Stuck for blog post ideas? Struggling to write a headline that gets a click? Wish you had more search traffic?
I have the answer: keyword research.
There is debate in the blogging community about whether you should write for the search engines or you should write for the reader. Some say you should load up your content with keywords and others say you should ignore keywords completely. I say there is a compromise.
Always write for the reader, but throw in a few of the right keywords (especially in your headline and the first 50 words of your post). Note that I emphasized right in the previous sentence. Not all keywords are created equal.
Deciding Which Keywords to Focus On
Avoid general keywords. Avoid super competitive keywords. Choose keywords that your ideal reader would plug into the search engine to find your blog.
For example, it’s difficult to rank highly for a term like “television.” There are a million different reasons why someone would search for televisions, and there are a million different websites talking about them. Get specific by using long-tail keywords, which are keyword phrases of three words or longer.
Now for Those Five Free Keyword Research Tools…
Enter your keywords to see the popular search terms in various engines plus Wikipedia, YouTube, and Amazon.
Übersuggest is similar to Soolve, but you get more keywords, and the terms are presented in a friendlier layout.
Enter a keyword or series of keywords, sort by “monthly searches,” and select a few low competitive keywords.
Generally speaking, this tool is helpful because you see when people search for your topic. But take it a step further. Notice the news results given to you. Don’t copy what’s already been written, but use the popular news headlines as a source of inspiration.
Visit your site’s Analytics often. Pay attention to the phrases people use to find your site. Continue to capitalize on the phrases that work, and write blog posts using variations of those phrases to broaden your reach.
The five tools listed here aren’t the only keyword research tools available, but they are my favorites. How do you research keywords?
A special thank you to Sara Lancaster for this fantastic post. Sara contacted me to exchange guest posts as part of the WordCount Blogathon. Be sure to visit No. 2 Pen and share some love!