Running a blog can be one of the most rewarding experiences on the web; it offers an outlet for expression, creativity and – if it’s handled in the right way – can be a good little money-spinner, but if the traffic figures aren’t what you’re hoping, it can be more than a little disheartening. The same applies whether you blog about sports, video games, or where to find the best cash ISA transfer rates. But worry not – there are many great ways to boost your reader numbers and gain some popularity within your niche. One of the best of these is by using keyword research. If it’s done correctly, you can tap into a source of huge traffic numbers – and give your blog an adrenaline boost of readers. Let’s find out just how it can be done.
Step one: finding your keyword ‘gems’
For all niches there are keywords that people tap into Google all day every day. Some of these have huge competition levels because there are so many articles, posts, and pages that feature those words. Others, though, have lower competition but retain a fairly high search volume. You can find these ‘keyword gems’ by using the free Google Keyword Tool. Tap in your niche, or an example keyword, and the tool will tell you how many people per month search for that phrase. Using this process, you can find keywords or phrases that have a high number of searches (1000 or more, for example), but still fall into the ‘Low’ category for competition. This magical combo should mean that you can create a post targeted at that keyword which should have a much better chance of ranking highly in the search results.
Step two: create your targeted content
Once you’ve found your keyword ‘gems’ (which may take some time, even on a good day), you need to write a blog post that targets those words or phrases. The key here is to avoid being seen as spammy. The art lies in being able to write a great readable article that still has a high keyword density (meaning the percentage of the time that phrase appears in the content). A good density for targeting a keyword in the organic search results is around 5% - 8%. Any more than this and you could risk being penalised by Google for stuffing your text. Keep it very natural and you’ll be just fine – always focus on the readability of the article, not on the density. Also remember that doing more can be a real help – a bit like fishing: the more lines you have in the water, the better chance you have of success. So keep those posts coming and try not to rely on just the one or two of them.
Step three: be patient, then enjoy a traffic boost!
Remember that indexing takes time, so you won’t see results from your keyword targeted posts right away. In time you should begin to see your site rising to the top for those keywords that weren’t already well optimised for elsewhere. Of course, if one keyword fails to rank well, you could always try another. That’s the beauty of this method. Plus the fact that once your post is ranking for that keyword, it will usually stay there for quite some time. You may need to do some link building if you really want to keep the rank high, but generally speaking you should be able to dominate the rankings if you choose the right keywords.
There you have it: the basics of keyword research. Following these steps should result in you being able to have some decent success in the rankings. If you’re really smart, you could also try to predict what keywords will be popular in the future. By optimising for those now, you could end up with a post that really pays! Just ensure that you’ve got the right level of paid advertising or affiliate marketing in place on your blog. Otherwise you could end up with a blog that brings in thousands of views a week, but doesn’t make a penny! Keyword research (and SEO in general) has always been a bit of a trial and error venture, but when you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you thought up your post topics before. Good luck out there.