Google processes more than four billion searches every day. That’s more than one hundred fifty million every hour, or, if you want, more than 50,000 searches every single second!
What do people search for? According to this source, words like “weather”, “calculator”, “translate”, “YouTube to mp3”, top the list. However, they omit all sex-related keywords, and as you can see from a quick experiment I made, “free porn” easily beats even the highest ranked keywords on the list…
Expected, unexpected, sad? Well, if you were lucky enough to understand people around you, at least to some extend, these results should not come as a surprise….
People search also for YOU
Anyway, with the billions of searches Google processes every day, we can certainly find many that are relevant to your book and website, at least to some extend :).
But how do we find these relevant search terms and see how many people actually enter them to Google every month? Google Keyword Planner (GKP) is an answer.
Instead of wasting time with explaining something somebody explained before, I’ll simply paste here the tutorial on how to use the tool. Please, watch just the first three minutes from the video, the rest is not important for you at this point and watching the entire video would only confuse you.
Create a list of relevant keywords – and then add many more!
Once you know how to use the GKP, you should spend couple of hours working with it, trying to identify your keywords and an average monthly search volume for each keyword.
University of Solitude will guide you on this way.
Step nr. 1: Enter the most obvious keywords to the tool. True stories, espionage, prison stories, CIA in Iran. These represented my first picks. I entered them and let the GKP do the magic.
GKP recommended other keywords and phrases, based on my original entries, and I was nicely surprised to see that “inspirational stories” reported as much as 60,000 average monthly searches on Google (AMS).
“Solitary confinement” (another word the tool recommended to me) reported 27,000 AMS, that’s also surprisingly good.
Considering 40 days I spent in solitary, we can definitely label this keyword relevant. On the contrary, “CIA in Iran” (another recommendation from the tool) reported only 110 AMS, but I haven’t had high expectations with this particular phrase.
So, I recorded the words and their reported average monthly search volumes to a simple Excel sheet, and continued with the research.
Step nr. 2: After the most obvious keywords, we should think creatively and find other keywords and phrases that relate to the book.
I entered “Iran”, and looked through the many suggestions of Google Keyword Planner. Keywords like “Iran human rights” (1,000 monthly searches), “Iran democracy” (480 searches), or “Prisoner of Tehran”(720 searches) are definitely relevant, at least to certain extend. 🙂
Then I entered name of famous American prisoners whom I met in Evin prison. “Pastor Saeed” (Abedini) reported staggering 12,000 monthly searches, and Amir Hekmati also fared pretty well with 6,600 average monthly searches.
“Torture”, “political prisoners”, and many other ideas came to my mind, I entered them to GKP and noted down about 60 keywords in total, all of them at least slightly relevant to the main ideas and goals of the University of Solitude.
Leverage your website, blog, and all the topics you mention in your book.
Since I started the blog where I write about promoting the book, I entered “how to market a book” (720 monthly searches), and got other interesting suggestions from Google (sell your book, book launch party, brand building, etc.).
Then I went even deeper and entered keywords that relate to specific blog entries. “Reddit marketing”, for example, reported a healthy 1,000 average monthly searches. And “keyword research”, which relates to the post you are reading right now, reported more than 14,000 searches… Not bad, isn’t it?
After we recorded keywords that are relevant to the main topic of the book, and to the content on our blog, we should skim-read one book chapter after another, looking for specific topics mentioned there.
For example, those of you who read the University of Solitude know that I suffered a hard constipation for 27 days in prison. I talk about this experience in a chapter called “I’m trying to listen to my body, but I cannot hear it out”.
So, one chapter in my book actually touches the topic of constipation, how one can live with it and eventually overcome it (without using any medication…).
I therefore decided to search for “constipation” and was really surprised to see that keywords GKP suggested, such as “constipated for a week”, “how long does constipation last” (and many others) reported more than 1,000 monthly searches each!
I know it’s a long shot, but these keywords are relevant to one chapter in the university of Solitude, and so I recorded them down, together with their average monthly search volumes.
Skimming chapter after chapter and entering keywords to Google Planner, I found many interesting phrases. “Ayatollah Khomeini quotes”, “become who you are”, “real freedom”, to name a few. Those of you who read the book carefully will agree that all of them are relevant, and that people who search for them may actually benefit fromreading the University of Solitude…
I recorded all the words and phrases to my simple database. Finally, after several hours of thinking and working with the GKP, I closed my internet browser and looked on the database.
Reading many articles about keyword research, I’ve never seen anyone working with the “relevance factor”, before I did that. Maybe it’s my invention in the field of keyword research. Maybe ;).
Relevance factor is a keyword specific numeric value ranging from 0 to 1. Putting it simply, it refers to the estimated proportion of people who may find your book (or blog, or idea, or website) interesting and relevant when searching for a specific keyword.
An example: “Matej Valuch” and “University of Solitude” would have relevance factor 0.99 for our campaign, since nearly all people who search for these words will find my book, blog, and website relevant to their search.
On the contrary, we will assign 0.001 relevance factor to the keyword “Iran”, since the vast majority of people entering this word to Google search engine look for general information about the country of Iran, and they won’t find our websites interesting, or relevant.
Still, there can be one in a thousand who find them relevant (after all I was imprisoned in Iran and talk a lot about the country in my book), and that’s why I assigned 0.001 instead of 0. However, If I had “how to peel potatoes” (2,400 AMS 🙂) in my database, I would assign 0 relevance factor to this phrase. Nobody would find our book or website or book interesting when searching for a tutorial on how to peel potatoes…
So, the next step you should do is assigning a relevance factor (RF) to each keyword from the database, and then multiplying the AMS by the RF form each key phrase.
Sort the results from highest to lowest, and you should get something like this: (that’s my database, other sheets and data I will explain to you later)
As you can see, this group of keywords in my database reports the result from 39 to 810. (Number of average monthly searches multiplied by the relevance factor fore each keyword).
The higher the result the more effort you should invest into making your website/book visible for the keyword. And how to make it visible?
Well, I don’t want to make this article excessively long again, therefore we will talk about one relatively easy and cost-free method of making your website visible for a keyword in the next post.
For now you should just save your database of keywords and congratulate yourself on a good job done, because this database will serve you as a guide for your marketing campaigns in the weeks and months to come….
Some numbers from the last two weeks:
- Google processes more than 50,000 user searches every single second. People use Google to look for all kinds of information, and some of their searches are definitely relevant to your book.
- Identify these keywords and key phrases with the help of Google Keyword Planner (free tool), and mark down the average monthly searches for each term.
- Be creative, skim read the chapters of your book, think about the articles on your blog, and add more keywords to your database.
- Estimate the relevance factor (from 0 to 1) for each keyword. Calculate the result number and sort your keywords from the highest result number the lowest.
- Now you have your database of keywords, the crucial asset for your marketing campaign on Google.
That’s it for now. Next week I will show you the first and the simplest cost-free way of gaining some visibility for your book, anytime somebody searches for keywords relevant to your work. Have a good time, and spend some time promoting your work! I know it’s hard, but remember what Nietzsche wrote about displeasure and suffering:
You have the choice: either as little displeasure as possible, painlessness in brief … or as much displeasure as possible as the price for the growth of an abundance of subtle pleasures and joys that have rarely been relished yet? If you decide for the former and desire to diminish and lower the level of human pain, you also have to diminish and lower the level of their capacity for joy.
Achieving a worthy goal requires a lot of effort. Always. Relish the hardships you encounter on your way. There will be, and there must be, many hardships.
All the best,