Keyword usage can be tricky and possibly a little overwhelming for those who haven’t learned. Learning how keywords work, how keyword research is done, how keywords affect SEO, and what keyword tools and planners help with the process is a skill you can perfect over time and make a constant habit when writing blog posts.
We’re going to show you some of the best keyword research tips and keyword planners to optimize your blog and come out on top!
Using Keywords to Increase Website Traffic
What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a word or phrase that people commonly search on search engines. So, if you’re writing a blog post about shoes, some commonly searched keywords might be Nike, Gucci, comfortable hiking shoes, comfortable high-heels, etc.
Strategically using keywords will help you rank higher in Google and increase your blog traffic like crazy! But remember, it takes time. You can’t make a few changes to your blog post and expect these big results to happen over time. SEO is a long game, but it’s worth it!
Successful bloggers like Kait will tell you that it’s something she wished she’d spent time on from the beginning. Now, after spending hours and a lot of money hiring help to go back and correct old blog posts, she’s reaching over 100,000 page views a month!
If you’re going to use keywords, you have to actually blog about them
Don’t just throw random keywords in there and hope something sticks. Use keywords that strategically match the topic you’re blogging about if you want people to trust your writing and come back for more. Write for your audience, but write strategically for Google as well.
Strategic use of keywords
Strategic use of keywords will come from the keyword research you’re going to do. We have some awesome keyword planners to show you in a little bit, so stick around!
Brainstorm and ask questions
What is your blog post about and what would someone typically Google to find it?
For example: If you were going to write a blog post about how you got your house ready for market you might want to ask yourself questions like:
Who is searching for this? How are they searching for this topic?
What words do they use? What questions are they asking? Why are they searching for this?
Are they ready to sell their house immediately or are they just doing research for the future? (You can see how this topic could turn into multiple posts! That will happen a lot when you’re doing research so keep your notebook handy!)
Using Google for Keyword Research
Type in those keywords you’ve come up with initially and then scroll to the bottom to see “Searches related to your keywords here” - there you’re going to find more ideas and be able to hone in on the keywords you want to use or be able to use some of those other searched items within your blog post.
(We’ll show you more keyword tools in a little bit so you can dig even deeper!)
Long-tail keywords are phrases that are composed of 3 or more words
For example, which of the following blog post titles do you think wouldn’t rank as high as the other?
"How to start a profitable blog" vs. "Blogging"
If you answered “Blogging” you’d be correct! Since long-tail keywords are more specific on what the person is searching for, your blog post will be more likely to rank higher when you get more specific. Whereas if someone is just searching “blogging” in general, they’re going to come up with a ton of search results that will give all sorts of information (that may not be what they’re wanting to find).
- Google Keyword Planner
- It's free!
- Yes, you’ll need to set up an “ad account” for this, but you don’t have to run ads, don’t worry! This is one of our favorite places to do research on keywords and see what we’re more likely to be found for while searching.
- In order to access the keyword planner without setting up a campaign, click the bottom text once you’re logged in to switch to expert mode. Then, on the next couple of pages click create account without a campaign. That will take you into where you can see the planner! Just click tools and then “Keyword Planner.”
- Google Trends
- We love using Google Trends to see what is trending in relation to our blog topic, where it’s trending, and the interest in the keyword or phrase over time. It’s free to use and super helpful when doing your research.
- When using this, you can see what keywords are doing the best and which aren’t doing so well. Once you find out all of the keywords you want to include in your post, make a list. Then, while writing you can disperse them throughout the post for Google to pick up on.
- Keywords Everywhere
- Keywords Everywhere is a plugin that allows you to search for anything on Google and see all of the related keywords that people are also searching for about that subject. It shows up right on your Google page so you can browse all of the commonly searched terms and include them in your post.
- Pay per word for searches.
- MOZ Keyword Explorer
- 10 free searches per month, then pay after that. This is an investment if you start to pay, but will give you great information in keyword research.
- MOZ is one of the leading experts in SEO, so definitely check out their tools.
- If you want to make an investment, this is another option we recommend going with!
SEO takes time and effort, but if you’re willing to put it in, you can come out on top with Google and your readers. Put that time in and see how your page views and blog traffic will explode. For some tips on how to improve your SEO, check out Better SEO in 9 Steps!