Building the Perfect Blog Post: Keyword Research | StrongStart.fm – 017

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about keyword research and break it down into a quick process you can do for each type of content that you create.

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This is a part of a series we’re doing that started with episode 15 describing how to become great at every part of online business. That episode talked about taking a big topic, in this case, building the perfect blog post and breaking it down into its component parts.

In episode 16, we covered the first two components, gathering research and statistics. In this episode, we continue with the topic of keyword research. If you recall, our process for taking the component and learning to become great at it is to read the top three resources about the topic, distill what we learn and to processes check list and best practices then determine how much can be automated or outsourced.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • The top 3 free resources for learning about keyword research
  • How to choose seed (starting point) keywords
  • How to find related medium and long tail keywords (and what those terms mean!)
  • How to determine keyword difficulty
  • How to determine keyword opportunity
  • How to figure out keyword return on investment
  • What free tools can be used for keyword research

Action plan:

  1. Review the top 3 resources for keyword research
  2. Download the keyword research checklist
  3. Customize the checklist to suit your needs

Get you free download

Links and resources mentioned in this episode:

https://moz.com/blog/keyword-research-2016-going-beyond-guesswork

https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research

http://backlinko.com/keyword-research

https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner

KeywordTool.io

Soovle.com

Transcript Download

Transcript

Hey everybody, Dave Ziembicki here. Welcome to StrongStart.fm. My mission is to help you design, automate and outsource the technology of your online business. In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about keyword research and break it down into a quick process you can do for each type of content that you create.

This is a part of a series we’re doing that started with episode 15 describing how to become great at every part of online business. That episode talked about taking a big topic, in this case, building the perfect blog post and breaking it down into its component parts.

In episode 16, we covered the first two components, gathering research and statistics. In this episode, we continue with the topic of keyword research. If you recall, our process for taking the component and learning to become great at it is to read the top three resources about the topic, distill what we learn and to processes check list and best practices then determine how much can be automated or outsourced.

Now, remember, when I say, become consistently great at every topic, I don’t mean you personally, I mean your business or brand. That can either be you, an employee, freelancer, a contractor, or a service provider. It basically just means that for that particular topic or any of the topics that we’re talking about, your output has to be great. Whether you’re the one creating that output or not, really depends on the topic and your level of expertise. With that in mind, let’s dig in to keyword research.

As we all know, if no one can find your content then it’s not really helping them or you. As we also know, using the right keywords, the ones that your readers are looking for and that you’ll be able to rank for are going to make a big difference in your search results and traffic to your content.

In the post called Keyword Research: Going Beyond the Guesswork, Moz lists four metrics that determine the best keywords where best is defined as balancing potential traffic with the return on investment or trying to rank for those particular keywords. The four steps that they come up with or four questions are, “How difficult is the keyword to rank for?” So what that means is that if you’re talking about a single word keyword like “podcasting” or “blogging” or, you know, “automobiles”, those are very difficult to rank for.

Basically your page has to have huge authority, your domain has to have huge authority and popularity in order to be able to rank for these really difficult keywords. A lot of people spend too much time trying to rank for something that is very unlikely that they’re never going to be able to rank for. You know, something like “podcasting”, if you go look at the results for that, there’s very high authority sites that show up at the top of the list there. It will take a long time, at least a year type of investment and a lot of dollars and so forth to try and rank for the highly difficult terms.

Later on in the episode, we’ll talk about, well how do you figure out what the difficulty is, what tools can you use for that? Most of them will give you a ranking for the level of difficulty that is expected to be there for the particular keyword. The next question is, how much organic opportunity is there on the particular keyword that you’re looking for? What organic opportunity means is how many people on a monthly basis are actually using that keyword, actually searching Google or Bing or whatever search engine they’re using for that particular keyword?

If you take something like “podcasting” or “blogging” then yeah, people are searching for that quite a bit. If you take a much more obscurer type of keyword, you know, “how to blog for single moms with three kids that live in New Jersey”, then the organic search results for that are going to be quite low, you know? How many people would be typing in that long search phrase? It might only be a handful of people, if any. When Moz talks about organic opportunity, what it’s looking at is well how many people are actually searching for that particular keyword?

