What are Keywords? Keywords are words or phrases used by people to get information online using search engines. They can also be called 'Search Terms' For Instance: A person looking to find information about 'SEO Software' can use a keyword like

   - SEO software
   - Search Optimization software
   - SEO software programs
   - SEO software program
   - etc.

Number of Words in a Keyword

If a keyword uses only one term it's know as 'one word keyword'; if it uses two terms it is know as 'two word keyword' and so on. As a rule of the thumb, the more the words, the easier it is to opitmize the keyword. In addition, keywords with more number of words are said to convert better.

Why do a Keyword Research?

A keyword research is done to find out all possible keywords and keyword combinations that people use to locate specific products/services/information over the internet using search engines.

Keyword Research helps you find the following:
  • Keywords used by people to conduct a search on the internet
  • Popularity of the keywords
  • Keyword Competition
By locating the right keywords, one can optimize their website for them to get better ranking for those specific keywords. This process is also called 'keyword optimization' and is the core of any SEO activity.

Keyword optimization involves using keywords as anchor texts in external and internal links, using keywords in the website content as well as in other elements of the website like title tags, meta tags and alt tags.

Techniques to Perform a Keyword Research

Manual Keyword Research by Brainstorming: This basically involves brainstorming to get a list of keywords that you might use to find related info online.

The major disadvantage of brainstorming is the fact that it cannot help you find the most popular keywords.

Keyword Research using Software: There are many software programs online that can help you find popular keywords related to a specific topic. These software programs get information about keywords from databases of popular search engines like Goggle, Yahoo! and MSN. Some good software programs are discussed below:


All these three software programs help you get information about keywords used by users to located information about a particular topic. They also give information about the number of times a particular keyword has been used as a search term in the past 30 or 60 days. Generally this is indicated by the word 'Count'

The data produced by these software programs may vary as they make use of different search engine databases to get keywords.

Explanation of Researching for Keywords Using Wordtracker:

Assume that you have a website selling ‘Hair Dye Colors’ and you are catering to a global audience.

Step 1: Go to and login. Once you do so, you will be taken to the wordtracker database page.

Step 2: Select ‘Keyword Universe’. To keep things easier, select ‘comprehensive’ from the ‘choose database’ drop down menu.

Once you have done that, go to the ‘Popularity Search’ box on the right hand side and enter your keyword ‘Hair Dye Color’ and click ‘Proceed’.

Ensure that you do not enter plural terms, as this may give you fewer results. A singular term will automatically include plural keywords, but a plural term will not include singular keyword. So keep this in mind while you enter keywords.

Your results will look something similar to this:

Count’ indicates the number of times the keyword has been searched in the past 60 days. Wordtracker arranges the results in the order of count which means, keywords with higher count are listed higher. In the above case, the keyword ‘hair dye colors’ has got a count of 92, making it the best keyword** followed by ‘unnatural hair dye colors’.

**The best keywords have the following two features:

1.) They are easy to rank for in the SERPs: which means there are very few websites competing for that keyword 2.) There are many searches who use that keyword to perform a search online

So in the above case, we cannot say that ‘Hair Dye Colors’ is the best keyword unless we find out the actual competition of that keyword. So finding out the competition is going to be the next step.

Step 3: Finding out keyword competition:

To find out the competition, click the keyword and add it to the basket. If you find it time consuming to click individual keywords one by one, you can simply click on ‘Click here to add all keywords to your basket’ link. This will add all keywords to the basket.

Once added, click the ‘click here for step 3’ link to proceed. You will be presented with the following screen:

Clicking on ‘Competition search’ will take you to this screen:

Check, ‘Google’ from the ‘Global Search Engines’ check box option and click ‘Proceed’

Once you do that you will be presented with the following screen:

As you can see from the image above, the keyword ‘bright hair dye colors’ has a competition of ‘Zero’ but has a low count of ‘5’. Your best keyword ‘Hair Dye Colors’ has a count of ‘76’ but a competition of ‘10500’.

Take a look at the keyword ‘Brown hair dye colors’. This keyword has a count of 2 and a competition of ’85,000’. This means that you will have to compete with 85,000 websites to get a good ranking in the SERPs and when your website does rank of that keyword after much effort, it will still not get you good traffic.

I can easily rank for the keyword ‘bright hair dye colors’ but again, I will not get much traffic. But the traffic which I will get is a welcome traffic as I did not do much effort to get it.

The keyword ‘Hair Dye Colors’ is a lucrative keyword as it is not as competitive as ‘brown hair dye colors’ and has a decent count too. So by making some efforts when I do rank of this keyword, the returns that I will get will be great.

As a rule of the thumb, collect all zero competition keywords and keywords that have comparatively lower competition and better counts. You can also refer the ‘KEI’ index. A higher ‘KEI indicates’ a good keyword.

Finding Alternate Keywords

So now you are done with the first round of keyword research. The second round will involve finding out counts of alternate keywords. Alternate keywords are keyword variations that people might be using to look up similar information. For instance, some people might type ‘life insurance’ and others might type ‘life cover’, but they are ultimately looking for the same information

Finding Keyword Synonyms

Finding out synonyms or alternate keywords is all about brainstorming. You can also use some tools that are available on the internet that will help you identify synonyms of terms. A better thing to do is to use the synonym display feature of MS word.

To use the MS word synonym display feature, simply right click on the keyword and select ‘synonyms’ as indicated in the image below:

Once you have found out the possible keyword variations, conduct similar searches using them in wordtraker. Doing this might help you find out keywords that have very less competition and comparatively higher counts.

Finding Alternate Keyword Spellings and Pronunciation

You might also consider taking spellings into consideration if you are targeting a global audience. For instance, in New Zealand people spell ‘Optimization’ as ‘Optimisation’. Notice the usage of the letter ‘s’ instead of ‘z’ in the later. Now both these words are considered as different keywords, so you can look up both of them in wordtracker to see the counts and then optimize your website for both these terms.

Finding Keyword Combinations

Keyword combinations are the different combination of words which people use to perform a search online. You can find out such combinations using a great tool offered by Google:

Finding Keyword Misspellings

Misspellings is another way by which you can find out lucrative keywords, but we are not covering that topic in this section.

Please note that this article was only a basic introduction of performing a keyword research using wordtracker. There are many minor aspects involved which are not discussed and which can be learnt only upon practice. So go to wordtracker or any other keyword research software and get researching.