How to do keyword research for blog posts – a beginners guide

When starting a website one thing that you are told is to think about keywords that you can utilise on your site.  As a beginner to this world you’ve probably got a lot of questions about what keywords you can use, where to find them, what will work for you and perhaps simply ‘what is a keyword’!

This guide has been written with beginners in mind.  I’m a big fan of SEO, blogging and getting your website content on point, but I also really hate jargon and making it complicated.  Hopefully this will tell you what you need to know when you’re a beginner to keyword research and looking for keywords for blog titles.

 

I’m going to assume that you’ve come here looking to learn about what keyword research is in respect of writing blog posts!  I hope these keyword research tips will help you!

 

What is a keyword or keyword phrase

Let’s get this bit of jargon out of the way straight away as it’s one that will likely be talked about a bit so let’s make sure we are clear on what it means.

A keyword is a word or a phrase that describes what the content or a blog post or website contains.  

So, for a blog post, our keyword would reflect the content of that.

For example, my keyword for this blog post that you are reading is: keyword research for blog posts

 

So our keyword reflects what we’re writing about but one other little piece of the puzzle is that it is often what is searched in Google.  This is sometimes called a search term.

So again, taking this post as an example, if someone searched google for ‘keyword research for blog posts’ they’d get a whole heap of results from people with posts explaining the process that you would do when doing keyword research.  Maybe my post would be there.

 

A keyword can be a single word or it can be a phrase.  I’d advise you to look more towards writing using a phrase as a keyword as it’s easier to make sure we’re writing and fitting the intent of whoever is searching.

E.g. If someone was searching for just ‘keyword’ – what do they mean and what info do they want?  It’s not so clear, so it’s harder to write content to that single keyword and it would be harder for Google to pick my post as one they would serve up.

 

So, why are keywords important?

Keywords are important because they show what a post is about.  Google isn’t quite clever enough, yet, to know what our posts are about unless we specifically tell them.  Keywords help us do that.

If Google thinks our keyword matches the search intent of one of their users then there’s a good chance it will show our post to that user.

So, if we’re wanting our blog posts to be seen in Google, that’s one of the biggest ways we can work on it.  By writing content that matches the search intent of the users!

 

Your website can be as SEO friendly as possible but if there’s no content why would Google ever bring you up in response to someone’s search query?

 

 

So what is keyword research then?

So now we know what keywords are and why they are beneficial for our blog posts you might be wondering what keyword research actually is?

Keyword research is the process by how we discover what keywords and phrases are searched on a search engine.

There are millions, if not more, searches performed every day.  Some are really unique and some are searched my a number of people every single day.

Keyword research is figuring out what these are, which ones are related to our business and which ones might be useful for us to write content for.  It can sometimes involves checking out the competition we have and the likelihood of us being able to get to page 1.  It can sometimes involve us trying to find out if a search term is one of those unique and less searched phrases or something that loads of people search every day.

 

 

How to get started with keyword research

There are a number of tools that you can use when making a start with keyword research.  I have used almost all of them at some point in the past and nowadays I prefer a much more simplified version, but let’s have a look at what’s around:

 

Google suggest

This is simply using the Google.com search page to give you suggestions of what people search for.

Have you ever gone to google to search for something and it brings up a suggestion before you even get to the end of typing?  This is a good indication, straight from the horses mouth, that this term is something that people search on Google!

Look at the search results and you’ll also get some further ideas in the ‘People also search for’ box and at the bottom of the page there might be more suggestions.

It’s a great place to start and to get the hang of finding keywords.  It won’t tell you how many people search the term or how competitive it is though.

Pros:

  • Free
  • Easy to use
  • Straight from Google!

Cons:

  • No search volume
  • No competition score
  • Can’t tell if it’s the best way to phrase it for best volume

 

Quite honestly, this tends to be my keyword research of choice lately and that’s because I like to write content that I know my audience will find interesting even if there’s little choice of me getting on page one.  I’ve found with paid tools I’m more likely to pick and choose what I write about according to what they say gets a decent amount of search results and whether I could rank rather than thinking about my audience.  I’ll always make my posts SEO friendly but I tend to share my content all around anyway.

