Keyword research serves multiple purposes. First and foremost it should serve to boost your page content onto SERPs and help to outrank your competitors. Understanding this key concept can help you in finding the ideal keywords for your blog.
Starting at keyword research step one.
You need to know what you want to write about and what purpose it is going to serve your readers and followers.
A website that has a lot of images, quality headers, sub-headings, and your general information won’t rank well. You have to tell Google and other SERPs what your webpage is about, and they do this by assessing your content.
Example: I chose to write this post because I spent months trying to figure out how to best search for keywords that I would be able to rank. Granted my keywords where relevant, but somehow I was just not ranking. After solving that problem, I wanted to share what worked for me.
From here you should start writing your content. You could start by conducting keyword research to integrate into your content, but I recommend writing what comes naturally without having to worry about keyword integration. Think of adding keywords to your content like using a thesaurus. You find a better way to describe your content with keywords, and so they should come after you write.
For more information on content development check here.
Keyword Search Tools
There is a variety of keyword search tools to choose from. They can range from Free to requiring a monthly/yearly fee. To those that only offer keyword searches with basic data, to more extensive data analysis.
Here is a breakdown of the Top Keyword Research Tools.
Google Keyword Planner is the first place I always start because (a) it is free and (b) provides content creation ideas via the Ad Group Ideas column. KW Finder is a great tool as it gives me the primary data that I am looking for (a) keyword suggestions (b) ranking difficulty (c) competitors ranking for my keywords. There are several other high-quality keyword tools such as SEMRUSH, they have a higher monthly/annual fee, but they do offer several additional tools for more in-depth analysis.
Start with keywords and long tail keywords that are relevant to your niche written on a piece of paper, then you can brainstorm or mind map out various categories, subcategories, and the related keywords to help create future content ideas. You do not have to use these keywords, but they will help you understand what your competitors are using, find similar keywords, and find alternate keywords (remember to think thesaurus).
Round House Kick
You can write the standard recommended the 300-word content post, but I would shoot for 500 to 1000 words. It gives you more opportunities to integrate quality keywords and creates more potential keywords you can rank for keywords that you did not originally intend.
You can win on rankings over competitors by writing high-quality content with greater word count. Say your competitor wrote a 270-word article about a topic in your industry. You could write on the same topic, from your own words, and expand on it with a total of 1000 words and over a couple of weeks outrank your competitor. This is especially true of local SEO.
Here is the kicker!
Use tools like open site explorer to see how your website Domain Authority and Page Authority rank. These two numbers in conjunction with information gained from KW Finder will let you know if the content you post will beat out your competitors. If you have a 20/100 DA (domain authority) and 18/100 PA (page authority) while your competitors have 25/100 DA and 26/100 PA with only 300 words of content, you can easily write a high-quality post and outrank their DA/PA. With focused keyword research, taking that SERP spot and maybe a few others.
From the Image: You can see if I am trying to rank for Lower back pain relief the websites in the right column have a high DA and PA, and the left column shows the difficulty level. Here I can select the arrow next to one of the keywords to get additional recommendations. You can find a variation to the long tail keyword and use rank for a lower difficulty score that will still help you rank. The same process works with any type of keyword. Search your keyword, look at the difficulty and alternate keywords and look at how your page ranks compared to others ranking for that keyword. If they have a lower DA and PA you can write content that will outrank them. If they have a higher DA and PA, take a look at their content and see if you can improve upon what they wrote and you could over time outrank them based on better “user engagement” with your content.
For local SEO I recommend going to the actual sites of your competitors. A simple overview of the website pages they are ranking for that you want to beat can tell you a lot and even generate some content ideas.
Wrapping it up
A couple of final key components to wrap up your keyword research for your content. Ensure that your keywords are integrated nicely into your headers and subheaders. If you are using a keyword such as “Arlington Chiropractor” I would run a tail off of your main keyword “Arlington Chiropractor: 5 Home Remedies for Lower Back Pain”, in fact, you can optimize for two keywords here; Chiropractor and Lower back pain.
Ensure your meta-description (the description that shows in Google under a link) has your keyword. Google pulls the description from the 1st 300 words of text if you do not specify your meta description in your html coding. If you are using Yoast SEO in WordPress, you can write out what you want your meta description to be in the plugin tool.
Final note, I recommend a comment box on your website at the end of each post. Allowing people to ask further questions, get more keyword mentions, and start a quality user engagement on your site. Just ensure you have time to respond to questions and comments. I love comments as they are a great tool to use to create more content for questions and feedback.
Drop a comment let me know if you need any help on this topic.
Thanks for reading and keep coming back for more FREE content marketing tips
-Stay Easy and Keep Building