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Keyword Planning for SEO

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Keyword planning your way to page #1 in Google Search

Keyword planning is the first step towards successful SEO and higher search rankings. All the bloggers want to go to one place only, page #1 of Google Search. #SEO #Google… Click To Tweet

What is keyword planning?

Wikipedia defines keyword research as

A practice search engine optimization (SEO) professionals use to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject.

Now that you know what keyword research is, you must be wondering, is it important?

Proper keyword planning and research will increase your site rank in organic searches. Keyword research helps you write content that is tailored to your audience’s needs.  You can easily find areas with high ROI and ignore the ones that are not getting you any traffic. If you want traffic, keyword planning is imperative #SEO #Blogging #RankHigher Click To Tweet

How to do keyword planning?

Step #1: Deliberation

When deliberating on the keywords that you need to target, it is always a good practice to put yourself in the customer’s shoes and imagine the search phrases they would use to reach your website.

Start by identifying broad categories of the niche that you are aiming to target. In my case it is blogging. So here is a list of broad categories that I fished out

  1. Blogging
  2. Blog Traffic
  3. SEO
  4. Social Marketing
  5. WordPress plugins

Step #2: Keyword identification

We have just identified a list of topics that we would like to be searched for. The next step is to find keywords for each of those topics. Keywords are words and phrases typed into search engines by people to find what they are looking for.

Now let us find keywords for a topic we have identified in step 1 e.g. Blogging

  1. How to start a blog
  2. Make money from blog
  3. Create your own blog
  4. Blog hosting
  5. Free blogs

If you are struggling to find keywords on your own, there is an easy way out.

Go to Google.com and type out the broad topic that you have identified in the search box. Scroll to the bottom of the page and Google will show you the related searches for your topic

Google Search Related keywords

Another way is Google suggestions. Start typing your topic in the Google search box and Google will start giving you suggestions some of which can be a great fit for your requirement.

Google Suggestions

I personally use the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool. You can use the keyword planner too by logging in to your Adwords account . Once you have logged in click on Tools and select the Keyword Planner option.

Keyword Planner

Next step is to search for new keywords. Click the option highlighted in the image below

Search Keywords using Google Keywords Planner

Fill in the information as per your requirements. You can tailor the tool to match your exact requirements. You could specify the country of the audience you are interested in, date range and so on.

Keyword planner search keywords

Click on get ideas once done.  You will now be able to see all the keywords related to your search term with volume and all.

Keywords Search Results

You should brainstorm as many keywords as possible for each topic that you have identified. This is however not the final list. The list will be pruned at a later stage in the article.

Step #3: Long Tail keywords

Long Tail Keywords

Now the whole purpose of keyword planning or keyword research is to attract an audience that actually is interested in what you are selling. Blogging as a keyword is very generic in nature and could mean anything like blogging tips, blog hosting sites, blogging platforms and so on. Audience searching for blogging might be too general for your liking.

However “How to increase Blog traffic” is a very specific search term and it means the user is looking for ways to increase traffic to their blog.

Long tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly searched for keywords. These have low search volume but generally a higher conversion rate.

So all said you should have a mix of short as well as long tail keywords in your post. Shorter keywords are easy to find but difficult to convert whereas long tail keywords are harder to find but easy to convert.

Step #4: Scope out the competition

You are not alone in the World Wide Web. Thousands of competitors are out there targeting the same set of customers that you are eyeing.  In such a scenario it may not be a bad idea to find out what keywords your competitor is ranking for.

There are various keyword planning tools to do this (some free and some paid) like SEMRUSH, OpenSIteExplorer, Alexa,Adwords. I like to use Adwords. Here’s how I do it

Identify seo competition

In the Keyword Planner Tool I enter the competitor’s website address and click o get ideas. A similar screen should up

This does mean you should target all the keywords that your rival is ranking for. This however will help you identify gaps if any in your strategy.

Step #5: Narrow your keyword list

Now we have a long list of keywords that we would like to target, but we should trim the list further to get the best results for our work. The way we do that is by sorting the keywords based on search volume and difficulty.

Ask me and I will tell you to sort them by

  1. Competition (low to high)
  2. Search Volume (high to low)
  3. Visitor value (high to low)

I also like to use Google Trends to find out the trend for the selected keywords. Choose keywords that are trending upwards. Below is sample screenshot from the keyword planner tool

You need to monitor your keywords regularly to stay on top of the game. Every quarter is a good enough frequency.

Step #6: Keyword Positioning

Keyword placement is as important as keyword research. Spider bots of search engines look at specific locations in web pages for keyword sniffing.  One thing to note is don’t overly stuff your content with keywords. It is imperative to your success that your keywords are found at the following locations in the page

  1. Article URL and Title
  2. All Headings and Sub-Headings
  3. Meta Content
  4. First and Last Paragraphs
  5. Any Bold or Italicized text

That’s it from me folks. Do subscribe to the blog for more awesome updates. Any queries or suggestions can be mentioned in the comments section below.

Some other articles that you might find useful

Choose Best Domain Name for your blog

Start a Blog in 5 steps

5 mistaeks that could kill your blog

 

 

91 Comments

  1. I am saving this as its such an informative guide! keywords are something I really struggle with on my blog so thank you for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing. I have been trying to learn as much as possible about SEO and it’s hard to find any information about keyword placement so this was great.

    • Google Keyword planner tool cannot be used for free and you need an active adwords campaign. The adwords campaign in itself can be for an almost nothing cost though. If you do not want to spend any money then you can have a look at Google Global Market Finder.

  3. wow, these are amazing tips! I gotta come back to this post later when I have more time to really think about this haha

  4. Such a useful post about SEO! I use Google Keyword Planner as well, but it’s so helpful to have a guide to tell me how exactly it’s supposed to be used. Thanks for sharing:)

  5. SEO is always a tricky concept to get my head around. As a new blog owner, I understand its importance, though. Thanks for a useful, concise post.

  6. Great advice. I can never seem to get the keyword search in Adwords though, it just always tries to sell me ad space and I don’t see any “tools” selection. Love the idea of using the related searches part for inspiration.

  7. I’ve read many confusing articles about seo. Yours is quite simple and straightforward. I especially love the big about keyword placement,that’s quite new to me. Thank you

  8. This is fabulous, thank you! I’ve added it to my favorites to go back and read it again. I feel like i don’t understand SEO, yet it is such a simple and effective tool. Marketing is not my thing but it is so important in the development of personal branding and blog promotion I think.

  9. These are some great tips! I like how you broke everything down so easily. I’m new to SEO so I’m just learning about it. I need to figure out how to take advantage of Adwords. I haven’t had time to play around with these yet. You made things easy to understand. Thanks!

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