Keyword research is an important part of blogging to make sure that you are creating enough evergreen content to attract traffic to your website and offers. You’ll want to make your blog SEO-friendly so that you can get organic search plus organic traffic from your content marketing efforts.
Good content will ensure that you get traffic twenty-four hours a day. Not just any traffic. Keyword research will help you get targeted traffic from your ideal audience who is ready for the information that you provide. Plus, this audience will be interested in your paid offers whether it’s a product or a service.
Let’s get into my blog SEO tips.
Success by Accident Versus Success on Purpose
The truth is, some bloggers don’t even look at keywords and are successful. [But they’re not successful because they don’t research keywords, they’re successful because they naturally use keywords that attract their audience and they get lucky.]
In blogging, you don’t want to just get by on luck.
Guessing, and going by the seat of your pants is not an effective way to run a blog. You want to develop processes that help you succeed in a way that is duplicable. Keyword research is something you can conduct for any new content you create.
Creating Duplicatable Success
Thankfully, by conducting keyword research, you can become successful in any niche.
- The research is going to help you know if your audience is large enough.
- It’s going to help you discover innovative ideas, thoughts, and trends.
- You’ll also know whether you have enough interest to sell enough products to that niche to make a living.
Keyword research will systematize your process for product creation, content creation, and content marketing.
In this seo tips blog post, you’re going to learn why keyword research is important, how to find the right keywords for your needs, why and how to track keywords, how to use keywords and how to get started right now improving your content and products by using keyword research.
You’ve probably heard of keywords already. Keywords are words that your audience may use to seek out and find the solutions that you offer to them for their problems.
Knowing the terms your audience uses, how they came to those terms, and what their fears are will help you tremendously as you conduct keyword research for your audience, then use those keywords to get results.
Keyword research will either confirm what you think you know, or it will shock you about what you don’t know. But what is clear is that if you conduct keyword research it will be very effective in helping you get more targeted traffic, understand what your audience is looking for, and help you create an effective marketing plan.
Evergreen Traffic That Works for You 24/7
A fundamental aspect of search engine optimization (SEO) is the knowledge to include keywords on your website in certain spots. You will want keywords in titles, in headers, descriptions, and as part of the copy in the body of each post and page.
Doing this will help Google Search and other search engines know where to send their audience who are searching for the keywords that you’ve chosen.
You Know What Your Audience Is Looking For
But traffic isn’t everything if you don’t have a product that the audience wants.
Keyword research also helps you learn exactly what your audience needs.
- What keeps them up at night?
- What problems do they have?
- What solutions are they looking to buy?
That way you can develop products and services designed just for your audience.
You Can Create a More Effective Content Marketing Plan
In many ways, SEO is all about content marketing. To be really good at content marketing you need to also be really good at keyword research. We all want to be on the first page of Google with each blog post.
You need the right keywords to use in articles, blog posts, social updates, and to know what type of information products or services that you need to create for your audience. It’s for this reason that people say that “content is king” but content without direction is content without keyword research.
Therefore, you really do need to do the research to come up with the right content and be able to create a more effective content marketing plan.
Let’s look into how to find keywords that work for your blog content and your social media social shares.
There are three reasons to conduct keyword research. To…
- Discover what your audience needs
- Get ideas for content and
- Get ideas for products and services.
Then, once you have discovered the keywords you want to focus on, you’ll use them in every aspect of your business from developing the menu items on your website, blog post titles, to determining what to quality content to blog about, to product and service idea creation.
Know How Search Engines Work
It’s important to understand how search engines work. Learning how to use the search engines do, can help you know how your audience searchers will use the search engines to find you.
Understanding the Types of Keywords
There are several types of keywords but the main ones you need to know are generic keywords like “coloring book”, broad match keywords, like “Crayola Coloring Book”, and long tail keywords such as Crayola Bird Watchers Coloring Book”. As you can see, these all use a variation offering extra words that target down the main keyword into more specifics.
Know Who Your Audience Is
The very first thing you need to understand about your audience is what do they want and need? What problems do they have? What keeps them up at night? Plus of course typical demographics such as age, gender, disposable income, and where they like to get their news and information.
Some ways to find out more about your audience are:
- Describing Your Ideal Target Audience Member – Just make it up at first to see who you think your idea reader is.
