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Your 10 Step Search Engine Keyword Research Guide

After you study your competitors in the search engine keyword listings you want to target, you can jump in and discover the best keywords for your market.

1. Make a small list of keyword phrases that relate to your page’s content.


  • build a remote control car
  • building remote control cars
  • remote control car building guide
  • building remote control cars for beginners

These keyword phrases contain multiple words to hone in on the appropriate audience. Using “remote control car” would be too general. You need to put your keywords into context. You need targeted keywords.

Keyword Planner

2. Type your keywords into Google’s Keyword Planner

After logging into Adwords, follow this navigation route:

Tools > Keyword Planner > Find new keywords > Search for new keywords using a phrase or category

  • Type the keyword phrases you want to research into the Your product or service box.
  • If you already published your webpage, you can also enter in the specific page you want to optimize for under Your landing page.
  • You can enter in a category to help narrow down the results.
  • Set the rest of the Targeting, Date range, and Customize your search to your demographics and desired parameters.
  • For building a remote control car for instance, the market would be global to anyone who could speak English, so I would choose English and All locations. Showing average searches over the Last 12 months is a good default as well as to Show broadly related ideas.

3. Click “Get ideas”

Ad Group

Keyword List

4. Look at the two tabs "Ad group ideas" and "Keyword ideas" and find relevant keywords with a high number of Average monthly searches.

You rearrange the lists by clicking on the corresponding column headings. For example, I clicked on the Ad group Build A Remote, clicked on Avg monthly searches and these keywords appeared at the top:

  • how to build a remote control car (590)
  • build your own remote control car (590)
  • build remote control car (170)

I ignore keywords with searches under 100 or ones with “Not enough data.”

You can look at the column Competition to see if you could rank for the keyword. Usually Medium-High keywords would be difficult to rank for, but I would not let these two factors deter you from testing out the keyword first.

5. Type one of your tested keywords into the Google search bar.

6. After the listing shows, skim through the results and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

Make sure the page titles match up with the keyword phrase topic you typed in.

Related Google Searches

7. Review the phrases listed under ”Searches related to..."

8. Evaluate the keywords listed to see if they relate to the content on your page.

For this example I used “how to build a remote control car” because I wanted to try and target the keyword with the most monthly searches.

Google provided this list of related searches:

  • how to build a remote control car from scratch
  • how to build a remote control car for kids
  • how to build a remote control car step by step
  • build remote control helicopter
  • build your own remote control car
  • how to build a remote control robot
  • how to build a remote control car at home
  • make remote control car

Reviewing the list I can say that most people who type the targeted keyword look for ways to build remote control cars or other types of vehicles.

However, if the majority of provided terms did not match up, I could click on one of the related terms to receive a new list. Then use those new keywords in the Google Keyword Tool and repeat steps 2-8.

If I did not deem any of the related searches to be relevant, I would skip this keyword and move on to the next. Perhaps “building remote control cars,” repeating steps 5-8.

If all my keywords failed, I would need to come up with a new list of relevant keywords, starting again at step 1.

Google Inbound Links

9. Test the top 3-4 website listing inbound links on Google by doing the following.

  • Click on the link.
  • Copy the entire URL of the page from the address bar.
  • Type the URL in the Google search bar with “link:” in the front with no spaces. For example: “link:https://www.mepits.com/project/235/DIY-Projects/How-to-Make-a-Remote-Control-Car”
  • In this example, Google reported 0 inbound links for this website. If you wanted your webpage to rank for this keyword, it might have a chance competing against this page. If the listing showed more than a few inbound links, you would need to gain more than that many references for your own page before you could compete.
  • Test the inbound links on Yahoo! by typing in “link:” and the URL into the Yahoo! search bar, same as Google.
  • Pay attention to the “Inlinks.” To rank higher, your page would need to aim for more Inlinks than the URL typed in.

Note: Google never reports the actual number of inbound links. You have to work with an estimate.

If your page does not contain more inbound links as the top 3-4 pages in the listing as reported by Google and Yahoo!, you need to go back to step 4 and choose another keyword phrase. If none of your keyword phrases succeed, you will need to start again at step 1 and come up with a new relevant keyword list.

Important Note for Content Marketing: inbound links will not point to your new pages. You should aim for keywords where other ranked pages did not earn inbound links. Otherwise, you will not be able to compete.

10. Implement your keywords into your webpage title and content.

You should realize that you usually can only target about one or two good keyword phrases per page. You want to place the keyword that will earn you the most traffic in the front of your title and several times in the content. If you can place another keyword in the title then you get even more possibilities, but remember to also add it into the copy.

Example Keywords:

  • “how to build a remote control car” and
  • “remote control car guide”

You could make the title:

  • “How to Build a Remote Control Car – Guide for Newbies”

This title uses both keywords and places the one with the highest monthly search volume first.

Remember the title goes between the title HTML tag <title></title> as well as listed in the content.

Title tip: keep your titles under 65 characters and do not be afraid to use the “-“ and the “ | “. You can use the word count feature in your word processor to check this.

Do not mix around keyword phrases. You need to use the exact phrase you researched. “how to build a remote control car” and “build a remote control car – a how to” will give you very different results.

Does this mean that you will never get ranked for mixed phrases? No, it does not, and it happens. However, you take a chance and lower your probability of being ranked. If another page as popular as yours comes around, with as many inbound links, and it does happen to use the exact phrase, chances are they will bump you.

This is just the instructional article I was looking for. I plan to follow your tips this afternoon, especially the testing for inbound links (something I've never done before). Thank you! Voted up and shared.

HubPages Author

Still running into issues ranking for your targeted keywords?

Warren Samu
Last edited on
December 14th, 2017

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