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I bet you have spent sooo long trying to figure out keyword research, am I right? Well, I have decided to get everything you need to know down into one post for you! You can do Keyword Research for SEO for free!
I know when I was doing research on how to rank on google, I was going all over the place and spent days and days trying to figure out what to do. So I thought it best if I put all my knowledge down into a blog post for you.
Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on keyword research. This is just what works best for me. I hope it can work for you too.
I currently don’t spend anything on keyword research tools as I don’t have the funds to do so. However, I have heard great things from many paid tools that I will mention later.
PIN THIS FOR LATER THIS MIGHT BE A LONG ONE!
How to do Keyword Research for SEO for free: Overview
- What is keyword research – Understand your reader
- Why are keywords important
- Keyword Research Resources you can use:
- How to research keywords: strategy
- 1: write down a list of topics
- 2: Add umbrella topics (Answer the public)
- 3: Google related terms
- 4: Look at competitors
- 5: Cut down your list (Google AdWords Keyword Planner)
- 6: What to do with the finalised keyword
- What NOT to do with your keyword
- Bonus Tip: Outrank your close competitors
What is keyword research
When I first started blogging I was turning out blog post after blog post with no keyword research whatsever!
The first thing you need to do is become self-hosted if you aren’t already!
I use Hostinger, I currently only pay £0.99 a month and I got a 3 year deal.
Hostinger is the cheapest web host I have found that offer amazing 24/7 hour support and helped me the whole way through the process of starting up my self-hosted website.
If you need any help with becoming self-hosted then please let me know! Becoming self-hosted means that you can work on your SEO which is what keyword research is all about.
I feel like this is a common occurrence for new bloggers. When I started my blog I remember doing so much research. I thought I knew it all but there is just so much to grasp. Learning about how to set up my blog along with learning how to use Pinterest for traffic. Let alone having to learn all about SEO.
Your keyword is the word you want to include throughout your post and rank for.
I am still constantly learning new things and I love it!
Keyword research is all about understanding your reader. You need to know a little about SEO and about DA and then you can get stuck into keyword research.
The aim of keyword research
Keyword research is where you use google and multiple other tools to find a keyword that your website can rank for on google. You must try and attract the right people which is why you need to do your research.
Picking a keyword is all about your judgement really. You can use stats as well but ultimately it is based on whether you can outrank the other websites. Whether you have enough knowledge to use the keyword appropriately.
Understand your reader
You need to understand you reader and the language that they use. This is key because you want to use the words they use so that they can find your blog posts. You don’t have to base your keyword around this but definitely take it into consideration.
You can do this by simply emailing your subscribers to see what they would like help with and use the words they use. Another good thing to do is to ask your readers on social media. So put up a poll on Twitter or Instagram and see what something they want to read about or see the type of words they use.
If you wanted to go deeper into this, you can use Answer the public. For example, if I wanted to write a post on ‘chocolate muffins’ then I would search this term:
You are then presented with a spider diagram of all the possible things people search for. This means you can use the same language they use so you will show up in their searches. You can also download this as a CSV so that you can see the option more clearly in excel.
Why are keywords important
Getting the right keyword is so important. It will make all the different if you can rank or not.
You cannot pick just any word.
If you manage to rank on google then this could mean endless opportunities for you. Your traffic will be constant. You could even try and monetise your blog by putting affiliate links on that specific page. Once you have got the viewer on your page then you can try and keep them on your website.
You need to pick a keyword that is in your ability to rank with. You can’t compare with the big brands and companies so you need to choose less popular keywords.
Examples of ranking blog posts:
All of these posts use the keyword in the URL, the page title and the meta description. They also use the keyword throughout the post.
- Joanna from Opposable Thumbs Blog ranks on the first page of google for the keyword ‘How to make iced coffee in a Nutribullet‘. As you can see below, she ranks even higher than the Nutribullet website itself which is awesome! The post is around 400 words long and has lots of fab pictures.
- Mariam from Boss babe Chronicles ranks for the keyword ‘The Ultimate Girl Boss Playlist‘. She ranks right under the SERPS box. This post is around 300/ 400 words long.
- Kyra from Love Kyra ranks for ‘PMD vs Foreo‘. This post is around 900-1000 words long. She ranks as the snippet for this keyword!
