We recently talked about the importance of blogging for SEO. But you may still be wondering, how do you determine the right keywords to use in your blog posts?
The answer is keyword research. Keyword research is an essential and valuable practice for any business. The SEO knowledge gained from keyword research is invaluable in that it informs your content and marketing strategy, with the ultimate goal of growing your authority in the SERPs and getting the right visitors for your business. Here at Pure SEO, we recognise three major steps on how to do keyword research for your business blog: keyword building, keyword analysis, and competitive analysis.
The first step to keyword research is building a keyword list that is most related to your blog. Start with listing the important topics that your business blog frequently covers, and building a list of keywords related to every topic. Think from a consumer’s perspective: what are they typing into a search engine to find the exact content they are looking for? Consumers may type head keywords or long-tail keyword phrases.
Head terms contain one to three words and are useful for generic, frequent and high search volume, but also usually have high competition on SERPs.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, contain three or more keywords, are more specific and generate less traffic. On the plus side, they are less competitive and can result in more qualified traffic.
It is important to get a mix of both in your list as both of these have long and short-term positive effects on your site traffic. One useful tip is researching related search terms that may spark new ideas for your keyword list.
After building your keyword list, analyse your keywords by using tools such as Google AdWords Keyword Planner or Google Trends to obtain important information, such as search volume, traffic estimates and keyword trend directions. Ultimately, they help weed out terms in your list that turn out extreme amounts of volume – too much or too little – or terms that aren’t trending at all.
It is also important to search for your terms/phrases in major engines like Google, and see how your website ranks in the SERPs. Watch out for ads along the top and right-hand side of the organic results – typically, the more ads that are showing, the more valuable and lucrative the keyword. Use the available software to your advantage to measure the efficiency and understand the value of your chosen keywords.
Lastly, analyse your competitor’s rankings for potential keywords. Useful tools such as SEMrush give you overviews and quick reports of the competitive landscape of any keyword. Additionally, you can perform an organic search for these keywords in an incognito window of your browser to get basic information about what positions your competitors are in. From here, decide whether you want to improve your ranking for similar keywords, or whether you would prefer to target their neglected keywords.
Make sure to keep these three main steps in mind when performing keyword research to help understand the motivations of your consumers and ensure you get the most valuable traffic for your blog. To yield the best results, it is important to re-evaluate your chosen keyword list at least every few months to maintain your strength and position in the SERPs, and perhaps find new areas with opportunities for growth.25 October 2017