Maybe your niche is overwhelmed moms, or parents of rebellious teenagers, or women grieving the losses in their lives. The trick is to figure out what they are looking for on the Internet, and what words they are plugging into the search engines to find it.
And then, when you have several choices, to choose the one that is searched the most but has the least “competition” on the web. The competition is, of course, all those other web pages that are competing with you for attention.
So, for example, when I was creating this post, I knew I wanted to write about keyword research. I also know that “keyword research” as a term is probably not good because it is very general and has a lot of competition — there are a lot of sites that are providing information on that term, and if that was my target word, it would be very hard to get found for it.
So I tentatively titled this post, “SEO Basics – Finding Good Keywords.” But I was surprised to find that “finding good keywords” got substantially fewer searches than just “find keywords,” which is the term I finally chose.
So, how do you find keywords that are just right for you? And then what do you do with them?
Find Keywords by Planning
Well, first of all, you need a plan. Let’s assume you have – or are going to have – a blog. If your blog is part of your marketing plan (and it should be!), then you need to be both intentional and strategic in what you write.
Here’s my suggestion. Take a sheet of paper and print your niche in the middle. Draw a circle around it. Around the outside, write the main areas of concern for people in that niche and draw circles around those, too. The image at the right is an example of what I’m talking about.
Those secondary terms might become your main categories. Then, for each one, you can develop a series of keywords to use. Once you have a set of potential keywords, you should do some research to see if anybody is using them to search for what you are offering.
With a little bit of work, you can make a plan for several weeks or months of posts! So let’s find some keywords, shall we?
Find Keywords Using Google
Once again, Google to the rescue! Google has a free keyword tool that you can use to find how many people are searching and how much competition there is – and it even gives you ideas of other terms to use. Terms that have several words in them are often called “long tail keywords.” They usually have fewer people searching, but they are more targeted.
You can find the keyword tool by searching for “keyword tool” – it will be the first result. Or you can click here to get there. Type two or three related keywords in the box and fill out the captcha (those wonky words) and Google will pull your results for you.
Here is the result of searching for “exercise for weight loss” and “fun ways to exercise.” Google will return 100 results for you, and you can sort by either searches or competition. All of the terms that you see are search terms that people are typing in — you just have to figure out which ones best suit what you offer.
Choosing good keywords is part science and part art — again, you want lots of searches but not much competition. Sometimes there are obvious choices. Sometimes its a trade off.
But the key is to find keywords that relate to what you offer that people are searching for, and then write posts that incorporate those phrases. Exactly.
Next time, we’ll talk about what to do with them when you find keywords that meet the criteria. In the meantime, I’d love to hear how you find keywords — leave me a comment!