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AP 0407: How Do I Get Started with Keyword Research?

AP 0407: How Do I Get Started with Keyword Research?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 407 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 407 of AskPat. As always, I’m here to answer your business questions, five days a week.

We have a great question today from Steve. But before we get to Steve’s question, I do want to thank today’s sponsor, which is Legal Zoom, a company that has helped me many times before in the past. And did you actually know that this month is National Make a Will month? Well, actually I have made a will through and it’s very important. You can check out Legal Zoom’s new last will and living trust bundles. The more you plan ahead with wills and trusts and power of attorney, the more you save. Even if you are confused about all the options, they have great online resources and estate planning tools to help you figure out what you need. They are not a law firm, but they have a network of independent attorneys in most states to help you out, if you need it. So don’t procrastinate when it comes to protecting your family. Get legal help when you can at today. Don’t forget to enter “Pat” at checkout to save even more., promo code “Pat.”

All right, here’s today’s question from Steve.

Steve: Hi Pat, it’s Steve here from South Coast, New South Wales, Australia. Total newbie here. I’ve been lost in your site for weeks. Moved forward a little bit, read what neat site I want to use, might have to narrow it down just a little bit more, the one I’m setting up.

Pat, I’m going crazy! Trying to get my head around keywords and analytics. I’m assuming that I need my site name to reflect a appropriate keyword result. But, Pat, I’m struggling to get my head around Google Analytics. The site itself presents itself completely different then the videos that I’ve viewed on the site.

At this present moment no, none, nil excess dollars to spend on say, is it SEMrush or Long Tail Pro? It’s basically starting off on the smell of an oily rag. Think that might be an Australian phrase. Anyway, it means I’m pretty broke. Meaning I need the freebies to kick off and once monetizing I can reinvest in the site.

So, Pat, feeling really stuck. Super keen excited about moving forward and exploring, making a living from this industry. But, right now, stuck in the mud. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Love your site and your openness and honesty. I think my wife thinks I’m having a relationship with someone called Pat. So I know you’ve got heaps of questions coming in but if you could give me a heads up on that one, that would be amazing.

Okay, warm regards to you and your team and your family, and thanks from Steve in the land of Oz. Hope to hear from you. Thank you.

Pat Flynn: Hey what’s up Steve, thank you so much for the question and yes that expression, I believe is an Australian expression because I have never heard of it before. When I went to Australia earlier this year there were a lot of expressions I’ve never heard of before, so I wouldn’t be surprised. I know what you are talking about, I’m here to help.

Let’s talk about keywords. Keywords are really important because they help Google and other people understand what your site is about. You may have gone through a lot of articles on, maybe you’ve heard a few more AskPat episodes or episodes of the Smart Passive Income podcast. That have talked about the importance of doing your research beforehand and that is sort of the phase you are in. I think that’s great that you are there.

Now, there are a lot of tools out there that can help you do this, and you’ve mentioned one of them. Market Samurai. Another one is called Long Tail Pro, but you do have to pay for those to get access to those tools.

Now you don’t need those tools to do some of the research. There’s a very good tool out there that you can use to do a lot of the research you need to figure out whether or not you should go into this space and what else is out there, and what competitors are doing and all those sort of things. This tool is called Google.

Yes, straight up do Google searches on keywords related in and around your niche. Keywords that you are looking to potentially target and have your website be about, use Google. Literally just look at the top pages. See who’s there. See what their articles are like, and that helps you figure out what you are up against and where it is that you might stack up. Or what you could do to be different. To differentiate yourself, to position yourself from that space so that you can come in there and do something different.

We are at a time now where keyword search is less about the numbers, the how many letters are in the domain name. It used to be like that. Those used to be part of the Google algorithm and all those sorts of things. Now we are at a point where we’re like, “Okay, how am I going to position myself in this particular industry? What can I bring to the table that isn’t there before? How can I bring a unique voice, or position or angle into what everybody else is doing.” That’s the most important thing. If this is something that you are really interested in and you have a lot of passion about, or at least a lot of passion about learning about, and you are going to create a website out there. You want to create something that is different from all the other websites that are out there.