Third question is, how important is the keyword to you? Okay, if you’re talking about the main keyword that describes your brand then that’s going to be fairly important. If you’re talking about an individual keyword for a particular blog post, that maybe is a little bit off to the side from the main focus of your brand, then the keyword importance isn’t going to be all that high to you. Why does that matter? Well basically because it’s going to help you determine how much time and money should you invest in trying to rank for that particular keyword.

And then the final question is, which keywords have the most potential? What that means is if you’re narrowing down a list of potential keywords as you’re doing your research, which one of them has the highest potential when you look at all these different combinations of factors? That’s going to be the end sort of metric that you take a look at, the balances, all of the other ones. Now, before we cover the metrics and give an example, let’s talk about what they mean by return on investment.

What that means is that anyone can rank number one in Google for a given keyword but the amount of time, content, outreach, advertising and so on, to build up to a number one will vary wildly depending on the actual keyword that we’re talking about. As an example, right now, I rank number one in Google for the search term, “definitive guide to Facebook Live”. That’s pretty good right? Everybody wants to be the number one result on Google. The only issue is that in any given month on average, that phrase is only searched for about 10 times, globally. That is not all that great right? Awesome to be number one but if only 10 people worldwide are searching for that, then that’s really not doing me very much good is it?

Okay, so how about a more common phrase that someone might search for such as how to Facebook Live? Well that get searched for about 2,900 times a month, that’s much better. But because that is searched for more, my content doesn’t rank near the top for that keyword right now. Okay, if you take just the term “Facebook Live” by itself, 67,000 monthly searches. Now, that’s a lot but obviously even harder to rank for. What you’re looking at there, an example of the factors that we talk about, how difficult is the keyword to rank for? Well, for “definitive guide to Facebook Live”, not very difficult at all.

For the term “how to Facebook Live”, gets a little bit more difficult and if you’re just talking about “Facebook Live” by itself, very difficult. Same thing for organic opportunity you know? For the definitive guide one, only really 10 people searching for that a month, 2,900 for the how to Facebook Live and then 67,000 for just Facebook Live by itself.

And then how important is the keyword to me? Well, that’s a complicated question to answer, right? I put a lot of time into that Definitive Guide to Facebook Live so I do want that to rank, this is one of my epic guides and this is where the challenge with keyword research and SEO in general comes in. It’s not just a matter of some quick SEO tips and suddenly you’re going to start ranking. To really have a page like a definitive guide rank, there’s a huge amount of work that’s required to do that and it’s something that we’ll cover a little bit in this episode and something we’ll cover in a future episodes where we get into SEO and a little bit more depth.

Examples of the work that needs to be done there is thinking about influencer outreach, think about social media campaigns promoting the content. Think about reaching out to other sites that might make a back link to your site, which helps increase your rankings. That’s why a lot of sources that you read will talk about having there be like 30% of the work on a given piece of content is actually creating it and then 70% needs to be on marketing that content. The bottom line on that is it’s going to require more time, effort and cost to rank for the more popular keywords with a more difficult keywords that are out there.

Now in the end, obviously, why do we want to rank for this keywords? Because if we do, if we show up on that first page of search results, we’re going to get a ton of organic traffic to our website if it’s for terms that we’re ranking highly for and where there’s a lot of monthly organic searches for that particular keyword. Now this is where some of the mythology and oversimplification comes in because a lot of sources online will tell you that search traffic is “free”. Obviously if you process what I just said about the difficulty on ranking pages for difficult keywords, you know that SEO is not free. There’s a lot of time and labor and in some cases tooling and advertising required to promote a piece of content enough that it’s going to rank at the top of those results.

In the example that we just ran through with the Facebook Live keywords, there were three different types of keywords in there. You may have heard terms like “long tail keywords” or “head term keywords” or “single word keywords” and things like that. But generally, the keywords break down in a three different types, there’s head keywords or head terms, which are the single label type of ones like just Facebook or Facebook Live, then there’s medium tail keywords like the one that was “how to Facebook Live.

