Keyword research is essential for guaranteeing that your blog is getting as many page views as it possibly can. A lot of new blog owners will immediately add keywords to their blog that they think are popular. As popular as those keywords may be, if, for example, you choose a keyword to represent your blog that is too common, you will end up on page 1,021 of Google or Yahoo! search and absolutely no one will ever find you.
So what should you do? Your priority when it comes to keyword research is finding keywords that are actually realistic, and that will get you those conversions. What you need to do is learn how to find the right types of keywords that are going to grab your target market’s attention. With the right tools you can find the right keywords for your blog that are geared towards your target demographic, such as 18-24 year old males as opposed to 60+ year old females.
The Different Levels Of Keywords
A lot of people will refer to these different levels of keywords as “the head,” “the body” and “the tail.” We’ll start by explaining “the head.”
“The head” are keywords that are pretty generic, like the keyword “real estate”. If you want any chance to ranking anywhere close to these generic and overused keywords, you will have to have a whole lot of money in order to do so. Otherwise there is no use in using them.
“The body” keywords are typically two or three different keywords that will have less searches per month than “head” keywords, such as “real estate guide.” The good thing about “the body” is that as these keywords have fewer searches every month, there is a good chance that there is also less competition.
“The tail” keywords are three or more keywords. The “tail” has the least amount of searches of them all, but the good thing about the tail is that if you use keywords effectively, you can target a very small specific group that will bring in highly targeted traffic. The other good thing to remember is that over 70% of all searches are made up of long tail keywords.
How To Find Keywords That Bring In Traffic
You definitely want as much traffic coming to your website as possible. If no one’s checking out your blog, then you are making zero dollars off of it.
First, start off by completely ignoring any “head” keywords. What you will want to focus on are body keywords, and tail keywords. Body keywords should have between 1000 and 100,000 searches every month, and tail keywords should have 1000 monthly searches (if not more) each month. But how does one even go about finding out about these searches so you can start optimizing your content and link building?
Step 1: Google Trends
Before you start even considering a particular set of keywords for your blog or website, it’s always a good idea to check out Google Trends to see what head keywords are on the rise. Why? This will give you a good idea of what you can expect from a particular market in the near future.
Step 2: Google Keyword Tool
The Google Keyword Tool is where you will be able to really start to whittle down a keyword list. With this tool you can compile a large list of keywords that you can use. From there, you can start to sort out both the body and tail keywords. Make sure that you choose 100 keywords (or more) and then you can begin to narrow it down.
It’s also a good idea to take any keyword or sets of keywords and just try searching them on Google. Type in your query, and note what the other suggested searches are. Write down or copy and past any more promising searches by checking out the number of searches in the Google Keyword tool. Then, you can hop right on over to Google Sets.
Step 3: Google Sets
When you have a basic lit of keywords, you can check and see if there was anything more that you may he missed by giving Google Sets your 5 keywords of choice. It will then come up with a few more predicted keywords that you may not have already had on your list.
Step 4: WordTracker
WordTracker is a favorite since there is a free version that you can use. WordTracker will help you compare Google’s data with other data (as great as Google may seem, you never want to depend on only one source of information!).
Step 5: Keyword Difficulty Tools
Most keyword difficulty tools will cost you a bit of money, but if you are serious about optimizing your website, then it is definitely a worthy investment. The Keyword Difficulty tool will give you a pretty good idea of what the competition is for each keyword or keyword set that you would like to use, so you can get a good picture of how well your blog will rank for that particular keyword.
TIP: As important as the Keyword Difficulty tool is in checking out the competition, it’s equally important that you take the time to heck out your competition manually. Some things that you want to bear in mind when you do your manual search are:
- Is the whole site keyword related or is it just one standalone page?
- Is it relevant?
- Are they a strong brand or an individual blog run by one person?
- What is the link velocity?
- What is the social branding?
- What is the user interaction?
A Final Word On Keyword Research
Keywords are the most important thing when it comes to SEO. There are a lot of tools to help you do it correctly, but it’s always a good idea to keep your finger on the Internet’s pulse. Check into social networking sites if you ever have any question as to what’s hot and what’s not. Look at trends and keep your ears open for what’s popular.