This article may be the most important one that you ever read when it comes to SEO, or search engine optimization. Getting the right keywords for your target market, or for that matter just researching keywords in order to find a target market is literally the make or break of every business. I don't care if you have the greatest idea in the world. If you're not targeting the right keywords, you're not going to have the success that you want. In this article, we're going to take a look at keyword research and hopefully give you some basic tips on how to get the most out of it.

Unfortunately, SEO keyword research is not a plug and play operation. You do need a little brain power to do it successfully, especially if you're looking for a niche to get into. A niche is an area of the marketplace that you are intending to monetize. The absolute worst place to start is from scratch. This is where I recommend to simply write down your interests and skills. Certainly you are interested in something other than just making money. Okay, if that's your only interest, fine. Then start with "making money" as your keyword starting spot. If, however, you do have other interests, like music, sports, art, welding, or even underwater volleyball, then I suggest starting with those first. Making money is a tough niche to crack.

Okay, the next step is to go to your keyword research tool of choice. There are plenty of free ones out there and most are the same, getting their results from Overture. Once you've found a tool you're happy with, plug in your initial keyword and see how many monthly searches there are. Got 'em? Great! Now we're going to go to Google and see how many web sites have that keyword. Type the same keyword into the Google search engine, with quotes, and see how many competing sites. This will give you an idea of what your competition is.

Ultimately, what we want to do is find a keyword where we have a decent number of monthly searches but not too many competing sites. The reason for this is because we want to be able to break into the niche we are targeting as easily as possible. This is where we have to really dig into our keyword research. See, the first keyword we pick will probably be very general and thus give many searches but also many competing sites. So, what we have to do is narrow things down. So let's say we started with "making money" and found that there were too many competing sites. What we may have to do is expand that phrase. Maybe try something like "make money online" next. That should bring us fewer searches but also fewer competing sites. We may still have to narrow it down even more. So maybe we'll try "make money online with membership sites" and see how many searches and sites we get.

Eventually, we will find a combination of searches and sites that is good enough to go after. Or maybe not. Maybe there are no sub niches in that main niche worth going after. Maybe we may have to move onto another niche altogether. Point is, that is the basic procedure. Find a starting point and then narrow it down.

Now, there are some tools that will make this job easier, such as Keyword Elite, but the procedure is still the same. Find a keyword phrase, or hopefully several phrases, where you can monetize that phrase easily.

Keyword research, as I said, is not an easy chore, but it is one that has to be tackled in order to know where you are going with the business that you choose to pursue.