The first thing I would do is start to build the spreadsheet. This is going to help you. This is less related to the science of keyword research, but more to the promotion and the marketing and what you are going to do to stand out, which is obviously very important. Keywords are important and it’s important to have the specific keywords that you want to target in your domain. It doesn’t have to be like that. There are a lot of great sites out there that target particular keywords that don’t have that domain in that keyword.

So, it’s not incredibly important. It doesn’t have as much weight as it used to. But, for example, You don’t know what that is until you go there and see that it’s a site about viral marketing and online marketing and even SEO. A great site by my buddy Glenn Allsop. But Viperchill, that has nothing to do with what the site is about. It just became the brand and now people who know his site can associate viral marketing and online business with it.

So, don’t think it’s going to be incredibly important. Don’t worry if those keywords are already taken in terms of finding a .com, .net, or .org. Again, the keyword research can help you figure out, okay “What else should I be giving? What else are people in this industry actually looking for?”

So the first thing I would do is, like I said, go through Google, start to make a spreadsheet of all the different people out there that are in that space and what it is that is unique about those sites. If you were to take a guess as to why that was number one, try and sort of decipher what that is, it’s going to be different. And why are these sites on the first top ten in Google? I wouldn’t worry too much about, “How am I going to fit in there, because this one has a hundred articles, this one has fifty articles?” Sometimes the fifty articles one ranks higher than the one hundred article one and you start looking at word length. You don’t want to ever have to get into that. It’s, again, figuring out what is unique and different about those sites, and why you believe Google put them there ahead of everybody else. That will help you figure out, “What can I do to come out and be ahead? And what other kinds of content can I create to stand out from everybody else that’s out there?”

You have to understand this is a long-term game. You are not going to be building this site and ranking in the top ten, not even the top one hundred right away. But, with the relationships in place, with basic keyword understanding in your articles. Basic keyword fundamentals, for example, having the keywords in your title, the first paragraph, in some of the headers, in subtitles inside your post as well. That’s going to help you move forward and, again, unique valuable content as well.

Now there is a tool out there that you probably looked at and it can be used for helping you to figure out, “Well how many people are searching for various keywords?” And things like that, and it’s by Google AdWords and it’s called the Keyword Planner Tool. This might be what you were referencing earlier in terms of what looks different because Google has made changes. It is a free tool to use actually. You go in there and you type in various keywords and it’ll tell you how many people are searching for that keyword per month as well. It’ll also show you some related keywords that people are typing in too.

A great way to find related keywords, which are very important because they’ll show you what other keywords you can think about, write about, write products about, and things like that. Start to type in your keyword into a regular Google search and it will start to autopopulate and you’ll see a drop down on some of the other keywords that people are typing as well. Make note of those. Those are important. Those are other popular keywords that people are also typing in related to what you are typing. Google wouldn’t put them there unless they were important. Hit enter on some of those and you scroll all the way down to the bottom and they’ll also show you related searches. So a whole other list of other keywords that’ll make sense to talk about and incorporate into your website as well. That’s another thing you could do.

Now, here’s a couple other things you can do that a lot of people don’t talk about. Amazon. Go to and use that as a search engine to start some more research and figure out, again, you are not going to get exact numbers, but you are going to start to see who else is out there serving that audience. They could be potential partners or people you could potentially get in front of, in terms of, maybe they have a website too you can guest post on their site to bring more traffic to your site. Maybe they are in need of a product that you could potentially give to their audience and then you’ll have some sort of affiliate relationship where you give that person a commission to get in front of their audience or on their email list or something like that.

