When you're starting a blog, one of the most important things you can do for your website is to use keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that people might use when they're looking for information on a particular topic. By using keywords in your blog posts, you can improve your website's search engine ranking and help bring more traffic. But how to find keywords for your blog exactly?
In this article, we will discuss what keywords are and why they're so important for SEO. We'll also give you some tips on how to choose the best keywords for your blog and how to use them effectively. Let's get started!
To put it simply, keywords are the words and phrases that you include in your blog post to help people find your content online. Those are the same keywords you hope potential visitors will enter into their search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo.
It can be short (one or two words) or quite long (a full sentence/question) depending on the type of information sought. For example, if I enter ¨How to make French toast?¨ into Google, here are the results I find :
When it comes to on-site SEO, there are two main types of keywords you are going to use to create a blog :
For example, if you are writing a blog post entitled ¨Top 10 of The Best French Pastries In Paris¨, your primary keyword could be ¨Best French Pastries in Paris¨
For example, your related keywords could be : ¨Popular French Pastries¨ or ¨Patisseries in Paris¨. Each page should have at least 2 to 3 secondary keywords.
A good keyword will help you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP), meaning that your blog will show up closer to the top of the list when someone searches for a particular topic.
But it's not just about traffic. Keywords are important for SEO (search engine optimization)because they indicate to Google and other search engines what your post is about.
When you include keywords in your title, meta description, and throughout the text, you are telling Google that your blog is relevant to those keywords. And when Google thinks your blog is relevant to certain keywords, it will rank it higher in its search engine results pages.
In other words, keywords are important for both SEO and driving traffic to your blog. By including keywords in your posts, you can make sure that potential readers can easily find your content through search engines.
There are a few things you need to consider when choosing keywords you are going to use for your blog post optimization:
1 - Relevancy
Although it sounds obvious, make sure the keywords you choose are relevant to your topic.
Let's imagine you are a food blogger writing blogs with recipes to promote cooking and baking utensils you are selling on your website. If you are writing about French toast, stick to the same lexical field.
Don't overdo it either and stuff your article with the same keyword everywhere. Your keyword needs to be consistent and your text natural.
2 - Low Competition
Do some research and make sure that the keywords you want to target have low competition. This means that there is not a lot of other content out there targeting the same keywords.
The length of a keyword varies depending on the competitiveness of the topic. The more popular a keyword is, the more competition you will have in trying to rank for it on search engines. For this reason, you may want to consider using long-tail keywords, which are longer, specific keywords that have less competition and are easier to rank for.
For example, the keyword ¨How to Make French Toast¨ has a very high organic competition in the U.S : 10.59 according to Wordtracker (the lowest the number the less competition for your keyword).
This means you either need an already well-known website with a VERY good article worth ranking high in Google's eyes, or you need to find another, low competition keyword. If you are a beginner blogger who just started a website, changing keyword is your best bet.
A possible alternative of the keyword ¨How to Make French Toast¨would be : ¨How to Cook French Toast¨. The meaning is the same but the search volume is 1667 per month while the competition (3.97) is much lower than the first option.
3 - Monthly Search Volume
Another factor you need to consider is how many people are actually searching for that keyword each month. The higher the monthly search volume, the more traffic you can potentially get from using that keyword.
For example, the keyword ¨How to Make French Toast¨ has a very high number of searches : an average of 216 000 each month according to Wordtracker.
At first, you might think that targeting keywords with the most volume search is the way to go. However, a high search volume implies high competition. What you need to do is define feasible goals depending on your niche or industry and your own competitive power.
When beginning at blogging, I would say the minimum volume to target is 200 searches per month. Avoid aiming for keywords with more search volume than you can handle (no more than 1000) or you won't be able to rank on search engine results pages. Then as your blog grow, you will be able to reevaluate those goals.
4- Reflecting Intent
Finally, make sure to choose keywords that reflect the intent of the searcher. For example, if you are targeting keywords related to recipes, make sure the keywords reflect people who are looking for recipe ideas.
Think about what helpful information you want to give in your blog :
In other words, try to put yourself in the shoes of your readers to find out what words they would search on Google to get the information you are providing in your writing.
Also, I would advise beginner writers to start with informational keywords targeting visitors who are simply looking for information. Starting your first blog posts with commercial keywords targeting people who wants to actively buy a product is much more difficult because there is money at play, hence a higher competition.
What you can do however, is put in your blog post a link to a certain product which is related to your topic.
And remember, keywords that are very specific (long-tail keywords) reflect the intent of the searcher much better than general keywords. For example, ¨French toast recipe¨ is a general keyword that won't lead you anywhere near the first search engine pages. However, a keyword like ¨healthy low-fat French toast recipe¨ has good potential.
Once you have considered all of these factors, it's time to start brainstorming keywords!
Oftentimes, SEO beginner bloggers will start writing a blog right away without really making any keywords research.
However, finding the right keyword for your blog beforehand is the most important part of SEO, because you need this keyword to optimize your work while writing it.
As I mentioned earlier, you want to find a keyword composed of at least 2 words; ideally between 3 and 6 words long.
Here are 6 easy ways to start collecting a few longtail keywords :
One of the best and most efficient ways to find keywords is by using keyword research tools. These tools allow you to enter a word or phrase and give you keywords that are related to your topic.
FreeSeoTools provides you with a simple Long Tail Keyword Suggestion Tool which can give you some idea of popular words commonly associated with your main topic.