- Finally, Kelly from Until another day ranks for the keyword ‘Elemis Pro-Collagen Oxygenating Night Cream Review‘. This post has 500+ words.
Keyword Research Resources you can use:
Ubersuggest – Free
SEMrush – Paid
Google Keyword Planner – Free
Jaaxy – Paid
Moz keyword tool – free or paid version
Keyword Tool.Io – Free
Answer the Public – Free
Step 1: write down a list of topics
So I am going to go through the exact process I take when researching keywords:
I firstly write down some blog post ideas. So say I start with the idea of ‘First-month blogging tasks’.
Step 2: Add umbrella topics (Answer the public)
As I mentioned earlier, the next thing you can do is optional. You may be able to get a better understanding of your reader. So I am going to type ‘First-month blogging tasks’ into Answer the Public.
“What are the tasks for your first-month blogging” was a question that came up. So this could be a good title that uses yours keyword.
So you should now have a main topic and then lots of related keywords that are about this topic.
TIP: Longer keywords are better because people are usually searching for longer phrases.
Step 3: Google related terms
For this you will need to download a keyword tool, I use Ubersuggest and the Ubersuggest extension.
When you google your keywords, you can find other keywords that may be helpful. The reason you should be googling them is because then you can find the words that people are using. You can look at what else shows up in the search bar. If you have downloaded the chrome extension then you can see what the average competition is:
You can then also use a keyword tool. For example, if I type ‘blogging tasks’ to Ubersuggest, it comes up with other ideas that may be easier to rank for. It also tells you how competitive the keywords are. Again it shows you what the average competition is and what their DA score is.
Step 4: Look at competitors
The Moz extension is great for seeing the DA scores of the websites you are up against. This means you can compare against your DA and decided whether you can outrank them.
As you can see below…
For example. if I used the keyword ‘Keyword Research for SEO for free’ I know I am not going to rank on google because the websites on the first page all have a domain of 80+. These websites are my competitors. But there’s really no competition at all as I cannot out rank these websites. Google trusts them highly. I am purely writing this post for me returning blog visitors.
(The keyword tools do show different DA’s but I go off the Moz scores.)
Step 5: Cut down your list
So you should have done your research on a couple of keywords for one of your blog topics. Decide which one you would be able to rank for.
Finalise the keyword you have by picking the keyword that is easier to rank for based off the competition you found.
Step 6: What to do with the finalised keyword
Your final keyword should now by used in your blog post in the:
- First sentence
- Meta description
- Photo Titles
- Photo Alt Tags
- Throughout the post – but not too much, only when it is natural
What NOT to do with your keyword
Do not keyword stuff. This used to be acceptable before Google updated its algorithm. But now it is just seen as spammy. Google wants your post to be natural. It will make it hard to read for your users and they won’t want to return.
There is no point in spending your time writing a blog post with a keyword that it too competitive. As I mentioned earlier, you have to do you research on whether you will be able to rank for that keyword.
Don’t get upset if you thought you found a perfect keyword but you haven’t ranked for it. Things take time. There may be a reason why google can’t find your post to index it. Even if everything as fine, there is always a chance to get another post ranking. Also remember that these things don’t happen overnight. You will have to wait a while.
Bonus Tip: Outrank your close competitors
A cheeky thing you can do is suss out what keywords your close competitors are ranking for. Then you can write more words with more facts and pictures and try and out rank them.
Make sure you find another website/ blog that speaks about the same topics as you and that has a similar domain. A great website to use is Spyfu. You can see exactly what your competitors are ranking for.
Conclusion: Keyword Research for SEO for free
Thank you for reading my post on how to do Keyword Research for SEO for free. I hope my methods are useful for you!
Remember to update your old blog posts if you have not done keyword research for them!
Remember: you want instantly rank as soon as you upload a post, it will take some time. It can take up to 6 months or even a year before Google ranks you.
If you use any other keyword research tools that you recommend, then let me know! I am always looking for new things to try out.
About the Author
My name is Amber Page and I created my blog, The Unpredicted Page. I write about life advice, healthy living and the blogging tips I find as I go. If you want to find out more you can check out my about me page.
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