It’s basically a head term plus one or two other terms that narrow up that keyword a little bit but also are still fairly high level. Sot, “How to Facebook Live, how to go live on Facebook, Facebook Live streaming”, those are all examples of medium tail keywords. Then the long tail keywords is one that you hear a lot about because this is the door that you can crack open to start slowly increasing your rankings and starting to rank high for a particular scenarios. As an example, “the definitive guide to Facebook Live” is a long tail keyword. There’s a couple of terms that modify the primary keyword of Facebook and Live.

The reason why long tail keywords are appealing to people is because the difficulty is much lower so as I do, you can rank higher for those quicker. The tradeoff though is that obviously the monthly searches for them are lower as well. One of the big reasons why people put a lot of time into keyword research is because there are occasions where you can find medium and long tail keywords that do have a decent amount of monthly search traffic but don’t have a high level of difficulty.

What that means is you’ve basically found the diamond in the rough, right? You’ve basically found something that people are searching for where Google hasn’t found very good content to serve back to them. That’s generally a very good place to be with your content. It’s also usually, a function of niching or narrowing down your content on this specific topics. While you may be limiting the absolute potential market that you might have by narrowing it down and then ranking higher, you’re actually going to wind up increasing the discoverability of your content.

Even knowing what I just explained, a lot of you are still probably going to be tempted to go after the high level head term keywords or the medium tails that you think are applicable to your brand. One of the things that you need to think about is that yeah, even though a lot of people are searching for those terms, because they’re so broad, you don’t really know what their intent is. So as an example, if that Facebook Live term just by itself sounds interesting, if you’re creating content on that, 67,000 searches a month is quite a bit. The downside though is those search results might include searches for things like “I hate Facebook Live” or “Facebook Live stinks” or things like that.

So if you’re having people that are searching with that term, heading to your content, that’s not going to be a great match. What are the odds they’re going to want to download your lead magnet or join your program or pay for your course? Not very high. That’s why the medium to long tail keywords can be pretty valuable because at that point, usually, the keywords have some form of intent in them. The long tail keyword, “how to go live on Facebook”, you know anybody that’s searching for that is pretty well qualified for content such as mine if it’s my content about Definitive Guide to Facebook Live or my course, Learn Facebook Live Foundation. You know, that’s exactly the keyword that matches up to those particular offerings that I have.

Hopefully if you’re thinking about everything that I’ve talked about so far, you’ll ask, well why did I use Definitive Guide to Facebook Live for my headline. Well, it does include the head term Facebook Live which someday would be something I would like to be able to rank for and then it also has a medium tail keyword embedded in there, guide to Facebook Live, which does get a little bit more search volume. The main thing is because it’s a better title for the post than some of the other combinations if I was trying to pop those keywords in there, I mean, I could have gone with something like How to Go Live on Facebook.

You know, which is a more search for term but It doesn’t really imply anything about the content, you know, with that title. The content could just be a one page article that shows you how to click buttons or it could be 12,000 word, very detailed guide like my content is. The headline, using some of the more searched for terms just doesn’t really indicate what the content is all about. So the main thing is, this game is not necessarily all about just forming your headline, it’s really thinking about the longer term strategy. So in this particular case, there’s more to it than the ranking algorithms obviously than just stuffing a keyword into your headline.

Other factors that we’ll talk about in the next episode where we go deep on headlines that you know, come back to do the headlines, grab attention, do they have a high degree of share ability and so forth. If my headline was just Facebook Live or How to Facebook Live, that would be an example of over optimizing just for search and I would be losing out big time on the share ability or grabbing people’s attention and so forth. While it might show up in the search results, people might not even really click through because the headline is kind of boring or doesn’t really imply the depth of the content that’s there.

The reason I optimized my headline a little bit more for understandability and share ability was because I was doing most of my keyword optimization inside of the content itself. What I mean by that is you know, headlines, the meta description, which is the short snippet that Google puts under your headline in search results. You know, your first paragraph in your body content, all of that stuff are looked at by Google when they crawl your site and when they crawl your post to figure out what keywords you should rank for. Again, it’s not just the headline, it’s basically thinking about that first set of content in there.

