Gone are those days where you can just stuff keywords and rank your website.
Thanks to the intelligent search engine- Google!
The unique smartness of google has brought quality articles worldwide. As a blogger, it is essential to write quality articles. At the same time, you need to understand your audience and try ranking for what they search.
Keyword research helps you in the process of meeting the two ends- writing for readers and optimizing for bots.
In this Ultimate keyword research guide for bloggers, I curated the keyword research specifically for bloggers. So that you can optimize every blog post and build traffic to your blog.
Let’s dive deep in
What is keyword research?
It is the process of finding the “phrases”, “terms”, “queries” that people are asking using a search engine.
We expect the search engine to give the results for our queries on the first page.
As a Blogger, you need to know what your readers are asking via search engines to optimize your blog pages and drive traffic to your blog.
Keyword research is the process of finding valuable keywords that drive targeted traffic to the blog. You can do this by identifying how readers interested in a particular topic finding blogs like yours.
Benefits of Keyword research:
You are looking Answer to a problem. What will you do?
You Google it.
Most of us are always looking for a solution. Our queries maybe
- To understand something
- Find the solution for a problem
- Find a store location
- Buying a product
- comparing two products
We expect Google to give us the solution on the first page of the search results.
Most of us don’t go beyond page 3 when we are looking for an answer.
If you could reach the readers, you can grow your business.
How can you optimise your page for the query that the reader is asking? This is what we call On-page SEO.
Let’s understand is with an example,
You ask a query in google- What is Blogging?
While you are typing, either you might ask a query that you want, or google will help you ask the right questions by suggesting the phrases related to what you are requesting.
Look at the above image. You can find the autosuggestions by google for the question – What is Blogging?
Wondering, How search engines are suggesting?
Search engines like google will keep a log of queries asked by users around the world. When you are typing a specific phrase, it will auto-suggest based on the previous searches by people worldwide.Trying to understand how google works will get you mad, so this guide is an actionable strategy to help you reach a targeted audience and rank your blog. The below image shows how google autosuggestion works,
To simplify, let’s continue
The process of keyword research will help you find the queries asked by users around the world.
If you are building a blogging business or a content marketer, your primary role is to rank your page. In that way, you can drive targeted traffic to your website.
Now let’s find out how many people around have asked for this query-what is blogging?
The image below shows the search volume.
I used a keyword planner for this.
The above data says you can understand that 100k people are looking for a solution to this question.
Let’s dig more,
Let’s find out how many Indians are asking this question on google.
The above image from Google Trends shows that around 58 people have asked this query while writing this keyword research guide.
So you have a handful of data now.
Hope you learnt the importance of keyword research.
Let’s summarise the benefits of keyword research.
- Keyword research helps you to improve your rankings. 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search engines.
- Once you learn the language of your readers, you can easily optimise the pages. Keyword research helps you in finding the language of your readers.
- You can find the untapped long-tail keywords to write.
- You need not spend on ads. Even if you are paying, you can reduce the cost by using the proper keywords.
- You can understand the strategy of your competitors.
Keyword research and SEO:
Say you are a business blogger; you sell things online. It may be an Ebook or a course; if you know how to rank for a particular query, you can sell your products.
Keyword research helps in finding the targeted buyers for your product. This is what we call Inbound Marketing.
This means we are not searching for buyers. Instead, we are making ourselves stronger to let the buyers find us.
“Don’t run behind the buyers; let them find you.”
The below image shows how keyword research incorporates SEO.
Here is a video guide for video learners.
Types of keywords you need to know:
There are various types of keywords. Here I am not going to show the classes based on categories. Instead, I will share what is needed for a blogger to write better blog posts and drive traffic to a blog.
To build organic traffic to your blog, you need to know the core terms in your niche.
If you are into Fashion and Makeup, the core terms are like
- Men’s fashion
- Women’s fashion
- Fashion designer
- Makeup artist
- Makeup products
These are what we call seed keywords. These keywords are the baseline of your niche.
Seed keywords are the most important word that represents your site. In reality, you want to rank for this keyword, but too many places are already ranking. These are the high search volume keywords. Most people are using and searching for this keyword.
They are also called head keywords or short keywords. Which are very general and multi-purpose.
You are in the Parenting niche,
Your core term or seed keyword is “Parenting.”
You want to rank primarily for this primary term, but this, in general, is shared by most websites. The below image from ubersuggest shows the search volume and search difficulty of this term.
Don’t worry. You will understand what search volume is and search difficulty in the next section.
How is this keyword parenting shared by many websites?
Not only parenting blogs are ranking for this keyword.
Ecommerce sites like first cry, Amazon, Flipkart is also ranking for this keyword.
Some new sites covering parenting articles are also ranking.
Online course sites like Udemy is also ranking for this keyword.
Just try checking the search results for this keyword.
Most of the News sites will have a Domain Authority of 90 and above. How do you rank for this keyword, then? That’s where the modifiers get into the picture. You will add modifiers to the seed keyword to niche down your business.
Seed Keyword +Modifier = Business Keyword
This is your first level niche keyword identification. Now let’s compare the search volume of each keyword.
As you see in the above table, the more modifiers I add, the search volume reduces and reach is unique to certain people.
In the next section, you can find how you can identify the seed keywords for your business.
If you are still confused in figuring out your niche, then you must first find it.
If you dig deeper into this seed keyword, you will find that people who are interested in parenting are also interested in
styles of parenting
and also questions like this,
Which parenting style is best?
parenting with love and logic
is parenting hard?
parenting with ADHD
Long-tail keywords are the keywords that have 3 or more words. They are usually more specific. They have low search volume, and it targets the exact readers.
If you are someone selling parenting books, you need to target keywords like
Best parenting books for ADHD
parenting books for toddlers
Buy whole brain child book online, etc
The more specific you are, the higher is your reach, and better is your sales.
Latent semantic keywords are the thematic keywords that are related to your core term or the seed keyword.
If you are a food blogger and Baking is your niche,
then for the core term Baking,
The LSI terms are
bake a bread
bake a cake
These terms are the related topic branches that you can write for. For example,
You can write
How to bake a cake
How to make a bread
10 tips for making Christmas cupcakes etc.
I hope you have an idea of the types of keywords. Now you might have confused about choosing a keyword for your blog post.
I promise, by the end of this post, you will learn how to define keywords for each blog post and rank them.
Stages of Keyword research:
To write excellent blog posts, you need to know what people are looking for.
The first and the best advice is to know your reader. I mean your target audience.
Your seed keyword is more generic and broad, as the name suggests. You are the best and only one who can tell what the one term that you want to rank for is.
If you are in the baking niche,
baking is not the primary term you want to rank for. You need to niche down like,
Cake baking recipe
Cake baking tools
Eggless cake baking, etc.
This is what is the keyword targeting structure. This means adding the exact words to your core terms so that you represent yourself the best.
and still defining your content ideas like
How to bake a chocolate cake?
How to bake a vanilla cake?
How to bake a cupcake without eggs?
10 things you need to bake a cake.
As you see, the more and more questions I add, the more specific it is for the users.
Google is to find solutions for our queries. Your content strategy should cover the most questions in your niche and help people with various solutions. Long-tail keywords are the best way to find them.
For the purpose of this keyword research guide, I divide the whole process into 3 stages.
- Finding the keywords for your blog
- Evaluating the keywords
- Using the keywords in your blog post.
Take some time to understand each stage. Make use of it.
Stage 1: Finding the best keywords:
The most important thing is to define your seed keywords.
Let’s see how you can find your seed keywords.
I will explain this with various niches to get an overall idea about building a content strategy for your blog.
How to find the core terms/seed keywords?
You are best in defining that. You need to know.
- What are you doing? – I am a digital marketing consultant
- What are the products you are selling?- I am selling digital marketing courses
- What words define your business?- Digital marketing expert, digital marketing consultant, digital marketing coach. Primarily teaching and consulting.
The above ones are the examples. You have to know who you are.
Another example in the Baking Niche,
• Who are you? – I am a baking enthusiast. I like to teach Baking.
• What are you doing/ The products you are selling? – I sell cakes and bakery products online.
• What words define your business? Baking classes, Baking mentor, Buy cakes online etc.
The rough estimate of keywords is ready.
Brainstorm a list of topics:
Once you have defined your niche or your business. You need to brainstorm a list of topics in your place.
For the niche “Baking”, the top suggestions are
- Baking a cake
- Baking recipes
- Baking bread
- Baking zucchini
These are the seed keywords to start with.
What to do if I am entirely new to a niche?
Most of the content writers come up with these questions. Yes, I do agree. If you are entirely new to a niche, you can look for the industry thesaurus or dictionary.
- Go to Related words.org and type in the seed term, and you will find out the standard terms associated with it.
You got a handful of terms. Simply staring at the blank screen or writing whatever you know will not give you the desired results.
Make a list of terms you are interested in. I guess that this is for someone who is a food blogger and wants to share baking recipes. So I suggest you list the terms that you already know. I recommend not to record more than 10.
The following way to find your core terms is using related searches from google.
When you type your seed query in google, you can find the related terms in the associated searches column.
For Baking, below are the related searches result.
as I mentioned above, I am assuming someone interested in sharing baking recipes, so when you click on the baking recipes from related searches, you can find more long-tail versions
See the above image; you have a handful of topics. Choose them as you prefer and make a list.
Auto suggestions from Google, Pinterest, Youtube:
Auto suggestions are the phrases that search engines automatically generate.
When I type Baking in google, I see the autosuggestions.
These autosuggestions are based on the location.
You can do the same with Pinterest too.
See, the auto suggestions are entirely different.
When you type in youtube,
I am using only the core term baking. If I use a specific word, baking cake, the search results are more detailed and accurate.
Let’s find the long-tail keywords.
How to find the long tail keywords?
Seed keywords have a high search volume. This means there are a lot of people who are searching for the particular term.
Not everyone is your reader. If you share baking recipes, people looking for recipes will only be interested in your blog.
If someone wants to buy an oven(which is related to Baking), you don’t consider your blog. This way, long-tail keywords help to filter your readers.
Let’s see how you can find the long tail versions for your seed keyword.
Think long-tail versions as the query they type in google. If you know the fundamental questions in your niche, then that is the long tail keyword.
From the above method of autosuggestions from Google, Pinterest and Youtube, if I use a specific keyword, “baking cake”, you can find the below result.
Even this keyword has a high search volume of 135,000 per month.
vanilla sponge cake
how to make vanilla cake
birthday cake designs etc
Let’s still figure out the exact long tail.
Let’s say I want to make a vanilla cake, the autosuggestions from youtube,
See the autosuggestions from youtube; if you can relate to the previous auto suggestions, this one seems much better and valuable.
You can figure out the exact keyword you want.
Note: You can try doing the same autosuggestions test in Google, Pinterest and Bing and make a list of useful long-tail keywords to write a blog post.
In the next stage, I will show you how you can validate the long tail versions and find the untapped keywords where you can rank for.
Using Answer the Public tool:
Another interesting tool is the Answer the public. It takes time if you are looking for autosuggestions from search engines. This tool summarises the queries and consolidates them into an extensive helpful list.
Look at the below image,
These are the queries people are actively looking for answers for. Answer the public is free for 3 searches, and it has a paid version too.
Look at the below image.
This way, you can find a list of topics to write content on. You can fill your content calendar with these questions and start writing content.
Also asked Questions from Google:
Another way to find the long-tail keywords are from the also asked section of google. This gives you data, what people are looking for while searching for a query.
You can either write a new post on each. Or you can write answers to these questions in a blog post.
Google says that people who are looking for cake recipes want Answer to the following questions.