Easy tricks to make your main short tail keyword into a long tail one include :
Once you have an idea of which words you are going to use to form your keyphrase, you can get to more advanced research tools like Wordtracker to try out different combinations. Then, you can see which one has the best monthly volume search, with reasonably low competition.
If you have the budget, you can also turn to paid professional tools such as SEMrush or Moz.
There is a thing called ¨autocomplete suggestions¨ in Google, and you want to use it to your advantage. First, choose words you wish to focus on when writing your blog. Then enter them in the Google search bar like this :
Google will provide you with plenty of good suggestions. By the way, this method also works with Youtube.
Google can also provide you with related searches to the topic you are focusing on. Just search your topic on google then have a look at the ¨related searches¨ at the bottom of the page :
When you are conducting keyword research, it is important to look at the "People Also Asked" section in Google. This will give you an idea of what questions people are asking about your topic, thus what important words to include in your blog.
For example, when I type ¨how to make French toast?¨ in google, one of the people also asked questions I get is : ¨Why doesn't my French toast get crispy?¨. Seeing this, a good keyword would be ¨cripsy French toast¨ and a good title ¨How To Make Crispy French Toast¨
Actually, you can even use the people also asked questions directly as your keywords!
Another thing you can do with People Also Asked is create a ¨featured snippet¨bait.
Featured snippets are the small pieces of text that appear at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). They are designed to answer users' questions directly and concisely, without requiring them to click through to a website.
Google extracts featured snippets from websites using algorithms. To increase your chances of Google using your content in featured snippets, try to include in your blog one or two questions from the People Also Asked section as subheadings (H2 or H3). Then give a brief and objective answer below the question (around 60 words).
Another way to find keywords is by looking at your competitors' websites ranking on the first Google results page. Check out their blog posts, what they talk about, and get inspired! (I'm not saying you should copy it, plagiarism is a big no!, But there is nothing wrong by talking about the same things in your own words).
Chances are they are targeting similar keywords as you, so you can try to have a look at that too. Just right-click on a webpage and select ¨View Page Source¨. This will show you the HTML code of the page with the blog's meta description and sometimes meta keywords as well.
For example, here is what you find if you check the page source of our article Plagiarism in Blogging: All You Need to Know :
Google Trends is a free online tool that lets you see where and how often particular keywords have been searched for over time. This is particularly useful when you want to see if a keyword is seasonal.
For example, if you type ¨apple pie recipes¨, Google Trends show you this :
You can see this keywords is especially searched during November and late December. So Google Trends gives you some insight on when this keyword will work best in the year, thus when to post the blog using it to get the most traffic.
Now that you have some good long-tail keywords, it is time to start writing! But how do you use keywords in a blog post?
Well, there are a few different ways you can include keywords throughout your page, starting with your title.
Most of the time, your keyword will be the base of your blog title. It can also be the title itself.
Try to come up with an eye-catching title that will make the reader want to click on it right away. Fo example, a new blogger writing about French pastries could write blogs such as :
For local business wishing to promote their products via blogging, you want to write a few blog posts dedicated to this purpose which include localized keywords targeting users in your particular location.
Use your long-tail keyword in the beginning of your blog (idealy in the first paragraph, meaning the first 100 words). You want Google to instantly recognize your blog is about this keyword.
You also want to use your keywords at least 2 to 8 times throughout the body of your blog post. This includes the headings and subheadings. Make sure to incorporate some variations of your keyword in headings (using H2, H3, H4). This way, people when first scrolling your blog will see the thing or idea they searched on google is visible throughout the text, and start reading the whole thing.
However, don’t make the mistake of overusing them or stuff them where they don't belong. Not only will it make your blog post difficult to read, but you could also get penalized by Google for keyword stuffing. You want to make sure that your keywords are included naturally in the text.
When I say meta-data, I am talking about :
Those are the first information potential readers are going to see on search engine results pages and they need to show exactly what your blog is about :
Your title tag can simply be the title of your blog post. It will appear in blue bold letters on search engine results pages and should not exceed 70 characters.
A meta description is the short summary of a web page that appears below the title tag. This summary is often used to describe the content of a web page to searchers, and can influence how users interact with your website.
The meta description for a blog should be 1-2 sentences long (no more than 160 characters), and it should accurately reflect the content on the page. It's important to make sure that your meta descriptions are unique for each page, as this will help improve your site's SEO.
You can think of it as an "advertisement" for your website - it should be enticing enough to make people want to click through to your page.
When you include images or videos in your blog post, be sure to optimize them by including your keywords in at least one or two of the media files' name. For example, if you’re posting about ¨How to Make Crispy French Toast¨, you could name your main image ¨crispy-french-toast¨.
You can do the same with the image's ALT text. An ALT text or alternative text, is an attribute of an image that allows you to provide a text alternative for people who are visually impaired. This text will be read aloud by a screen reader.
Adding ALT text is important for SEO. It not only makes sure everyone can access your content, but also helps you rank in Google search images. The alternative text should be around 10 to 15 words long (no more than 100 characters) and should describe the image in details.
So, what are keywords in a blog? Simply put, they are the words and phrases that you target to help people find your website. Why are they so important for SEO? Because if you want your website to rank higher in search engine results pages, you need to include the right keywords for each blog you write.
What makes finding good keywords difficult is that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer; the best ones vary depending on your topic, products, who your audience is...
In any case, I hope this article helped demystify keywords a bit and gave you some ideas on how to use them in your blog. Please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to share your own tips on using keywords effectively.