Even though blogging is still around us, it looks quite different today than it was to be in the early 2000s. In those days, people used to read your blog because they followed it or subscribed to your RSS feed. However, online behavior has changed since then. Today, people discover their blog content through search engines, while there might be some people who stumble onto a blog they like and subscribe to its email list for the latest updates. With more people searching than ever before, it’s a great advantage for bloggers today, to explore their content strategy using keyword research. The Content Strategy should be based on the latest principles of “Search Engine Optimization”
Let’s start with what are Keywords!
What Are Keywords?
Keywords are those words that are typed or spoken by someone in the search engine. People make use of search engines for doing all sorts of things such as looking up movie times, seeing what today’s weather would be like, or getting their local pizza place number. Every search is a quest for information, and search engines like Google aim to supply the searcher with a satisfying answer in the least possible time.
For a blogger, this would mean that if you want to write a blog for these searchers, then you would need to know the questions that searchers are asking for (keywords), and based on these asked questions, you need to deliver the answers in your blog posts. The companies providing Social Media optimization Services, keep the above aspects in mind.
How Will Keywords Change The Blog Strategy?
Blog posts, developed based on keyword research are quite different from the other types of blog posts because in that they focus on answering existing questions. For example, if you write a blog post that tells you about any personal experience, or a post that introduces a completely new idea then in both these scenarios, you won’t get much traffic from search engines like Google because your content doesn’t answer an existing question. Hence, no one would like to search for it.
Also, this does not mean that you have to only write answers to the existing questions. Not at all! Even topics with zero search-demand could also get great engagement and traffic on other channels like Facebook or Twitter, but if you wish to get long-term free traffic, the best place to get it is from Google. You just have to build your blogs on the foundation of keyword research and automatically you would find your upgraded performance report after some time.
Where Do I Get My Keywords?
A keyword research tool like Moz Keyword Explorer would help you in finding your keywords. This keyword research tool allows you to find new keyword ideas in two main ways. Firstly by typing in a word or a phrase and getting back-related keywords and secondly by typing in a page/website and getting back keywords from which page or a website ranks for.
Another great feature is the filter for “are questions” which allows you to see only those keywords that are formatted as questions. Since answering your audience’s questions helps in optimizing your content for search, this is a great tool that gives you insight into what your audience wants to know.
What Keywords Should I Pick?
If you find a keyword in a keyword research tool, it does not necessarily mean that you should use it in your blogging strategy. Once you have a list of keywords then carve it down. Let’s see how!
Choose Keywords That Match Your Audience
Knowing your audience is a prerequisite for keyword research as it helps you to filter out keywords that are technically related to your topic, or are a mismatch for your audience. If you have not done it yet, then first document an ideal audience for your blog. For example, if you run a fitness blog, you could write down something simple like “fitness enthusiasts.” You could also go a bit deeper, whereby creating audience personas, or full profiles of your ideal audience including things like age, demographics, and interests.
The deeper your understanding of your ideal audience will be, the easier it would be to detect which keywords out of the bunch they would have searched for.
Evaluate Each Keyword’s Difficulty Score
Keyword Explorer assigns an appropriate Difficulty Score to every keyword. So you may also want to whittle down your keyword list to leave those to the keyword explorer. This score is determined by the strength of the pages that are currently ranking on page 1 for that keyword.
This is for those who have just started blogging and have a fairly low Domain Authority. Start with the keywords that have a Difficulty Score in the 20-30 range, or even lower.
Look At Each Keyword’s Search Volume
Search volume gives you an estimation of how many people are searching for that keyword every month. It is great if you choose keywords that lots of people are searching for. You may also opt for a lower-volume keyword because it is much more relevant to your audience as well as your goals.
How Do I Use Keywords On My Page?
When Google’s algorithm used to be less mature than it is today, it was very easy to get your page to rank at the top of the search results for certain phrases by repeating that keyword many times on the page. Over the years though, Google has gotten better at ranking pages, where it answers the query, rather than just repeating it on the page. This is so important to keep in mind because all you have to do is to add those words to your pages from the keyword list. To perform well in search engines, you have to provide an answer to those queries, better than anything else out there.
Here are some tips for using keywords that guide your blog content:
- Keywords are the input. You must know that you are creating the output. Instead of asking yourself “How can I include this keyword on my page?” ask yourself “How can I answer this question?”
- You don’t have to have a separate page for every keyword you want to rank for. If you are writing a blog post on “choosing the best running shoes,” then answering multiple questions related to this topic within the same post, such as “road vs. trail running shoes” and “running shoe features.” makes perfect sense.
- Check out the pages that are currently ranking for your target keyword and think about how you can create a page better than that.
Where Do I Go From Here?
The best thing to do next is to dive in and try it yourself. As with most things, keyword research gets easier once you start applying it.
Developing a content strategy plays a huge part in growing your blog content effectively. Free video courses from HubSpot are also available that walk you through developing your content strategy, including how to use Moz Keyword Explorer for your keyword research.
The most important thing to remember is, to offer the right content that tells you what your audience wants to know. As a blogger, this insight is invaluable. When you write to answer their questions, they will more likely find your content in search engines.