Keyword research is in my opinion the most important element of SEO when you are starting out. In fact before you even decide on a domain I would suggest you complete this stage or start it at least. Without keyword research, your entire SEO effort is effectively stumbling around in the dark. You can create content after content but if no one is looking for your content via a search engine you will not be found.
Of course there are other ways to drive traffic through paid advertising (costs money obviously), a thousand FB groups with the like me and I like you, or comment for a comment back etc or self promotional posts on FB.
The easiest and free way to get traffic is organically through search engines. You can join all these like farms and comment farms but are you actually finding the right people? The raving fans that will support you on the battlefield like Braveheart? The people that will promote you without reciprocation as they love you?
I’ve upset a few people in the ‘get rich quick’ blogger groups as suddenly without just signing up for hosting and email services I am making people think a bit more. Why? Because I am fed up with the same questions on groups asking why people aren’t making money and they have been blogging non stop.
If you are not sure what SEO is – it’s basically Search Engine Optimisation which means being displayed to users when they are looking for content. That’s is the most basic way I could describe it to you. I feel like I’m talking to my 6 year old and many of you will know this but you will be surprised how many folk have never even heard of it.
What Is Keyword Research?
Creating content around keywords, quite difficult for singular words but phrases are also classed as keywords. In other words, it’s figuring out what people are looking for and crafting content around those search terms.
You cannot create content to rank for unless people are looking for it – yes Google is clever through AI and it understand similarities of search terms but you have to help it a little.
Google used to rank just on keywords but many algorithms later it has evolved and understands what the searcher is looking for.
A great way to start your research is by using Google itself and looking at the auto suggest function and the section of what similar searches relate to it.
Using a free tool like Ubersuggest you will see how difficult it will be to rank for the keyword and other suggestions for possible easier wins when you are starting out.
Look at the sites that already rank, look at the content – how old is it, how detailed and what types of content is included? What can you do better?
Working Out Your Customer Keywords
You may straight away know hundreds of keywords that you want to rank for but are they terms used by your ideal customer?
A couple of examples:
You have created a blog to promote a service around social media planning and management with such a competitive market join social networks and listen to the noise. What are peoples problems are there specific error messages that appear when the clients are trying to do it on their own? If there are the first thing they will do is search online for the answer. Target error messages, give the answer and showcase your alternative product or service.
You create a product that you call X but when your customer is looking for something they are explaining what you call X as A,B & C. Find out what your customers are referencing to with A,B & C and change X to meet the search.
Go through what keywords you are thinking about which you feel are right for you – search for them on Google, use Ubersuggest see what volume is out there. If you are a new blogger go for the low hanging fruit so the long tail keywords, not as much volume but those searches will be so specific that your content should be spot on.
Keyword Research Tools
Free Keyword Tools
- Google – auto suggest is a great starting place
- Ubersuggest – I bloody love Neil Patel!
- Answer the public
- Google Trends
- Keyword Shitter ( yes seriously)
Paid Keyword Tools
- Keywords Everywhere
There are others out there but as promised I won’t recommend anything I haven’t used myself and personally rate. Semrush and Ahrefs are pretty pricing and if you are a new blogger do some free research first and then move onto maybe a free Semrush trial to give it a whirl especially when you know who your competitors are.
Places To Enter Your Keywords
Be careful not to over optimise for a keyword – also related to keyword stuffing. It needs to be fluent in text so you don’t sound like a robot as who wants to read that?
- Title Tag
- Meta Description
- Body of text
Don’t forget that search engines are pretty damn clever these days and use LSI (latent semantic indexing).
If you were to blog about ‘Zero Waste’ – which is a hot topic at the moment the relevant and related words and phrases could be:
Do you get it?
Here’s another one which you will understand I’m sure as if you want to start a blog you’ve done some research:
Any other keyword tools that you like and rate let me know.
If this has confused the shit out of you – ask me a question! I’m here to help.