Keyword Research with a little help from our Google

I’m currently researching the keywords I want to promote over the Christmas buying season, as my gadgets site is established and already does pretty well from the search engines my primary promotion method is going to be SEO. I’m not going to write about the products I’m promoting here (as that would be rather silly) but I will share the tools and process I use in my research.

As a working example I’m going to pretend that I’ll be promoting satellite navigation systems, which actually wouldn’t be a bad product to choose, they are a relatively high value and a potentially popular Christmas present. So first off is researching the most popular search term for these and looking to see if they have been popular for Chrimbo in the past.

Checking Trends
I always refer to my satelite navigation system as a sat nav as I expect most people do, but I want to market to a global audience so I’d like to check that. This is where Google Trends helps, it doesn’t give exact search figures but does let you compare the popularity between terms.

Sat Nav Trends

The above graph clearly shows that the term “sat nav” is searched much more often than the full name “satellite navigation“. It also shows how searches have grown over the last few years with peaks just before Christmas, so this looks like a good potential product to promote. (hmmm I might have to change the example product before finishing this post).

Checking Competition
Checking out the competition is pretty easy, do a search for your chosen term and see what comes up. Doing a search for sat nav brings up a load of results and the first page has some very high quality sites so competition is tough. To see how tough you can use our SEO check list in reverse, how many points do the top sites tick. If the top dog is an old established quality site that ticks the majority of the points you’ll need to compete on a different level.

Investigating the Long Tail
Both Scott and I have mentioned before the importance of ranking for long tail search terms, this is especially important amongst tough competition, so here’s an easy way to let Google do the research for you (I love Google).

sat nav Adwords
You’ll need to create a Google Adwords account (free) and then you can use their Keyword Tool to see what the most popular search phrases are, you can also see what the most competitive terms our for Adwords advertisers, where more competition means more money if you choose to put Adsense on the pages.

Quality Content
This is where you’re going to have to put the elbow greese rather than just asking the Google. Once you’ve found out what keywords your targeting you need to create quality content that includes them, with the importance being on the word quality. A simple way of knowing whether you have created quality content is to ask your self the question, “If I search for sat nav is the page I’ve created the most relevent”, if I was doing a page on sat nav I’d do various reviews of the different models, with links to places you could buy them from (affiliates of course).

There’s only 84 shopping days until Christmas, so good luck and get cracking.

About Al Carlton

Al quit the 9 to 5 rat race in January of 2007, before then he was a software engineer and systems architect of financial system. Nowadays Al spends the days running his various businesses and experimenting with different ideas and opportunities.
Al can be found on twitter at AlCarlton.


  1. I think there is a version you can use as well at with out registering. The reason I say “think” is that it seems to do the same job and be the same tool.

    Trends is a nice tool and well worth investing some time in to 🙂

  2. I was going to write a tutorial like this for DomainLeft and TWT’s Tutorial section in two weeks time but you beat me to it.

    Well done.

  3. As I work on building my online properties I find your information to be the best so far. Not only do you have great ideas and share them, but you also help us learn how you did it and how we can do more of our own. Thanks.

  4. I don’t know, I think I still prefer the overture tool – I like to see real numbers beside my keywords, not just bar charts relative to other keywords

  5. Yes, I’ve been using this keyword tool too lately to check if Wordtracker numbers are about right.

    After all, we are all interested in traffic from Google and not from Dogpile, right? 😉

  6. It never ceases to amaze me just how much info is available & like you I love google too 🙂 I also use gtrends free tool

  7. A nice tutorial. I think Google trends is often overlooked during keyword research. It’s certainly very handy at giving you a idea of your peak periods, particularly when targetting the christmas rush.

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