What are your blog's keywords?
What? You haven't chosen them yet?
Choosing your keywords are critical to helping establish your search engine ranking from day one. In this post, you'll learn how to sift through thousands of options and choose the best keywords for your blog. You'll also learn about the SEO tools that will help you in your search.
But first, what is a keyword?
What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a specific word or phrase that describes the contents of a page or even a complete site.
Basically, think about what a reader would search for to find your specific page.
Here are 15 free sources of targeted blog traffic.
3 Types of Keywords
Although it sounds like a single word, it is often a phrase of 2 or more words. The longer phrases are known as long tail keywords.
Here are two examples of broad, specific, and long tail keywords.
- Broad keyword: ecuador
- Specific keyword: living in ecuador (Living in Ecuador)
- Long tail keyword: what's it's like to live in ecuador as an expat (What's it like to live in Cuenca Ecuador?)
- Broad keyword: gopro
- Specific keyword: gopro timelapse (4 GoPro Time Lapse Settings to Create a Sunset Video)
- Long tail keyword: how to make time lapse with gopro (How to Make a GoPro Timelapse Video)
What does all this mean? Well, it's almost impossible to rank on a broad keyword. Words like “Ecuador” and “GoPro” are both high traffic and high competition. You'll need a solid authority site, with thousands of quality inbound links to be able to rank for these keywords. Broad keywords could be described as “vanity” keywords. A term like “Ecuador” is not profitable because it doesn't identify what the reader is looking for – or even the language they are searching in (Ecuador is spelled the same in English and Spanish).
Specific keywords are easier to rank for – and can be very profitable. These can range from 2-4 words and narrow the topic down considerably.
Generally speaking, long tail keywords are the easiest to rank for. This can take some research, but isn't that hard. These can be very long, I've seen phrases from 10-14 words. For example:
- canon powershot sx6210 hs review
- how to change the oil in 1994 trooper
- best blog platform for making money
These long tail keywords generally aren't that competitive because the search traffic isn't that high. As you write granular posts you will just automatically rank for them.
Which type of keyword should you target?
4 Steps to SEO Keyword Research
While long tail keywords are useful in some cases, you should target specific keywords – expressions of 2-4 words. Taking the time to carry out SEO keyword research will have long term benefits on the success of your site.
Here's how to get started:
- First of all, you should sit down and write a list of the main topics on your site. These can serve as your categories. Be sure to include phrases and expressions that your readers and customers would use to describe your offering.
- Now, you'll want to select more specific terms. I like to use Market Samurai to get related keywords. You can also use Long Tail Pro or Keyword Planner. These tools help you to see phrases related to your topic. Don't skip this step. If you only use words that you can think of – you'll likely miss the most profitable expressions.
- Now this list needs to be reduced and/or organized. Which ones will make up your primary 5-10 keywords? Remember to choose specific keywords (generally 2-4 words in length). These terms should best describe what your site is about.
- Now organize the remaining keywords. Some of them might make a good blog post. Others might be good for a whole post series. Keep the list and continue to update it in the coming months.
3 SEO Keyword Research Tools We Use
While you can just brainstorm your keywords, it's best to use a tool to identify them. We've had good success with these three:
- Keyword Planner by Google Adwords: This free tool is great for initial searching. Once you log in, choose “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas”.
- Market Samurai: This is a powerful piece of software that will accelerate your sifting.
- Long Tail Pro: Similar to Market Samurai, this tool has a different, more user friendly interface but isn't quite as powerful.
Final Tip: There is value in repetition. Using varied or repeated keywords will improve your search ranking. Using the GoPro example, you might use the varied and repeated keywords of: GoPro camera, GoPro tutorials, GoPro mounts, GoPro action shots. These are focused around one large topic but break it down into granular pieces.
Thinking about moving your site to a new domain? Here's how to move a site without SEO penalties.
How do you determine the best keywords for your site? What are you struggling with in keyword research?
Please share you tips and questions below!