After completing this tutorial, you will know how to analyze the keywords in your keyword research template so that you can choose the correct keywords to target first.
Step 1. Understand Broad, Phrase and Exact Searches
The numbers in the columns of your KWR spreadsheet reveal how many times people search for your keywords each month. The numbers in each column come from Google’s AdWord tool, as described in the tutorial for Keyword Research Discovery. There are three results, broad, phrase, and exact.
- Searches (Broad) – This shows how many people are searching for ANY variation of your keyword. So the results will include any word order along with additional words.
e.g. If your keyword was ‘trout fishing’ then the ‘broad search’ results will include people who used the following search phrases:
- trout fishing OR
- trout fishing tips OR
- fly fishing for trout OR
- fishing for trout from a boat
- and many other variations
e.g. So if your ‘broad search’ results show 250,000 people search for ‘trout fishing’ That means 250,000 variations of that keyword.
- Searches (Phrase) – Here you’ll see how many people are searching for a phrase containing the words in your keyword in their specific word order. There can be words before and after the phrase.
e.g. If your keyword was ‘trout fishing’ then the ‘phrase search’ results would include people who used the following search phrases:
- trout fishing OR
- trout fishing tips OR
- rods for trout fishing OR
- New Zealand trout fishing vacations
- and many other variations.
e.g. So if your ‘phrase search’ results show 150,000 people search for “trout fishing’” it means 150,000 phrases of that keyword.
- Searches (Exact) – Numbers in this column show how many searches have been done using the exact term you are researching, and nothing else.
e.g. So if your ‘exact search’ results show 12,000 people search for [trout fishing] that means 12,000 searches were done for that exact keyword and nothing else.
Step 2. Analyze the Numbers
The next four columns provide information to help you know where you stand on the search engines.
Exact-to-Broad – This is the percentage of exact match searches that come out of a broad search for a keyword. You find this number by dividing the number of exact search results by broad search results (Exact/Broad).
The goal is to target keywords with a high percentage as this indicates people know exactly what they want and are searching with very specific keywords, also known as “buying keywords.”
e.g. If we look at the keyword ‘building maintenance’ it shows 260 people search exactly for ‘building maintenance’ and 4,400 people search for some variation (i.e. broad). If you divide 260/4400 you get 6%. So 6% of the people searching for ‘building maintenance’ are typing in just that keyword. They might be looking for “building maintenance + A CITY” or “What is building maintenance.”
The key is to target keywords that have a large ratio. For example, 14% of the people searching for ‘building maintenance company’ are searching just for that keyword. This is a much better percentage than 6%.
SEO Competition – This is the column labeled SEO Comp on the template. The number shown here is the total number of web pages that mention a keyword in the same way it shows up on Google’s index.
e.g. So our data shows that the phrase ‘building maintenance’ is mentioned 7,940,000 web pages!
Title Competition (Title Comp) – Here you’ll find how many web page titles mention a specific keyword term exactly as it was typed in for a search. It also helps you see how much competition you have.
As shown in the video, 137,000 web pages mention the phrase ‘building maintenance’ in their page title.
Title-to-SEO Comp – In this column is the ratio of “title competition” to “SEO competition” which tells how many web pages are targeting that keyword phrase. A low number here indicates that very few websites are trying to rank for that keyword phrase. Which means if you use that keyword in your Page Title, you can rank very high or even at the top of a Google ranking easily, essentially because there’s little competition.
Tip #1: Export Google’s Keywords to speed up work
You can download all the keyword results with one click as shown below rather than copying and pasting them over one at a time.
Keyword research and analysis is one of the best ways to gauge how well your company ranks in online searches compared to similar companies in your industry.
- Start by understanding what information you can find through broad, phrase and exact keyword searches.
- Then analyze the numbers from your searches to determine what keywords will get you the best ranking versus your competition.
Retrieving and analyzing data from keyword searches is an important tool for getting your company greater visibility on the internet and keeping it at the top of search result results.
For this tutorial, you will need: