Knowing how to research keywords is one of the key skills for anybody who wants to get their content noticed online.
When I first started out blogging, I would put quite a lot of effort into my content (as it should be), but didn’t know anything about keywords. I thought they were kind of like tags or hashtags that you just filled into a box somewhere.
The content that I spent so long writing ended up getting lost in the nether. As with most stuff published out there, unless you choose titles that people are searching for, it will not be seen by many people. More important than choosing titles that people are searching for though, is choosing content that doesn’t have a lot of competition either.
If there are already 500 pages online with the same (or similar) titles, your nice shiny new site is probably not going to find its way to page one or two of Google for that search term.
Choose a keyword (title) with only a handful of other pages published for it though, and ranking becomes a lot easier.
Right now you might be thinking: “But how on earth do I find these golden keywords? Google always brings back THOUSANDS of results, no matter how obscure a term I type in.”
True, good point! But those results are not your true competition. Google likes to bring back thousands of ‘related’ results, but you’ll soon find that by the time you reach page 10 or so, the results don’t seem very relevant.
Here’s an example:
See what I mean?
So actually, if you were to write a title “How Relevant Are Google Search Results?” You might find yourself ranking higher than page 10 pretty quickly..
Finding Your True Competition
In order to find your true competition, you need to type your search term in quotations, like this:
That will perform an exact match search, where the keyword appears exactly as it does in your search. This might still produce results in the thousands, but that is just Google tricking you again, if you navigate to the final page of Google search results, you’ll find it’s probably only in the hundreds.
To be honest, this is kind of the long way of doing it. It’s much better to use a Keyword Tool (explained later), specially designed to perform this task for you. Not only that, but you’ll be able to see similar search terms and their results listed below. It really is a time saver.
I’ll go into these tools more on the next page, for now, I want to talk about brainstorming ideas and what things to type into these tools in the first place.
You’ve got your site’s topic or niche sorted already. You probably also have an idea of some of the themes or topics you want to talk about. Let’s break them down.
Let me offer you an example (off the top of my head):
Site topic: Playing the guitar
Potential themes: Learning chords, different strumming techniques, using sliders, learning to solo, etc etc
Take one theme: Learning chords.
Break it down: Learning A minor.
So now you’ve got the topic of your next post, what you need to do is find the most suitable keyword. You could come up with “Playing A minor on the guitar” or “How to play A minor on the guitar” or “Learn A minor for guitar” and so on.
By doing research yourself or via a keyword tool like Jaaxy, you will determine which of those titles will be most likely to get ranked well in the search result pages.
Quick tip: Always choose keywords that make sense. Nobody wants to click on “A minor guitar learn play easy” even if it did show up on page 1 (not likely, since Google understands grammar).
Yes, people might type it into a search engine, but they would be expecting to find a result that makes sense.
Other Brainstorming Ideas.
There are lots of ways for you to brainstorm other things to write about:
1. Go to ehow.com and type in your site topic and some of the themes of your site. See what questions people ask and find keywords based on those.
2. Use Google Instant. This is known as the Alphabet Soup technique. There is a great video explaining that here.
3. Go to ubersuggest.org and type in your niche or topic ideas. See what happens!
Remember, any of the keyword ideas that you find in the above techniques will need running through a keyword tool before you use them, so that you can get a gauge of the competition and monthly searches.
Now it’s time to look at those tools themselves. Meet you on page 2.