Doing keyword research to help my blogs to rank better on Google has completely elevated my blogging journey. By writing content that people are searching the internet for I am able to massively increase my traffic, and therefore my blogging income. I use quite an inexpensive tool to do my keyword research, and spend no more than 2-3 hours on this per month. Here I am going to talk you through my process for doing keyword research. You can use this for both new blog posts and existing blog posts on your blog.
Why search engine traffic is more valuable?
There are many ways that people can get to your blog, however traffic coming from a search engine is going to be the most valuable to you.
This is because when someone searches the internet for something – let's say a gluten free recipe, they are searching because they have an intention to create a gluten free recipe. They come to your blog, read the article and you answer their question by providing them with what they want. They might go on to sign up to your newsletter, click through to other posts or click on your affiliate links.
Whereas if someone is browsing through social media they might see your recipe, and click through, but there is a very big chance that they will never create this recipe, and therefore not sign up to your newsletter, click through to other posts and click on affiliate links.
Therefore, search engine traffic is more valuable. If you display adverts on your blog then you also earn more from search engine traffic.
Of course any traffic to your blog is great, but spending some time working on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) will help to elevate your blog traffic.
My search engine traffic
Here is a screenshot from Google Analytics from my personal finance website showing you how much traffic comes from search engines.
From it you can see that 70% of my traffic comes from organic search (that's search engines) whereas just 5.83% comes from social media. I have over 120,000 social media followers and group members across all of my platforms, so this goes to show just how powerful search engine traffic is.
I have also spent some time over the past year working on my search engine optimisation and you can see the results. I have had a 40% increase in users and sessions to my blog – WOW!
What I use for Keyword research
There are plenty of tools out there, but after Cora from The Mini Millionaire gave a presentation about KeySearch I decided to give it a go.
In my view it is one of the most affordable yet powerful keyword research tools out there.
Keysearch is really simple to use.
I simply head to the ‘Keyword Research' tab and type in my idea into the search bar. I personally target UK traffic for my personal finance blog, but you can of course target different areas.
All I do next is hit on search and wait for the right hand side of the screen to populate.
Once populated I click on ‘check' under ‘score' for any results that aren't displaying a score.
Now that I have my scores it is time to choose keywords that I want to target.
Before starting it is a good idea to have an idea of the volume that you want to target. The volume is roughly how many searches there are for that keyword. It isn't 100% accurate, but the higher the volume the more searches there are.
I know some bloggers who target anything over 10, and some bloggers who won't touch anything under a few thousand.
If you aren't sure what to target then you can take a mixture and see what performs well for you. Getting to number one in Google for a 30 search volume still gives you a fantastic chance to drive traffic and make some money!
From here I look at the score. It follows a basic traffic light system where green means it is easy to rank for, orange is a little harder to rank for and red means there are some big names out there and you probably won't rank very highly for them.
Just a little note here, even if something is red, don't let it put you off writing it if it is really on brand and fits well with your website. Remember you can get traffic from all sorts of places!
From here I just save them onto a spreadsheet. Sometimes there are keywords that are really similar to each other – like the ones above. In this instance I will try to use a few in one blog post instead of writing different blog posts for them.
Batching this task
Keyword research is a task that takes me lots of brain power. I have to be creative to come up with the search terms to search for, and sometimes I keep getting red scores over and over again – the results above were definitely a fluke!
I like to batch this task and do it in a 2-3 hour session when I am feeling creative. The spreadsheet I make with search terms keeps me and my writer going for a month or so.
The great thing is that it really helps with writers' block too – I already have a list of keywords to target when I am writing my posts, meaning I have a list to pick and choose from.
Is keysearch worth the cost?
With Keysearch you can pay monthly or annually, and the price you pay depends on how many searches you want to complete per day.
There are some really expensive alternatives like SEM Rush, but that is way too pricey for my budget. There are some SEM Rush alternatives, and Keysearch is one of my favourites.
The prices start from $17 per month for 200 daily searches (or just over $14 per month if you pay annually). I have the Pro package for 500 daily searches for ease (sometimes I can hit that when I do my batch keyword research). It is still much cheaper than SEM Rush.
If you want to give it a try then I would recommend trying it out for one month, making a massive list of keywords to use for new posts and your existing posts, then spending some time working through the list.