Performing keyword research for a blog is an important first step when writing an article on your website.
First of all, your keyword or keyword phrase helps inform search engines like Google what your article is about.
Second, it helps you stay on track and improve your article.
For instance, keywords help you find related questions and search terms for your topic.
These can be used in adding additional headings and related topics for your article.
This will help you create more informed and helpful content for your readers.
Which will, in turn, keep visitors coming back and send a signal to Google, that your article is of high quality.
Here is a quick summary of how I perform keyword research for my articles.
These methods may surprise you as I do NOT use any keyword research tools.
They are a waste of time and money for the most part in my opinion.
I only use Google to do my research. But more about that later.
Let’s get into the summary…
- Go to Google.com.
- Begin typing your keyword or phrase into the search box.
- If Google auto-completes your search term, your keyword gets enough searches and you can move on to step 6.
- If there is no auto-completion, re-word, or pick a different phrase and move on to step 5.
- Click the enter button.
- Notice what types of content are displayed on the first page.
- If YouTube videos, ads, and featured snippets are present, then you most likely chose a competitive keyword and you might want to choose a different one.
- However, if these items are not present, then your keyword has very little competition.
- You can also gauge the competitiveness of a keyword by the quality of the content displayed on the first page.
- If your competitors’ content is thin (Less than 1,000 words) or is not relevant, then there is very little competition.
- You can now begin writing your article based on your keyword or phrase.
- Why I Don’t Use Keyword Research Tools
- Using Google’s Auto-Complete Feature To Find Keywords
- Keyword Research For A Blog – Step-By-Step With Pictures
- Is SEO Just Keywords?
- Do Search Engines Still Use Keywords?
- How Often Should You Do Keyword Research?
Why I Don’t Use Keyword Research Tools
Keyword research tools are widely used for SEO purposes in the online marketing space.
Sometimes called keyword testers, these are programs, apps, extensions, or plugins that will supply you with some key metrics.
These metrics typically include the monthly search volume, the cost per click, paid difficulty score and paid difficulty score.
However, I do not use any keyword research tool and haven’t for a while now.
What do I use instead? Why Google of course. Just the plain Jane google search feature. And why don’t I use keyword research tools?
Well, I’ll tell you.
All Keyword Research Tools Are Inaccurate
Yes, you heard right. All keyword research tools are inaccurate.
But it’s not their fault.
Only Google knows the exact number of people who are searching for a particular keyword or phrase per month.
And they’re not talking.
Why, do you ask? It’s simple. Google Adwords. Google makes the bulk of its money selling ads.
And so they have begun to keep a tighter and tighter grip on their keywords data.
Even if you use Google Planner, you’re still going to get a range of volume searches.
The only real way to get accurate numbers is to pay for, run, and test ads. Then rinse and repeat.
That way you can get real-world data including actual conversions numbers, which is really what matters most.
The other keyword tools are left with scraps.
These tools are then left to take a range of search volume numbers based on, in most cases, outdated data, then pass it off to you.
It’s not their fault, they’re doing the best they can with the data they are provided.
Most Keyword Research Tools Are Expensive
Imagine knowing most of your keyword research tool data is inaccurate.
Now, imagine paying upwards of $100 for that information per month. Where is the value?
Especially when free tools can give you the same, inaccurate information all at zero cost. Why would you waste the money?
However, there is one feature from a tool called Ahrefs that I do like.
It’s the question generator. This function allows you to search all of the questions asked for that particular keyword.
This is a handy feature, as you would be able to write articles answering these questions people asked.
Unfortunately, Ahrefs is quite expensive, so your next best option is a free tool called Answer The Public.
It won’t have any search volume data attached to each question, but that data would most likely be inaccurate anyway.
It will give you tons of keyword ideas for your articles though.
Keyword Research Tools Can Distract You From Your Focus
This is another issue. When you focus so heavily on search volume, you ignore the mindset and intent of your potential reader.
If you only want to attract visitors to your website, then creating content around informational keywords is the place to start.
These keyword phrases generally ask a question. And need to be answered by your content.
There are tons of these types of keywords. However, the people searching for these types of keyword phrases will be hard to sell to, at least for the time being.
They can, however, be converted into a sale at a later time.
On the other hand, a target keyword that has a commercial intent will be the big money makers for your blog.
These are keyword phrases that start with the word best, coupon, discount, save, review, and top 5.
People searching with these keywords have purchasing intent.
And finding relevant keywords with buyer intent outranks keyword search volume in my opinion.
