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How Do You Find The Starving Crowd?
If you do any online marketing you've had it pounded into your head that the focus of your keyword research should be to find and use on your web pages, and in your articles and sales letters, the same keywords that your customers are using. That's certainly true so far as it goes, but wouldn't your copy be even more persuasive if your keyword-rich copy tapped directly into what your customer wanted to do?
If you were going to open a restaurant, what single thing would you try to acquire that would almost guarantee your success? A world-class chef? Top designer decor? Topless super models for waitresses? No. The single thing that would most guarantee your success is a starving crowd. Thank you Gary Halbert for the lesson, although Gary himself would probably go with the super-models.
Every time this story is told it begs the question, "Where do I find the starving crowd"? Many SEO writers suggest visiting forums and newsgroups related to your topic to find out the words and phrases that people who could become your customers actually use in conversation. That seems like a good idea, but it takes time. And although it seems logical, there's no assurance that the same folks who contribute to forums will someday use a search engine to find and buy what you have to sell. Maybe the forum crowd looks a little hungry but it doesn't appear to be starving.
Is there a way to do this, to find the starving crowd without hours or days of research? Yes there is. The way to do it is to start your keyword research with behavioral verbs instead of nouns. Let's look at an example to see how this works.
Let's make the topic resumes. People are constantly changing jobs and the internet is a good place to catch the attention of these potential job seekers and offer them something useful and informative. Fire up Wordtracker, go to Comprehensive Search and enter the root word "resume." Go directly to Competition and you will find some attractive keyword phrases. "where can I create my resume" has a KEI of 693, about 178 daily searches, and 123 competing web pages. You can probably do some business with this keyword phrase. In Wordtracker parlance a KEI greater than 100 is considered good, and a KEI greater than 400 is excellent. KEI is the acronym for Keyword Efficiency Index and it measures keyword popularity and competition. The higher the KEI number the better.
The results we got searching on the noun "resume" produced something pretty close to a starving crowd, but we can do better. Much better.
What is the behavior associated with resumes? It's writing. Instead of the noun "resume" let's use Comprehensive Search again with the behavioral verb "write" as the root word. Go immediately to Competition and what do we find? The starving crowd. The keyword phrase "how to write two weeks notice letter" hits the ball out of the park. KEI 54289, 142 daily searches, and 0 competition.
There is a good chance you can optimize a web page around how to write two weeks notice letters and get to the first search page on Google fairly quickly. If the customers like what you've done with that topic you have already pre-sold your resume writing service.
It's not always this easy although this example was the very first one I tried while preparing this article. So what's the key to finding the starving crowd? Focus your keyword research on what people do (behavioral verbs) instead of what they say
About the Author: (c) 2006 by Peter Boston. Peter is an attorney, writer, and the editor of Keywordsniche.com a copywriting, internet marketing and SEO resource site.