The other night I was having a discussion with a poker affiliate, and I found myself giving advice, as I sometimes do. And I heard myself say, “Poker SEO starts with keyword research”. And apparently that was a pretty helpful statement for this particular webmaster, because he thanked me for reminding him of that.

So much of success in life involves focusing on the fundamentals. I’m always reminded of a Tony Robbins tape where he talked about getting a black belt. His instructor explained to him that there were something like 7 moves to master in order to get a black belt, and the ones who didn’t succeed in getting their black belt were the ones who wanted to learn new moves every week instead of practicing the fundamental moves.

Last week I wrote about link building. That’s a fundamental. This week I’m writing about keyword research. That’s another fundamental. Master the fundamentals, and getting rich as a poker affiliate is achievable.

How to do poker keyword research

I always start by asking myself what kind of site I want to create first. And I try to boil it down to one word or phrase. For example, let’s say I’ve decided to launch a poker strategy site. The first thing I do is think about categories and subcategories of content in order to know what keyword phrases to target.

Four major subcategories of “poker strategy” are “general poker strategy”, “holdem strategy”, “omaha strategy”, and “stud strategy”. So now I have a framework to begin with.

When I continue my brainstorming, I can think of four subcategories of “general poker strategy” pretty easily too. “Bluffing”, “hand selection”, “aggression”, and “pot odds” are all general poker strategy concepts. Four subcategories of “holdem strategy”: “starting hand strategy”, “play on the flop”, “position”, and “blinds”. And so on.

So initially, your content generates your keyword phrases. But finding those secondary and tertiary phrases to target, the so-called “longtail” terms, can be easier if you use some tools.

I like to use Google Sets for poker keyword research. Using Google Sets, you can type in a word or two, and generate a list of 15 or so items that belong in the same “set”. Supposing I want to brainstorm some additional keyword phrases for my “general poker strategy” section, I might type in “poker strategy” and “pot odds”. And I get the following list of phrases:

  • poker probability
  • poker jargon
  • poker psychology
  • david sklansky

All of those are excellent content ideas for a “general poker strategy” section of a website. And in this case we’re using keyword phrases to drive content instead of the other way around, which is pretty cool. (I got a bigger list than this, actually, but most of them weren’t as applicable.”

Another approach might be to get rid of the word “poker” and just use the modifier “strategy” and a rough synonym, like “tactics”. When I create a set based on those words, I get the following applicable words I can add to “poker” to create additional phrases:

  • training
  • equipment
  • logistics
  • practice
  • roadmap
  • objectives
  • skills

You might think that a phrase like “poker logistics” doesn’t generate much traffic, but I’d rather be #1 in Google for that phrase than be #31 for the phrase “poker strategy”.

I can write more about poker keyword research and finding poker keywords, and I will, but it will have to wait until a later post. :)