So while my headline can be better, the first line of my post is, “You just found all the answers for how to go live on Facebook.” So in the first sentence, I get the other medium tail keyword in there, the “how to go live on Facebook” one. Again, that’s the 2,900 searches per month. Right there, I’m jumping up into a term that is searched for much more organically than maybe my headline and then that “go live on Facebook” term is one that has 14,000 monthly searches. Again, right there in that first sentence, I get a couple of keywords in a natural sounding sentence and that’s really something you need to think about.

The old days of just stuffing a post with tons of keywords and so forth are long gone, this things have to be in there naturally and organically or you know, Google’s algorithm is going to pick up that yeah, you were just trying to blast 15 different keywords into your first paragraph. In my case, that one is in there nicely and organically, it’s also repeated in a reasonable context in the second paragraph and then there’s also a couple of other medium and long term keywords related to the topic of Facebook Live in my first few paragraphs.

As you can see, there’s a lot to just the topic of keyword research and SEO, we’ll go into a lot more detail in SEO in future episodes, but for right now, we’ll just focus a little bit more on the keyword research part and as you can see, there’s a decent amount of work required to pick the right ones that will have the good ROI for you. We’ll break this down into a process now that we know some of the background about the tasks. As we discussed in episode 15, the first step to becoming consistently great in a given topic is finding and reading the top three resources, such as epic posts, books, courses or anything else out there about a given topic. I mainly recommend sticking to post and books to start since the investment is much lower. Once you decide that for a given topic, it’s likely to be something you’re going to do as opposed to automate or outsource, then a course might make sense.

But if it is something that you're going to eventually automate or outsource, you may not want to invest in an expensive course, you really just need to learn about the topic to be able to effectively describe your requirements and then either automate it or outsource it. For the topic of keyword research, there’s three great blog posts out there that I’ll include in the show notes over at strongstart.fm episode 017. The first two are from Moz, one is their keyword research Going Beyond the Guesswork blog post. And then they also have a beginner’s guide to SEO and there’s a keyword research chapter in there.

And then my favorite is on Backlinko from Brian Dean and he has an article called Keyword Research for SEO: The Definitive Guide. All three are great free content resources and then what I used to learn what I needed to know about keyword research. I definitely recommend you take a pretty thorough look through those especially the third one there, Brian Deans because it really provides a huge amount of depth around how to do proper keyword research.

As well as some demonstrations and with lots of screenshots of some of the different tools that we’ll talk about in this episode. Remember, this series is all about putting in place a structured system for making sure that every blog post or any other content you're going to create is perfect by breaking down each step, learning about it and then creating a check list of best practices to refer to every single time. So what I’ve done is review those articles and created a checklist for keyword research that I do before writing any of my blog posts. As always, I’ll include a copy of that checklist over in the show notes at strongstart.fm/017.

Now, it is important to realize that there’s no magic set of keywords that is going to automatically make your content rank high in the search engines. What it takes is the creation of consistently good content on a given topic and a focus page that you intend to try to make rank for that particular keyword or topic. Brian Dean calls those power pages. Power pages have to be very good epic content and there also needs to be other related content on your site pointing to that page in context, meaning those pages themselves have to be pretty good in Google’s eyes.

Basically what you're doing there is you’re accumulating ranking factors on a given topic by writing about it multiple times and then basically focusing most of the ranking signal on your epic piece of content on that power page. That’s about as much as you’re going to be able to do on your own site, after that, you have to earn back links, shares and traffic to that power page in order for it to start ranking. The reason we’re s pending a fair amount of time doing keyword research for a single blog post is for the reason that we’re going to use it on more than on blog post.

What I mean by that is if we’re following up on this example of the topic of podcasting, we may be building up to the point of having some kind of epic or definitive guide to starting a podcast. If we’ve decided that that’s the power page that we’re either writing or that we are going to write in the not too distant future and that’s the focus of where we want our rankings to be then what we’re going to do is create maybe a couple of lead up blog post on that particular topic.

To eventually build up to the point where you’ve got a pretty good amount of content on your site, talking about that topic. Then you can focus on the power page. The whole reason for doing this keyword research and trying to get to a point where we have between say 10 and 15 different keywords that are very relevant to the topic that we want to be creating content about is because we need to be able to be creating content about.

