Keyword research is a vital step in any SEO campaign, yes its tedious work but very necessary and it will definitely help you achieve higher rankings in the search engines. If I could give you the top 3 SEO Tips in my bag of tricks, I would have to say # 1 is Keyword Research.
Now everyone has there own formula's and tricks for finding a niche keyword or phrase, and I have bought some tools out there myself, but it seems I always fall back to Google's free Keyword tool, they have added some features that really make this tool easy to use and extremely helpful.
SEO Tips –
Finding a niche keyword or phrase starts with your interest. Make a list of your favorite products and services, if you are going to start promoting your website, its much easier to write articles and come up with content if you are interested in the product or service. A keyword tool provides you with the keywords or phrases that people are typing into the search engines. So for example in our tool we searched for "skateboards", the tool would give us some data back on how many times that keyword or phrase was searched in one month.
Now you may notice the search on your keyword has resulted in millions of monthly searches, well that is where the niche part comes in, take that keyword "skateboards" and turn it into a phrase like "skateboard trucks" or "top skateboard decks" and you will notice the competition and monthly searches will drop drastically, but you want to still want to find words that generate traffic. I tend to leave alone any keywords with less than 500 monthly searches and up to 100, 000 searches, just depends on the competition.
Although instinct would tell you to go after the most popular keyword, but that is not always the best approach, it's always easier to reach number one on the search engines if a keyword has less competition than to compete against millions of web pages.
Even though we did not go into great detail on this whole process, I hope it has enlightened you on the fact that this step can either make it or break it for you. Do not spend months trying to get to number one only to find out that your keyword does not generate any traffic at all or you are up against the biggest competition.