Whenever I quote a customer for SEO services on their website, I often offer to optimize their blog. Almost always, I’m met with, “Well, it’s just the blog. What does that matter?” You guys, IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! So, if you won't let me do it for you, you're going to have to learn to do it yourself...and that's why I put together this informational post about how to do keyword research for your blog.
While your home page may be set to bring in customers who are searching for “Travel Agents in Wilmington” it’s your regularly updated blog that may get customers who are searching for “Travel Tips for Divorced Couples.” They may read your article and get some inspiration, then bounce out. They may bookmark your page. They may go down your marketing funnel and sign up for your newsletter. Or, (best case scenario!) they may pick up the phone and call you so you can help them book their trip!
Your home page optimization sets a wide net from which to harness new customers. Your blog offers more narrow, specific information for people who need it. Your blog is the place where people can stumble upon your business by accident! Optimize your blog for search if you want to make the most out of your website. Here’s how you do it:
1) Pick a Topic
Easier said than done, right? Sometimes you’ll be inspired when speaking with a new client, or driving in your car, or walking down the street. But sometimes inspiration will NOT strike, no matter how much you want it to. Look, I’ve been a writer for something like 20 years. I totally get it. Sometimes you have no idea what to write about. Here are some places for inspiration.
Google Trends: https://trends.google.com/trends/
Here you can see what topics people are searching for on Google. It’s an awesome place to check the temperature and see what’s going on in the world. Choose from the dropdown arrows on the far right to see what’s going on in your country.
Twitter Moments: https://twitter.com/i/moments?lang=en
Much like Google Trends, Twitter moments will tell you what’s going on in the world right now. Capitalize on holidays, Hollywood gossip, stock market events, and more!
Check your blog comments.
Remember that post you wrote last week about sustainable travel? Remember that one guy who had a specific question about your post? Why not write about his question? Check your comments for inspiration.
If all else fails, perform a Google Search for “how to get inspiration for a blog post” and read some of the creative, informative articles.
2) Search Keyword Volumes
One of my favorite websites is Ubersuggest. I will put in a topic, and it will bring up a variety of keywords and their search volumes on Google.
Some of you more sophisticated folks may have paid programs that help you with this. Ahrefs, MOZ and Word Stream are popular paid services that can help you search keyword volumes.
3) Develop Long-Tail Keywords
While a small blog probably won’t rank for the head keyword of “Travel" or even a longer "Travel Tips” (Rick Steves, The Travel Channel, and Travelocity might have the market cornered there) it may rank for “Travel Tips for Divorced Couples.”
I know this sounds like tech-speak, but don’t tune me out yet! When SEO nerds talk about long-tail keywords, they are imagining a search lizard in their head (okay, maybe I’m the only one who imagines a search lizard). The search lizard is made up of 3 parts. The head, body and tail. Here’s what they’re saying in a nutshell:
- A head term is your main topic: Travel
- A body term is a way to narrow your main topic: Tips
- A tail term is a qualifier: for divorced couples, for the elderly, for toddlers
So, with that, your long-tail keyword is “Travel tips for divorced couples.”
4) Use Google Suggest
You know when you start typing something in to Google and it starts to finish your search for you? This is a good place to see what popular searches are happening on Google!
5) Use Quora
I like Quora because it gives you a variety of questions asked in a variety of different ways. This can help you vary your blog title and differentiate it from the competition.
6) Fill out your Page Title & Meta Description Fields! (Optimize Your Blog for SEO)
You don’t just perform keyword research and type a blog, post it, and grab a martini with your girlfriends. You have to do the gosh-darned SEO work now.
If you have Wordpress you’ve probably downloaded Yoast. If you’re on Squarespace, you’re probably like, "What the hell is Yoast?" But, no matter how you do it, you must optimize your blog post after you’ve written it. Your Title should be about 65 characters. Your meta description about 155. Use our meta description and title tag checker tool to help you stay within these boundaries!
Make sure your keyword phrase “travel tips for divorced couples” appears within your blog post at least twice. And, if you include an image in your blog post (you should!) make sure you title it “travel tips for divorced couples” and include the alt of “travel tips for divorced couples.”
So, sure. This sounds like a heck of a lot of work…but if it leads to more traffic and conversions, it's absolutely worth the time and effort. Plus, once you do it right the first time, you will find it gets easier with every blog you write.
Now sit down, write a blog and get that traffic! And if you need help, get your free consultation from Really Affordable SEO today!