Keyword Research: How to Increase Blog Traffic

Woman studying keyword research

Keyword Research is the Answer to your Blogging Problems

There is so much information on the internet about how to be a good blogger and you’ve probably read it all. Still, your blog isn’t getting the web traffic you wish it were and you’re not sure what you should try next to get links, increase readers, and make money online?

Every blog talks about the importance of content quality, but too many encourage you to write whatever inspires you in the moment. Sadly, this isn’t always the best way to get new readers. That’s not to say that you should write about something you aren’t passionate about, but the best way to get new subscribers is to think like your readers are thinking. That’s where SEO and, more specifically, keyword research comes in.

What is SEO?

For anyone that might be new to the blogger game, SEO, or search engine optimization, helps you increase your ranking in search results.  That way, when someone with similar interests goes to Google and looks for information, they’ll be more likely to find you.

If you’re feeling ambitious, there’s a book called The Art of SEO that gives a detailed breakdown of the best ways you can improve your search results or check out this guide from Yoast. Many of the points they include are sprinkled throughout “How to blog” posts across the web. They suggest good things like guest blogging and generating good quality content. But one point that is missing from the blogosphere conversation is blog keyword research.

Why Do I Need Keywords?

The SEO gurus who wrote The Art of SEO make a strong statement about keyword research. “Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high-return activities in the search engine marketing field.” Which is why I don’t understand why we don’t talk about it more. Keyword research allows you to get into the mindset of your readers through some of their most intimate data—what they’re asking Google.

There isn’t nearly enough space to talk about all of the keyword research tools that exist, but I will direct you to this top 5 list that is great for beginners. The paid version of SEMRush doesn’t only give you keyword research for your own website, but they let you look under the hood at competing blogs to see what keywords they’re using.

3 Ways to Use Keyword Research for your Blog

There are three big questions that keyword research can help answer and will increase blog traffic to your site:

  1. How to come up with a blog name. There’s a lot of creativity that goes into coming up with a blog name, but a little bit of supplemental research can go a long way to creating a blog that people read.
  2. How to find new blog ideas. Not sure what to write about? Keyword research is a great way to come up with ideas of what your audience is interested in reading.
  3. How to write a better blog post. With a few minutes of research, you can make some small tweaks to an article and get it in front of more people.

How to Come Up with a Blog Name

You’ve decided what you want your blog to focus on—maybe it’s fashion, parenting, cooking, book reviews, you name it. The next step is to think about related words.  Give yourself enough time to really brainstorm creative blog names. But the list could be endless, so recognize that this is only the first step and don’t kill yourself.

Part of this research should include reading blogs and social media pages that are in the same online space. What are they talking about? What do people seem to care about the most? This can narrow down your long list of search items as well as give you new ideas.

Then take your list of words to one or more of the websites listed above and see how they stack up to each other. Are there words that seem to be used in searches more often? Are there related terms you might have missed?

The point of keyword research isn’t to have an uncreative, calculated blog name just to get more subscribers. It’s to eliminate options that aren’t searched for and decrease your blog seo. That way, your creative juices are centered on words that will increase blog traffic. (Helping you meet your goal of blogosphere stardom and a family vacation to Hawaii on blog revenues).

How to Find New Blog Ideas

Writer’s block is real when you have a blog, constantly demanding regular posts with creative, fresh content. Sometimes, as you stare at the empty content calendar, you find yourself completely dry of new ideas. (Or maybe that’s just me.) If you ever find yourself in that situation, keyword research can be your savior.

One of my favorite ways to get ideas is go into Google and start typing and see what autocomplete suggests. Sometimes the results are hilarious. But more often than not, they can reveal questions that I didn’t even know people had within my online space. If a particular option looks promising, click search and see what results pop up. If they’re all from blogs with huge readerships, then it might be a competitive term and not worth your time or effort. But if the results are older posts from less popular blogs, then this search is a prime target that you could capitalize on.

How to Write a Better Blog Post

Are you one of those overachievers who already have their content calendar planned out for the next three months? If you’re wondering how keyword research applies to you, there is still a lot of value it can add to increased blog traffic.

The good news is that you already have a narrow set of keywords to research. Whether you choose Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or any of the other online tools, the key is to identify exactly how the internet is talking about your subject. Is it plural or singular, is it in the form of a question, do they abbreviate or misspell anything? Having a good understanding of how your potential readers talk about your selected post topic can allow you to write in a way that helps Google connect your content to those who want it.

 

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