- Develop an Audience Avatar – Turn that description into something you can look at to easily get into the mind of your audience while you’re brainstorming keywords.
- Getting to Know the Terms They Use – You can then get to know the types of words they like to use to find what they’re looking for or to discuss their problems.
- Know What They Need – Understanding that your audience needs a computer is different than understanding why your audience needs a computer and what a computer can do for them. [Go deep. They don’t need a calendar, they need a life management system.]
- Conduct Surveys – When you know who that audience is, or may be, conduct surveys. You can run an advertisement for your survey using Facebook or Google Ads. Give away a freebie in exchange for filling out the survey. You’ll accomplish more learning and build your list at the same time.
- Know Who Influences Your Audience – This is the key to finding out the most information without even talking to your audience yet. When you know who is influencing them, you can learn so much by just observing and watching.
- Engage with Your Audience – When you truly find your audience, engage with them. Become part of the community. Don’t start trying to promote and sell to them, instead, seek to glean information from them by being empathetic to their needs and desires.
Once you figure out your starting audience, you’ll be able to develop that further as time moves forward.
Remember, even Dove’s (soap) audience (while they encompass the same demographics today as they did 20 years ago) requires totally different marketing, terms, and solutions than they did in the past.
That’s why continuously conducting audience research is so important.
SEO Strategy To Start Your Keyword Searching
Take the time to get very clear about your target audience and how you can best serve them. Start with that research so that you can get yourself into their mindset and think about some of the key terms they might use to search for that information that they want to know so you can create relevant content.
- Find Out Where Your Audience Goes – Where they hang out is important. What is the group name? What is the site name? What are they doing there? What do they talk about there?
- Know What Publications They Read – This is another way to get into the head of your audience. If you can make a list of publications they read, then get those yourself you can come up with more ideas for keywords more easily.
- Know Their Demographics – When you’re starting out, you may make up “ideal demographics” to help you get started. But, once you start making sales and getting interaction you will be able to narrow down this information more.
- Put a Name to Their Problems – As you get to know them, put a name to their problems. What are their problems? Can you describe them in a short sentence? What words stand out to you in that description? Be creative about naming the problem. For example, your audience may indeed need a coloring book about birds, but why? Do they want relaxation? Do they want to learn more about birds? Do they want to learn more about specific birds? Why do they need it?
- Know Which Solutions Exists – You should also understand the solutions that you have made for your audience, in terms of the benefits of those solutions, as well as the solutions your competition offers.
- “Spy” On Your Competitors – You can use technology to run a search query on the keywords your competition is using to attract your audience. But, you can also learn how they change things and what is working and not working before you even try it.
- Brainstorm Keyword Ideas – One way is to simply start writing down ideas for keywords based on the problems you want to solve for your audience and who you believe them to be.
Write down everything you have discovered by putting it into your spreadsheet.
These first keywords are known as seed keywords. They may or may not lead you in the right direction. It depends on how well you know your audience on whether you can guess at some good keywords to help you get started.
Remember, it’s all about putting yourself in their shoes so that you can discover even more keywords.
Use Technology to Discover More Keywords
Now that you have your seed terms, you’ll want to use technology to help you get more information.
- Use Google Search – Plug the terms you have come up with into Google Search one at a time. After you hit enter, look at the bottom of the page to find a list of related terms. and find related terms. Note the predictive search results as you’re typing the search term into the search bar that shows up as well. You can go back and see if you put your cursor to the right of the term you inputted into the search bar. Make a note of all these terms to add to your list, throwing out terms that don’t apply to your audience.
- Use Amazon Search – A lot of people don’t realize but Amazon is now a search engine too. Plug the search terms that you’ve discovered into the Amazon search bar to find out what shows up. You will see related searches, books, products, and other information that can spark new keyword ideas, product ideas, and content ideas.
- Google Keyword Planning Tool – In your Google AdWords dashboard, you’ll find the Google Keyword Tool. Use that to find other keywords as well. You can plug in some of your favorite ideas you’ve discovered so far to get even more ideas.
- Kwfinder.com – This is a simple keyword search tool that you can plug in to search in many different languages and countries. When you conduct a search, you’ll get a lot more ideas about ways the search term is already used, plus keyword suggestions. You can see what’s trending and what’s getting results too.
