If you want to be found, you have to rank, which makes finding keywords so important.
But how in the name of all that is holy do I figure out what to even try and get ranked for?
You need “keywords” and as we discovered in our “what is s.e.o” article “Keywords” are our way of telling the search engines what our blog and it’s content are about.
But let me just say from the outset that given the fact that Goggle has 200 ranking factors picking the right “keywords” is not the be all and end all of getting ranked.
That said, we still need to be conscious of finding the right keywords to go after.
How to find the right keywords for your blog
There are any number of ways and tools that you can use to help you find your ideal Keyword.
However, before we go as far as looking we need to know what it is that we are looking for?
After all, if we don’t know whats good or bad, well then we may as well just be throwing mud at a wall and hoping it sticks.
What makes a good keyword?
When it comes to finding keywords for our blog, there are a number of factors that go into ranking our keywords. It is a combination of these factors that will determine whether or not it is the right keyword for us to target.
The three factors we need to be mindful of are;
- Search Traffic
If we apply these three considerations to our perspective keywords we should be able to find keywords that are acceptable to all three factors.
I know it sounds a little confusing but stay with me, it gets a whole lot easier when it comes to finding them.
This may sound like an obvious criteria to put on a keyword, but you would be surprised at how many bloggers go after keywords that are not clearly relevant to their blog or niche.
Make sure that the keyword(s) are relevant to your blog or niche and that your ideal reader would use these words when looking for blog posts or video about your topic.
Are people searching for this term?
Is this what people are typing into Google and if so how often?
The whole idea of ranking for keywords is so that we can get organic traffic to our website. So there’s no point in trying to rank for a keyword that only gets searched for 50-100 times a month.
Unless of course you are in a super specific niche and those numbers are the norm.
Ideally, we want to have a tonne of people searching for these keywords every month, the more the merrier when it comes to search traffic.
The final factor is the “competition”. In other words how hard or how likely is it that we are going to be able to rank for this keyword.
This is where we need to consider whether or not we can hope to compete with some of the bigger publications out there for the terms we want.
But remember, just because the competition is hard, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t go after a keyword.
Once we have an understanding of what factors go into a good keyword we can begin our process of elimination.
First, however, we need a list of words or phrases to start with. As its a process of elimination don’t worry about how many we have, we’ll be able to whittle them down quick enough.
Make a list
The best place to start is in your own head. You know your niche, you know what it is you want to be found for and hopefully, you know what your audience is looking for.
Think of as many words or phrases as you can and just jot them down on a page or input them into a spreadsheet depending on your preference.
Don’t worry about qualifying them just put down as many as you can think of.
Once we have our list, we will begin to see a theme emerging. Some of the keywords or phrases will be very similar.
If for example, I was compiling a list for Content Academy then my list would have a lot of words like;
- Blogging Tips
- Beginners Blogging
You get the point. For some added inspiration pop these most common words into Goggle and see what the “auto-complete” throws up.
The auto-complete suggestions are Goggles way of telling you people are “actively” searching for this.
So make a note of the variations.
In this competitive world of blogging and vlogging, I’m willing to bet there are a few websites that you look to as your competitors or at the very least ones you aspire to be like.
It would then stand to reason that if you are in competition (which I don’t believe you should be btw) or more likely aspiring to be like another blog or site then it would help to know what they are ranking for.
This will give you an idea of the types of keywords you should be looking at if you want to get to their level.
The easiest way of doing this is by using SpyFu. As the name suggest it’s a keyword tool that lets you spy on your competition.
Their tag line is “Download Your Competitors’ Most Profitable Keywords and Ads For Paid and Organic Search”
There is a paid version of Spyfu, but thankfully for us, the free version will do.
On their homepage on the right-hand side, there is a search box.
It’s fairly straightforward, just enter the URL of the blog or website you want to spy on.
Once we have done that we will be greeted with plenty of information about that blog or site. It’s all very interesting stuff and if you have some time it’s worth looking at.
What we are looking for are the main keywords the site is ranking for.
Down the left-hand side of the page, you’ll see a tab that says “top keywords”. Click on that.
Then you’ll get a list of the top five most profitable keywords, but what we want are the ones they are ranking on the first page of google for, so click the drop down menu at the top and select “Page One Keywords” and there you have it the top five keywords they rank for.
You may also find variations of these keywords bring a lot of traffic, which we will get into shortly.
Choosing Which Keyword
At this stage, we should have a very nice list of perspective keywords. The question is which one is for us?
As I said at the top there are a number of factors that go into deciding which keyword is right for us and it is finding a balance of all three that is the tricky part.
Some keywords won’t have too much competition but will have very little search traffic. Some will have tonnes of search traffic but will be difficult to rank for and other will have tonnes of traffic, very little competition, but really won’t be all that relevant to what we are trying to ultimately become known for.
How to Rank Keywords
Luckily there are plenty of Keyword tools out there to help us rank and choose the right keyword for our blog.
Moz is a paid service, one that we have no affiliation with I might add, but in my opinion is the best of what is available at the moment.
Luckily they offer a 30-day free trial.
So we suggest you sign up for the free trial, you don’t have to keep it if you don’t want to, just make sure that if you want to cancel you do so before the end of the trial or you will be charged.
The next step isn’t difficult at all, but finding keywords for your blog can be a little tricky so I’ve created a quick video tutorial.
Now we’ve got that far let’s look at tips for optimising your static blog pages.
Or if you are having trouble finding keywords for your blog leave a comment below and we’ll help you out.