How to do Keyword Research for Blog Posts – SEO Strategy for Dummies!

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Keyword research is the first and most important step in any SEO strategy. You'll want to make sure that you know how to do keyword research for blog posts to ensure that you're not botching your chances at something really big. 

Keyword research is a very important task for four big reasons:

  1. If you don't do any keyword research, you will miss opportunities to rank for certain keywords. 
  2. If you don't do keyword research, you could be trying to rank for keywords that have a lot of competition
  3. If you don't do keyword research, you could be trying to rank for keywords that NO ONE is searching for!
  4. No matter how hard you try to create content, get links, work on your On-Page SEO strategy, you'll struggle to see results and grow your organic traffic

The most common mistake in SEO is choosing the wrong keywords.

In this article, I will tell you how to avoid both situations and how to find the best keywords so you can have your site rank in Google and other search engines.

MAKE SURE YOU'RE PUTTING YOUR KEYWORDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE 

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Before we get started with our keyword research, let's review what a keyword is and what types of keywords exist.

What is a keyword and what types of keywords are there?

A keyword is a word or phrase that you use on your website or blog post that describes the content of the page.

A keyword can be a single word or a combination of words. When a keyword is a combination of words, it’s usually referred to as a long-tail keyword.

The use of appropriate keywords on your site is a key factor to a successful Blog SEO strategy, as you can see in this article "Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List"

In general we can classify a keyword into the following groups.

  • HEAD-TERM keyword: is a popular keyword with high search volume. Head terms are generally competitive to rank for in search results.
  • LONG-TAIL keywords: are those three and four keyword phrases, which are very, very specific to whatever you are selling.
  • NAVIGATIONAL keyword: keywords used to determine a specific brand or website. Example: "Google", "Amazon", "BrianManon"
  • INFORMATIONAL keywords: keywords used to display information on a particular topic. Example: "how to get ...", "which are the best ..."
  • TRANSACTIONAL keyword: keywords with intent to complete some buying action. Example: "buy shoes online", "hire SEO Marketer", "buy inexpensive mobile phone"

In most cases, it is advised to avoid Head-term keywords and Navigational-keywords, since they are often so competitive that it will not benefit you at all. Users who do searches with these sorts of keywords often have no intention on buying or hiring, but just want information.

The keyword-type that interest us and that we should focus on for our SEO strategy are long-tail keywords, informational, and transactional keywords. These are the types of keywords will help us get more customers and more sales.

Keyword research for blog post keywords

To generate your list of potential keywords, you must keep in mind that relevance is key and you must discard keywords that are related to your industry but do not have buying intention.

For example if you are a graphic designer, relevant keywords could be:

  • Hire a graphic designer
  • Freelance logo designer
  • Logo design company in NYC

Irrelevant Keywords would be:

  • create a free logo
  • programs to create logos​

Although all terms are related to graphic design and logo design, the second list is less likely to convert leads into customers.

Now we will look at the most effective strategies for generating lists of potential keywords.

1. Use your competitors’ keywords

You may think you should avoid this, but this is a classic technique for getting potential keywords. Basically it is about taking advantage of your competitors’ research that they have done and using the keywords they are using on their websites.

There are different tools created for this purpose. One of the most effective is "SEOBook Keyword Analyzer".

With SEOBook Keyword Analyzer you can extract a list with the keywords that your competitors use in their pages and get a good set of potential keywords.

Create a list of keyword combinations from most likely searches

Using keywords from your competitors is a good strategy as long as your competitors have done their homework and try to rank with the correct keywords.

However, you can also create a list of potential keywords from known keyword combinations.

The first thing you have to do is create a list with the words that your potential customers would use in their searches to locate your products or services.

Now you have to create two additional lists, one with prefixes and one with suffixes.

Finally, using the free MergeWords tool you can easily combine the 3 lists and get a unique result list that will contain a good number of potential keywords.

Mergewords

Let's see some examples of how this works. 

PREFIXES

PRODUCTS/SERVICES

SUFFIXES

Buy

iPhone

online

Where to buy

Samsung Phone

secondhand

Combine the prefixes, products/services, and suffixes in anyway to get the following results:

  • Buy iPhone online
  • Buy secondhand iPhone
  • Buy iPhone
  • Where to buy iPhone online
  • where to buy secondhand iPhone
  • where to buy iPhone
  • buy Samsung phone online
  • buy secondhand Samsung phone
  • buy Samsung phone
  • where to buy online Samsung phone
  • where to buy secondhand Samsung phone
  • where to buy Samsung phone

How to find keywords with a good number of searches and web traffic

We have already seen how to generate a list of potential keywords. Now you need to know how much traffic these keywords receive in Google to determine whether or not you’ll realistically be able to rank in the top search results.

This step is important because no matter how good the list looks to us, if we do not know the number of searches that these keywords receive, we can end up trying to rank keywords that are just going to generate a few visits instead of focusing on those that can generate Hundreds or thousands of monthly visits.

For this part you will need to create a free account in Google AdWord and access the AdWords Keyword Planner tool.

Google Adwords - click to go now

Once you go to Google Adwords link, click on Tools / Keyword Planner

Click "Get search volume data and trends".

- Copy and paste your list of keywords.

- Select the country or city in targeting and then click on Get search volume .

