Phil and Cols co-host a web design tutorial blog which they launched a couple of months ago. The duo has struggled all to no avail to identify where the bottleneck lies as to why the blog has hitherto not generated desired qualitative impression or driven much traffic. But in mid-February, Phil met Jakes in one of his e-trips to North Asia.
Jakes, a tested guru in web and blog management shared some insight with Phil in regarding “keyword research for SEO”, one of the most incredibly fascinating but too-often-ignored aspects of running a blog and web.
How To Find Keywords for SEO
Jakes felt any successful blogger that fails to utilize the power of “keywords” for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is limiting the reach of the website or blog by doing so
‘Hey, Phil, I quite understand how devastating you and your partner are now, running a blog for close to nine months without any breakthrough in Google ranking. That can be frustrating and disappointing, Jakes opened up with a little empathy.
Here is the highlight of what Jakes had to bluntly tell Phil in their close to two-hour chat on Facebook.
The first thing you have to bear in mind while you have decided to implement an SEO campaign is to take your keyword research very seriously.
The more relevant you consider keyword research as the fundamental key to SEO determines the height of your ranking. Keywords both provide direction for specific search data and determine the desired quantity and quality of traffic.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research simply means a practice of studying search terms and a systematic process of researching keyphrases. Why is it important to study and research keywords, keyphrases, niche keywords, etc?. To have a better understanding of which “search terms” people are entering into search engines such as Google, Bing, AOL, etc., when in search of information, products or services.
I cannot stress enough the importance of placing the right terms, keywords, phrases on your website strategically so as to define its objectives. It’s just like shopping in a supermarket where the aisles are not labeled — would it be easy to find a specific item assuming there are no supermarket workers there to help?
Similarly, when search engine bots or crawlers are crawling the web to find sites that are relevant to a search query, they will not return sites that aren’t optimized for that search query. They only return sites that are optimized for that search query and ranked them accordingly (1, 2, 3, 4….100) in the search results according to relevancy and the level of optimization.
Back to Phil
So, Phil has to bear in mind by uploading content to a blog doesn’t increase online visibility. Conduct proper keyword research in the niche you choose to write about before writing any content on your blog. You will need the right keyword researching tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, Google keywords Planner, just to mention a few in other to find the right terms to use for your site so that search engine BOTs can find your site easily.
Keyword research tool provides information about a keyword or keyword phrase:
- Monthly search volume
- Difficulty level
- Related terms
How will you go about conducting keyword research?
For this demonstration, I will use Ahrefs keyword explorer to show you how to conduct basic keyword research. For more advanced keyword research techniques, look up “Keyword Research Ahrefs on YouTube”. In the meantime, follow the steps below:
Steps to keyword research for SEO:
- Define your niche i.e. Lawyer, Painter, Plumber, Fitness, etc
- Think about the topics, titles, headlines, and terms related to your niche
- Write or type out your topics
- Come up with realistic terms, sentences, and expressions that people may use to look up a product or service online i.e. plumber near me.
- Enter the keywords, phrases into the keyword research tool to know the data (monthly search volume, keyword difficulty level, etc). You might want to aim for less competitive or low hanging fruits keywords with decent monthly search volume. Short tail keywords usually have high search volume but are the hardest to rank.
- Find questions that people are asking regarding the keywords or search terms. Answer these questions when you are developing your content
- Add all the phrases, questions you think are relevant; to the keyword list you created
- Save and export all the keywords, questions, etc
- Use a spreadsheet to categorize the keywords under the same topics ( put the subtopics under the parent topic)
- Now while developing your content or optimizing an existing post or website, put the keywords, phrases, questions strategically across the article, post or website.
Keywords for SEO if done properly can boost your ranking in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). If you wonder why your website is not ranking on the first page of SERPs, it is probably due to your keyword cloud. Although keyword research is just one piece of the puzzle in SEO, there are other factors that need to be optimized in other for a site to rank. See the article How to SEO a Website [Idiot Guide]
If all of these, feels like rocket science for you, hire or consult with an SEO company.