How to do keyword research – Keyword research should be the first thing you do before writing any blog post. Doing keyword research will help you write better blog posts that will actually show up in Google search results. If you want people to discover your blog, and you want that oh-so-important organic traffic, then you need to understand keywords.
Luckily there are a few easy steps to determine good keywords for your blog. And it won’t cost you a thing! Ready to learn how to do keyword research?
How To Do Keyword Research For Free
Most bloggers don’t start worrying about finding good keywords for their blog until they already have a blog full of content.
Ideally, you’ll want to start mapping out the best keywords and phrases to target before you start a new blog.
Furthermore, many bloggers neglect to write blog posts with any thought of keywords simply because they don’t know How to do keyword research.
But doing keyword research is not difficult, and it is so important for the growth of your blog.
Now, if you are brand new to SEO, I would recommend that you learn the basics of SEO first.
Then once you understand the basics, read on to learn how to do keyword research.
Community Over Competition, Except When It Comes To SERPS
Google only has about 8 spots on its first page of SERPs (search engine results pages).
So you really do need to be strategic if you ever want your blog to show up there.
You are competing for the coveted first page of Google with every other blog that writes about your niche topic.
So you need to write with strong SEO in mind, in order to stand out from the rest.
Speaking of competition, it’s important to understand which websites you can actually compete with as a new blog.
I say that because it’s unlikely that you’ll compete with Bloomberg or other major websites for the term “Economy”.
So you must go after the smaller fish first.
Build up your presence before you can reel in first-page-of-Google status with the big keyword terms.
Let’s explore how to do keyword research using the Free Google Keyword Tool.
Google Keyword Tool
First, you’ll want to go to the Google Keyword tool. This is a free keyword tool, but you will need to sign in with your Google account to access it.
Type in the exact two core words for your site’s niche or the subject of a new blog article you’re working on.
This will be your broad base keyword phrase.
If you’re a brand new blog, look for phrases close to your broad terms that get 1500-3000 searches per month.
You want to make sure the phrase has high search volume (but not too high), paired with low competition.
Keywords that have a good ratio of high searches and low competition would make good keywords for your blog post’s title and content.
That’s not to say you can’t use medium to high competition keywords. But it’s much harder to rank for those.
Because you have a new website, we want to use keywords that you will have a better chance fo ranking with.
Lower ranking phrases make excellent article titles to reinforce the broader key-phrase.
While also generating search strength and traffic for sub-searches.
How To Do Keyword Research Tip: The higher search volume with high competition phrases could be used in your domain name and meta tag description!
How To Find Good Keywords
Good keywords are:
- Relevant to your topic
- Have enough searches per month to explore further
- Low competition
In the Google Keyword Tool, I’ve put in ‘self-care’ as an example.
Then you will see a big list. I should choose a keyword that has a high average monthly search, paired with a low competition.
In this example, ‘self-care’ would be ideal, as it gets over 4000 monthly searches and competition is low.
But ‘take care of yourself’ would still be good, as they are still getting more than 700 monthly searches.
‘Self care ideas’ although less than 500 searches could still be useful mixed into the article’s content as a sub-search keyword.
Why You Want To Go After The Low Hanging Fruit
When it comes to keywords don’t make it hard on yourself.
Don’t use the most popular keywords that have a lot of competition. Instead, focus on long tail keywords or keyword phrases because they’re much easier to rank for since they are far more specific and can attract a more targeted audience to your site.
To find long tail keywords you can use a service such as WordStream.com/keywords where you can plug in a single term and it will come back with long tail keyword possibilities.
You can then use those terms to research deeper to find out if the keywords generated will help.
Lower Competition – Due to the specificity of keywords there will be less competition so if you run adds they will cost less. You’ll still get a good search volume from the keywords even if they are lower competition, in fact, you may get higher search results.
More Targeted – This is how your audience really searches for your information by using a phrase or several terms. That will make the results even more targeted if you’ve created content for those long tail keywords.
Focuses on Content – Google wants you to focus on content which is why long tail keywords are such a good bargain. It’s easier to include long tail keywords in your content. Search engines like sites with more content that matches the other content on the site so that they know it’s an authoritative site.
Higher Conversion Rates – Since long tail keywords are so specific when you pick the right one to develop content, products, and services around you’ll convert at a higher rate than you would with a single word.
Helps You Rank for Other Terms – Remember when we talked about using synonyms within the content of your post that matches the title. This works great for ranking for single keywords since they’ll be indexed with the title if they’re related.
Helps You Develop More Content Ideas – Finding long tail keyword phrases via keyword research also will help you come up with more content ideas that are relevant to your audience.
Works Better with Voice Searches – Today, many people use household assistants like the Echo, as well as voice to text on their mobile devices to search. Usually, they ask a question to find something. If you write content using these questions (long tail keywords) you’re more likely to be found.
When you focus on using long tail keywords remember, you can use the long tail keyword in your titles, headings, subheadings, and within the body of the text.
But you can also use single word synonyms which helps you rank for those keywords too. Using long tail keywords and keyword phrases is a lot more natural and easier to rank than the single keywords that are so often used by larger corporate sites.
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Incognito SERP Research
When you have found your keywords, go to Google.com in an Incognito window.
You want to use an incognito window so that your search results won’t be based on any of your previous search history.
Search those keyword phrases with quote marks (ie. “Best Fashion Affiliate Programs”) around them.
This will show how many search results are returned for that exact phrase.
The lower number of results the better in terms of how many webpages you’ll be competing with for those terms.
There is no exact science to how many page results constitute a level that you will quickly be able to compete for first page SERP status.
However, a good rule of thumb is anything with less than 20,000 results is possible for you to compete, although less than 20,000 results is certainly preferred.
Look at the top 5 results that come up on the first page with that keyword. These articles are your competition today!
Read those 5 articles, take note of what they are lacking/missing, and then get to work writing your own blog post that is longer, better, and more helpful than them.
Once you’ve found a few gems get busy on writing articles around them.
Different Ways To Find Your Keywords & Phrases
In addition to the Google Keyword Tool, there are many ways that people find keywords and keyword phrases.
Start by typing your keyword idea into this:
More ways to find keywords and phrases are listed below.
SemRush – Everything you need in one place.
Recommended Searches – When you conduct a search on Google there are also recommended searches that appear at the bottom of the page.
Scroll down to find that information under recommended searches. Each of these recommended searches will also have that option. You can collect a lot of ideas this way.
Predictive Search – On most search engines, including Google Search as you start typing in a keyword you’ll receive information that predicts what you might continue looking for based on what others have looked for staring with the same keyword.
Forums & Groups – When you join a group or forum that your audience participates in you can get a lot of good ideas for keywords based on the questions they ask.
When you see questions you can plug that question into Google Search to find out more information and get more ideas for keywords.
Questions in Email – If you already have customers whenever you get a question that’s good information to use to find even more keywords. Again, start with the question and add it to Google Search to find even more keyword ideas.
How Do You Discover What Keywords Your Blog Is Ranking For?
Many online keyword tools will make you pay to see all of the keywords your website is ranking for.
But you actually have access to all of this information for free, already!
How To Do Keyword Research – In Conclusion
Now that you know how to do keyword research, it’s time to get to work.
Likely if you know who your audience is, you know what their problems are, and what your solutions are.
Using these methods mentioned above,, you should be able to create a good list of at least 100 keywords which is a great start for creating content, products, and services that add value to your audience’s lives.
The keyword research steps above to find good keywords for your blog seem like a lot of work, but it is worth doing it!
Soon you’ll become quite good at it.
Doing keyword research is vital if you ever expect to start ranking high for quality terms that drive traffic to your blog.