7 Steps How To Do Keyword Research The Right Way

There are many ways to make money online, one of them is to build micro niche blog and make money from pay per click advertisement or selling affiliate product, it seems that building niche blog and make money is very popular these days. In order to earn hardcore cash from niche blogging, all you need is organic traffic from Google search engine, only organic traffic will click your Adsense ads, only traffic from Google search engine will buy the affiliate products that you recommend.

The most essential step to build a niche blog that drives organic traffic is to do keyword research, you have to follow the right method to do your keyword research. Choosing the right keyword is the key, if you choose the wrong keyword and your blog will be hardly to get organic traffic from Google search engine.

Recently a regular reader of mine, Sachin Bisaani asked me a question about how to do keyword research by using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, so I take this opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge on how I do the keyword research for my micro niche blogs. In fact, I didn’t use Google Adwords Keyword Tool to do my keyword research for quite a few months, currently I’m using Micro Niche Finder which provides more information for the keyword that I search. Anyway, I’ll be sharing how I did the keyword research in the past by using Google Adwords Keyword Tool.

7 Steps To Do Keyword Research

Let’s take the example keyword “Interior Design” that Sachin Bisaani asked me in the email. Let’s begin!

1) First Step

First I’ll type the keyword “Interior Design” in Google Adwords Keyword Tool and get the result. I would like to explain in rough about the categories that shown in the result.

Keywords : It shows the keyword that you asked for and some other suggestion related keyword phases.

Estimated Average CPC : It shows the estimated cost-per-click that the advertisers are bidding for. Usually it’s only for the ranking position 1-3.

Advertiser Competition : It shows the number of advertisers bidding on the keyword.

Local Search Volume : It shows the estimated search volume in your local.

Global Monthly Search Volume : It shows the estimated search volume in all countries.

2) Second Step

So now we get the result for the keyword “interior design”, the keyword “interior design” has 165,000 searches in local and 450,000 searches in global. It shows $2.92 as the estimated average cost-per-click as well. From the result, the number of searches for the keyword “interior design” is huge and you’re going to receive huge organic traffic from Google search engine if you rank in the first three spot. Not yet, the keyword research is still going on, move to step #3.

Interior Design - Adwords Result

Interior Design - Adwords Result

3) Third Step

You’ve gotten the information for the keyword “interior design”, now you want to know the competition of the keyword. Search “Interior Design” in Google.com and check out the result. It shows 72,700,000 competitors in the result, it means the competition is very serious and you’re hardly to rank well with this keyword.

Interior Design - Competition

Interior Design - Competition

So you have to pick another longer keyword, we call it long tail keyword, but try to pick a keyword which is not more than 3 keyword phases because from my experiences, most of the micro niche site which rank 4 keyword phases and above are not able to rank well in the search engine, or I can say the sites are not listed in the first 10 pages.

4) Forth Step

Since the keyword “interior design” is hardly to rank well due to high competition, so I try to pick another longer keyword with 3 keyword phases and repeat the step #3. I choose the keyword “interior decorating design” for my analysis.

Interior Decorating Design - Adwords Result

Interior Decorating Design - Adwords Result

The result shows 1,900 searches in local and 2,900 searches in global. The estimated average cost-per-click shows $1.81. Comparing with the keyword “interior design”, the number of searches has a big gap, but it doesn’t matter. Let’s check the competition in Google.com.

Interior Decorating Design - Competition

Interior Decorating Design - Competition

There is only 9,930,000 competitors for the keyword “interior decorating design”, the competition is much more weaker than the keyword “interior design”. With that said, it’s more easier to rank well for the keyword “interior decorating design”. I don’t mean that this is the best keyword, but at least it’s much more better than the previous one, if you can get a keyword with the least competition then it’s better.

5) Fifth Step

Now you get a better option for the keyword “interior decorating design”, the next step is to check the domain availability for the exact keyword phase. I’ve gone through and checked the domain availability, the result shows InteriorDecoratingDesign.com is not available, but InteriorDecoratingDesign.net and InteriorDecoratingDesign.org are available.

