Some questions are not meant to get simple answers and how to do keyword research for blog posts is a perfect example.
As a newbie blogger, you've probably gotten more keyword research tips that you could possibly digest.
Even if you have blogging experience, finding the best keywords for blog traffic is a never-ending battle.
What makes the battle excruciating is the fact that algorithms don't stay the same.
No, they tend to change quite often and that's something we could never have any control over.
Then what are we supposed to do if we're determined to see our content ranking on the top results displayed by the search engines?
And how to find keywords that will help us achieve that?
Enough with the questions, let's talk about the answers!
This post may contain affiliate links, here is my disclosure.
What Is Keyword Research?
In my opinion, the majority of newbie bloggers think that they know the answer to this question when they really don't.
To be more accurate, they understand just one side of a two-part equation.
For instance, if you ask a beginner blogger what she/he needs to perform efficient keyword research, you'll most likely hear terms such as SEO keyword research tool, Google Keyword Planner, etc.
It's not that these answers are wrong - it's more like they're incomplete and here is why:
While it's true that keyword research is the process of analyzing and finding keywords that represent your business's line of work, that's just a small part of what you should be focusing on as a content creator.
Yes, finding the best keywords possible for your blog is super important:
This will help you enormously with optimizing your articles in a way that will make the search engines happy.
But here is the deal:
Above all, satisfying the search engines is not what you have to be aiming at, it's satisfying the users.
Google will be the first to tell you the same thing - that's what it's latest huge update is all about.
So, it all comes down to understanding user's intent:
Meaning, what productive keyword research entails is discovering what your target audience is looking for and delivering the type of content that satisfies the intent behind the search.
How Does The User Intent Affects Keyword Research?
Let's get something clear from the start:
If you want to learn how to do keyword research for blog posts, first you'll have to learn not only what your readers are searching for, but how they perform any particular search.
Years ago, targeting keywords that match exactly a reader's search was one of the most important ranking factors.
Well, it's not anymore:
Right now, if you want to see your article on Google's first page, that article absolutely must deliver a solution to the problem you're readers are looking to resolve.
And that's where the keyword research process can get really tricky:
Quite often what you would like your website to rank for and what your audience is looking for a solution for are two very different things.
As a result, the keywords you're thinking to target might not be the ones that will best satisfy the intent behind your reader's search.
With that being said, let's look at what you should do to achieve high rankings and please your audience in the process.
How To Do Keyword Research For Blog Posts
For the intents and purposes of this article, using a specific example will help avoid any confusion in my opinion.
Before we move on to the keywords part, we'll start with a broader topic - niche.
Considering it's one of the most popular and profitable niches currently, I'll say that "blogging" will do nicely today.
Now, the routine of deciding on keywords to target that I'm about to share is what I personally do when creating content for this website.
Keep in mind, this is a process that I came accustomed to after more than a year of intense research, professional blogging training, and trying out different strategies.
Other bloggers most likely have a different approach to the keyword research, this is the one that's working more than well for me.
Hopefully, it will for you too!
1) Make A List Of Topics Relevant To Your Business
It may be hard to believe, but so many newbie content creators tend to skip such an important step.
Instead, they check their competition, grab the exact keyword a competitive website is already ranking for, and start writing.
If that's what you've been doing up until now as well, abort this practice as fast as you can.
Anyway, since we agreed that we'll use the blogging niche as an example, let's see the topics that are relevant to such an online business.
For instance, the following topics can all be a part of your content creation strategy:
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Blog Hosting Services
- Free Blogging Platforms
- Blogging For Money
- Make Money Blogging With Affiliate Marketing
The list can go on and on, depending on how niched-down you would like your blog to be.
Going through that first step, there shouldn't be any restrictions here.
You're not making any final decision about keywords to target yet.
No, the whole idea is for you to come up with broad potential phrases your future customers will be interested in.
Think of it as your own blog keyword generator you'll be using down the path.
2) Discovering Keywords
OK, moving on to the next phase of how to do keyword research for blog posts.
At this point, you probably have some idea about which keywords you would like your site to rank for.
May I remind you, your attention should be focused on keywords your target audience is actively searching for online.
So, the second step of the process is devoted to in-depth research of "seed keywords".
Don't get confused if that term doesn't sound familiar to you.
Seed keywords are just a fancy way to describe the top 10 keywords for your blog for example.
Going back to the previous paragraph, let's grab "Blog Hosting Services" and run it through a professional keyword tool.
