Firstly, If you are new to the world of SEO & Search Marketing, I’d strongly advice you to read my Newbie Guide to SEO. It has all the basic elements that you may need to get your blog/website to rank in the search engines.
In that article I briefly touched on “finding a niche” and “…using keywords in Title” and someone emailed me last week to ask – “How to Find the Right Keyword(s) for a Blog?“. Well I basically gave her a brief answer already, but as promised I’m covering the whole “Keyword Research” topic in more detail here in the blog. If the post gets too lengthy please bear with me – I promise that by the end of the article you will become a Master of the Basics of Keyword Research & Optimization.
Before I continue, I advice you all to Subscribe to this blog (Free) by using the Email Subscription or RSS Subscription (..Located on the top right hand corner of this page…). The reason I want you to subscribe is, I’ll be covering some great topics here and I don’t really want you to miss anything!
What is Keyword Research?
In regards to Organic/Natural/Paid Search, Keyword research basically means researching for words that are supposedly going to be used by your customers/readers/visitors to find your website/blog/business/product.
Why Is Keyword Research Important?
Well, If you can know what your customer is looking for, its easy for you to sell them the right product. If a person is looking for a Dish washer but ends up in an online tire store, he is less likely to make a purchase.
So if you are selling tires online you need to know what ‘keywords’ or ‘search terms’ searchers use to search for your product online. For example are they searching for ‘tires’ or ‘wheels’?
– Car Tires <> Automobile Tiers ?
– Snow Tire <> Winter Tire ?
– Bridgestone Tire <> Firestone Tire ?
How would you know? How can you differentiate between all these keywords? How can you tell which one is more “important” or better (in terms of search volume).
Well all these questions can be answered when you will do a proper Keyword Research. Now since my target audience is Bloggers & Small Business owners, I’d like to give an example of how Keyword Research can actually help a blog to become successful. Lets say you have a technology blog and you write about all sorts of technology news, tutorials, how-tos, tips & hacks. You only get about 100 visitors a day and most of them are from your own community of friends. You don’t get any significant amount of traffic from search engines because most of the things that you write about are either “too general or common” (there are thousands, if not millions of pages on the same topic), or you just don’t know what people are interested in the technology arena. You only write about things that ‘you feel’ is important, but not necessarily the whole blogosphere thinks the same.
So after you did some basic keyword research, you noticed that people in your area of expertise/interest are searching for the following – (The amount of searches shown are from Google Alone! The figure will be even bigger if you consider the other engines on the market)
facebook group – 18,000+ searches/mo
Vista Theme for Xp – 33,100+ searches/mo
best free antivirus – 22,200+ searches/mo
backup iphone – 22,000+ searches/mo
And all these search phrases has “minimal” amount of competition in Paid + Organic search. (I’ll write about how to determine competition later in the article).
Now with the above data you created few ‘top-notch’ blog posts (I just made up some example titles)-
Target Keyword: “Facebook Group”
– How to Join a Facebook Group?
– How to Create a Facebook Group?
– How to Make a Facebook Group Popular?
Target Keyword: “Vista Theme for Xp”
– Top 20 Windows Vista Theme For Xp
– Beautiful Windows Vista Theme for Windows XP
– Collection of Windows Vista Theme for XP
Target Keyword: “Best Free Antivirus”
– Best Free Antivirus for Windows Vista
– Best Free Antivirus for Windows Xp
– The world’s Best Free Antivirus Review
Target Keyword: “backup iphone”
– How to Backup My Iphone?
– How to Backup your Iphone using Itunes?
– How to Backup Iphone Data?
– Iphone Backup Tutorial
– Free Iphone Backup Software
After writing the posts, you promoted them among your community and also via the social media and soon after they got indexed by google and some other major search engines, you got some decent ranking for some of those terms. As a result you to get an additional 10-20 thousand visitors / per month from the search engines. So from only an average of 100 visitors per day, you straight away jumped to 600 visitors per day! Now just think what you can accomplish, if you are always doing keyword research when thinking about writing your next blog post.
How to do Keyword Research?
Now that I have convinced you (I hope~) that keyword research is very important, let me go straight to the steps that you need to perform in order to do some basic keyword research.