- When you are finished, you will be able to see the average monthly searches for each keyword on your list.

- Now you know which keywords are the ones that receive the most searches and can deliver traffic to your site, and which keywords receive few or no searches.

MAKE SURE YOU'RE PUTTING YOUR KEYWORDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE 

Download the FREE On-Page SEO checklist. I'll deliver it right to your inbox in just a few minutes! 

How to find easy-to-rank keywords through keyword research

You already know which keywords on your initial list are the ones that generate the most traffic and searches. 

Now you need to know how easy or difficult it is to rank for those keywords.

Keep in mind that it is not worthwhile for you to try and rank for keywords that no one searches for, but so is trying to rank for keywords with high competition that it are unattainable.

The key is to find keywords with an acceptable number of searches and that don't have very high competition.

Let's say you have a clothing store and you want to position yourself for the keyword "girl's shirt".

It is very unlikely that you can overtake Old Navy or Target.

But perhaps there is some related keyword, with many searches and with a lot less competitors - maybe something like "Buy women's t-shirts online".

Try to find Keywords that you can rank in the top 5 for.

The best keywords are the ones that have a high volume of searches each month and a low competition rate. 

There are several methods to discover the level of competition of a keyword.

Some of them do not work and you should avoid them, even though there are still people who use them and even recommend them.

Below are some of the methods that WON’T work and shouldn't be used in your SEO strategy.

1. Manual search on Google

One well-known method is to manually search each keyword in Google and see which pages are ranked first in the search results.

With this technique we can have an approximate idea of what is the competition and difficulty for a given keyword.

However we will not have figures or concrete data to help us make a decision on whether one keywords is better than another, so this method is NOT advisable.

2. Number of results in Google for that keyword

This method is shows us the number of search results returned by Google for a specific keyword.

You might have read about this tactic on a blog or even learned about it on a SEO course ... completely ineffective.

Although a keyword has very few competitors, you will not know if the top positions have web sites that are impossible to beat, so this method is NOT advisable.

3. AdWords Keyword Planner "Competition" column

This method is to use the value in the Competition column provided by the Adwords Keyword Plan tool.

Although it seems quite obvious and tempting, do not do this!

The reality is that this column just tells us how many advertisers are competing for a keyword through paid ads. So the information isn’t complete, and therefore you shouldn’t trust it.

This information has no relevance to the level of difficulty of the keyword in terms of SEO.

DO THIS to find the best keywords: Use specific keyword analysis tools

This is the only method I would recommend to get a realistic and reliable idea of the difficulty of ranking your site for a particular keyword. This will allow you to see how many people are searching for certain keywords, and how competitive it is for you to rank within the top 10 Google results.

There are several SEO Tools for bloggers that can help us with this.

SemRush Keyword Difficulty Tool - click here to go now

With SemRush we can analyze the difficulty of up to 10 keywords (in the free version) and return several columns for each keyword, corresponding to:

  • Difficulty in %: The higher you score in this column, the harder it will be to rank your site for that keyword.
  • Volume: number of monthly searches for that keyword
  • Results: number of pages competing for that keyword

In addition to this information, with SemRush you can analyze the best keywords of your competitors, discover new organic competitors, research PPC (pay per click) advertising or display, analyze backlinks, etc.

Sistrix - click here to go now

Sistrix is a very good SEO tool, which allows you to analyze in detail competing domains, so you can understand their strengths and weaknesses, and learn what keywords they rank for, and more. This tool also allows you to determine how competitive it is to rank for a certain keyword.

This is definitely one of the TOP tools for SEO.

Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool - click here to go now

With this tool you simply need to enter the keyword, click on "check difficulty" and then click on "view SERP analysis reports" and you will get access to data for the pages that appear in the top-10.

  • Page Authority: Page authority for that keyword
  • Root domains linking to the page: this is the number of websites linking to that particular page
  • Domain Authority: this is a number that relates to how likely this page is to rank for a keyword in search results
  • Root domains linking to the root domain: the number of websites that link to any page in the website

Pay close attention to these: 

  1.  "Root domains Linking to the Page"
  2. "Root domains Linking to the root domain"

Then you have to enter the web page of the site that you are trying to rank for and compare the results with those of your competitors. This will help get an idea of how many (quality) links you would need to rank your site above the competition.

SEO Tools for Keyword Research

SEOBook Keyword Analyzer

Mergewords

Google Adwords

SemRush Keyword Difficulty Tool

Sistrix

Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool

Conclusion

If you've come this far you should already be clear that keyword research is an incredibly important step in any SEO strategy; it’s also the first step.

There are different methods and tools to find the most appropriate keywords for your site that you will be able to use in your On Page SEO and Link-Building strategy that will help you improve your ranking.

I’d love to hear from you now. Tell me what techniques or tools you know and you can recommend us to find profitable keywords for an SEO strategy in the comment below.

MAKE SURE YOU'RE PUTTING YOUR KEYWORDS IN THE RIGHT PLACE 

Download the FREE On-Page SEO checklist. I'll deliver it right to your inbox in just a few minutes! 

About the author:

Brian Manon is a marketing consultant and blogger whose articles aim to help people with digital marketing, blogging, and entrepreneurship. Feel free to follow Brian on Twitter or at BrianManon.com

How to Do Keyword Research for Blog Posts - EdenFried.com

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