Keyword Research Is the First Step in SEO

Keyword Research is the Beginning of SEO

Here we are blogging daily, sometimes several times a day, and working hard toward getting our blog posts and articles indexed and ranked by the search engines. When people start blogging, they have a tendency to throw the words onto the page and call it good. I mean, it’s blogging, right? Isn’t blogging like writing a diary for everyone else to read?

Sorry. Not now, and not if you want to earn some money from your efforts. A blog post needs to be optimized for the search engines. Your content needs to be fresh, informative, valuable, and unique. So where do you start?

Keyword Research – The Simple Approach

If you’re just getting started in keyword research and tailoring your blog posts to rank and be recognized, there are a few very simple things you can do to get going.

First, we’re going to be using a free tool. And yes, it’s the Google’s Keyword Tool, which is part of their AdWords program. You will get far better results if you open an account with AdWords, but you don’t have to. Go on over to the tool and take a look

Type in a keyword or phrase in the top box, fill out the Capture code boxes, and click on search. If you have an account, you will get a lot more results. But just to get started, we’ll do it without an account.

What you actually are looking for here is a keyword or keyword phrase in your niche topic that has low to medium competition and decent global and local searches. The keyword tool will tell you which keywords have low and medium (as well as high) competition. So that’s pretty easy to figure out.

When it comes to global and local searches, you need to decide how popular the term is and whether you will get any traffic from the search term. You certainly want your global searches to be above 5000 and your local searches to be above 1000 a month. As you gain experience, improve your writing, and are seeing success with this method, then you can push to gain ranking and position with keywords that have higher searches and higher competition scores.

Keyword Research Practice

For today’s purposes, let’s choose a keyword. Open up the Google Keyword Tool and let’s do this keyword research together. Let’s say we are going to write an article about “camping.” So put “camping” into the search box, fill out that Capture box, click search and you will see a list of keywords related to camping, their competition, and the searches per month.

Funny thing on this one, “Camping” itself is a low competition keyword with high searches monthly. Just for fun, open another tab on your browser, type in camping in the search bar, and you will see there are over 500 million sites with the keyword camping in their content. To me, those odds are not worth even attempting. I would want to see a results response of under 500,000 sites.
Continue With Keyword Research to Drill Down to Usable Keywords

As you see, by not having an actual AdWords account, you are limited to 100 results. With an account, you would have pages of keyword ideas and the ability to weed out the ones that won’t work pretty quickly. You can actually filter results by using the advanced options. I would select specifically in the filters options: low & medium competition, Global searches greater than 5000, Local Searches greater than 1000.

So now you have gotten keyword research results for those criteria. This is where I would go through each keyword idea, have an open browser tab to search the keyword phrase and see how many websites contain those words. Can you find any that you want to try to rank for?

Keyword Research Using Exact Match Filter

Okay. I just found the keyword phrase “camping with kids.” As a broad search, that came back with over 72 millions results. Now, let’s do the keyword research as an exact match. That means you search with the keyword term in quotations “camping with kids.” What do we have now for results? 216,000 websites with the exact keyword match.

This would be a keyword phrase worth working with. You have now done a simple keyword research exercise, have found a keyword phrase that could give you some good results in ranking your blog posts, and you are set to start writing an article on this topic. Remember to try to use the keyword phrase as close to 2 percent of your total words as possible.

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