A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research


A Simple Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research

People type keywords into search engines when looking for websites.  Search engines analyze the keywords, along with other factors such as incoming links, and rank sites accordingly.  Thus, if you have the right keywords, you can move up in the search results. 

I’m going to show you how to find keywords and calculate the Keyword Effectiveness Index for those words.  Then, you’ll be able to incorporate solid keywords into your Internet marketing campaign.  

AdWords Keyword Tool

Your keyword research should start at the AdWords Keyword Tool.  While this is an AdWords tool, you do not need an AdWords account to use it.

Once you go to the tool, you need to type in a keyword that’s related to your niche.  For instance, assume you’re using your site to promote iPad cases.  Thus, you can type “iPad Case” into the search box.

After you type in the keywords, you need to change the match type from “Broad” to “Exact.”  You’ll find this on the left hand side of the page.  Then, you can start the search.

A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research

A number of results will come up.  You need to look at the competition and the local monthly search results.  You want the competition to be in the medium range and the search results to be in the thousands. 

If you run this search, you’ll find the phrase “Best iPad cases.”  This phrase has a medium level of competition and 4400 monthly local searches.  It looks like a good keyword, so I am going to choose it.

Analyze the Competition

Then, you’ll need to analyze the competition.  To do that, you’ll head over to Google and type “best iPad cases” into the search box.  Notice that I put quotes around the key phrase.  That’s so I’ll get exact matches back.

A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research

There are 1,280,000 sites that come up in the search results.  That means I’ll be competing against 1,280,000 sites if I use this word. 

Now I can calculate the KEI.  The formula for KEI is:

(Number of Searches*Number of Searches)/(Number of Competitors).  Thus, my calculation is:


Therefore, my KEI is 15,125.

As a general rule, you want your KEI to be 10 or higher.  The best range for keywords is 10-150.  Because of that, I know that I can use this key phrase, since it has a KEI of 15.125.

Now that you know how to calculate KEI, I want to go over a few more tips for keyword research.

Tips for Keyword Research

  • Use long tail keywords.  Long tail keywords are keywords that contain several words.  It’s easier to rank for longA Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research tail keywords.
  • Choose an assortment of keywords. 
  • Put yourself in the mind of your customer when selecting keywords.  What will your customer type in when looking for your site?  Use that as a starting point for your research.
  • Once you find your keywords, create sites, blogs and articles that use a 3-5% keyword density.  That means 3-5% of your words will be keywords.

Now you can start looking for keywords.  Keywords play a critical role in Internet marketing, and now, you’re ready to take the first step in moving up in the rankings. 

Personal Coach and Mentor
Click here to never miss a post - connect with Carol Amato
Top Stories

  • Terina

    A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research really gives a good perspective on where to start and give high visibility for our businesses.

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Thanks for your comment, Terina – Hope you have a wonderful weekend.
      – Carol

  • Andrea

    Hi Carol- I have a quick question. You said the best range for the keywords is 10-150. Does it make much of a difference (as far as ranking goes) if it’s outside that range or if your competition is high instead of medium? If it makes a major difference I will stick to it but if not I was considering using keywords that are labeled high in competition with thousands of local monthly searches. Just wondering if there’s wringle room or if it’s really important to stay within that range for better ranking. Thanks so much..

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Hi Andrea,

      Yes, there is wiggle room! I like that phrase. :) It depends what you want wiggle room in… I would never choose a keyword with high competition. I go with medium but use my common sense about the particular keyword phrase. The (keyword effectiveness index) calculation is affected by changing to a high competition, so I would stick with low or medium. Hope to help.
      Have a great weekend.
      – Carol

      • Andrea

        Yes it did! Thanks a bunch. U have a great weekend as well.

  • Dan

    Thanks for your wisdom

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Hi Dan,
      I enjoy sharing what I learn…..used to be so confused about keyword research, so I like to help others too.
      Have a good evening. – Carol

  • aida c suarez

    Hello Carol! I am just amazed to see how much you had accomplished in just a year or so internet marketing, to the point of being able to teach us so much. Everyday i discover a new blog you had posted with useful tips. I think you’re very diligent person. And when took upon this business you’re ready for it. God bless! Yes i will keep reading all the blogs you had already posted for us.Thank you!
    Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research will be one very useful. Thanks for the instrucctions on how to use it. Yes indeeb, beginners or newbies need lots of help. I wonder with who’s teacher you started with. Was it Eric H? By the way today i will send him the $5 to take advantage of this pakage! Before the offer expires at the end of this month. Thank again! Ken Roberts use to tell us: “do not mention this word “expires” in front of me.” Yes was showing sings of old age them. And he also smokes Coshiba cigars. Hope he’s still alive and in fair health today. I love my commodities teacher. Ha! Bye!

    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Hello Aida,

      You are a dear, and I find it a pleasure to read your posts. :) I enjoy what I do and am glad that you are learning from the info on my blog. That’s the intention!!

      My first coach scammed me……….see here: http://www.carolamato.com/real-coaching-club/

      Hope to help. Have a blessed weekend!
      – Carol

  • Melissa

    Hi Carol,

    I have tried using AdWords Keyword Tool before but I really couldn’t understand how it works until I read this article. You even showed the formula on how to get the Keyword Effectiveness Index of the words. Very well explained Carol and I learned a lot from you. Thank you so much!


    • http://www.CarolAmato.com/ Carol Amato

      Hi Melissa!

      I’m so glad that I could help. If you don’t want to spend time doing it each time, there are fantastic people on Fiverr who will research and provide a detailed spreadsheet for $5! Can’t beat that! :-)

      Have a Blessed Day!
      – Carol