I have sticky notes everywhere on keyword phrases that I have discovered and passed my tests, but have not built yet.  Hence the name Sticky Note Keyword Research!

This is my method and you may not like it, but it works for me :)

At one time I found keyword research very difficult and felt that every keyword out there was “taken” and that I couldn’t compete.

The problem was my method of research.  I would search and search Google Adwords to find the best keywords.  I would get lost in the tool for hours and never come up for air.  I still use the tool, but with a totally different mindset.  

I go for the low competition keywords so that they have a better chance of ranking well without having to put a huge backlinking machine behind the campaign.  Many times, that would mean that my low competition keyword phrases would have low search volume, but I have hit some that were over 1.000 searches per month (jackpot!).  But 99% of the time, my keywords have less than 100 searches a month and as low as 10 searches a month.

All the big affiliate marketers would walk away from the low searches, but believe me – these low volume searches are generating revenue.

Okay folks, this is the way that I do keyword research.

It’s not fancy or sophisticated, but it has been very effective for me.

Sticky Note Keyword Research Rules

I have two rules that I follow without fail:

1.  The keyword phrase must contain 4 words or more.  And…I do not consider modifiers as one of the four words (best, review, big, etc)

2.  When I look at the words in Traffic Travis, the degree of difficulty must be Easy.  If it is Relatively Easy, I won’t touch it.  (I use the free version of Traffic Travis).

…and, I always start in Google Search – not Adwords.

** At the end of this post, I will show you have to use Traffic Travis.


Example #1

As someone mentioned to me “who wants to sell a coffee mug?”  I must admit that I am not interested in marketing a $4.00 mug to market, but I am interested in the $1.90 wedding invitations!

That $1.90 invitation is a gem in disguise.  If the bride and groom are inviting 200 guests, that $1.90 purchase just jumped up to a $380 purchase (at a 15% commission).  Nice.

So I popped over to Zazzle and searched “wedding invitations” in the search box.  Looking at the different invitations, I noticed some that had the word “rustic” in them.

rustic wedding invitations 2

I headed on over to Google search (not Adwords) to see what comes up.

I type in “rustic wedding invitations” but because I always require 4 words or more I need to find additional words for the keyword phrase so I start slipping in different letters of the alphabet.  When I put in the letter “C”, I get a few options popping up.

rustic wedding invitations

I click on “rustic chic wedding invitations”, then I scroll down to the bottom of the page to see what the related keywords are and I find “rustic chic bridal shower invitations”

rustic bridal shower wedding

I then go to the keyword tool and put in “rustic chic bridal shower invitations”.

I see a few 4 word phrases that are related, so I grab them too.

rustic bridal invite

I then grab all of those keyword phrases and pop them into Traffic Travis to have a look at my competition.

If the difficulty comes up Easy, then I’ll build a campaign around each of those keyword phrases.

Yes, all 5 of them  :)


rustic tt

Perfect!  Rustic wedding shower invitations has an average of 880 searches a month and should be easy to rank.

Example #2

For this search, I went to Zazzles’s “New Arrivals” and saw “tree skirts”.  Mmmm.

So I put in “tree skirts” in Google search and up pops “Christmas tree skirts” and down below in the related searches is “personalized Christmas tree skirts”  (4 words – good).

keyword christmas tree related

I pop that phrase into Google Adwords to see how many searches it gets.

Adwords says is roughly 390 per month, but we know that it’s really only November and December that count.  When you look at the November searches, it increases to 1,900 searches a month.

keyword christmas tree skirt adw

So lets put that search into Traffic Travis.

Bingo!  Easy.

keyword christmas tree skirt


 Example #3

For this example, I noticed that Zazzle had a heading “Pet Loss Gifts”.

So I headed over to Google Search and typed in “pet loss gifts”

Down at the bottom of the page under related searches, I got “gifts for when a pet dies”  (remember…4 words or more).

gifts for when  pet dies

 I then type this search idea into Google Adwords…

gift dog


Then I check Traffic Travis…

 Sympathy gifts -pet


** Update  using Amazon products **

I was looking through Amazon the other day and they were promoting one of their own products… and amplified indoor HDTV antenna.

I have no idea what that is, but they sell thousands of them!

So.. I head over to Google search to see if I can find some keywords in this market space that I will be able to compete in.

sticky note keyword research update

I always look for a keyword phrase with 4 or more words.

I then check Amazon to see if there is such a product – the booster – for these antennas.

Yes, they do and they range from $17 to $25.

I click on hdtv antenna amplifier signal booster and then I look down at the bottom of the page to see the Related Searches.

I copy the keyword phrases at the bottom and put them into notepad.

sticky note keyword research update 2

I then remove the phrases from the notepad list that are not appropriate.  What I mean by that is….

1.  I never test a keyword with the word “review”.  Review is a modifier and not part of the keyword phrase.

2.  I never use retailers or store names as the customer wants their site specifically.  Therefore I eliminate all store names off my list.

3.  I don’t use brand names in my keyword phrase.

4.  Amazon doesn’t sell DIY instructions therefore it is no value to me as a main keyword phrase.

sticky note keyword research update 3

I am now left with two keyword phrases to test:

hdtv antenna amplifier signal booster

indoor hdtv antenna amplifier

I head over to Traffic Travis.

Traffic Travis has a free version and a paid version of the tool.  The limitation of the free version is that you only get to do 10 searches a day.

Head over to their website and download the free version – http://www.traffictravis.com/

1.  Click on the SEO tab.

2.  Click on the COMPETITION tab.

3.  Select the country and search engine that you want to test.  In my case it is Google and the United States.

4.  Click the box to open up the area where you can paste in your keyword phrases that you want to test.  A pop up box will appear and this is where you will be putting in your keyword phrases.  You are only allow to search 5 keyword phrases at one time.

5.  Click OK.

Let the tool run for a few minutes and then the results will populate on the screen.


sticky note keyword research update 4

Taking a look at the results, I will only use keyword phrases that are EASY.

I never, never take keyword phrases that are Relatively Easy.  Why?

  • Because they are more difficult to rank for
  • And there are lots of Easy ones out there so why waste time and energy on the tough ones.

sticky note keyword research update 5

So… I would build a campaign with hdtv antenna amplifier signal booster.

Now many people would go over to Google Adwords and check the monthly search volume and they would see that there are NO searches for this keyword phrase and therefore, they would not build a campaign.  That’s fine – you can leave them to me because Google has already told me that people ARE using this keyword phrase in their searches.

Let’s take a little closer look at Traffic Travis.

Now I am no guru on this product, in fact, I only use it for testing my keyword phrases.

When you take a look at the Page Rank section of your results you will see 0, 1 or 2 in those columns.

If I have similar keyword phrases and not sure which one I should use, I will always take the Avg = 0 and Median = 0 are they are stinkin’ super easy to rank for.  Though with my personality, I would build out all five of the keyword phrases as separate campaigns.

sticky note keyword research update 7

Hope that helps you out.

Take care….Donna