Keywords forms the base around which you create your content. The reason is to create content which people are actively searching.
But, it is not as easy as it sounds. Researching keywords is the first step only. When you are starting out, you need to find keywords with medium volume and low competition.
If you use popular keywords, then you are competing against established players. People who have spent time and effort in being where they are.
Thus, finding the right keywords to work on is more effective.
Thus you should spend more effort right in the beginning to look for keywords and LTKs (Long Tail Keywords) which you can capitalize on.
Important data from keyword research
When you are researching for keywords, the information that you need to focus on is:
- Search Volume: Obviously
- Competition: This is what tells you how difficult it will be for you to compete for the keyword. Unless, it is absolutely the core of your niche, leave alone high difficult words in the beginning.
- Related Keywords: Not everyone is searching for same information using same set of keywords. People use different sentence formation to search for specific information. You need to include these keywords and phrases in your content to solve user intent.
Though, there are many tools for keyword research, each with different feature, You don’t need all of them.
A couple of good keyword tools are good enough to provide you with all the necessary material. None of the tools mentioned here are singularly sufficient.
For proper research, you need more information then simply knowing the competition score and related keywords.
How to find Keywords you can rank for?
Even if you blog is year old or more, you can not rank for each and every keyword. Ranking for a keyword requires more than well written content.
As just mentioned, blogs or articles which are currently ranking are also result of same efforts and consistent work.
To outrank, requires first building up your rank in low competition, good to medium volume keywords. Once you start getting traffic for such terms, you work on related content to those topics.
Constant analysis of search console and analytics data also helps in telling you, which areas to focus on.
Free tools for keyword research
There are couple of free keyword research tools available, which work very well. Though to take the maximum benefit out of them, you need to do some heavy lifting yourself too.
The paid tools, they provide features which help you in saving a lot of time. But, that by no means undervalues the features of free tools mentioned here.
Google Keyword Planner (Free)
- First things first, access to keyword planner is not easy now. You need to set up Google Adwords account to access keyword planner:
Read : Access to Keyword Planner restricted to Adwords users now (And how to avoid spending money on ad to access it)
One of major benefit of Google Keyword planner is that it gives data from Google, which is ‘the search engine people use’. Even other keyword/SEO tools access search data from Google servers. So, you have a clear picture about search terms people are using as well as volume of those search terms.
Pro approach: The usual approach of putting in keywords doesn’t work anymore. You will get results related to high competition on top. So, why don’t you use your competition as leverage? Let’s say, for this example we use the term ‘increase your traffic’ and this is the result we get : ‘How to increase traffic’
Click the top link, in this case the wordstream.com link of 25 ways to increase traffic to website and then paste this link into the second column (where you are supposed to put your own landing page)
What you will get is keywords for which this page/website is ranking for and competition in that keyword:
Now the work starts, look for phrases which has medium to low competition with good search volume. In this example it is : free keyword search and ppc expert . Copy and paste them into your research excel sheet.
Now repeat this is with other links and pages. By end you will have good list of 10-15 keywords and long tail keywords/phrases about how to drive traffic to your website (our main search term).
The work is not finished yet. We have to dig deeper to find best of these researched words and phrases.
Moving over to next tool.
This is a cool tool to provide you more actionable keyword and phrases to the keywords you just collected in previous steps.
Just put in your word and what you get is keyword volume, avg. CPC and competition level of that keyword.
The plus point is related keywords and their volume provided by the same panel of this tool.
If you are just starting out on your blog and have less than 40 articles, it makes sense to stay close to these two tools only. They are more than sufficient. Once your blog starts to get organic traffic, then you need to move to paid options.
Paid tools for Keyword Research
This is the tool developed by MathewWoodwork. An award winning blogger.
This tool is called the Ninja All-in-One SEO suite for the features it provides. Here is the list of features you get with this tool:
- Advanced Keyword research
- Backlinks Explorer
- Rank Tracker
and much more.
This tool comes with 30 days money back guarantee, which tells a lot about it.
The premium tool. Despite our membership to Serped.net, we use Semrush quite extensively. One of the reason is we were using it before we started to use serped. And the other reason is that it is also an amazing tool.
When you put your compettitor’s link to domain analytics tab, you get results like this one:
Here you will get lists of keywords for which this page is ranking (along with rank it is getting)
Here, you look into the highlighted part of traffic% , this shows which traffic amounts to maximum traffic to this domain. Like google voice is driving maximum traffic to wordstream domain.
So skip this and focus on keywords, for which this domain is not ranking so high and which you can include in your content.
When you done with these two steps, at least few times, you will have a solid list of keywords and phrases, which you can include in your content and get ranked by Google search results for those keywords.
More tools for keyword research:
Of course there are other tools too which can help you find Long tail keywords. Try them with link provided for free trials and choose what suits your working style.
- HitTail: One of highly rated long tail keyword finder by scanning your content. It gives you a list of Long Tail keywords for which you can rank for. A very easy to use tool. Though it works best when you already have some decent traffic.
- LongTail Pro: In their own words: “With Long Tail Pro Platinum, simply utilize the built-in Keyword Competitiveness (KC) metric and automatically calculate a simple 0-100 score using LTP’s proprietary algorithm that is consistently being tested and tweaked. The KC Score essentially brings everything together into one easy number which lets you know what to target without looking at the rest.” This has found to be true in many cases where I ( and few other bloggers) have used LongTail Pro.
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