Sunday, June 9, 2013

Promoting Blog Posts | #4 Steps to Keyword Research

Promoting Blog Posts | #4 Steps to Keyword Research

KEYWORD RESEARCH


As I mentioned in #3 All About Search Engines, SEO & Keywords, researching keywords associated with your site/blog is important to ensure that you are reaching the readers who are trying to find you. To get the most of keyword research, you need to understand how search engines work. May I suggest going back and reading over it, if you have not done so already before continuing with this post.


Steps to Researching Keywords


Find a free afternoon and make sure you sit down and do this. It will benefit your website/blog and you will notice an increase in traffic. There are numerous sites that help track keywords; Wordtracker Keyworddiscovery | Google Adwords. My advice is use Google Adwords, the information is coming straight from Google Search Engine and if you use blogger, you already have a Google account.

The steps are;
  • Brainstorming
  • Organising
  • Researching
  • Compliling
  • Remove
  • Determining Competiveness
  • Choosing Keywords

Brainstorm

Who is your target audience? Where do they live? Are they looking for someone worldwide or in their town? Are they Male or Female? How old are they? Whats their income range? What are their interests and hobbies? These are all questions to keep in mind during the brainstorming session, try to narrow it down as much as possible and find a niche. You may be targeting all women of all ages who live worldwide but try and find a smaller target within that too. 

Next step is to write down as many keywords as you can relating to your blog or website. Think about what people might search to find your blog. You could ask other people, see what terms other people use to describe their blog. They may not use the same technical terms you use.

Example; 
Got a beauty blog? Some keywords may be makeup trends, applying make up, makeup artist, review, beauty products, skincare, autumn make up...etc.


Categorise

Once you've brainstormed keywords, try to categorise them by theme or based on type. Put similar keywords under a heading that summarises them.


Research

Next you need to research the main phrases or headings from each category. You could even put your blog URL into Google Adwords and see what keywords come up. 

Open Google Adwords and paste your brainstorm list in. Select all locations under this. Select "exact" on the left and select keyword ideas. Hide the advertiser column and the local search volume (Click dropdown "Columns" on the right and select hide). All of this is shown above.

You will be shown your list of brainstormed keywords and the monthly searches and a list of additional keyword ideas along with the monthly keywords. Download both (they usually download together anyways)

Compile List & Remove
Once you've downloaded the spreadsheets (for excel is easiest). Go through the list and remove keywords that aren't relevant to your site/blog, remove those that have low counts.

Determine Competitiveness
How many other sites use the keywords selected? Organise this into the following;
  • Non Competitive
  • Fairly Competitive
  • High Competitive
Google some of your keywords to see how many searches show up.

Search using the following  -  allintitle:"Keyword here"

Using allintitle will show the actual amount of websites thats Google knows about using that title in the title tag. The title tag is the most important part for keywords, this is your exact results so these are the pages you'll be competing with. You can see the difference between it and the first search. How can you make you're website/blog more relevant than these sites? How can you make yours better?

Open excel again (or where you're storing your keyword data) and add another column. Add the allintitle search result number (how many results google found) for your most relevant keywords.

Choose Keyword Phrases
Choose the words that you are going to use for your site/blog. Keep in mind the relevancy, number of searches and competiteness level. Save this list somewhere so you can look back to it when you write a new blog post.
Highlight the keyword gems (do this by changing the background colour) so that the best keywords stand out. The gems are those with high monthly searches, but with low "allintitle" competitiveness.

Warning words are those with low monthly searches but a high number of search results, these are overused and chances are your site/blog will get lost between these.

Categorize your results by lowest allintitle to highest allintitle. Under 1000 is non competitive, 1000-3000 is little competitive, 3000-5000 is fairly competitive and 5000+ is very highly completive. You want to start out low and work up to higher level keywords as your popularity grows in order to get the most results in terms of targeted traffic.

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