Exactly 5 years ago I was exactly where you are today. I had a website that I was really proud of but it absolutely was not on page 1 of Google. I used to think that was a random thing to websites that they showed up on page 1, until I started to study it and I noticed that pretty consistently the same websites were there each time I searched for those specific things. I knew then only the term “keyword” but I didn’t really know what that meant. I thought maybe I knew; I mean it seems logical that the word is the key to being found, but how that is determined, the mathematical perspective about it, to research it, all of these things were completely foreign to me.
Back then I had probably created two websites that I was proud of and that I like the way that they looked but neither website was on page 1 nor quite honestly could I even find it by going to page after page after page of a Google search results for what the keyword was or this thing that I thought I wanted to be found for.
So I have a website. It’s about my puppies and I want everybody to know about my dogs. So I created all kinds of pages named after the different dogs, a certain page just about puppies and I thought “that’s it” and “that’s all I have to do”. That was a day worth celebrating, the day that I could say or feel that my website was done. So then you go to google and you type in what you think is how you want your website to be found. In my case the word might be “French bulldog puppies”. So I typed into the search bar, not the address bar by the way, but the search bar when you don’t have an actual url address; I typed in the words “French bulldog puppies” and lo and behold my website didn’t not show up. So I took a look at all the other websites that were showing up and most of the time I thought “but my website is far nicer, far better, far more thorough. Why isn’t it showing up? Not knowing any better I decided to wait a few weeks and give Google a chance to discover my marvelous website. So then two weeks past and I checked in again and sure enough no sign of my website anywhere! Not for the first 10 pages and after that I got tired of looking. Bummer.
I remember taking it really personal and then someone explained to me that I can see by this number up at the top of the search result how many other people were in line to be on the first page and I remember seeing a number that was such a large number that I barely knew how to read it. It was definitely in the millions. So now I felt really discouraged.
That was the first day of the beginning of a huge learning curve when I typed into the Google search bar something like “so how do you get to be on the first page of Google”? And then I started reading from the search results and wow! What a load of information about something that I knew nothing about. There I read over and over again the word “keyword or keywords”. I knew right then either I was going to learn this stuff or I was never going be on page 1. But little did I know what an enormous learning experience this was going to be and what kind of time it would involve. You see, it’s not like everybody is saying the same thing. Some people are even selling products that you can pay money for today and find out what their big secret is. Truth be known, money was of shortcoming at the time I had to see what I could learn without spending money and just reading information and facts of what other people are saying the truth is. How do you know of what you are reading is opinion or factual?
Ultimately I thought I was getting a grip on understanding things and I went to the keyword research tool and I discovered a keyword phrase that I thought was going to turn my life around. Because now I knew what it would take to rank a website on page 1 based solely on the clever choice of the right keyword phrase.
What I didn’t know was that I had not learned correctly how to decipher the numbers that present themselves when you use the keyword tool. So what happened is I chose a keyword phrase based on the numbers that I saw and I created a very grand website that I would come to work my ass off on and eventually rank the website on page 1 of Google. I would feel like celebrating because I thought my life was going to change and all the money was going to come rolling in. But surprise surprise! No such thing happened as money rolling in. In fact, it turns out that despite the thousands of people that I believed we’re showing up on page 1 of Google, according to the cute little analytics tool that I have on my website, I was really only getting about 50 people in the month to my site! How could that be? I had followed all the directions that I had learned from all these other people and yet it seemed impossible if they were right that only about 50 people are showing up on the site that is ranking number one for a term that the keyword tool says has 2500 people searching for it every month. Something was very wrong and I was about to find out what.
I went back to that keyword tool and tried again to see what Google had to say about the amount of people searching for my keyword phrase and then I noticed for the first time what seemed to be very insignificant but what turned out to be the most significant factor on that page over on the left side in a very small box in the sidebar. I saw a place with three little boxes and three little words next to those three little boxes of which only one Word and one box was checked and that word said” broad”. So then just for the heck of it I checked the other boxes as well. I hit search and got a new results with three times the phrase designated, in a row, but each number was different, one being very high and very big and another one being very small with many less people. The term “broad” had the 2400 people as I had previously learned. However the second word” exact” had far less people then “broad” and then there was the word” phrase” which was somewhere in the middle for a total number in that result. What did those numbers mean? And the answer to that question would rock my world on line.
The phrase that I was researching was” natural dog care”. This is a three word phrase. A “broad” search results means that any and all websites that have a description written that includes the words “natural” or “dog” or “care”, in that order, or mixed up in any way such as “natural hair dog care” or “care dog” or “care natural”, you name it, any one of those combinations would be inclusive in that total search result. Then you have a “phrase match”, which means any website that is using the phrase “natural dog care” as part of their description, not entirely they’re only description but somewhere in there those words in their description all three of them. It could be a description for a website that includes “natural dog care” as a phrase by itself but it could also be another phrase that is inclusive of those words such as” it is a natural reaction for a dog to respond to your loving care“. This last phrase is obviously having an entirely different meaning then the phrase “natural dog care” all by itself. So the only way that Google can understand that what you want to know is who is searching for that “exact” phrase natural dog care and not those three words jumbled up in another phrase, is to choose the selection, or the box next to the word exact. Only if you select the box exact and then hit search in Google keyword tool will your result represent a true number for a phrase and how many people are actually searching that phrase. Again don’t be confused between the word “exact” and the word “phrase”. Be concerned only with the choice for the exact results not the phrase results because that will include all kinds of other phrases that include those words but not only those words.
So here’s the difference: I originally searched natural dog care with the default box checked which was for that broad search result which was equal to 2400 people globally. When I unchecked the broad box and instead checked the box next to the word exact, then I got a search result of 100 people. This is a very far cry from 2400. This would explain why I was only getting 50 visitors per month to my website and not what I was expecting of roughly 1200 which would be roughly 50% of the people landing on that page as the statistic indicates that when you are in the number one position that about 50% of the people landing there on that page will choose the number one result. Although this was a sad discovery this was also a major day of learning. And me telling you this now this will make a huge difference for your pursuit of your next keyword phrase. I hate to see you make the same mistake as me. Wouldn’t you much prefer to research keywords and then build a website around the keyword phrase that you have an honest answer as to how many people are really searching for that phrase so that you don’t put all your energy into the wrong phrase because you have an inflated idea of how many people are searching for that term?
So let’s begin right now to learn keyword research in the correct way. I’m going to lay it out for you straight so that you will never make the same mistake as me so that you will begin this process correctly and not waste time doing it wrong.