Interior Decorating Design - Domain Availability

Interior Decorating Design - Domain Availability

6) Sixth Step

Since the domain InteriorDecoratingDesign.com is already acquired by someone else, then we have to check what’s the competitor doing and how’s his rank in Google.com. Google does put a little impact with the keyword in the domain for search engine ranking. I’ve gone through and checked the ranking for the InteriorDecoratingDesign.com, I can’t even see it in the first 10 pages. The InteriorDecoratingDesign.com is just a simple site and it doesn’t do enough search engine optimization. It’s a good sign for you because the site is not ranking well and you can beat it easily.



7) Seventh Step

You can now purchase the domain InteriorDecoratingDesign.net and start building your niche site!

Guidelines For Keyword Research

That would be better if you can follow the guidelines below while doing your keyword research, I always stick to this 3 requirements for my keyword research.

1) Number of Searches : 3,000 and above
2) Competition in Google.com : 100,000 and below
3) Domain Availability : .Com/.Net/.Org

Wrap Up

In order to rank well for your niche site, you have to build as much one way dofollow backlinks as you can to improve your search engine ranking. You have to keep adding related content for you niche site and driving more traffic. When your niche site has decent traffic, then you can start monetizing your niche site, either with pay per click advertisement, affiliate program or etc.

As I told you earlier, I didn’t use Google Adwords Keyword Tool since last year and currently I’m using Micro Niche Finder for my keyword research. The only difference between Google Adwords Keyword Tool and Micro Niche Finder is the features of SOC (Strength Of Competition), it’s something that Google Adwords Keyword Tool doesn’t show. SOC tells you the competition of the keyword which is more accurate than the competition analysis in Google.com.

So I would definitely recommend you to purchase the Micro Niche Finder if you’re serious in make money online with micro niche sites. It costs you about $97 for 2 licenses, so you can get someone to share with you and it only cost $48.50 each, then you’ll get lifetime upgrades and support.

After the keyword research stage, then you probably need to know how to build a profitable niche blog.

How do you do your keyword research? Kindly leave a comment or two and tell us how do you think about the method above.

About Lee Ka Hoong

Lee is a part time blogger and he writes about blogging tips, make money online, search engine optimisation, affiliate marketing, traffic building and etc. He shares his adventure and experience on how to make money blogging with a blog.


  1. Rohit Sane from Tech Stuff says:

    I would call this as the Best post on Keyword research, I have ever read!

    But I think, we must not only concentrate our Keyword research only on the Domain Name. We must try to use it for URL keywords and the Keywords in the Titles of our Artilces too..
    .-= Rohit Sane@Tech Stuff´s last blog ..11 Days of Winning – Free WordPress Hosting GiveAway and More! [Contest] =-.

    • @Rohit Sane,
      You’re right. But it’s thing that we need to do after choosing the keyword, so in this post I’ll only show how to do keyword research and pick the right domain name. Regarding the keyword in the URL and title of article, it’s in the content creation stage. We might discuss about it in the near future, thanks for your opinion Rohit. :)

  2. Lee – Great write up. That said, I’ve found that the process can be expedited and simplified by using tools like Market Samurai. I think it was worth every penny of the purchase price.

    • @Josh,
      You’re right Josh, I believe that you can follow the same steps with Market Samurai. I’ve never used Market Samurai before but I believe that the function is almost similar to Micro Niche Finder.

  3. In my opinion, you make a huge mistake in your keyword research. Never use number of search results as a metric of keyword competitiveness. That does not tell you how competitive a keyword is at all. It simply tells you how many pages are somehow relevant to that phrase. It doesn’t matter how many millions of pages are relevant though. It only matters how strong your true competition is…the websites on page 1 (and sometimes page 2).

    • @Jeremy,
      You’re right Jeremy, Google result is not showing the number of competition but it shows the pages with relevant to the keyword phases in the sites. Without any keyword research tool, we can only assume in this way. Also, I don’t think we must rank for the first spot or second for your site, of course it’s better if you can do that. For my micro niche sites, most of them rank in the first page but not in the first three spot, they still receive traffic and make money. I believe that it has something to do with the website structure or theme design as well, it depends on how you structure it.

      And yes, I may left the step of checking how strong are the sites on page 1. I always do it with Micro Niche Finder, the feature FOC does all the works, it saves a lot of times. Thanks for your comment Jeremy, appreciate it. :)

      • I definitely agree that you don’t need to rank in the top 3 to get traffic. Depending on how popular the keyword is, you can get consistent traffic even on page 2. For most keywords you do want to be top 3 – 5 to get a significant portion of that traffic.

        While Micro Niche Finder analyzes the strength of your main competitors, it would be great if you also showed people how to gauge competitor strength without such tools. This is a step that many people ignore.

  4. Since this post is specifically about choosing keywords for domains names, you should be more specific in the post title. Keyword research is an ongoing process that is not done when you buy your domain. As Rohit mentioned, we also have to choose good keywords for each individual post/page, as well as for the anchor text of our backlinks.

    • @Jeremy,
      No Jeremy, choosing keywords for domain name is just a part of the keyword research. This post is dedicated for Sachin Bisaani who asked me how to do keyword research by using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool before starting a niche site, so I just explain more than what he wanted. I know your concern, you’re talking about the keyword research in the managing process or content creation stage, that we can discuss further in near future. In this post, we only up to keyword research to get a better keyword for a new niche site. :)

  5. Yes, i’m using Google Adwords Keyword Tool for my keyword research. I have learnt this technique from you too Lee. Thanks for your help! :)
    .-= Kok Siong @ Cancer Research´s last blog ..Tamoxifen – Breast Cancer Treatment =-.

  6. Good insight into keyword research. If I remember well, a year ago back in 2009, google’s adword keyword tool is charging a one time $5 for signup. It free for users who sign up for adword ads.

  7. One thing I would point out is that you need to put the keywords in quotes when researching competition if you want to get a much closer count of the actual amount of sites competing for the keyword phrase. For example, if you take the keywords you used for your example — interior decorating design — You are showing more than 9 Million results. Search that phrase in quotes — “interior decorating design” — and you will see there are only about 160,000 results. That is a much better gauge of the competition. Overall great post though! Thanks.
    .-= Trent @ How to Make Money´s last blog ..How to Make Money Fast Online =-.

    • @Trent,
      Checking the keyword in quotes might be new for me Trent, is that the right way to check the exact number of competition as we have the “xxx” with the keyword? Thanks for sharing your idea Trent. :)

      • Yes, that is the correct way to do it. If you don’t use quotes then every site with any one of the words on it will show up so it’s not a true representation of your competition. The numbers will be highly inflated. But if you use quotes then only the sites with the full keyword phrase on them will show up. I am happy to be of assistance.

        Oh and I can’t wait to see my guest post live that I sent you last week. I’ll get started on the other one we talked about very soon.
        .-= Trent @ Make Money´s last blog ..How to Make Money Fast Online =-.

        • @Trent,
          That sounds logic Trent, that’s new to me. Thanks for your explanation Trent!

          Your guest post has been scheduled and will be published soon, stay tuned for the post. I’m awaiting for your next series of guest post too. :)

  8. Thanks Sir That’s the sort of thing I’m looking for.I’m confused in deciding Number of Searches to be taken ,Competition in Google.Article had settled my thrust of keyword research.

    This is for readers of myblog2day.com:-I asked this question to Lee through his contact form and he replied me within 24 hours.I just want to say that’s the sign of great blogger,always looking to help his reader.I thank lee from bottom of my heart for this.It is an internet gift that I will never ever forget.

    Sachin Bisaani

    • @Sachin,
      Thanks for your compliment Sachin, I hope you like the tutorial and learn something from it. Simply shoot me an email if you have any further question or we might discuss here. :)

  9. I wish I have known this on my early stages of blogging so that I didn’t made a mistake before.
    .-= paul | entertainment tonight´s last blog ..David Archuleta is seen on a gay bar =-.

  10. “How do you do your keyword research?”

    I currently don’t. I’ve all but given up on it due to overwhelming confusion.
    .-= Dennis Edell @ Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog ..Do You Have 5 BURNING Questions? =-.

    • @Dennis,
      If your intention is to make money online, keyword research is definitely important as a beginning. That’s not a big deal Dennis, take some times to look at it again.