The issue with keyword research tools is that they make you focus too much on the search volume instead of user intent.
More importantly buyer intent. If you base your keywords solely on volume, then you are most likely leaving money on the table.
Using Google’s Auto-Complete Feature To Find Keywords
One of my favorite keyword research tips is to use Google’s autocomplete feature to find keyword ideas for my article.
This method is also sometimes referred to as the alphabet soup method, and you’ll see why in a second.
The basic concept is that Google will only auto-complete your search term if there have been enough people searching for that particular keyword in the past month.
It’s not clear if the threshold for a keyword to autocomplete is 100, 1,000, or 5,000 searches per month.
However, if Google thinks it’s important to recommend a particular keyword phrase, then you can be sure it’s a keyword that gets traffic and might be worth writing about.
The basic premise is that you start typing your main keyword. Then hit the space bar and type the letter A. Write down all of the suggestions Google gives you.
Then click the backspace button and type the letter B. Write down those suggestions as well. You would complete this for every letter of the alphabet.
This is a great way to brainstorm ideas and create solid articles around the keyword phrases Google suggests. So here is the step-by-step (alphabet soup process) process.
- First, type your keyword or phrase into the Google search box.
- Then, hit the space key, and type the letter A.
- Google will return suggestions with extended search phrases with words starting with A.
- Make sure to write these suggested keyword phrases down.
- Hit the backspace or delete key.
- Next, type the letter B.
- Google will return more suggestions with words starting with B.
- Make sure to write these suggested keyword phrases down as well.
- Hit the space key yet again, and type the letter C.
- Search phrases with words starting with C will now appear.
- Write these suggested keyword phrases down.
- Repeat these steps for every letter of the alphabet.
- Make sure these keywords make sense and are natural sounding.
- Create articles that incorporate these keywords into your title.
Keyword Research For A Blog – Step-By-Step With Pictures
Step 1. Visit Google.com and click on the search box.
Step 2. To see if your keyword is searched by other people, begin typing your keyword or phrase into the search box.
Step 3. If Google auto-completes your search term, then enough people have searched your keyword and you can click the Search button and move on to step 6.
Step 4. However, if Google does not auto-complete your keyword or phrase, then people are not searching for your keyword enough.
And you should try to re-word your keyword phrase or choose another one.
Step 5. Once you have verified that your keyword gets searched, hit the Enter key.
Step 6. Notice what types of content are displayed on the first page.
Step 7. If the first page displays ads, featured snippets, and YouTube videos.
Then your keyword is most likely competitive, and picking a different phrase might be your best bet.
Step 8. If on the other hand, if there are none of these items on the first page, then you can be fairly certain that your keyword will have a lot less competition.
And you can start writing your article.
Step 9. You can also gauge the competitiveness of a keyword by the quality of the content displayed on the first page.
Step 10. If your competitors’ content is thin (Less than 1,000 words) or the articles that show up aren’t related to the keyword or phrase.
Then you can easily outrank them by making longer, more relevant content.
Step 11. Take your keyword or phrase that matches these conditions and write amazingly helpful content that answers your visitor’s questions.
Is SEO Just Keywords?
Nope, not at all. Keywords would generally be sub-categorized under on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimation).
There are, in fact, several types of SEO that can be used to improve your website, your article, or how you share your content with the rest of the world.
The most common types of SEO are…
- On-Page SEO – Keyword research, proper grammar, headings, adding images, etc.
- Off-Page SEO – Creating quality backlinks, sharing your content with social media.
- Technical SEO – Speeding up your website, mobile-friendliness, site security.
Do Search Engines Still Use Keywords?
Although Google has begun to learn and use searcher intent as well.
This means that Google can match up your specific search term with a particular searcher’s intent,
You can read more about searchers’ intent by visiting Neil Patel’s article here.
He explains this process much better and even gives reasons NOT to perform keyword research on your blog.
It’s a fascinating read, you should check it out.
How Often Should You Do Keyword Research?
You should perform keyword research with every article that you write.
At the very least, you should check out your competitor’s websites so you can write even better content that can allow you to eventually outrank them.
As you can see, if you simply use the Google keyword research methodology, you can save yourself a lot of time, hassle, and money.
There is no better way to get keyword ideas, than from Google itself. It’s fast, free, and way more accurate than any keyword research tool.
With that said, thank you for taking the time out of your day to view my article on performing keyword research for a blog.
If you are just getting started you can view my article on starting a blog here.
This article will be a big help if you’re interested in creating a blog.
Thanks again for taking the time to visit this page. Take care.