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 The Benefits of Using an Illogical "Anything goes approach" 
to  your keyword research 

By John Alexander

Before we discuss the benefits of using an "anything goes approach to research" as it applies to keyword research or behavioral research for the process of optimization, let's take a minute to talk about logic or the reverse (for lack of a better term term) anti-logic.

Logical thinking versus illogical thinking:

In our everyday life as mature adults, we find value in approaching things with a logical thinking process. We choose to formulate ideas and thoughts that "make the most sense" and contribute to what we are trying to achieve. For most things in life, the more logical planning you do, the better results you will obtain.

For most aspects of living our lives, using a logical approach delivers much better results than taking an illogical approach. Performing certain tasks in a methodical, step by step approach only makes sense, especially in cases where you are taking specific actions to reproduce a certain result over and over again.

However, the process we refer to as keyword research is one place where we can benefit by taking more of an anything goes approach for research. If logic rules in your research (which for most of us it naturally does,) then you often discover the same keyword phrases that any other logical person might be guessing at or researching. 

But true research, is not limited to guessing at things but is better thought of in terms of:

"a process of exploring existing data for the hottest and freshest trends in search behavior." 

Good research technique allows the researcher to discover many different trends that the casual guesser will never even notice. 

Every time I write another article describing examples of high KEI (Keword Effectiveness Index) type phrases, it does not take long before people jump on the examples and naturally start using them. So by the time you read these examples the data may have changed, but the reason I share these tips is to help you research your data more effectively using a tool like

Don't just limit yourself to the examples, but dig in and try exploring data for your own industry specific phrases.

Taking one of the oldest examples like "baby names" you might think after this time that people have worn it out. The original article I wrote talked about how soon to be parents love to use the Internet to research baby names. Therefore, by offering such a resource in a baby clothes or baby furniture Web site you could attract "soon to be parents" to the Web site based on what a specific audience wants to find. They may want to research what they will call their child but end up realizing that there are other things for sale that they need here too.

The examples I gave years ago are getting fairly competitive, so let's give you some new examples:

"Baby boy names" has about 419,000 competing pages on Google at the time of this article. 
"unique baby names" has about 131,000 competing pages on Google at the time of this article.
"uncommon baby names" has at least 40,000 competing pages on Google.....

And people begin to panic and say, oh well, so much for this strategy....all the baby name keywords have been used up. But let's not jump to conclusions so fast. 

How about some of these searches:

"Traditional English Baby Names has only 8 competing pages and a KEI of 55.0
"modern baby names" has only 755 competing pages and a KEI of 205.0
"Old south baby names" has only 60 competing pages and a KEI of 336.1
"Southern Female Names" has only 136 competing pages and a KEI of 339.0
"Colonial baby names" has only 2 competing pages and a KEI of 480.5

It took me less than 2 minutes to find these phrases, based on one simple action. But once you are on to it, you will expand your keyword research ability by several thousand times.

When performing comprehensive research inside the members area of, people tend to go with keywords that make sense logically. This is only natural since for most of us, we want to guess at terminology that makes the best sense. People often tend to only want to enter into Wordtracker, the most logically descriptive terms instead of taking a little broader "anything goes" approach to their research. 

TIP: To find the terms above in just a few minutes, I did not research the keyword phrase "baby names." I narrowed it down to the single word "name" and allowed Wordtracker to instantly show me how that word is being used in multiple phrases.

When you attempt to research a specific phrase that is lodged in the front of your mind, you are limiting the results you will see to those that using that exact two word combination together. In the meantime, there could be hundreds of searches being done that you will never ever see or find, because you are logically guessing at a specific phrase that you ***think*** may be important. By using a single word, you are going to get a much wider cross section of keywords and understand exactly how they are being used by the searcher within the last 90 days.

Many people take the approach of checking all of the keywords that make the most logical sense, rather than using a root word that is not illogical or not the most obvious. Let's go through a few more quick examples to show you how to do research that will open up all kinds of new windows for discovery. 

Suppose you are an affiliate marketer who has Web site around the topic of lighting. Maybe you are trying to find interesting keywords based on low compete counts for words like lamp, lighting, light bulbs etc. 

Of these primary keywords that first come to mind, what would be an interesting single root word to go exploring Wordtracker data with? 

None of these suggestions would be wrong to check out, but let's use this as an example to find a product that we could sell from our informational affiliate site.

Would you use a word like light or lighting or lamp or light bulbs

The first few words jump off the page at you because they are logical and make sense, right. Let's go exploring with the single term "bulb." It is still logical to a degree, but it is not the first thing you probably thought of.

Rather than listing all of the words I found.....such as:

"Inground pool light bulb" 
"Fluoresent light bulb containers"
"Sunwave light bulb"
"Fibre optic light bulb replacement" 

Let me say that it was not until about 260 words in the list that the competing counts were above 20.
In other words, there are literally over 200 keyword phrase combinations I found in about 3 minutes.

TIP: Have you thought about exploring single terms that are on Wordtracker's top 1000 busiest words within the last 90 days?

TIP: Have you thought about purchasing a report from Wordtracker of the top 20,000 busiest keywords and use that list to quickly sort through the hottest busy data within the last 90 days. 

Try and take the broadest anything goes approach to research and test ordinary everyday terms. The boring little terms that most people assume have no value. Don't be in a rush to try and research multiple terms, but start with a single word. Most of want to think of a solution and then explore data to find a keyword that relates to that solution. 

TIP: Try it backwards. Stop thinking of the solution first, but explore the data to find a need. Once you find a need of your searching audience, then dig into a solution at that point.

Example of exploring an everyday boring word:

The word I am just grabbing to demonstrate this anything goes approach is the word out of my last sentence. I am thinking about the word "everyday." I think I'll just shorten it to the word "day." How boring is that? Do you think we'll discover anything even remotely useful with a word like "day?" Let's try it out:

Father's Day E-cards            KEI   432.6    
30 day free trial Websites     KEI   784.0
History of Patriot's Day         KEI 1700.0 
Daylight Savings Time Map   KEI 1762.0
labor day travel                    KEI 1859.0

So we see some very interesting search terms that carry nice potential for a variety of applications. In just a few seconds we've learned about several words and exactly how they are being formed to create exact search phrases that could be helpful in any number of scenarios.

I hope this is enough to get you thinking more open mindedly about the process of keyword research. There is a wealth of data that can be instantly tapped into and made use of. Check Out Wordtracker's Free Keyword Tool Now .

For more Wordtracker articles, please see this page.

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About John Alexander
John Alexander is Director of Training at Search Engine Workshops offering live, SEO Workshops with his SEO Training Associates at Search Engine Academy. John is author of
an e-book called Wordtracker Magic and has taught SEO skills to people from 87 different countries world wide. John's articles can be read in publications like REALTOR Magazine, Search Engine Guide, WEBpro News and many others.  

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