It’s hard to believe there was a time – not that long ago – when you could write a blog post, hit publish and people would read it. In today’s crowded content world, there’s some ground work you need to do before you even start writing. And it’s called keyword research.

In this blog post, we share our keyword research process with you. Do this every time you write a blog and you immediately increase your chances of getting website traffic from the right people.

This blog post forms part of our FREE program: .

So, Week 5 is all about keywords and search terms. But if you’ve missed any of the previous weeks of program blogs, you can access them below:

Week 1: Do This One Thing To Get Your Business Seen Online

Week 2: What Is SEO, Why’s It Important & How Does It Work?

Week 3: Common Reasons Your Website Isn’t Appearing In Search Results

Week 4: Increase Your Website Traffic By Optimising Your Blog

Keyword Research

We introduced keywords and search terms in Week 4’s blog post. (Make sure you have a read of that before we move on.) Here’s where we left off:

“A search term is what your target audience is typing into Google. On-page optimisation is targeting that search term and including it in various key places within the page content and metadata. This then becomes your target or focus keyword.”

So, how do you determine what focus keyword to use for your blog post or website page?

This is where keyword research comes in.

Keyword Research Process

  1. Develop your target persona
  2. Identify what they’re searching for
  3. Research the keyword
  4. Analyse the SERP
  5. Look at keyword suggestions

Now let’s look at this process in detail.

Develop your target persona

Before starting on keyword research, you need to have a good understanding of who you’re trying to target.

This is like marketing 101 and it’s no different when it comes to search engine marketing. So paint as clear a picture as you can of who they are by using our buyer persona tool – or use your best customer as a guide.

Identify what they’re searching for

The keyword needs to be relevant to the content of the page you’re assigning it to. It also needs to be a term your audience is familiar with and likely to type into Google search.

So, ask yourself – or even better, ask your customer – what sort of information are they looking for online?

If you’re a clothing company, do they need advice pairing jackets with pants? Or if you make cleaning products, do your customers need tips on how to tackle dirt on different surfaces?

These FAQs should form the basis of your blog content.

Then from this list of ideas, identify a search term your customer might type into Google. You could go really specific, like “how to remove tomato sauce stain from suede,” or for something broader like “remove stain” – I’d advise trying both in steps 4 and 5 to compare results.

Research the keyword

Type your keyword into free tools like moz.com/explorer and Google AdWords Keyword Planner to check out various data like:

  • How many times in a month it is searched (on average)
  • How difficult it could be to rank highly if you use it
  • What the competition for the keyword is like
  • What you’d expect to pay if you targeted that keyword with advertising

Google Adwords Keyword Planner has moved relatively recently. It’s now located in the dropdown menu from the spanner icon here:

Make sure you select the country you want to target with your keyword. The performance statistics for a keyword here in Australia could be very different to in Canada, for example.

Analyse the SERP

Jargon alert! Ok, what the frick is SERP? Well, it stands for Search Engine Results Page. So it’s basically what shows up when someone types that keyword into a search engine.

So, by all means, type it into Google and see what appears when you hit ‘return’. You could also begin typing it, to see what search term suggestions Google generates for you automatically. That can sometimes produce some interesting insights.

Moz will actually return a SERP Analysis for you.

PA means Page Authority and DA means Domain Authority. So if you’re only just beginning with SEO, my suggestion would be to avoid going up against pages that have high DA and PAs in the SERP.

Ok, no more jargon, I promise! (You’re always welcome to comment below or contact us with questions about anything we mention here.)

Look at keyword suggestions

In most keyword research tools, you’ll be given keyword suggestions based on the original one you entered. Have a look at those. Do any of them more closely match what you’re trying to say? Do they receive more monthly searches than the one you were originally considering? What’s the competition like for those keywords – easier or harder?

If you’re participating in the program, this week we’ll be sharing in our Facebook Group a worksheet to help you organise and keep track of your keywords.

Don’t forget, you can take advantage of our Website Health Check to determine your current visibility in search and identify any SEO issues that need fixing. Click the banner below to get started.

For more business tips and marketing insights, check out our Be The Drop podcast. We release new content each week!

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