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Quality, thorough keyword research is the indispensable groundwork you need to lay in order to set your blog post up for success. Without it, your work will be just a shot in the dark. Unless your website is not already an authority on the subject matter you’re writing about, your post will be buried beneath a ton of other search results.
Proper keyword research is your chance to rank higher in search engines. Once you get some traction, backlinks, and loyal readers, Google will recognize that and start placing you among bigger websites, even if your post revolves around highly popular keywords. To get to that stage, however, you need to target low-competition keywords first.
Keyword research isn’t nearly as complicated as some people may think, but it does involve a few essential steps which we’ll take you through. You can always use the Rank Tracker app to view how well you’ve executed the game plan.
Identify Obvious Keywords so You Can Build on Them
Obvious, broad, and often vague keywords usually get lots of searchers, and even though you want people to be searching for the topic of your blog post, too many searches usually mean too much competition. And no matter how insightful and valuable your writing might be, if you’re just starting out, Google most likely won’t give you a chance to show it.
So, identifying obvious, broad keywords can be a starting point of the ideating process which eventually ends up with a niche, overlooked keyword.
Don’t Settle for Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are one of the first things that get thrown around by SEO novices who want to seem more advanced than they are. Sure, long-tail keywords are great and are a step in the right direction after identifying broad keywords, but alone can only get you so far.
Because of the surge of their popularity, long-tail keywords also spur fierce competition. To stand a chance against the big websites, you need to dig deeper for a more specific keyword.
Identify Ultra-Long-Tail Keyword
Ultra-long-tail keywords are the name of the game, even though there is no such official term. Such keywords get just enough searches to make them worthwhile, yet not enough searches to make them super popular among readers and your competitors alike. In other words, ultra-long-tail keywords fly under the radar.
Google’s Keyword Planner
This is a free and very handy tool that provides stats on keywords’ search volume and helps you generate keyword ideas that relate directly to your line of work. It’s a great, simple way to identify a number of long-tail keywords, which you can then mix up in unique variations and combinations that can otherwise go unnoticed.
Soovle.com aggregates “suggest” results from Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon and Answers. It’s also free, very simple, and useful.
“Suggest” results provide tremendous insight into searchers’ interests and tendencies. Even though they are “suggest” results, those keywords still get searches, but not enough searches for them to show up on Google’s Keyword Planner. In other words, just the search volume you need, making those “suggest” results the perfect stepping stone toward the ultimate, ultra-long-tail keyword.
One way to harness this tool’s potential and get even better suggestions is by simply writing the first letter of a potential new word at the end of the long-tail keyword and going through the alphabet. It may sound rather unsophisticated, but it works.
For example, if the phrase you already have is “fast, full-body workout,” with simple guesswork, you can end up with “fast, full-body workout that improves health.”
Another simple, but effective way to build on the “suggest” results is by adding common adjectives and/or verbs. Using such words may sound somewhat counter-intuitive, considering what we’ve been saying throughout this post, however, it’s precisely because such additions can seem too obvious that they may have flown under your competitors’ radar.
Something as simple as adding “easy” to “fast, full-body workout” can be the difference between tones of competition and almost none.
Go Back to Keyword Planner
Once you have your target keyword set, go back to Keyword Planner to check its search volume. Then, simply type in the keyword in Google and see what comes up. The less exact title matches, the better – it means you have less competition for the keyword.
Also, ideally, the sites that come up for the respective keyword aren’t huge names, so you can surpass them in the rankings more easily.
Optimize, but Do it Seamlessly
Last but certainly not least, it’s finally time to optimize.
Always remember that at the end of the day, you are writing for humans, not algorithms.
Once the keyword research is over, use your findings wisely to merely supplement your post in a natural way rather than turning it into a bunch of keywords, awkwardly dressed up as a blog post.