred related keywords and provide a report for you, which you can see below.

Step 3:  Sort through the list and Pick Golden Keywords

Longtail Pro has its built-in Keyword Competitiveness Checker to help you easily judge the competition of a keyword but I personally don’t like that feature because I think it would be not as accurate as using my method you’ve learned above. Maybe I will give it a try in the future but actually the subsciption of $17 per month is not something that interests me.

 Sort through the list and Pick Golden Keywords

Now you have the list. Just sort through and click on each keyword, LTP will give you a detailed report on the top 10 competition of it. You can get the information in the How to Analyze the Top 10 Competition For Your Keyword section above to measure the competitiveness yourself. This step takes time so be patient! Here are some examples to help you easily imagine the process and apply my theory:

Example #1: Getting Rid of blackheads – 1000 searches/month

Keyword Research Example 1

Why I choose this keyword? Well, look at the title & url first. You don’t see any exact keywords in these places right? So that means this keyword is not targeted by any SEOer so no competition at all. Forget about anything else like PR, domain age, backlinks, etc. Remember this fact:

If the site is not optimized, IT’S NOT OPTIMIZED!

This is also a buyer keyword because the person who uses this term on search engines is looking for the treatments or ways to cure his/her blackheads. Perfect keyword!

Example #2:  How to clear acne – 1000 searches per month

Keyword Research Example 2

Why I choose this keyword? 

  • Not all pages on the first page are using the exact keyword in title & url.
  • 2 PR 0 sites and many PR <3 sites. Have one PR5 youtube but it’s not optimized so it ranks because of its root domain’s authority (
  • Yahoo answer at #10. I can ensure this: Whenever you see Yahoo Answer ranks on the first page, choose that keyword immediately!
  • And you can see a lot of pages with backlinks less than 10 here.

Actually this is the keyword I will use as the main keyword for my public niche website. So don’t steal it haha.

Example #3: doxycycline for acne – 1900 searches per month

Keyword Research Example 4

Why I choose this keyword?

  • 1 PR 0 and 2 no PR on the first page.
  • a lot of pr 1 and 2 sites.
  • keyword not in title and url.
  • weak types of site on first page: yahoo answer,, auto-generated weird site (#10)

I pulled out these 4 examples above in around 5 minutes or so. See how easy and fast the researching process can be with the help of Longtail Pro? If you don’t have this powerful piece of software, I highly recommend you to grab it as soon as possible if you want to build a successful online business with niche websites.

The software is usually priced at $97, but check out Longtail Pro now to get $20 Off ! This Special Offer Ends Soon!

Finally, My Decision Was Made!

After about an hour researching, I decided to skip analyzing the rest of the ideas and stick to this niche  because 1) I have many experiences in treating acne 2) I believe I can make the ultimate resource for this niche and I already had the monetisation ideas in my mind right after choosing this niche as I’m using that product and feel that it’s great. I will reveal about the product and monetisation idea later.

Next update will be about creating site structrure and setting up the site 🙂 Stay tuned to the next article. And remember to subscribe to keep yourself updated.

Your Thoughts

I have been as detailed as possible in this article, and it may be my longest article I have ever written.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Is there any other factor that you look at to analyze the Google competition? What questions do you have in regards to this subject? Feel free to leave comments and ask me anything.

Tung Tran

I’ve built and sold a bunch of highly profitable internet businesses since 2010. After selling my last one in November 2020, I decided to go all... [Read full bio]