- Moz’s Keyword Explorer and SEMRush’s SEO Tool– These tools help you prioritize keywords plus offer suggested keywords and keyword phrases. Plus, you’ll get a list of articles and websites ranked by traffic which can help you come up with content ideas for using the keyword that will get better results. [It also shows you your backlinks so you can do more link building.] They are 2 of the best seo tools.
- Google Trends – This is an interesting way to search for more keywords. You can explore all sorts of trending information throughout the entire world starting in many categories with one of your seed words.
- YouTube.com – This is also a great search engine to use. If you find information based on your seed keywords, you’ll be able to develop more keywords based on what you find.
- LongTailPro.com – This is not just a keyword finding tool, but it’s also a way to find the most profitable keywords targeted to your audience in a specific niche.
- SEO Plugins – like Yoast and All-In-One SEO.
There are many other keyword tools. A quick search on Google will yield many options for you to try to develop a high-quality keyword list to help you create better content, products, and to get more traffic designed just for your ideal audience.
Listen to Your Audience to Find More Keywords
It’s also very important to listen to your audience to find effective keywords. If you already have an email list, a Facebook Group, or other access to your target audience, the people you know are reading your content, buying your products, and using your services (or your competition’s), then you have people to listen to.
- Social Media – Pay attention to questions from your target market in groups, forum posts, and on your social media. It doesn’t matter if it’s a YouTube video comment, a Twitter thread, or on Facebook. Pay attention to discussions among your audience members to get ideas.
- Webinars – Whether you host a webinar or attend webinars that your competition hosts if your audience is in attendance listen to the questions they ask. What gets them talking in the chat? What is important to them about the presentation you’re watching?
- Email Questions – Keeping your email open for responses is another effective way to gather more information and keywords directly from your audience. When you send them any other information if you ask them what they think and give them permission to respond, you’ll get extra insight.
- Blog Post Comments – Don’t forget about blog post comments on your web pages. If you’re not getting very many comments but you know people are reading, be sure to ask people to comment. Ask them directly on the blog post and ask them when you share the blog post. That way you can start a conversation that will help you get more insight and help your audience too.
- Surveys – There are quite a few survey tools you can use to develop a survey for your audience. You can put the survey on your website, then market it to people who have already visited your site, your competitor’s site, or who have expressed interest in the topic.
When you reduce the comments and discussion down to searchable terms by checking the terms they state with Google Search or other keyword tools to find out what else comes up with that term you can get some inventive keywords that you may not have considered before.
How to Organize Your Keywords
As you develop your keyword list it’s important to keep them organized. First, as you find the keywords, just add them to a spreadsheet. That will be your keyword planner. Basically, you’re just going to create an extensive list. You may want to start with a minimum of 100 keywords and keyword phrases, but you should keep building that list as time moves forward.
- Put Keywords in a spreadsheet – You can use MS Excel or even Google Sheets to organize your keywords. The important aspects of a spreadsheet are the ability to filter searches, label attributes, and delete duplicates.
- Once you organize them you’ll be able to look at your keyword spreadsheet adding information as you get results so that you can improve everything you do with keywords. The great thing about a good spreadsheet is that you can adjust it, add more attributes and improve it as you go.
Ways to Apply the Keywords You Find
When you do keyword research once you pick some keywords that you want to try out, it’s time to apply them. Remember, there are two types of search engine optimization (SEO). You have on-page SEO and off-page SEO. This helps your ranking factors, which are important when the search engine crawlers come to your site.
- On-Page SEO – Anytime you use keywords directly on your website whether it’s a meta description, or a menu item, or content on a blog post that is “on page” SEO. So, anything you use on your website is on-page SEO.
- Off-Page SEO – Now it makes sense that anything you do off your page is off-page SEO. If you use keywords in social media posts, within the content you post off your page, etc. are all off page SEO.
So now that you know the difference, you’re going use both types of SEO in your content marketing to drive more traffic to your website, develop products and services, and convert more sales twenty-four hours a day. Because the thing about good SEO is that it works for any niche, at any time.
- Meta Description – Make it user-friendly since it will be read by your audience and seen before they click through to see the results.
- Menu Items – These are linked words that describe what is on the page the audience will click through. For example, “Portfolio” for a service provider is a common word to use to get their audience to look at examples of your work. But, you could also call it “Examples of My Work.”
- Blog Posts – There are several places for keywords and keyword phrases within any given blog post. The title, the headings, the meta description, in-content links, and so forth are all places for various keywords and keyword phrases.