Amazon is a great way to go about seeing what else is out there and also what people are buying too. Start to read some of the reviews for those products too. Books or whatever. Three star reviews are the best because you’ll be able to get honest answers. Ones and fives kind of sway way toward one side or way toward the other, obviously. But the five star reviews are where you get the, “Well I like it because of this, but I don’t like it because of that.” Well you can incorporate those reviews into whatever it is you end up doing and how you approach what it is that you do.

iTunes is another search engine you can use to figure out who else is in that audience and serving that audience. Go to a particular podcast and see what the most popular episodes are. If you do that, you go to iTunes, you find a particular podcast related to your niche, again you get to hear the voice of somebody who’s already serving that audience, who probably has a big audience because they have a podcast out there. Or at least people listening on the other end. You could potentially partner with them for that reason.

But also, if you go in and see the list of their podcast episodes, you can see which ones are the most popular. Now, the ones that are just recently published will likely have those gray bars that go up more than the others to show. That’s a popular episode and that’s pretty common because your last episode you published on iTunes is usually the one that is most popular because it’s in the most people’s hands, and at the top of most people’s minds. But also there might be some ones in the middle that will show you, “Wow that’s actually a very popular episode for these people.”

If you go to mine for example, Smart Passive Income podcast, if you go and scroll down, if it lets you, sometime Apple changes how many shows in the past it will show you. But, if you go down to Episode 46 for example. You’ll see that 46 is very popular, it has more gray bars than a lot of other ones. That’s an episode with Dane Maxwell. You’ll notice that Episode 15, 16, and 17 are very popular as well because I mention those on my Getting Started page. A lot of people download those first. That’s a great way to also validate what is important, what topics are being talked about and what else is out there could you talk about on your own site, or should at least pay attention to. It could be a category or subtopic that you discover on your site as well, based on what is working for other people too.

So, keywords, important but don’t get so caught up on it, Steven. You are going to figure out what it is. Just pick something and go. You don’t have to worry too much. And yes, you can change things over time, I’ve done that before myself. Just pick something that you are comfortable with, go with it, and just start creating content. You know what? Every day that you don’t come out with content is a day that you are missing out on building a potential audience member. Building an email list, selling a product, all those sorts of things.

Steve, I hope this answers your question. If anybody else has anything else to say about this episode use the hashtag #AskPat407 on Twitter. #AskPat407 on Twitter. We can continue this conversation off of the podcast as well. Steven, best of luck to you. I know how you feel because I’m there when I start new sites as well, and I know a lot of people can relate to this as well.

But, again, in terms of analytics, because I saw your question here again and you mention Google Analytics. Well, analytics is going to help you in terms of, whenever you eventually create that site it’s going to allow you to keep track of how much traffic is coming in. Google Webmaster tools, you want to get setup with that as well. That’ll tell you exactly what keywords people are using to search and find you eventually over time. The Google Analytics tool, which is also free. Everything I mention here is free except for Long Tail Pro and Market Samurai. Google Analytics is just going to help you discover more about where people are coming from, what’s working so you can do more of that.

So, hopefully that helps you, and I wish you all the best, Steve. We are going to send you an AskPat t-shirt over your way to Australia for having your question featured here on the show. Thank you so much.

For those of you who have a question that you would like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page thanks to the widget from SpeakPipe.

I also want to thank today’s sponsor, which is They’ve helped me in many ways. Not just with the wills and living trust like I mentioned earlier but they’ve also helped me get setup with a trademark, with an LLC, with a DBA (a doing business as). They are very, very affordable, very, very friendly and they have great resources too. You can get guidance from them. They are not lawyers, but they have a network of independent attorneys in most states. They are not a law firm but they can help guide you through the process of all these things. So, don’t procrastinate. You can get legal help at Don’t forget to enter “Pat” in that referral box at checkout to save even more. Again, that’s, promo code “Pat.”

Thank you again so much for listening to today’s episode of AskPat. Thank you.

Here is a quote to finish the day from Wendy Piersall. She said, “Google only loves you when everybody else loves you first.”

Gosh that’s such a great quote. That’s such a good one for this episode. Did I do that on purpose? Maybe it was just coincidentally. But this is perfect. “Google only loves you when everybody else loves you first.”

So you see, try to get in front of an audience and create content so they love you and Google will eventually catch up. Cheers, take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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