Keyword research is one of the most important aspects of SEO. This should be the first thing you should look into when you plan to learn how to start a blog. It lays down the foundation of your optimization and you shouldn’t get it wrong. By targeting the right keywords, you can help Google understand what your content is about. This increases the likelihood of popping up your articles in response to a search.
Here are some tips to target the right keywords
Focus on one keyword per article: Focusing only on one keyword helps you laser target your article for that keyword.
The Yoast SEO plugin requires you to choose a focus keyword when you’re publishing content and then makes sure that you use it appropriately in that content.
Understand the user intent: To succeed in Search Engine Optimization , you’ll need to understand user intent and target keywords based on it.
What does “user intent” mean?
Simply put, it refers to what the searcher is looking for and expecting to find when they search for those words in Google.
For example, if you sell cat t-shirts on your blog, you’ll need to rank for keywords such as buy cat t-shirt, purchase cat t-shirt, etc. That way users who are looking to purchase your product will likely see your store.
On the other hand, If you’re an affiliate marketer, you can focus on keywords like best cat t-shirts, compare cat t-shirts, etc.
To read more about keyword research and user intent, check out this guide on choosing the right keywords for organic SEO.
Keyword difficulty is an important metric you need to keep an eye on while choosing a keyword for your blog articles. The higher the keyword difficulty, the more fierce the competition is and the harder it is to rank for.
When choosing keywords, the general rule of thumb is to find the ones that have a decent traffic volume with low competition.
To find keyword difficulty, you can either use a free tool, like AdWords Keyword Tool or a premium tool, such as Ahrefs.
For keyword researching, I prefer Ahrefs because it shows me low-hanging fruit among my keyword ideas that are easy to rank for. It also gives insights into the estimated number of clicks for the keywords.
Ahrefs gives each keyword a difficulty score on a scale of 1 to 100.
For example, Ahrefs tells me that keyword difficulty (KD) is 77 for a keyword link building, which is quite a competitive keyword to rank for. But if you click on the questions tab you will get a list of low KD keywords.
For example, the keyword best link building tools has a KD of 30, which is relatively easy to rank for.
Long Tail keywords are three or four phrase keywords that are very specific to what you’re selling. They are generally easy to rank because of their low competition.
Whenever your potential blog reader uses a highly specific search phrase on Google, they tend to know exactly what they’re looking for. And if you can create content that matches that search intent, you’ll be sure to rank high!
You need to use these keywords in the right places on your content, for example, in title, description, and subheadings of your content.
You can use Ahrefs to find potential long tail keywords. All you have to do is enter your keyword and then on the left panel, click on Questions. It will give you a list of questions / long tail keywords that are being searched related to your keyword.
The other method is to look for related questions on Quora that are being ranked in the top 3 on Google.
If there is a Quora thread being ranked on Google that means the keyword has low competition and it’s easy to rank for.
To find these threads, go to Ahrefs, Site Explorer » Enter Quora.com » Organic keywords » Filter by keywords related to your niche » Filter by positions 3 and under » Sort by volume.
You will find a list of keywords that are being ranked in the top 3 of Google. All you have to do is cover these topics and watch that traffic roll in.
Now that you have a list of keywords that you can target, let’s move on to the on-page optimization section. This is where you will put the keywords you found to good use.