Are your page views stagnant, erratic or non-existent? Mines were too and I could not work out why. I was publishing 2-3 times per week, making at least one pin for each post then shouting from the rooftops about the articles on social media. The problem? It’s your keyword research game. Solution? A solid strategy for searching for keywords which will help you rank on search engines (SERPs) like Google. It’s not magic, it’s strategy, procedure, and technique and I’m going to show you how with two free tools and Keysearch, the affordable keyword competition tool.
Which position do you want to be in? I honestly used to get excited and assume some kind of Harry Potter shizzle had gone down when I noticed one of my articles on Google. I never really understood what that meant though. I was ignorant to the fact that by ranking on Google I would increase the number of people reading my posts which would then make my brand more attractive to my businesses and they would want to pay me.
What are keywords?
Keywords are the main points/topics/themes that you are discussing in your article. It’s the title, story, the message, and the reason you are writing the article.
The problem with finding keywords
Many of us are using keywords we cannot compete for. For example, regardless of how well-written, humorous, or useful your article on ‘Moscow’ is, it is not going to rank. You have to narrow the topic down.
‘What to see in Moscow’ is better but still difficult because lots of content creators before you are already ranking for that term so we want to drill down to a topic even more specific.
‘Moscow landmarks’ is spot on and this is what the industry calls long tail keywords.
These are just examples of keywords, there are tools to help us find more information.
Free keyword research tools
Google recommends is a great starting point for planning your articles. You may want to begin formulating your ideas around some of these suggestions
Combine this addon with Google Recommends and you will get a bit more information about your potential long tail keywords.
The volume section is useful as it tells us how many people are asking Google about your long tail keywords. However, Google Recommends with Keywords Everywhere is limited as it does not identify how competitive the keyword is. This means how successfully are the others on page 1 of Google ranking and does my site have a chance of competing?
Google Recommends/Keywords Everywhere
- Good starting point
- Volume is not specific
- Competitiveness not identified
Moz Keyword Explorer
Moz are the guys who measure our DAs (domain authority). Your DA is formulated by investigating around 40 different criteria and the quality of the links you have linking back to your posts. If your DA is lower than 30 you will find it harder to rank on Google, it’s not impossible, just more of a challenge.
You can check out your domain authority here.
Health warning: I did not start tracking my DA until it was in its 20s (I had no idea what it was!) Concentrate on building your brand, enjoy writing and follow this guide to help improve your DA.
Moz have created a nifty free tool to help you rank on Google through keyword research. It is a step up from Google Recommends/Keywords Everywhere as it not only details your volume but also how competitive those keywords are, the part missing from free keyword research strategy one. It also shows you who you would be competing against and other keywords you might want to consider.
However, it is free and as the saying goes – the devil is in the detail. Moz free website does not tell you much about your competitors (which the paid software, Keysearch does) and the volume is not exact. It also restricts your use and you are going to want to do more keyword research than that when you see how easy it is to do and increase traffic to your website.
Moz Free Keyword Research Tool
- It’s free
- Highlights competitiveness
- Identifies competitors
- Additional keywords
- Volume vague
- Monthly limit
Keysearch: Affordable keyword competition tool
Keysearch is the most popular paid keyword research tool amongst the content creators we network with. It is relatively cheap at $17 per month or $169 for the year.
- For 20% off Keysearch use the code: KSDISC
Keysearch not only fills in flaws that the two free tools above fail on but also offers
- Keyword tracking
- Backlink check
- Google Trends
Keysearch is a website I use every day, not only for new content (I did not publish a new article at all for two months and look at my page view statistics) but also old posts.
How to use Keysearch
1. Type in your keywords into the search bar
2. Choose your location or leave ‘all locations’
3. Hit return
The above image displays the Keysearch information. We can see the following:
- The volume of our long tail keyword ‘Moscow landmarks’ is 1000.
- I am happy with a volume above 100.
- It also states how difficulty the keywords would be for us in terms of competitiveness.
- Red is difficult, amber would be tough and green is possible. Moscow landmarks is a go-gettum green
The goal is to find a keyword that is high in volume but low in difficulty.
- Low DA readers: this is where you may run into difficulty. Aim for under 20 difficulty (they are hard to find unfortunately) and remember to check out section 10 of these techniques to help build your domain authority
- To the left-hand side, a series of variations of our keywords are displayed as well as other keywords we might want to consider such as Moscow parks. You are getting two services for the price of one! BOGOF. In my most popular post, I rank for over 1000 keywords, naturally not on page 1 for them all! I’m not that good
- You can use the ‘filter’ option to refine your search and also the categories at the top such as volume to organise the results better
Bingo, you have your targeted long tail keyword, variations and also other keywords you can potentially rank for. If you think you can nudge out around two of the competitors on page 1 at present (see below) you can hit the export button on the top right-hand corner to download this list of keywords and start writing your great content, answering the questions that potential readers are asking Google.
Checking out the competition
Cast your eyes to the right-hand side table on Keysearch. This is who is currently ranking for the selected keywords. This is where we assess how likely we can elbow into the top slots. Are there sites that you have a higher DA than?
If these sites do not have the keywords in the URL, (meta) description, title and/or they lack links (backlinks from other respectable sites/internal links) then we may be in for a chance of competing to rank on page 1 and even better, top 3 positions of Google. However, if the URLs have the topic name in their URL there is a good chance that Google will see them as more authoritative than us. This is also true for the amount of content you have on your site about one topic (in this case study, Russia). It’s better to write in depth and go wide than write thinly about lots of different topics.
Go on, make traffic happen!
Let us show you how to find keywords, where to put them, how to tell Google they are there and make your old posts bring more traffic. It’s all covered here in our Complete SEO Strategy guidebook. For $27 (+VAT)
Now that you know how to find keywords using the paid tool Keysearch. It is not often I need to recommend paid tools but in all honesty, Keysearch is worth every penny. It is super user friendly (even for a tech-no like me) and I’ve only touched upon its capacity in this guide. Want more?
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