Every content creator and every online platform out there seems to be having keywords at their hearts. But why are keywords that important and why should you care? Want to know how to find quality keywords that will help you rank in the top positions of Google search and captivate your readers who will turn into fans and ultimately your customers?
The simple answer is: keywords. The more difficult answer is: also keywords 🙂
What I am trying to say is that keywords and learning how to find quality keywords should not be difficult and is not difficult as long as you follow some simple guidelines.
How Important are Keywords really
If you are a content creator, your goal is to send your message across to your readers or listeners or watchers. Either form of content you create, you want it to reach your audience, engage with your audience and resonate with your audience.
But how do you know what your audience is interested in? By knowing who your audience is and what needs or problems they need to solve. How do you know that? By knowing what they research. By understanding what topics they are interested in. By figuring out what exactly they type in the search bar.
By finding out what keywords and what exact phrases they type in to find out what they want.
If you manage to find out what your audience searches for exactly, you can then create the content they need, help them solve their problem and transform your audience into your followers and customers.
How to find Quality Keywords using Google
So how exactly do you figure out the keywords that will help you get your content in front of your audience?
The easiest way to find keywords is using Google Search bar and its pre-fill function. Have you ever searched for something in Google? Did you notice how it tries to ‘guess’ what you might be searching for?
This ‘guessing’ function of Google can also tell you something else. It also shows what has been searched for already by other users of Google.
Say for example, you would like some inspiration on what to cook for tonight’s dinner. You would like to make potatoes but you have not thought of anything else besides that. Therefore, you start typing in Google: ‘how to cook potatoes’. This is what Google returns:
Now you get all these options on how to cook those potatoes.
Let’s say you are searching for a keyword but you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. You know you would like to write a guide for beginners but you are not yet quite sure what to write about. Here is what Google says:
When searching for quality keywords to create your content, you need to find and choose the right keywords that will help you rank. The better you rank (in the top positions in Google) the more organic traffic you are likely to get and the more readers the more chances for followers and eventually customers.
But how to choose those keywords that will allow you shine on the top results of the first page of Google?
Mastering keywords research – choose like a PRO
When finding and choosing quality keywords, the following need to be kept in mind:
1. Relevant and added value to your business
If for example, you have a blog website or a YouTube channel about gardening, writing about how to learn to play piano will not help you promote your business. That is because Google likes consistency. Google knows what you are usually writing about and will give you credits and authority for generating quality content about you main topic, in this case: gardening.
In my opinion, relevancy and the added value of the keyword are maybe the most important of all the criteria that you need to know. The reason for that is, even say that you target a keyword that is not that great (not so many searches by your audience and has tons of competition), you can still manage to rank with your content. The reason why you can still manage to rank is because in the course of writing your content (specific to your niche) you will naturally use phrases and combinations of words that will rank as well. Therefore, your audience, in the search of relevant content, might still find your content in the search results.
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2. It needs to make sense
The keyword that you choose needs to make sense on its own, separately from any other additional content. You can decide this by saying it out loud, does it make sense to you? Do you use or would you use this combination of words in your daily speech?
If the answer is yes, you have your winner! Otherwise, just keep searching.
3. Sufficient search volume
Let’s assume that you have performed the Google search and have settled on a few keywords that relevant to your niche and the article you are about to write, they all make sense. The hard part is to choose the right keyword from that short list that will help you attract most visitors to your content. But how do you know whether a certain keyword (or topic) has sufficient search volume?
One way to find that out is by using Google Trends.
Getting back to our cooking potatoes topic. Let’s say that you have a cooking website and you would like to write an article about cooking potatoes. You use Google trends to see how much search volume this specific keyword has. Here are the results:
The higher the interest to 100 the better. As you can see with our keyword, the interest has declined over the past 12 months worldwide. You can also increase the time frame or choose you specific region of interest when deciding whether to pursue this keyword further or not.
We can also compare our keyword with another one (from our short list):
Our first keyword ‘how to cook potatoes’ is clearly outperforming our second keyword ‘how to grow potatoes’. There is therefore a clear winner.
You can also scroll down on Google Trends page to related queries section for more inspiration:
Here you can see what keywords are related to the search you have already performed and how much the interest for them has increased. You can also perform a separate search for each of them or compare them with your first keyword.
Do you notice the ‘Breakout’ label in front of the first keyword? Here is what the Google Help button says about that keyword:
Results marked ‘Breakout’ had a tremendous increase, probably because these queries are new and had few (if any) prior searches.
It looks like we found a hidden treasure, doesn’t it? I would certainly recommend targeting one of the Breakout keywords as they would clearly put your content up high in the search results on Google and right in front of your target audience.
Then there is just one last step before we go ahead with our keyword: the competition. How do you know if the market for your keyword is not over saturated with hundreds and thousands of other items of content out there? Let’s find out next.
4. Competition matters and how to befriend it
We have found a Breakout keyword for our article, namely ‘how to cook mince meat with potatoes’. But how do we know how many more articles are out there in Google? Will our new blog post, on a new website, have a chance to rank on the first page of Google search? This is how to find out.
Going back to our Google search bar, we now type our keyword in quotes:
Just look at these results: only 5 other articles in google on our search term. That is great news!
Google has plenty of room for fresh content that it can display on its first page.
As a rule of thumb, you want to go for a keyword that has much search volume and little competition (preferably under 100).
This is it, now we have our winning keyword. We found our keyword just by using the free tolls available in Google:
- Performed a Google search and used the pre-fill function of Google to find inspiration
- Chose a keyword that is relevant to our niche
- Made sure that the phrase on its own made grammatical sense
- Searched for the phrase in Google Trends and ensured sufficient search volume
- Searched the phrase in Google in quotations to see our competition
Now we are ready to write our article. We have our keyword that adds value and is relevant to our online business, we know that people search for it and we know our competition.
How do we then tell Google that that specific keyword is what we are targeting? Stay with me and learn a few more tricks!
Keywords and SEO – Getting it Right
Now that we have our keyword that we want to target, there are a few ways to tell Google that it is that specific keyword that we are trying to rank for. To do that, make sure to:
1. Include the keyword in the title
There are some marketers that suggest including only the keyword in the tile, others indicate that you can add other words after the keyword as well. So for example, say you are targeting the keyword ‘how to cook potatoes’. So you can either name your article: ‘How to cook potatoes’ or ‘How to cook potatoes – full guide for beginners’.
Personally, I go by the length of the keyword. If it is short to medium size (as the example above) I can add some extra words to make my title more captivating and intriguing. If the keyword is medium to long, as our example from above: ‘how to cook mince meat with potatoes’, I would probably leave it as is.
2. Include keyword in the first paragraph(s) of your content
Your targeted keyword should also be included preferable in your first paragraph. If that is not possible (or you have short paragraphs), it can be included in the second one. Then create a thorough content naturally.
That is it! Once your article is published, allow Google some time to find it and rank it in its results.
In the meantime, don’t forget to keep adding awesome content to your website, the more content, the more keywords and the more chances to rank.
A few last thoughts
If a keyword is relevant to your website and will provide value to your business than it is worth considering.
When targeting a longer keyword you are targeting smaller combinations of a search phrase as well. Do not focus on stuffing your content with other keywords. You will rank naturally under other keywords anyway.
Hope you have gained value from this article.
Let me know in the comments below how your journey on researching keywords has been.
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