Is because we need to be able to naturally use those keywords in our content across both the lead up post and the power page post that we might be creating. Before we get into the checklist for keyword research, let’s chat for a second about the different tools that are out there that you can potentially use. Fortunately there are many free tools such as the Google Keyword Planner, Google Trends, twoville.com and more that help with keyword research. Beyond that, there are paid tools that make some aspects of keyword research easier but unless you’re really going to be going deep on this topic, you can get pretty far with just the free tools that are out there.

I’ll include a list of the tools over in the show notes at strongstart.fm/017. For now we’ll get into an overview of the keyword research process and then you can access the detailed view of the keyword research process that I use in the check list that is provided in the show notes. Again, I’m assuming that you’ve already chosen your general topic of interest for your audience that you want to be creating content about. The next step is then generating a list of keywords for that topic. Now, if you already create a lot of content in a particular topic area, then you could also use this keyword research process to actually find content to write about.

As an example, you know, in this episode we’ve been going through this example of starting a podcast as maybe the topic that you want to write about. If you’ve already written a lot about that, now, at this point, you might be trying to explore the topic in further detail. the additional keywords that we’ll see in here like best podcasting equipment and what type of equipment do I need to start a podcast, those are all examples of where our keyword research might actually give you ideas for our topics to write about.

Whether you already know your topic or you're going to be doing keyword research to find some topics to write about. The first thing we want to do is get to a point of having five to 10, what I call seed keywords or main keywords that you’re going to use and that’s from there into some of the other options that we’ll talk about. For this we’ll start with the Google keyword planner. If you haven’t already, you need to sign up for a Google ad words account and don’t worry, it’s a free account, you don’t have to start a paid add campaign in order to use the keyword planner.

You just need to sign up over at Google for an ad words account. Now, once you're signed in, you have three options. The first is search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category, the second is get search volume data and trends and the third is multiply keyword list to get new keywords. We’re mainly going to use the first ones, search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category. The user interface of the tools are geared a little bit more towards advertisers but basically what you want to do is just type your topic into the field that’s called “your product or service”.

In this case, you could type in podcast or start a podcast to follow the example that we’ve been doing in this episode. Now, Brian Dean over at Backlinko recommends not putting in a head term that just “podcasting” but rather a more niche starting point like “start a podcast”. That’s basically just going to narrow up the results from the get go and make them a little bit more relevant to what you're trying to do. The next section is called “targeting” and that’s where you basically just enter the country and language that your audience uses. Then the other section, “negative keywords”, you don’t really need to worry about it as it applies mostly to AdWords customers.

The “customize your search” section of the Google key word planner lets you basically narrow up your results by using filters like the minimum monthly search volume and a couple of other attributes. It’s generally a good idea to put some kind of filter on that like maybe a minimum of 200 monthly searches or if your site has higher traffic and you’re going for a more popular keywords, you could raise that up to 500 or a thousand monthly searches at least.

In the keyword option section, just leave that at the default as most of the items in there apply more to AdWords for customers and then once you’ve done that, click the get ideas button to see the list of keywords that Google is going to generate for you. The results page will show the list of keywords related along with the data about the keyword search volume, competition and suggested bid prices, if you’re going to actually run ads to that particular keyword. The results on the left hand side, you can further filter the results using a couple of different selectors that are in the user interface.

In the main results, there are two tabs: keyword ideas and ad group ideas. And while it may not sound like ad group ideas relate to what you're trying to do here, both of this tabs are important and may contain great keywords. If you click on the “ad group” tab, when you click on one of the groups that seems most relevant to you, a list of keywords for that ad group will be displayed along with the relevant search data. As I mentioned, there may well be some great keywords in here so I actually recommend starting in that ad group tab and clicking into a couple of the options that are in there and seeing how the keywords look to you.

Now, in both results panes, what you want to do is start making a list of any of those keywords that are relevant to your topic and then have a good balance of monthly searches, moderate to high competition and low to medium suggested bids. Basically, what you're looking for in there is a sweet spot or the balance between people actually searching for them relatively high competition because here are competition isn’t a bad thing, what that means is that this keywords are actually successful in getting traffic. So if they’re highly competitive, yeah, it might make it a little bit more difficult but you do know that people are searching for them and advertisers are targeting those keywords so that you know that traffic is going to be relevant to the keyword that you're selecting.

