The "build it and they will come" mentality is not generally how we need to think in the online world. Offline, yes. Online is rare. People search for specific things online.
According to Amit Singhal, principal scientist at Google, over 50% of the 200 million searches performed daily have never been searched before!
And think about this: When you have a headache you don't go and search for Tylenol, right? You'd just go to the store and buy some. But, you might search "what causes headaches". So when you're thinking of keyword research, keep that in mind. People come online looking to find a solution to their problem. All of your research should revolve around this.
Ok, next thought. When we search online - in Google for example - we type in a keyword or a key phrase related to what we're searching for. If the results pop up, and they are not what we were looking for, what do we do? We go back to step 1 and use a different variation of the keywords or phrases we entered, hoping for a different and better result.
So keep in mind that when doing keyword research, we want to focus on the variations that a visitor may be searching
A few more tips...
We want to get specific. Why? Because if your targeted keyword is "cat" think of how broad that is. Someone could be searching for "cat breeds" and if your site for "cat supplies" pops up, the visitor will be frustrated. We've all been there!
The very BEST tool I have found (better write this one down) is the Google AdWords External Keyword Tool. (Google it and it'll pop up.)
Here's the best way to use it:
1. Go to Google and type in your niche "cat supplies"
2. Copy the URL of the #1 ranked webpage (no subpages - copy only the home page URL)
3. Go to the Google AdWords External Keyword Tool
4. Click on the "Website Content" option
5. Paste the URL of the #1 ranked site
6. Click "Get Keyword Ideas"
You'll be AMAZED at what comes up! Every keyword in that site! Why is this good? Those keywords and phrases are a big reason why that site has been ranked so highly in Google. If you use those same keywords in your site...imagine what could happen...
One more goodie for you. If you go to other popular keyword research tools such as www.WordTracker.com
you'd normally be inclined to type in "cat supplies" and wait to see what keyword variations come up for you. Next time, try "how cat supplies”. This will pull up the variations in that database with the words “how” and “cat supplies”. Many people type a question into a search engine such as “how do I find cat supplies?” – so keep that in mind as well.