Steps to do Keyword Research for SEO

Doing keyword research is very important and strategic for both content marketing and blogging if you want to get a better rank for your blog.

The reason it is important is because without the right keywords, it is almost impossible to have traffic and more views for your website.

Most times, new bloggers do not pay much attention to keyword research either out of ignorance or non commitment. And I was a big part of this group for a long time.

In fact, not paying attention to my keywords caused my blog a lot of loss, in terms of readership.

For instance, in my early days of blogging, for many months I couldn’t have a decent number of visitors to my blog. I was both the one writing and reading the blog. And things continued this way for a pretty long while.

At a point, i started to experience some changes but that only happened after I began to be more intentional and conscious of the keywords I used. And ever since then, a lot has changed.

Although this might not be your story but, either as a blogger or content marketer, one of the things you need to do if you want to get more views and better ranking for your blog, is to start being intentional about your keywords research.

But what exactly is a keyword research you ask?

First of all, a key word is an important search term used by searchers when they search for anything on the search engine like Google. It is the term you want to rank for with your blog post.

What is a Keyword Research?

A keyword research on the other hand is the art of searching, understanding and using the relevant kind of keywords that will be used by your target audience when they search online in order to make your post more visible to them.

Why Keyword Research is Important

The reason keywords research is important is because it helps you in getting your content across to the right audience.

And getting your content in front of the right audience will increase the possibility of getting them to take the kind of action you want.

Now the question is, how can you do a keyword research that works for your blog?

To do a keyword research, the following are important keyword research strategies you need to put in place.

Define your goal

This is very important. If you want to do a keyword research and get a better rank, you need to set a clear goal to work with.

For instance, you need to ask yourself, why am I doing this? What do I want to achieve with this set of keywords I’m researching about?

Besides getting more views, there are many other things you can achieve with a keyword research.

This could vary from making sales, getting real exposure for your blog to other things like getting back links etc.

Whatever it is for you, if you really want to do a keyword research that ranks, you need to attach your keyword to a goal.

If your goal is to attract a better traffic to your blog then you need to create your keyword around those kind of content.

Same thing applies if you want to achieve more sales. If that’s the case you will need more sales related keywords across your sales pages.

Pick a Niche

After you’ve successfully picked a goal, I will assume you do not have a niche. So, this is a good time to pick a niche.

Decide, which niche exactly would you have to target, if you really want to create the result you have in mind?

If you already have a niche, that’s no problem. You can decide to micro-niche to a little part of the niche that will serve you better, based on your goals.

Or alternatively, you can choose a different niche altogether if the current one doesn’t serve your purpose anymore.

Picking the right niche is very important because this is where you’ll find your audience and buyers if you’re selling a product.

If you do not pick the right niche then you might waste your time targeting the wrong audience and this might not create the results you want.

So, to get things working, you don’t just need keywords you need the right keywords for the right audience.

Research the niche

Part of the key things you need if you want to do a keyword research that ranks is to understand your niche thoroughly. This is very important. And to understand your niche, you have to research the niche properly.

Find out, who are the top ranking blogs in that niche? What keywords are they using? Do you stand a chance to have a good rank, if you use that same keyword for your blog?

How difficult will it be for you to rank for that keyword on your own blog? SEO tools like Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty tool and Ubersuggest can give you a good idea about this.

Where you have a good idea about your niche, it becomes easier to know how to get the right keywords that will help you rank better.

Identify possible terms to optimize for

It is possible that while researching your niche you will find out that there are some niches that have very stiff competition and will be difficult for you to rank well.

Most SEOs will say that it’s better not to waste your time in such niches but I quite understand there are instances where you do not have an alternative.

If this happens to you, instead of dropping the niche altogether, you can still find out important areas where you can easily get to rank.

This area could be a sub niche, where there is a little competition. Or an alternative key word with a very limited competition.

So, if the main niche you wanted to target was “web design” for instance, to get a better rank, you can decide to target ”web design for restaurants” etc. as a sub niche.

Although using this strategy might not get you to rank for the popular keyword, it helps you to get a better ranking and decent returns for the less popular ones.

It also helps in reducing your competition and redefines your target audience.

The other obvious benefit of this is that it’s better to rank at number one for “web design for restaurants” and still garner some decent traffic through that rank compared to ranking at number 30 for “web design” with zero traffic in return.

TIP: While optimizing your keyword and SEO for a sub niche, be sure to choose a sub niche that has a reasonable or decent audience.

Do not pick a sub niche just because you feel it’s right. Use a tool like Google trends or Google Keyword tools to research your target niche, find out people’s interest just to be sure there are a decent number of people that will be interested in your stuff right in that audience.

Align your Content

Content is the hallmark of keyword research.

Without good content, keyword research is meaningless. That’s why to do a keywords research that works you need content that works.

To get started with this, you need to create content. Very good ones. That’s the first step.

Invest your time in creating valuable content that adds enough value to your audience.

Within that content, work on optimizing your key words and spreading relevant keywords in strategic locations, meta tags and sub titles that will help your search rankings.

While optimizing your blog posts, do not over stuff your keywords. You’ll be penalized. Be sure to use a mix of as much keyword variations as possible.

Identify Related Keywords

Beyond using exact match key words, pay attention to semantics and synonyms. It will help you in ranking for keywords or search terms related to your choice keywords.

Recently search engines like Google have been using some phrases to determine the intent of searchers and with this they are able to bring in the right result even when the exact phrase is not included in a search query.

To get around this, you need to understand the intent of your target audience while searching for your content. And then try to use those other related words they will describe their intent.

Let’s be a bit practical.

Naturally, the term; keyword research for instance revolves around SEO and for this reason, semantically related keywords like SEO, search optimization, search engine etc. are part of the important keywords that describe the essence of my content.

So, if I include a lot of those kind of keywords, I will be doing myself the favor of getting the search engine to have a better understanding of the semantic relevance of my content, beyond my major target keyword.

With this, it will be easier for the content to still be shown to more people making searches with other search terms relevant to or closely related to my target keyword.

Optimize your blog

Doing a keyword research that works is not just about getting the right keywords for your blog post. It also has a lot to do with your blog itself.

So, beyond your blog posts, your blog itself has to be optimized to rank for the right keywords.

Go to each of the individual pages on your blog. Find out, are they ranking for the right keywords?

Where they are not ranking for such, optimize them as necessary and get them to rank.

Pay attention to your meta tags, title tags and headers also. Ensure that you have the right keywords at those locations. This is very important.

In conclusion, like i mentioned earlier, there is need to pay attention to your key words, if you want to get a decent traffic for your blog posts.

Of course, there are a lot of things you can do as part of your keywords research efforts to improve your ranking but, starting with this list can help you in researching the right keywords and improving your traffic.

At intervals, you can also take a look at what your competitors are doing and find ways to improve on your own blog. And you can also get an expert or hire us to have it done for you seamlessly.

So there you have it. What’s the key strategy that’s helped you to get a better keyword research for your blog?

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