If your not using Keyword Discovery your blog posts are potentially missing out on bucket loads of traffic.
If you’re using WordPress, no doubt you’ve installed one or more of the great SEO plugins available today. With barely any knowledge on SEO, these plugins allow even a total newbie to create a post that’s reasonably well optimized for the search engines. While this is great news for those just getting started, if keyword discovery isn’t one of your first steps the rest of your efforts are going to be wasted. And this doesn’t just apply to new people either, as even friends of mine who are seasoned marketers, still skype me with posts optimized for the whackiest keyword phrases! Needless to say they don’t exactly love me when I tell them there is nobody searching for that term…
If you like watching grass grow you’ll be great at keyword discovery!
That heading probably just caused half my readers to run the other way but what the heck, it’s how I felt when I started out! While I absolutely love researching things, when it came to keyword discovery I was a slow learner. I knew it was important, perhaps even critical yet I refused to do it. We all have our own quirky little blocks and that was one of mine. When I finally came to my senses, I realized it was a block that any serious online marketer simply can’t afford and here’s why… You can’t get organic search traffic or make sales from a keyword that nobody is searching for in the first place. I can’t tell you the number of people out there boasting that they rank on page 1 for keywords that have no search volume. They ignorantly dream up a word or phrase and are naively excited that they rank on the first page. If you’re new to keyword research, let me tell you that all page one rankings are not created equal. Before you go trying to rank for anything, you need to establish whether there is currently or soon to be (e.g. in the case of product launches etc) a decent number of people searching for that term.
Google makes keyword discovery easy with their free keyword tool
Before you begin writing your next blog post, your first step is to make friends with Google’s Keyword tool. Once you have an idea of the topic for your post, it’s time to enter the mind-numbing world of keyword discovery. Ok yes there was a hint of sarcasm there but I promise you it’s not as bad as I used to make out it was. Seriously just 5 – 10 minutes will make a huge difference to the traffic you’ll receive over time. Once you’re on the site, just pop in a few keyword ideas to do with the topic or title of your blog post and check the number of people searching for it. In the screenshot below you can see that it shows wordpress seo as having 110,000 searches per month.
In contrast, how to get my blog on page one or how to get my blog to page one of google both return zero search volume. This is a perfect example of what I mean when it comes to all page 1 rankings aren’t created equal!
What is the difference between exact match and broad match?
Broad match: The default setting in the google keyword tool is to return broad match results. Basically it means if I’m looking at the results for keyword discovery and I have broad match ticked, it is going to show me all results that include keyword discovery as part of the term people searched for. E.g. If someone were to type in free keyword discovery tools without quotation marks, the term keyword discovery is still included in those results.
Exact match: On the other hand, if you choose to tick the box for exact match, you’ll notice the volume of results returned will be vastly different. This is because rather than showing you results for keyword discovery as part of what people are searching for, you’re now being shown the results for how many people used that exact term.
A word of warning, google’s keyword tool is not always accurate when it comes to permutations or the rearrangement of words when using the default broad match setting. E.g. If you type in leadership training, you will see it shows the same number of searches for both leadership training & training leadership. Odd hey! This is where broad match can be misleading and why changing to the exact match setting in the keyword tool can be critical.
Just imagine if the keyword tool showed that the term training leadership also had low competition and you wasted months optimizing an entire sales page thinking there were 135,000 people a month eagerly trying to find you. Argh! So the best rule of thumb is if the results look weird, they probably are. Go with what seems logical or do more research.
How will keyword discovery help me sell more products?
If you’re aiming to sell products online, it makes sense that you want to scoop up as much free traffic as you can from people searching for the solution your products offer. And whilst you might think you can get away with not doing any keyword research because your product offers a solution that seems obvious e.g. Leadership Training, how is your site going to compete with the 6 million + results already showing up on google?
Unfortunately unless you have a good handle on seo, you’ll have little hope of scooping up traffic for that search term. And to be honest, I wouldn’t aim to rank for a search term like that in any case as it’s too generic. The term leadership training on it’s own tells me nothing about the solution they are seeking. Do they want to become a better leader at their next fund raiser… Who knows! If they are searching for lose weight fast, are they looking to lose weight before their wedding or are they looking to have their Labrador in shape before their next vet appointment… Once again, who knows! The awesome thing about keyword discovery is it allows you to find the low hanging fruit in an otherwise competitive market. The important part is to use it to find keywords that match the solution your potential buyers are seeking. So in the case of leadership training, you might discover keywords related to becoming more confident. Now instead of trying to optimize your post for a competitive term like “leadership training” (over 6 million + exact matches), you discover that “how to build confidence” has a decent amount of people searching for a solution and only half the competition (3 million + exact matches). Obviously 3 million + isn’t exactly low in terms of competition but my aim is to show you how quickly you can find less competitive (high search volume) phrases by investing a little extra time.
When can I get away with not using keyword discovery for my posts?
There are certain situations when speed of publishing is going to be more important than keyword discovery:
- New brands
- Product launches
- Upcoming celebrities, sports people, authors etc
- Breaking news
- Affiliate launches
- New dilemmas (E.g. How to get Google+invites)
In these cases, while there might not be any search volume right now, you need to get moving fast! This is one of the few times you can get away with ranking highly without any keyword research whatsoever and be rewarded. E.g. You know the name of the product for an affiliate launch or your company just announces the name of a new product. Last time my company announced a new product I had a new blog up and ranking for that exact name within days. So although there couldn’t possibly be any search volume for a product that nobody had heard of, over time the search volume has steadily increased.
Well that wraps this up so I’d love to hear your thoughts or any other tips you have in the comments below… Do you enjoy keyword discovery, find it boring, agree that it’s essential?