Next you want to go back and then do the same thing with the keywords ideas tab and then add any to your list from there that match your criteria. Using podcasting as our topic. Some good seed keywords to type in to Google Keyword Planner are, you know, as I mentioned, “start a podcast” and then in the results, some of the things that pop up are actually pretty interesting. One of the more popular keywords was “how to start a podcast”. Another one that I hadn’t anticipated was “what do I need to start a podcast”, and then some others you might suspect such as “podcast equipment” and so on.

But the general idea is by quickly popping in an relatively niche starting point like “start a podcast”, the results you're getting back are some really interesting keywords that you might well be able to utilize inside of your content. So in this phase, what you want to do is basically get about five to 10 of this keyword suggestions from Google and put them into a spreadsheet or Evernote or some other form of note taking so that you have that list of your seed keywords.

Now, almost by definition since this are showing up in Google keyword planner and since they have a moderate to high competition and low to moderate suggested bids, these are keywords that may be relatively difficult to rank for up front. But again, these are usually the ones that if you’re just starting out or if you don’t have a ton of traffic to your site or a large brand, what you're trying to do is work up to the point where you start ranking for some of these medium tail keywords.

So while you probably won’t be able to rank for “podcast” and you also may not be able to rank quickly for “start a podcast”, you may well be able to rank for some of the medium and longer tail keywords that surround those topics. So the next step in the checklist is to go for a medium and long tail keywords. For this step, you take your seed keywords one by one and search for them in Google. Then at the bottom of the results page in Google, look for the section that’s called “searches related to” whatever your topic is, where your topic will be your keyword.

Those results are basically Google telling you that based on their algorithm, these are keywords that are related to the seed keyword that you entered in the search. From here, you want to add any of the relevant ones that Google is suggesting back to you and basically add them back to your own list. Because later we’re going to look for search volume and other data about those so you want to have them in a list.

Another interesting tip from Brian Dean is to take the ones that Google said were related to your seed keyword and then take those and type them back in to Google and then look at the related searches for that. You’re basically two related searches away from your original keyword or seed keyword but you might find some fairly interesting things in there.

As an example, I took one of the initial seed keywords that I found in Google Keyword Planner which was “what do I need to start a podcast?” I type that into Google and then one of the related searches results or one of the related keywords to use that it suggested is “podcast equipment for beginners”. Following Brian Dean’s advice, if I type that into the Google search bar and click search, all the way at the bottom, the search is related to that keyword came up with the next one, which was podcasting equipment on a budget.

So if you think about that path, I went from “what do I need to start a podcast?” to “Podcast equipment for beginners down to podcasting equipment on a budget.” You went form maybe a medium tail to two long tail keywords and you’re getting fairly niche there which is interesting because if you think about it, you're almost certainly going to be easier to rank for “podcasting equipment on a budget” than the “I need to start a podcast,” keyword.

That’s really the point of the exercise that we’re doing here is to find some of this longer tail keywords so that you can use them directly, get your content ranking for those, and then over time as you build more and more content around the topic, it will start to improve your rankings for all of these related keywords. Basically for this step, take all of your seed keywords, type them in one at a time into Google, look for the searches related to, then take each of those that is relevant and then run that through the same cycle over again and as you do, keep documenting the interesting keywords in your ongoing list. These are going to be some of the ones that we’re going to focus on later.

Now, beyond Google, there’s some other free sites where you can type in your seed keywords and generate additional related keywords. One interesting site that I hadn’t heard of until I read Brian Dean’s keyword research guide is a site called Suval.com. Basically, when you type in a keyword there, it gives you the same related search results but instead of using Google as a source, it’s using Amazon, eBay, Wikipedia, and a few other large sites.

What that means is, if you type in SE keyword like start a podcast, it’s going to show you what each of those different sites algorithms think are searches related to starting a podcast. While Google obviously is king for keyword research, depending on your market and your audience and where your content’s going to go, it might be interesting to look for keywords form some of this other sites and algorithms as well.

Now, in his guide, Brian Dean lists a bunch of other tools but the only other one that I really want to cover here is another site called keywordtool.io, which is also great for generating long tail keywords from seed keywords that you type in. As I mentioned, there’s a number of different tools out there free and paid and you can often spend too much time sort of looking for the perfect tool. I would basically just stick with the free ones from this episode.

