Keyword Research For Blog Writing
Whatever content you share on your blog; text, video, photos, infographics etc., if you want potential customers to find it online, you need to start with words. Keywords are the cornerstone of online search, and understanding what words your customers are using encompasses both keyword research and market research.
Even if your keyword research results in a list of keywords dominated by big brands, ones you would struggle to rank highly against, the rewards in terms of market research are huge – you find out exactly what your target audience are searching for.
In this post I’m going to give you a very basic guide to keyword research, specifically with respect to your blog content. The aim of this is to help you identify the keywords your customers are using so you can optimise your blog posts for SEO, and also for content planning: so you can write about the subjects your customers are actually interested in.
How To Do Keyword Research For Your Blog
You probably already have some ideas of keywords that are relevant to your business. They most likely reflect your services or the products you sell. It is also a fair assumption that these keywords will get used in your blog writing, in a natural way – if not it does raise questions, “what are you blogging about?”
However, it is important to understand what your potential customers are searching for. If someone uses your keyword and clicks on the link to your blog post, will they be going to the right place? Are they going to like what they find?
And crucially is that visitor actually your target customer?
It’s all very well driving people to your site through SEO, but if they don’t convert into leads it’s waste of everyone’s time and effort.
How Do Your Keywords Rank?
Once you’ve identified a list of keywords relevant to your business, and specifically the content you plan to publish in your blog, check out the competition.
Type your keyword into a search engine and see who comes up. What you’re looking for is:
- Ads: are there any above the organic search results, or in the right-hand sidebar?,
- Who’s ranking high in organic search? Are there any brands or known competitors with big budgets?
- Is it the right keyword? Search results will give you an idea if your keyword is relevant to your business and blog. If the results given are very different to your offering, perhaps you need to review your keyword.
You can take this further by using tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner to get even more insights into how popular your keywords are. This will not only give you a idea of how stiff the competition is, but also the frequency of searches for your keywords.
If your budget is limited it is always going to be hard work to rank highly for the most sought after keywords. However you may find you can rank well for more niche keywords, and long tail keywords.
Long Tail Keywords
These are essentially phrases and terms such as “how to make banoffee pie?” Less people search for this phrase than those who simply search for “banoffee pie”, so if this long tail keyword is relevant to your blog post (basically you need to give them the answer!), and perhaps you sell the perfect pie tin for the perfect banoffee pie, this could be a good long tail keyword for your business. For more on long tail keywords read my more detailed post on the subject.
Have you noticed that when typing a search into Google, predictive search kicks in? These suggestions are based on popular searches by other users, website content and geographic location. Predictive search provides you with great market research because this is what people are actually searching for.
This is another useful tool for identifying a niche. Take for example “banoffee pie”, when I type this into Google’s search bar, I get the following Google AutoComplete result:
If my business sells the perfect banoffee pie tin it makes sense to use these most popular search terms in my blog content. It wouldn’t be too difficult to blog about banoffee cake and banoffee cheesecake as well as banoffee pie, and conveniently I also stock cake and flan tins too!
Have a look at what is suggested when you type in your keywords, this will not only give you insights into the words people are searching with, but also ideas for blog content.
If you have Google Analytics installed on your website, if not it’s free, you’ll be able to find out what search terms visitors to your site have used to find you. As well as seeing the keywords that got them to your blog, you can also see whether they converted. Once again there’s no point using keywords that don’t target the right audience, or writing content that doesn’t interest potential customers.
How To Choose Keywords For Your Blog Post
If you have a clear blog strategy in place, the majority of your blog posts will be inspired by the keywords you wish to target. However, sometimes you might write something off the cuff, or perhaps not yet have a clearly defined content strategy. In these instances you’ll need to identify the core subject of your blog post and then do a little bit of research to see how it ranks. For those of us on limited budgets, niche is generally best – so look at long tail keyword potential.
Always optimise your blog posts for keywords that are relevant to the content of your individual post – not to your website overall. Visitors who find the content doesn’t meet expectations will bounce, not giving you the opportunity to start the nurturing process.
Don’t over stuff your blog post with your chosen keyword! Use it in a nature way and also include other related words and phrases. Search engines are on the look out for content that uses black hat SEO tactics, so don’t fall foul of the algorithm!