How do you bake a cake step by step?
What are the ingredients used in baking a cake?
Which ingredient makes the cake soft?
What makes a cake moist and fluffy?
When you are writing a blog post on a specific cake, say, for example, vanilla cake. You can include all the questions in your blog post.
Questions from Quora, Reddit, Forums:
Quora is a gold mine for bloggers and content marketers. You can find out what your readers are asking and what the answers they are getting.
Check the below image,
I hope you got a lot of ideas for your content. Make a list of topics found from the above methods. We will be evaluating the keywords in the second stage of keyword research.
Note: Choose as many keywords as you want. You can use the long-tail keywords as the secondary keywords for your blog posts.
Let’s find the LSI keywords.
How to find LSI keywords?
When writing a blog post, you will be already using LSI keywords. To avoid keyword stuffing, Google introduced LSI keywords as a ranking strategy. Until and unless you don’t stuff keywords, you need not worry about the LSI keywords.
Imagine you type a specific query- How to decorate a cake
You open a blog post on the first page, and it has only the pictures with keywords stuffed.
Will you be happy?
That’s why LSI keywords are there. let’s find it with a tool
Using Twin word LSI finder:
Go to Twinword LSI finder and enter the seed keyword, and you will get the words you need to use in your blog post.
Like the below image,
You reached the end of stage 1 of finding the keywords for your blog post.
If you have followed me step by step, you might have a list of keywords in your hand. Let’s evaluate each keyword and find a keyword to write a blog post.
Stage 2: Evaluating the keywords:
There are two basic methods of evaluating the keywords.
- With the list of keywords found in step 1 of this guide
- From the Competitors- I don’t want to overwhelm you with this one. Let’s see how you can find your competitors keyword in a separate blog post.
So we are going with Method 1 of analysing what we have listed.
Before that, you need to know the basic keyword metrics.
Basic Keyword Metrics you need to know:
- Keyword search volume: The number of people searching for a particular keyword in a month. Keywords with high search volume mean there is a lot of demand, and it obviously means that it is difficult to rank for. Keywords with low search volume<50 is like wasting time. They might gain popularity over some time.
- Keyword difficulty: The score ranges from 0-100 for how difficult it is to rank a keyword. You have to aim for low difficulty keywords. If the keyword difficulty is above 50, most of the brands are aiming for that particular keyword. If you are a beginner, I don’t recommend fighting with big brands at the beginning. Try ranking for low difficulty keywords, and you can target difficult keywords at a later stage.
- Competition: It is similar to keyword difficulty. It is used in the google keyword planner. Most of the paid tools use the term keyword difficulty, while keyword planner uses the word competition.
- Ad impression share: This is for AD experts.
With the metrics known, do you know why 135,000 people are searching for a particular term? What is their intention behind their search?
Let’s see that so that we can write better blog posts.
Learn to match your keyword with the search intent:
What is search intent?
If you are probably confused with this new term, then here is an example for you,
If you want to buy an oven, what will you type in Google?
It’s likely to enter these keywords:
- Best oven
- Best oven for Baking
- Ovens for baking 2020
- Best Microwave ovens under 20000
- Bosch oven
- IFB oven
Now ask yourself, Why did you enter these keywords? With a motive to buy or find information regarding a particular product?
Am I correct?
This is what we call search intent.
Search intent is the reason behind a search query. So google ranks the related pages for the question.
Look at the image below, search result for one of the search query.
This how Google displays the results for a specific keyword. It matches with the search intent of the keyword.
How can you find the search intent of a keyword?
It is manageable and not overwhelming.
Types of search intent and matching keywords with them:
There are three types of search intent.
Informational – A person is looking for information or knowledge upgrade. Which means they want an immediate answer or a solution for their problem.
What is a blog post?
How to write an article?