- The URL (or permalink) – The URL that your audience goes to whether it’s to grab a freebie, read a blog post, or go to a sales page is important. It’s an ideal place to put a keyword phrase that describes what the audience will see when they click through.
- H1 Tag – This is the title tag. Title tags are important to use on your site instead of simply just bolding or changing the size of the text. If you’re using WordPress to create your site, you can just highlight the header then choose H2 or H3. These headers should be a keyword that describes the content below it and helps with your search engine rankings.
- Body Content – Naturally, you’ll want to use some keyword phrases within the body of the text. But you want your readers to have a great user experience at the same time.
- Anchor Text – This is the type of text that shows up in menus, as well as within content. It’s simply text that is linked to another area within the same page usually. These work best if they’re keywords that describe what type of content they will be taken to.
- In-Content Links – A fitting example of this is when you add freebies as a content upgrade within the content that you’re creating. You may have a blog post about Widgets, but you have a freebie about how to use widgets that go further than what you’re covering in the post. TIP: Use a good keyword phrase to describe it to link to it.
- Image Tag – This is one of the most misused portions of a website. When you write a new post, you can improve search results simply by naming your image with keywords that are appropriate for the image plus using the Alt Text area to describe the image using keywords.
As you use the keywords on your website it’s important to vary the keyword. Vary the keyword phrases that you use throughout the page. For example, let’s say you want to rank for the keyword phrase “plant-based eyeshadow”.
You will want to vary the keyword. Sometimes use “vegan sparkly eyeshadow” and other times use “animal free blue eyeshadow”. As you see the word “eyeshadow” is always included but using different phrases will help your audience find exactly what they want. [Plus, you reduce the overuse of only using “eyeshadow” as the main keyword.]
You’ll want to use both internal and external links for each blog post.
- Develop External Links – If you want to get more external links to your page, you may want to use guest blog posts, social media posts, articles on LinkedIn, and other places. This is a good place to use high volume keywords as well as long tail keywords in the form of questions for your content. This will also help you in your quest for link building.
- Developing Internal Links – Even internal linking requires some thought as to the keywords you’re going to use for the anchor text. If you want your readers to click through, you need to make it appear interesting. Using questions helps.
Measuring is the only way to know for sure if your ideas are working. You can’t measure if you don’t have a numerical goal. When you make your goals be very specific so that you have something to measure.
For example, if your goal is to build your list, state that you want to build the list by 1000 members within a specific period so that you can check the numbers to see if you accomplished your goal.
If you succeed that’s great, if you don’t, you should be able to determine why.
Now that you know why you need keyword research, how to conduct keyword research, and how to measure your results, it’s time to get started. The following steps are distilled for you to use as a checklist.
- Identify Your Audience – Who are they, where are they, and what do they need?
- Identify Your Products/Solutions – Who creates products for this audience? Can you create a product or service based on the information you’ve discovered?
- Brainstorm Seed Keywords – Just write down the keywords you think you’d use to find the information mentioned above.
- Use Technology to Use Expand on Seed Keywords – Google Keyword Tool and others provide you with the ability to generate even more keywords and keyword phrases so that you can dig deeper to find your ideal audience and provide them with exactly what they need.
- Organize Your Keywords – Using a spreadsheet in MS Office or on Google, list all your keywords and organize them according to specific attributes such as high volume versus low volume keywords.
- Generate Content for Keywords – The keywords, if nothing else, are going to give you many content ideas. Once it’s created put a link to it in the spreadsheet.
- Optimize Your Social Media for Keywords – Keywords aren’t just for your website, you can also use them to improve your social media profiles and presence.
- Create New Products / Solutions for Keywords – Sometimes you’ll find a keyword that is formed as a question. When you do, that is a huge opportunity to potentially develop a new product or solution.
- Repeat More of What is Working – Use Google Analytics to do more of what is working. For example, if you determine a specific blog post is knocking it out of the park due to a keyword phrase, vary that phrase and expand on the subject in a new blog post.
- Drop Things That Aren’t Working – Did an idea not work at all? If you find that you tried things that did not work the way you expected, that’s okay. Don’t toss it right away, see if you can improve it, but if not drop it, and move on to what works.
Remember, the value of going through the keyword research process is something newer for you and giving yourself a break is so important.