How to use keyword research

If you’re wondering how to use keyword research, you probably already have a blog or website and intend to create some content for it. Creating your content in the right way can have a massive impact on whether your site gets found or not on the Google organic search results. Get it wrong and your site won’t be pulling in the traffic needed to make a sustainable business – from the organic results at least. Get it right and you have found a means to get more people to your site on a continuous basis, for free, over and over again.

Google’s Keyword planner is a free tool that anyone with a Google account can use and although the tool has been improved on with many paid for research tools since, it is still worth using to target your articles to the ‘low hanging fruit’. By low hanging fruit, I mean the ‘long tail’ keyword phrases which will get found for free on Googles organic search results.

In comparison, go for the competitive keyword phrases in your niche, and forever be doomed to rank only on the tenth page of the search results for your keywords. This is of course dependent on other variables and if you have a massive authority site with millions of back links to it and a team of content marketers then all very well. You may actually have a chance to rank for the more competitive keywords. However since most would-be marketers aren’t in this boat I’m going to assume that you have a small website you would like to promote for your business.

Here are some examples of short tail keyword phrases:

“trading software”, “make money online”, “dog training equipment”, “Internet business startup”, “start a company”, “find a loan” etc.

Here a some examples of long tail keyword phrases:

“how to use a forex trading platform”, “how to earn a living through blogging”, “how to crate train your puppy”, The best way to build your own startup business”, “advice for small business startups”, “how to get a cheap loan in doncaster”.

Ranking for short keyword phrases is very difficult and if you are blogging in a certain niche you need to be aware of how competitive these phrases are. Articles with short titles like the ones above with three or less keywords in them are very unlikely to rank on the first page of the search results – whichever search engine people are using. However, if you can target longer tail keywords more like the ones in the second list, you will have a greater chance of ranking your articles and getting found through the organic results.

That’s not to say you will rank for these keywords because the longer phrases are still competitive. There are millions of bloggers out there, probably billions, who are creating content and competing for the rankings on Google. Many will give up but some are well established and making their living from the internet.

is blogging worth it

Be better than your competition

Using keyword research is just the beginning. By finding untapped long tail keyword combinations you can find the hidden cracks in the Google organic search results and place your content there – but only if it’s good enough. In fact you should aim to make your content better, longer and more useful than that of your competition. Otherwise, they will get the ranking.

Take a look at your competition

Start with a basic keyword which is relative to your particular niche and plug it in to the Google Keyword Planner. Skip to the last results by clicking through them. This will give you the longer chain keywords which are less competitive. Granted these keywords will have less searches for them than the short tail keywords. However, it is much better to rank on page 1 for a long tail keyword term, than to rank nowhere for a short one!

Once you have found your keyword chain type it into Google and have a look at the top results. These will tell you the standard of the highest ranked article for that particular keyword chain. Make sure you don’t click on the paid results but on the organic ones. I have included a video which explains this better. See below.

Write a better article than the currently ranking one

Now that you have seen what you’re up against, simply write a killer article which is far and above better than the one you have read! There may be several reasons why this particular article ranks highly. Things such as site authority and back links which you maybe cannot compare to with your small site. However, if you make your articles and content better than the competition, people will notice and you will be rewarded in the long run.

Finding an untapped keyword chain

Finding long tail keyword chains which are still relatively untapped is still not all plane sailing. There will still be competition and you may still not rank for these keyword combinations. Getting them out to people through social media accounts will help, and if your articles are good people will naturally link back to them and share them. This is good social proof for the likes of Google and will help you to rank them.

Using keyword research to delve into your chosen topic

Depending on your business niche, you may be able to choose more competitive keyword chains. However the longer tail keyword phrases are probably still better to go for. Have a look at your chosen keyword phrase on Google and put it in “quotes”. You will see a number at the top of the search results which relates to how many pages are competing for these results. The lower this number the more chance you have for ranking your article with this keyword chain. However this is not a definitive test and the actual results will depend on many other variables. This test can however give you an idea of whether it is worth going for a certain keyword term. Less than 10,000 results is ideal and gives you a chance. Below 5000 results and you have a much better chance.

Remove the “quotes” and then look at which articles rank the highest. Again, don’t look at the paid listings. You will know which these are because it will say “ad” next to them. Use the top organic listing to determine the standard which the search engine is using to rank this article first. Then write a better article!

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