Indian president name
CSK vs SRH ( Every Indian knows this abbreviation! and we use this a lot many times)
The above keywords have a purity of knowing something. This is called informational search intent. You can check the results for these keywords will be article pages. Sometimes, google displays the Answer in the search results page itself
Navigational – A person is trying to reach a site. They know what they want, instead of copying paste the complete site address. He/she is trying to enter the site name.
iPhone 12 purple Flipkart
The above keywords have a search intent of going to a known destination.
The results will be the product pages.
Look at the microwave example I have shown.
Transactional- When someone is trying to buy something, they do research by comparing products. These searches are purely transactional.
buy iPhone 12 purple online
buy microwave oven
These keywords are to buy something, and Google will display only the product pages.
Now let’s match the keywords with the search intent:
As a blogger, you need to reach your content for most of the informational searches. If you are selling some digital products or courses, you need to rank for navigational and transactional keywords.
You have a good idea of matching the keywords with the search intent. When writing content, make sure you compare it with the search intent of the user. With these idea about the blog post you can choose the type of blog post you want to write.
Use Google keyword planner to evaluate the keywords:
By now, you might have a list of keywords to write for. Let’s evaluate the keywords and find the best keyword to rank for.
You will evaluate the keyword-based on the following metrics.
- What is the estimated traffic?
- How tough is it to rank for the keyword?
- How many people have searched for the keyword?
- How well can you compete with the ranking sites?
Let’s do that
Step 1: Go to google keyword planner
Step 2: Enter the keywords list you have prepared so far in discover keywords.
Step 3: Refine your search and download the keyword ideas.
Note: I assume this a pure informational search. So entering only the informational keywords from the above list. Look at the image below.
What is our overall goal of keyword research now?
First, You should know why you are doing the keyword research.
If your goal is simply to write a rank for it, refine it. There are already tons of articles available online.
Once you know your goal of writing the blog post, then you can save a lot of time in writing the blog post.
Your goals can be
- Building your brand awareness
- Educate your audience
- Showcase your product
- Get leads for your service.
The best keywords for small sites or beginner sites –
Go for high search volume and low competition keywords. When you are just starting, you need to rank for the common competition keywords. Later on, you can shift your focus to medium and high competition keywords. In the above image, I highlighted the keywords with low competition and high search volume.
Figure out the primary and secondary keywords for your blog post. Now your final list of keywords is ready!
Let’s see how you can use them in blog posts.
Stage 3: Using Keywords in a blog post:
Most people want to know the on-page optimization. But the real effort of on-page SEO comes with efficient keyword research. Only when you have chosen the right keywords you can use them in your blog posts effectively.
When the final list of keywords is ready, you need to write an online for your blog post. In this detailed guide on writing a blog post, I explained how you can write an epic blog post.
Primary keyword optimisation
Now the primary keyword is your target keyword.
The primary keyword must be used in
- The title of the page – H1 tag
- In the URL of the page
- In the first paragraph of the content
- In one of your subheadings – H2 tag
- In the alt tag of an image
- In the meta description
You can easily do this with your SEO plugin. Let me show you an example.
Using the primary keyword in the title of the page:
When writing headlines, you should consider using your primary keyword. You can check the score of your headline using coschedule headline analyser.
How to optimise the URL and title of the blog post with the primary keyword?
Step 1: Install rank math plugin.
Step 2: After writing an article in the rank math settings, click on the edit snippet.
Step 3: Write the title you want to appear on the search result page. Your display title can be different from the one you want to appear in the search results.
Rewrite the URL of the blog post with the primary keyword and include a primary keyword in the meta description.
This how you can optimise your content with the primary keyword.
Secondary keywords in the content:
Secondary keywords play a role in ranking for the various keyword. A single blog post can rank for multiple keywords. Consider using your secondary keyword all throughout your blog post. This way, you can rank for as many keywords.
With effective keyword research, you can rank your new blog soon. It is all in your hands to ignore this guide or use this to build a better blog. If you are looking for an actionable strategy to build a profitable online business, make keyword research your first step.
Share this with your co-bloggers looking for an actionable keyword research guide. Don’t forget to get my content writing kit.