You should never tackle a list of keywords without first analyzing traffic and competition. It’s a waste of time and resources to focus on keywords that are too competitive or don’t get enough searches.
There is a specific “formula” I use to determine which keywords I want to focus on:
At least 1,000 monthly searches
No more than 30,000 pages in Google “in quotes”
No more than 10,000 results for “allintitle”
When you get your list of keywords from the Google keyword tool, it will tell you approximately how many searches each phrase receives each month. I don’t generally use keywords that have less than 1,000 searches per month, because they don’t usually bring enough traffic to justify the effort.
Next, you have to assess the competition. You want to make sure to target phrases you have a good chance to rank for, otherwise you’re wasting your time, because you probably won’t be able to rank on the first page if there is too much competition.
There are two steps to assessing competition. First, you need to find out how many people are using each keyword phrase on their pages. You do this by entering the keyword into Google in quotes. This will tell you how many other pages contain that exact phrase.
As you can see in the image above, the phrase “keyword in quotes” is used on about 6,090 other pages. This means you should have a fairly easy time ranking on the first page for that phrase.
Next, you need to see how strong those other competitors are. Google and other search engines usually give a tremendous amount of weight to the words appearing in the title of the HTML document, so you need to see how many of those pages are also using the phrase in their title.
This is done by entering this into Google:
allintitle:”keyword in quotes”
As you can see from this image, only 3 pages have the phrase “keyword in quotes” in the title. This is great news if you want to rank for that phrase, because it means you will almost certainly be able to rank on the first page for that phrase if you use the phrase in your title.
After you have used all of the keyword phrases you found that fit the main criteria, you can expand and use other keywords. Just stick to those that do fit the criteria in the beginning, because you will get better rankings quickly, so you can start seeing traffic and income sooner.
There are automated tools that make keyword research easier, but you will have to invest some money if you want to use them. For example, Market Samurai makes it very fast and easy to find and assess keywords, but it is pricey.