I’m sure most of you are bloggers because you love what you write about and want to further explore, learn more about it and share what you find on the way with everyone else with the same passion and interests. If that’s true, you are probably not that keen on the optimization element, and all other work around your blog that’s not directly related to your topic.
But, you definitely should be concerned about SEO, as it can make your blog more visible in search and help you increase traffic. Searchers can much easier find your content when they look up the Web if you use the correct main keywords when you write your blog posts. If you write about WordPress plugins, your post title can be “20 Must-Have WordPress Plugins for Bloggers”, and the keyword to optimize the post for would be WordPress plugins (for bloggers).
I put -for bloggers- as optional because it depends on whether you will opt for short or long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords will help you drive more qualified traffic to your blog, even though it will probably be less than what you would’ve brought with some more generic terms. People whose search queries are longer than two words are usually farther down their path of intent in the buying process, so keep that in mind if you are trying to make money out of blogging.
Selecting the Keywords: What’s Important?
Relevance. This is probably crucial when choosing your keywords. So be as specific as you can be. If you are offering services to students to improve their writing skills, you can either go for -writing services- as a main keyword, or you can select -college students writing services- and try to reach a more targeted audience.
Location. If you only work with college students in certain area you may want to consider using location-based keywords by adding the city you cover, e.g. -college students writing services in Boston, MA.-, since the traffic from other locations is not going to be of much worth to you.
Following are five tools you can use for your blog’s keyword research:
While still at the long-tail keywords, there’s a free tool, UberSuggest, which generates thousands of word suggestions related to the terms you enter that you can use to brainstorm keyword ideas for your next blog posts. The data is not based on actual research, but originates from real user queries.
Do not make one of bloggers’ beginner-mistakes, and not install Google Analytics from the get-go. It’s free and fairly easy to use, and it will give you insights into your readers’ behavior that is crucial for your blog’s success.
As of September last year, Google removed the organic keyword data that was previously available for all bloggers and website owners, and which was an irreplaceable (or so they thought) element of their SEO strategies. Now the information on the words and phrases your blog visitors use to get to your pages is listed as “not provided”.
But even in the era of “not provided”, this tool can still help you select the right keywords to focus on by listing the top visited posts on your blog. If your readers love your DIY tips on home improvement, use that as a catalyst to create keywords for your future writings.
Same as with Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools will also give you information on how people come to your blog, what links they click, what sites are linking to you, and other important search data that you can use to generate even more content and keyword ideas. This is also a free tool and recommended for all bloggers. Actually, you should verify on both platforms the sooner, the better.
The Keyword Planner is another free tool from Google which provides you with a list of terms you should look into for every keyword you enter, as well as their search volume data and suggested bids. If we assume that the keywords with higher cost per click are more lucrative, we can easily identify which ones will have a greater returning for our business blog.
The above tools are free, but if you want some more data, not only on your blog but on your competition too, you will need to use some of the paid tools and services available like Moz or SEMrush. This is not to copy what they are doing, but just to be informed on the strategies they are applying for the same and similar keywords, so you can make better decisions for yours.
What resources do you use to search for your blogs’ keywords? Share your tips in the comments.