Keyword research is really at the core of all the content marketing that you will be doing. It’s essential that you do it the right way. Don’t worry, even big names in the industry have often failed at getting this right.
The most important lesson to learn is that keyword research in SEO is totally different from keyword research in the field of search engine advertising.
If you didn’t know this particular information before, then don’t worry. Many people don’t. In fact, most marketers at companies of all sizes don’t really understand how search engines work, what search engines are after; and because they don’t understand the search engine business they make a lot of mistakes because they can’t separate SEO from SEM in their minds. It’s one thing to optimize for better overall quality of the content (page, video, product, recipe, article, blog post, etc.) that you’re trying to get listed on the front page of Google via organic (non-paid) means…. and it’s a completely different thing to spend advertising budgets for getting listed in the ads spaces reserved to ads (in the PAID listings).
There is a method for performing keyword research in SEO that I find in most content marketing courses: go to Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Input some keywords that you may think about. The Google Keyword Planner tool returns a list of suggestions. Then you try to get the keywords with the highest number of monthly searches. And the lowest competition.
This is what we base our core SEO elements (the keywords) on. And it is wrong.
Here’s 3 tips that will help you succeed in finding the optimum keywords and help bring free traffic to your blog:
1) Find the Search Volume that is relevant to your SEO-powered campagin.
The thing is that the volume of searches that the Google Keywords Tool shows you is not going to be useful for you. None at all. Some experts will tell you that a keyword you plan to use should have 10,000 searches.
But this won’t help you rank on search engines. This may help you get a good adwords ad that has some nice potential. But that’s it, it’s for advertising. So, totally not useful for you.
To begin using the Google keyword tool for SEO, you need to use a few hacks. Go to: https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool
You will see on the left hand side that it displays that the keyword tool did a broad search for the keywords you typed in. That’s not what you need for SEO. You need to check the Exact Search box. Seeing how many exact searches there are for any given keyword is what will actually provide you value.
As a bonus tip: you should use keywords that have 3,000 or more exact searches. That will help you get some good traffic. Anything below 1,000 exact searches will not help you too much.
2) Checking the competition for keywords from a SEO point of view is completely different from checking the competition for Google Ads.
You need not use the Google keyword tool for this one. Just simply go to: google.com and type in your keyword, as a phrase. E.g. “Keyword”, instead of just searching for : keyword.
Making the google search for your keyword in brackets will display you how many other pages could possibly get indexed and ranked for the very same keyword that you plan to use. This is useful for thinking about competition from a seo point of view.
Here you can make the following considerations:
Very low competition: under 100,000 search results.
Low competition: 100,000 to 2,000,000
Medium competition: 2,000,000 to 10,000,000
High competition: over 10,000,000
Very high competition: over 100,000,000 (this should not be pursued, if your site isn’t big)
3) Use tools to help you get better results, faster, or to help you check that you’ve done a good job on your own.
Professionals use tools, because they help analyse keywords faster and also help them make sure that their estimations were correct.
The best tools (that do both research and analysis) are:
– SEM Rush (http://www.semrush.com) -> it helps analyse keywords from a SEO perspective, includes exact searches, competition calculated for SEO and trend of the desired keyword. (knowing the trend for the keywords you plan to use is essential). Used by most professionals.
– Squirrly (http://www.squirrly.co) -> has a tool specifically built for keyword research in SEO that is integrated in the WordPress dashboard and shows the same as SEM Rush it shows how discussed the keywords are on twitter and forums, and displays a Top of all the keywords, that takes into account the possibility of ranking for each keyword, compared to your TOP 10 competitors.
These are very useful, because of other then exact searches and correct analysis of competition, they offer information on other aspects that heavily influence the success of your content marketing efforts.
Start being a PRO.
Now that you know these pro tips, start searching for some great keywords to cover with your content marketing. You’ll be able to do it like a PRO now 🙂