It’s 2020 and just about every business out there needs a blog.
A blog can help boost traffic to important pages on your business site, exposing your business to a wider audience.
It can also help strengthen your brand by establishing your company as industry experts in your chosen niche.
But you need to follow certain techniques to get your blog to work and that’s where the keyword research tips in this post come in.
There are millions of business blogs out there that fail to provide value even after following a consistent schedule and that’s because they’re publishing content nobody wants.
Keyword research, when done right, helps you discover topics your audience is interested in so your content strategy is targeted, and here are a few tips that help you with that:
1. Search Google
There are many keyword research tools out there that help ease the process but before jumping on a tool that helps you rank higher on the SERPs (search engine result pages), you can start on Google.
Google is the largest search engine on the internet and here are a few ways it helps with keyword research:
#1. Searches Related To
When you search on Google, there’s a section at the bottom with searches similar to the original query.
#2. Google Suggest
While typing a keyword into Google’s search bar, the search engine auto-completes your query so it helps you refine your search, you can use this feature when doing keyword research.
When you’re dealing with a keyword with a lot of words in the search query, hit the spacebar after filling out some of the words. Google Suggest auto-completes the result.
These suggestions come directly from Google and it gives you an idea of the kind of searches your audience is making on Google so you can target those keywords.
#3. People Also Ask
This is one of Google’s recent features and one you can use to get variations of a particular seed keyword, they are usually questioning keywords.
Every keyword won’t have a “People also ask” section so they are usually seen on the SERPs for high-competition keywords, it provides you with low-competition variations of those top keywords.
2. Target Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords do not necessarily mean search phrases with a high word count. They’re instead search phrases that are specific and low-competition producing high conversions.
This is why most long-tail keywords have high word counts because the higher the word count, the more specific the search.
The search phrase “car insurance” isn’t a long-tail keyword. It doesn’t fit the definition.
It’s not specific so no one’s sure if the person is searching for temporary or long-term car insurance or the kind of deals the searcher is looking for.
It’s a high-competition keyword so most sites ranking for it will be established car insurance companies, this means your small car insurance blog won’t be able to compete.
And it won’t produce high conversions in terms of clicks to your site because of the variation in search intent so it’ll most likely be a waste of your time targeting that keyword.
But the search phrase “car insurance companies in Denver, Colorado” is a long-tail keyword.
It’s very specific to the city of the buyer, it’s low-competition so companies that don’t service Denver won’t target that keyword and it’ll produce high conversions because most people who search for it are in the buying stage looking for companies in that area.
Here are a few tips you can use to find those long-tail keywords:
#1. Use The Word “For”
The word “For” can be used as a preposition or conjunction but when it serves as the latter connecting two clauses a long-tail keyword can be produced.
Put any head term you want to write on into a keyword tool to get the long-tail variant and include “for” at the end.
The keyword research tool Ubersuggest is used in the above example. SD represents search or SEO difficulty and it’s clear that “tips to increase stamina,” the only keyword without a modifier like “for” is the most-competitive phrase.
You don’t need to stop there. Use Google Autosuggest as explained earlier to get a keyword with even lower competition.
So instead of writing on “tips to increase stamina for running” which is a low-competition keyword, you can instead target those running 1500m which is even lower and more specific.
#2. Use The Allintitle Google Search Operator
There are different operators you can use when searching in Google that help refine your search, the “allintitle” function is one of them.
The most important thing you should look at is the number of results. The allintitle operator produces results of all sites on the internet that have a post with all of the words in that keyword in the title.
This means fewer results point to a low-competition keyword. There’s no definite rule but if you’re targeting long-tail keywords, you generally want to stay away from those with more than 1,000 allintitle results.
Link building has 201,000 allintitle results, that means there are 200,000+ live pages on the internet with that keyword in the title.
That means it’d be a very difficult keyword to rank for so you can use modifiers like “for” and confirm with an allintitle search to get a low-competition variant if you must write on link building.
3. Analyze Search Intent
Google wants to provide the best results available for a particular keyword to the end-user, this means the search results should meet the searcher’s immediate need.
Search intent refers to the motive behind a user typing a particular keyword into the search bar. Google even has a page up on search intent so you know it’s something they look at.
There are different types of search intent but two, in particular, are important to most business blogs, informational intent where informational keywords are used, and commercial intent where commercial keywords are used.
Let’s start with the informational keyword.
They’re keywords that provide information on different parts of your business that generally don’t include you making a sale.
Most posts on your blog will target an informational keyword.
Examples of these keywords are “tips to increase stamina for running,” “how to grow the number of subscribers to your email list” and “techniques to grow traffic to your e-commerce store.”
When a user searches for these keywords, they want results that provide information and Google returns exactly that.
These are the results of a Google search for “techniques to grow traffic to your e-commerce store.”
Only sites providing these specific tips or techniques are featured on the first page so if your digital agency targets that keyword with a post on your traffic growth services, it won’t rank.
Next up is the commercial keyword.
These are keywords that demonstrate buyer intent. People using these keywords either want a little information on a specific product that includes them buying something or are just ready to buy and want direction to an online store or merchant.
Examples of these keywords are “Nike air force,” “car insurance deals Phoenix” and “best electric shavers.”
These are the results Google returns for the keyword “Nike air force.” It’s a commercial keyword because most people searching for that either want to buy one or are comparing specs between variants before buying.
The first four results direct you to the Nike store and as you’d discover when you do keyword research for a while, you should stay off branded keywords if you can.
The results below still direct to other online stores like Amazon, there are no posts on tips to maintain the shoe or how to increase stamina with the shoe because that’d be Google defying the user’s search intent.
The search intent defines the kinds of results produced for a keyword. So, how do you know the search intent for a keyword? You don’t need an app for that, just look at the Google search results.
If you’re dealing with a keyword that looks like a mix of informational and commercial intent, the search results will guide you on the kind of posts Google expects for that keyword.
Every day, thousands or even millions of searches are made by people interested in your niche or the kind of services your business offers. Proper keyword research helps you target these keywords in your posts, giving people what they want, and you can use the tips in this post to help you with that.