I’m Wendy Young and I help business owners manage their online reputations. This newsletter is all about sharing helpful and practical tips for the business owner who does it all. If you’d like to unsubscribe, the link is at the bottom of the email… but I hope you stick around!
As promised, we’re talking about Keyword Research today. This topic goes hand-in-glove with SEO (so if you missed that issue, you can check it out on my website!). You can’t do effective SEO work without the keyword research.
Why is keyword research important?
The whole purpose behind keyword research is to learn which words and phrases your target audience is using to search for what they need on Google (or other search engines). Using those exact words in your blog posts or on your website allow Google bots to rank you higher in the search engine because you’ve been deemed ‘relevant.’
How do I actually research my keywords?
This is actually quite an intensive process and could easily turn into its own series of newsletters (if you’d like that, let me know!).
At a very high level, there are three steps:
1. Create a list of keyword ideas. This looks like all the products or services you provide and dividing them up into categories that people typically will search for. It needs to address the concerns of your target audience, which means you must KNOW your target audience and understand their ultimate desires.
2. Expanding your list using tools.
There are so many tools that help in this type of research. Some of my favorites are Answer the Public and Moz.com. What they do is actually take your broad topic and break it down into commonly asked questions in the search engine. You can write down those you want to answer and make sure you’re actually placing those questions throughout your text and in the headings. Now you know the exact process of how effective SEO is performed (it’s that simple… I promise).
3. Refine your list with research on your competitors.
While the tools I mentioned above are meant to show you common questions, you’ll want to use other tools to narrow your focus down. This means you’re going to do more research to learn the delicate balance between which words to use. Should you use extremely highly ranked words that are more competitive (which means it will be harder to rank)? Or should you use words that are less competitive but also not searched as much? That is one of the more complicated aspects to running your SEO strategy.
What are some tools used for keyword research?
- Moz Keyword Explorer (10 free searches/month)
- Answer the Public (unlimited daily searches)
- UberSuggest (I respect Neil Patel… authoritative source in SEO world)
- Ahrefs (I’ve used it…it’s massive & pricy. Wouldn’t recommend unless you’re going to be a monster at SEO)
If you want all free(ish) tools, here’s an article that recommends several… but I haven’t used them myself: https://www.wordstream.com/blo…
My encouragement for you
You may be wondering whether I just shot all the SEO experts and freelancers in the foot by sharing our secrets. No. I don’t believe I did. Here’s why.
My favorite thing to tell my children is: “I can’t be an expert in everything.”
The same holds true for you. While I did share the basics, the highlights, the strategy behind SEO… there is so much more information one needs in order to fully activate this important aspect of online business.
Unless you’re willing to put in the hours of work, research, experimentation, and education… you’re still going to want to hire someone like me to do this work for you.
SO…. my encouragement for you is this…
before you write a blog post, spend 15 minutes to explore your topic on one of the tools I mentioned. Learn which questions are being asked in search and then actually answer one or two of those questions within your blog post.