How to choose great keywords for blog posts

Ok, now we all know that the first process you will have to go through when it comes to writing blog posts is to do some keyword research. Well, at least this should be the first process if you are an SEO and if you’re not an SEO, then you should note this down; ALWAYS do keyword research.

The fact of the matter is that even if you are not particularly relying on search engine traffic to get visitors for your website (perhaps you have other methods of getting people to your site such as social media or adwords), why wouldn’t you write blog posts that are highly targetted to what people are looking for?

Doing a little keyword research will mean that eventually, so long as your content is good, you will get at least some organic traffic for your blog posts because you chose them correctly. If you really choose good keywords, you can get organic traffic pretty quickly too, even on relatively new sites.


Use your brain

Now, a lot of people these days want all of the work done for them but really, you still need to use your brain. Actually, this is the most important part. Before you can start investigating whether keywords are good or not, you actually have to have an idea what you are going to write about.

If you are running your own blog that you are passionate about and revolves around a topic that you know a lot about, it should be quite easy to get some ideas. Sure, when we delve further into it, not all of these ideas will be perfect for getting organic search engine traffic but we are sure to be able to find some.

Let’s say that you have a blog about weight loss. You might have a quick think and come up with a few ideas for things that people might be searching for. Let’s say that you come up with “how to lose weight” and a couple of others, you now have a starting point.


Google Keyword Tool

Googles Keyword Tool in Action

A lot of people these days keep telling me how the Google Keyword tool isn’t very reliable and shouldn’t be used to try and find ideas for blog posts and other content. I couldn’t disagree more and I really do think that this is the closest tool that us SEO’s have to seeing what people are actually searching for in the real world.

When you have come up with a few ideas as to what to write about, I’d recommend putting it into the Google Keyword Tool to see what the search volumes are like. Yes, I admit that these are not always accurate but like I said, they are a decent representation of keywords and definitely a good place to start.

Google will actually recommend a number of other keywords for you and it will give you a lot of other information too. It will tell you how competitive the keyword is on the AdWords system and also, the search trends. Now, this is an area of the Google Keyword Tool that is extremely useful as you can see if people are searching for a particular term more and more, or less and less. If you have a news website, this is an extremely useful tool.


Google the Keyword

Once you have a couple of ideas for keywords, you should Google them and see what you come up with. Now, an experienced SEO is probably going to be able to tell when a search term will be easy to rank for just from checking out those top results on Google. But if you aren’t experienced, there are a few things that we are looking for.

Take a look at the top 10 results and see what the sites are like. Open them up and see if any of the content is well written and whether it includes the keyword on the page. Check the H1 and H2 tags for the keyword too.

You should also take into account the domains that are coming up. If you are seeing results in the top 10 SERP’s that include things like Wikihow or Wikipedia, then chances are that there isn’t that much competition and with some well written content and a good link building plan, you will soon rank for these keywords.


Dig Deeper

SEOMoz Open Site Explorer Tool - A great tool for SEO.

The more you look into the sites that are appearing in those top 10 search results, the more idea you are going to have whether your site can actually achieve a ranking for those keywords. Use tools like the MozBar from SEOMoz to check out the domain authority and page authority. If these are high, then you might have a bit of a more difficult time ranking for the keywords. However, if your website is higher in these areas than most of the results are, you are going to have an easy time.

Also, if you have a subscription, we highly recommend using the open site explorer from SEOMoz too. This will allow you to see a lot of information about the sites and pages that are ranking including the links and social shares that they have. Again, if you think you can better these links and write better content than is currently on the sites, you’re onto a winner.


Do an allintitle Search

Example of an Allintitle Search on Google.

Again, something that a lot of SEO’s think won’t give you much of an insight into how easy a keyword is to rank for. I disagree and I have ranked a few pages on a new blog of mine through using this method alone. An allintitle search will allow you to see how many pages are indexed that have the exact keyword as the title tag (or in the title tag somewhere).

Of course, you should always be choosing relatively long tail keywords as keywords like “health” are going to bring up millions when you do an allintitle search. A keyword like “how quickly can I get healthy” is likely to have significantly less.



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