Cyrus Jackson’s Note: This is a guest post by Vladimir Covic, a content writer from Belgrade, Serbia whose main goal is to bring quality, actionable and interesting posts to his readers. You can join him over at his blog: VladimirWrites. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+.
If you have a blog, your ultimate goal is definitely to attract readers, right?
With people visiting your blog frequently, you can easily turn them into loyal customers by offering a product or service for sale.
But, here is the million dollar question:
How do these people find you?
Even if you’re offering the best content on the planet, if no one is reading your blog: you’re just wasting your time.
Because you’ll quit out of frustration.
Now, ask yourself:
If no one reads your blog, who is going to buy your product or service, who is going to click on your ads or affiliate link?
I thought so.
Most people type a search term in their Google search box (which is the biggest search engine you can find today) and if it’s related to your blog, you’ll appear among their search results.
Now, how do you appear in these search results?
Here’s the answer: By doing your Keyword Research.
You’ve probably heard about keyword research. It’s what Search Engine Optimization experts use to discover and research search terms that users will enter into their search engines to find a particular topic of interest for them.
In other words, when someone searches (ask a question, inquire about a product, looks for solution to a problem…) on Google: it’s recorded.
And the process of finding out those search terms is known as Keyword Research.
You get it, right?
Now, take for instance, if you’re selling laptops on your blog, someone searching for “laptops for sale” or “best laptop prices” will hopefully see your site in his search results and decide to click on your link and pay you an online visit.
However, not all keywords are the same. Some are more difficult to rank for than others and thus could be out of your reach.
For example, if you try to rank for “computers”, you are going to have to fight for the first page with the likes of Microsoft that are “bigwigs” in the industry.
What about “laptop computers”?
Closer, but you still have some big fishes like HP or Amazon to deal with.
But, if you go even deeper and try something like “Asus laptop computers for sale”, you have a much higher chance of reaching your audience.
Because that’s how people actually search online for something that interests them.
“Computers” is too broad a term, so if you want to be found, you need to be specific.
So how do you actually research keywords?
You’re in luck because in this post, I will show you a step-by-step beginner’s guide to keyword research.
Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading it, the information here will help you rank your website higher.
Step 1: Make a List of Topics Relevant to Your Blog
To start off, you need to find what topics you would like to rank for in Google. Try to come with a few topics that pertain to your business or the topic of your blog.
You’ll use these topics to discover relevant keywords you want to be ranked for.
For example, if you have a beauty care blog, you might consider topics like “beauty care”, “skin care”, “makeup”, “fashion”, “wellness” “hair” and a few others like them.
Hope you get the drill?
Step 2: Find the Keywords for Your Blog’s Topic
The next step is to find some keywords that would be relevant to your topic.
These keywords and keyword phrases are what your target visitor would actually type in to search for a specific term.
For instance, one of our topics is “skin care”, some keyword phrases that people might use here are:
- Skin care products.
- Skin care tips.
- Skin care treatments.
- How to improve skin care.
- Skin care expert advice.
- Best skin care moisturizer.
I think you get the point.
However, this isn’t yet your definite list of keywords, but just a few phrases that you believe a potential customer would be interested enough in to conduct a search on his computer.
Step 3: Use Both Basic Keywords and Long-Tail Keywords
Okay, what are basic and what are long-tail keywords, you might ask.
Well, let’s say someone wants to find some information about SEO on the Internet.
(SEO means Search Engine Optimization)
This person could simply type in “SEO” in his search box and gets some general terms.
But this also means that you would rank much harder on them. This is a basic keyword and it’s usually very short: from one, up to three words.
The competition on basic keywords is often too strong to rank for them.
This is why you need to use long-tail keywords.
These are longer and more specific than basic keywords. For example, “how to do SEO for your ecommerce website” or “best SEO tips to use in 2018” would be a long-tail keywords.
And it would be much easier for someone whose blog covers Search Engine Optimization to rank for and get traffic.
You shouldn’t rely on just basic or long-tail keywords. Try to find a mix of them.
While long-tail keywords are easier to rank for, basic keywords is where the real “meat” is, so try to take a bite out of it as well.
Step 4: Use a Keyword Research Tool to Find the Best Ones for Your Blog’s Topic
Up until this point, you’ve mostly been doing some general keyword search and brainstorming. Now it’s time to back this up with some actual data.
The best way to find that data is by using Google’s Keyword Planner.
This will give you an estimate for potential traffic and search volume you can expect from a keyword.
So, if you try a keyword and it turns out that there is too much competition around it, Google’s Keyword Planner will let you know.
Likewise if there is too little competition (that just means too few people are interested in this term to be truly relevant).
In addition, you can also try some other tools like Microsoft Bing Ads Intelligence. Moz Keyword Explorer, SEMrush or KWFinder.
Go for the one that works best for you.
Understand Some Important Keyword-Related Terms
Before we leave off, there are a few important terms that you need to understand if you want to conduct a solid keyword research.
First off, let’s start with the keyword value. Is someone using one keyword phrase more likely to convert into a customer than if they used another keyword?
Judging the value of a keyword isn’t rocket science.
You just have to determine if the keyword is relevant to your site and what searchers are looking for. Also, will the search lead to more traffic and will this traffic turn into CTAs?
If it will, then the keyword has value for you.
Another factor about keywords that you need to understand is their difficulty.
This will determine your chances of success with that keyword. Just going for a keyword that has millions of monthly searches isn’t going to cut it.
That hill is too steep and there are probably some big brands already at the top. Don’t expect they’ll let you climb that easily.
Instead, go for keywords that are easier to rank and require less work.
Congratulations, you now know how to do keyword research. Now it’s time to use your new found knowledge. Good luck.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions and don’t forget to share this post: Be generous with information!