 

Keysearch

(the links here are affiliates – just so you know, if you buy then I might get a commission)

This was my keyword research tool of choice when I was paying for access.  For the sake of transparency I’m not at the moment due to me seeing how I get along with just using the free tools (always good to make an informed comparison!)

I liked it because it was one of the more reasonably priced tools and if you’re a solo biz owner like me you don’t want to be paying out hundreds of pounds every month on tools – this one was really reasonable.  At the time of writing it was $17 per month. (And to make it even more reasonable, you can get 20% off your subscription using the discount code – KSDISC – you can see more info here)

 

You can search for information on a keyword and depending on the plan you use there’s a limit to how many you can use per day.  I was on the Starter plan and I never found it restrictive.

The results you can get will tell you whether they think, according to information they have about your site, it’s difficult for you to rank.  It tells you the search volume and you can get all sorts of ideas for other similar keywords too.

 

Pros:

  • For a paid tool it’s inexpensive
  • you get lots of information – volume, difficulty

Cons:

  • as with all paid tools you can end up being led by the numbers rather than what would be good for your audience
  • a learning curve to figure out what it all means

 

If you’re ready to give a search tool a go this is the one I recommend and one I stuck with for a long time as it did everything I needed.

You can do a 7 day free trial here – use the code KSDISC for a 20% discount too.

 

Others

I was going to suggest a few more and go through the pros and cons, but I’ll be honest there’s a lot in them that you’ll likely not need if you’re a beginner so I don’t want to send you off down a rabbit hole.  Many of them are much more expensive ($100 per month plus) as well which is fine if you need all the bells and whistles or if you do SEO for others, but for now, if you’re new and want a paid tool go to Keysearch!!  If not just using Google will get you started just fine.

 

 

What to do with your keywords when you have them

So what do you do when you have found a keyword you’d like to use?

First things first:

  • check that it’s relevant for your business
  • check what the competition is that is already on page one
  • make sure you can write for that keyword

 

You want to make sure that you’re writing abut something with a keyword that is specific and relevant to your business.  It wouldn’t make sense for me to write a blog post on ‘how to walk a puppy’ on this site for example!

 

Competition is a tricky one to talk about quickly for you – I’ll definitely do a post on this and go more in depth.  Check the posts that come up on page one of Google when you search for the keyword that you have chosen.  What are the sites?  Are they big brand names like newspapers or very high authority sites?  If that’s the case you might struggle to get to page one because they are so strong as a site in comparison to us and our little sites.

If not, if they seem like just regular sites then take a look at what the headlines are for the posts they are bringing up – do they match the keyword?  Do their urls match the keyword?  How in depth are the articles?

Ideally you want Google to be showing up some posts that don’t quite answer the keyword intent brilliantly so you can then write something amazing and beat them all!

 

Finally, check that you can write about this topic fully before getting started.  Do you have the knowledge to do the blog post justice?  Of course you can do some research yourself if you need to and that’s a great idea – it does all take time though so bear it in mind.

 

That all sorted?  Good – then where to put the keywords:

I like to keep my keywords in certain places and not to stuff them in too much.  I put mine:

Definitely

  • In the title of the blog post
  • In the URL of the blog post (mostly when you write your title it will bring that into the URL for you)

Possibly (either the keyword itself or a variation)

  • In the first 100 words of the post
  • In a header

And then for the rest of the content I’d make sure that the keyword is used, but probably a variation of it.  So I’d use it but worded perhaps slightly different.

 

 

As a beginner it’s important to not get too bogged down in keyword research and I’ll tell you why – it’s perfectly easy to change your blog posts at any time, so there’s no worry about them being perfect at first.

Give some keyword research a try and you’ll be well on the way to getting some Google traffic to your site.

 

 

 

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