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 for SEO is entirely different of keyword research for ads.
There is a keyword research method 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 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 are three 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 campaign.
The thing is that the volume of searches that the Google Keywords Tool shows you are 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 excellent potential. But that’s it; it’s for advertising. So, 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 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 an SEO point of view is entirely different from checking the competition for Google Ads.
You need not use the Google keyword tool for this one. Just 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 get indexed and ranked for the very same keyword that you plan to use. This is useful for thinking about competition from an 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 analyze 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 analyze keywords from an 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 keyword research tool that is integrated into 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 than exact searches and correct analysis of competition, they offer information on different 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.