Once we do that, here is what you'll see:
Basically, this screenshot is giving you tons of necessary information that will be of great use to you.
For instance, closely related to "blog hosting services" keywords you may want to target, their search volume, how much potential traffic they can bring you, etc.
We'll discuss how you should use all that data before finally deciding on a keyword to target a bit later.
Right now, the important thing to understand is that you're still going through the brainstorming phase of the keyword research process.
3) Research Related Search Terms
Honestly, I'll be surprised if this hasn't crossed your mind when thinking about how to do keyword research for blog posts.
Mostly because it's quite fast and easy to complete.
In a way, using keyword research tools as we did a minute ago has already taken care of that step.
But I believe that you have to push your keyword investigation even further.
To do that, all you need is to jump on Google and type "blog hosting services" in the search bar.
Next, scroll down to the end of the first page so you'll be able to find this:
It looks like your database of potential keywords to target is quickly piling up with more and more terms, isn't it?
And Google's section of related searches should not be underestimated.
Firstly, because these phrases are being searched for from users over and over again.
Secondly, because Google itself is the best free keyword research tool you could ask for in my opinion!
4) Make Sure That Your Keywords Database Contains a Mix Of Head Keywords And Long-Tail Keywords
Considering this article about how to do keywords research for blog posts is devoted mainly to newbie bloggers, I'll have to explain what I mean here.
Generally, head keywords (also known as head terms) are short phrases you can choose to target, usually no more than 3 words.
The long-tail keywords may contain many more words - think of them as longer phrases and whole questions users research online.
With that being, the length is not the only difference between the two - there is much more going on that will affect your keyword research strategy.
Let's use our example from earlier to deliver further clarification:
If you focus just on "blog" from "blog hosting services", you'll be targeting a head term.
This type of keywords has a much bigger search volume than the long-tail ones.
However, because of that, they're much more difficult to rank for.
Even more, ranking for a head keyword may not be in your best interest after all and here is why:
While the long-tail keywords have much smaller search volume, they're way more specific.
Meaning, the person performing such a specific search knows exactly what he's looking for.
Likewise, it's much more likely that he's ready to make a purchase than to just read generic information.
Plus, rankings for long-tail keywords are way easier to be achieved than for the head terms, even if your blog is still relatively new!
5) Use Keyword Research Tool To Choose a Keyword To Target
It's time for the free keyword research to come to its end and make a final decision.
Don't relax just yet, this is the most important part of the job!
Now, which free keyword tool should you get and is there even such thing?
Actually, there is - a couple of them.
The most popular happens to be Google Keyword Planner Tool Free.
Needless to say, the Keyword Planner is free of charge and it will deliver for your keyword research needs.
Personally, I only trust Jaaxy - the keyword research tool I've been using for years.
You can have it for no cost once you become a member of Wealthy Affiliate by creating a free account.
6) Pick a Keyword To Use
As I've already said, Jaaxy is the front-runner among all of the keyword research tools in my personal experience.
Therefore, that's the tool I'll use to show you how to come up with a final decision about a keyword to target.
Once again, going back to "blog hosting services":
First thing first, the beauty of Jaaxy is how easy is to determine which keyword is your best bet just by looking at the data.
Let me explain how to understand the data you're seeing at the screenshot:
- AVG - the average amount of searches the keyword is getting per month
- Traffic - how much traffic you can expect per month if you rank for that keyword on the first page of the search engines
- QSP - the number of competitive websites trying to rank for the same keyword
- KQI - keyword quality indicator ( you should always aim at the green results)
- SEO - a score that is based on traffic and competition - the higher the score, the better is your chance to rank for the keyword
With all that being said, it's quite simple to realize that you should decide between "best blog hosting services" and "best blog hosting service" for a final keyword.
Both of them have low competition and high SEO scores, and that increases your chance enormously to rank well on Google.
In addition, if you would like to continue the research process for a while longer, Jaaxy will provide you with a brainstorm and related terms sections to help you do that.
And this is it - you can repeat the process with any variation of a keyword you're thinking to write about.
Like it or not, how to do keyword research for blog posts is a process you'll need to master to perfection.
It takes a bit of learning curve and practice, no argument about that.
Still, if you want to turn your blog into a successful online business, you better commit to it.
The sooner, the better!
After all, Google is the biggest source of organic traffic and properly done keyword research will allow you to tap into that.
Do you have any questions about our topic today?
Feel free to drop them in the comments sections and I'll answer them to the best of my ability.