The next step in the keyword research process is analysis. At this point, you should have a list of between 10 and 50 keywords. The next step is analyzing them in more detail to get down to a list of five to 10 that you’ll use in your content. To do that, basically we’re going to go back to the Google keyword planner, type in each of those keywords and then review the key metrics like the monthly search volume competitiveness and suggested bid again. Again, what we’re looking for is a set of related medium and long tail keywords that will work naturally with the content topic that you’ve chosen for your blog post.

This step might take a little while and again, when you’re thinking about your content at this point, don’t think about just the single blog post that you’re writing now. Think of it about this as keyword research for a topic that you’re likely to write about multiple times. If I’m working on a topic where I’m pretty sure I’m only going to write about it once and you know, if I’m not targeting it as a piece of epic content or anything like that, if it’s just sort of a run of the mill type of blog post then I’m not going to spend four hours doing keyword research. But for definitive guides, for epic content and these things like power pages that we’re really going to try and have rank then yeah, you definitely are going to want to spend a couple of hours doing this keyword research.

Once you’ve done the analysis and you narrowed it down to the five to 10 keywords that you’re going to utilize in your content, a final step in the process is thinking about usage. Now that we have those keywords for your blog post, when you start writing the post, your'’ going to want to be looking for ways to naturally use those keywords in different places such as the headline, the headings, the opening paragraph and some of the other key locations in the content that you're going to be creating.

We’ll cover this part and some more detail in the next episode where we’re going to talk about headlines and then beyond that, in the future episodes in the series where we get into blog post structure and copywriting and things like that, we’re going to cover in more detail where to actually use this keywords, how to use them naturally and to make sure that you put them in the places where they’re going to have the highest impact, but without taking any risks of over stuffing your articles or your post with keywords and getting any kind of penalty form Google.

So this episode was pretty dense with references and the checklist so I encourage you to head over to the show notes at strongstart.fm/017. For access to the check list and links to all the resources that I’ve mentioned here, I’ll have a bunch in this particular set of show notes so there will be a ton of references for keyword research and I’ll include links to all the tools that we’ve talked about as well as a couple of other ones that we didn’t get to but that are interesting and that you might want to take a look at.

You can put this episode into action by reading the top three resources on the topic of keyword research that I’ll link to, creating your own processes and checklist, and then deciding how much of this you’re going to do, automate, or outsource. There are plenty of outfits out there that will help you with keyword research, SEO, things like that.

Generally, I think this is a skill that’s relatively easy to become good at, at least up to an average or above average level so this is one you can learn pretty quickly, there’s a lot of free tools out there so this might be one to do yourself and then eventually maybe take the first couple of steps and outsource that to a virtual assistant. Basically you could come up with a couple of high level top seed keywords and then outsource the rest to the VA to come back with that list of 30 to 50 plus the associated search data and then from there you can make the final decisions.

With that, I want to thank you for joining me today, If you’ve been enjoying the content here on Strongstart.fm, it would greatly help us out if you could give us a quick positive review over on iTunes. My goal is to help as many people as possible reach their goals.

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3 thoughts on “Building the Perfect Blog Post: Keyword Research | StrongStart.fm – 017

  1. Great episode! Thanks a lot
    Gonna check these tools.
    I also want to hear your opinion on SerpStat for seo. Is it good cheap alternative?

  2. Thanks Simon! I haven’t looked at SerpStat recently. There is a good review here: https://www.martechwiz.com/tools/serpstat-review/ Seems like a decent competitor to AHrefs (which I use) and SEMRush. It also looks like they are good for non-US markets too. Seems like they are lagging in keyword database size compared to those two but that may not be a big deal depending on your market. That main thing is making sure you need a paid tool. If you are doing a lot of SEO, then these can help save a lot of time but if your SEO is just for a few blogs posts or pieces of content per month, the free tools (or free tier of Serpstat or others) might be enough.

  3. Great post, David, but without h2, h3 tags is difficult to read the article.
    Can you also share your opinion about our internal keyword research tool kparser.com?

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