Adding a blog to your business’s website can help you establish yourself as a thought leader within the industry, drive traffic to your website, and of course, improve your SEO. But, you shouldn’t just write about the first topics that pop into your head. If you want to reap the rewards of having a blog on your website, it’s important to spend time doing keyword research.
Finding the Right Keywords to Use as Blog Topics
Writing a blog is not easy. If you are going to spend the time writing one, you should make sure that it’s a topic people care about, otherwise you’re wasting your time on a blog that nobody will ever read. But, how can you figure out what people want to read about? Keyword research.
There are a number of different tools that you can use to identify popular keywords. One of the simplest tools is the Google Keyword Planner, which you can access by signing up for a free Adwords account. Start by entering one of the main keywords that describes your business. For example, if you are a car repair shop, you may want to enter “car repair” or “auto repair” to begin with. Then, the Google tool will present you with hundreds of different related keywords along with their average monthly search volume. Choose keywords that have high search volumes and are rated as either low or medium in terms of competition. Then, use these to generate blog topic ideas. For example, some of the top keywords that appear for “auto repair” include “oil change,” “car mechanic,” and “brake service.” These keywords can easily be used in blogs such as “How to choose the right car mechanic,” “How to tell when your car needs brake service,” and “How often does your car need an oil change?”
Why does it matter if you write about something that people are searching for? There are many benefits to having a blog, but one of the main benefits is that it can improve your search engine ranking if it’s properly optimized. If you create blog topics around keywords that no one is searching for, no one will read it and the blog post won’t do anything for your ranking. By writing about topics with popular keywords that have low to medium competition, you may be able to get your blog on the first page of Google search results. This means more customers will be able to find you and your blog will drive more traffic back to your website.
Using Keywords to Create Content, Titles, and Headings
Now that you’ve identified the topics that you should be writing about, it’s time to start writing. It’s recommended that you use one or two keywords per blog post, so choose another keyword besides the one that is found in your title using the Google Keyword Planner. This keyword will not be included in your title, but it should be found within the blog content. Make sure that you use both keywords naturally within the text instead of finding every opportunity to incorporate them into your blog. Search engines will be able to tell when you are keyword stuffing and you may be penalized for doing it. It’s recommended that you use each keyword no more than two to three times within the content. If you can fit it in naturally, it helps to have one keyword within the first paragraph of the text.
There are a few other places that you should include your keywords besides the in the main body of the blog post. The main keyword should be found within the blog’s title, and both keywords can be used within the headers as long as it is a natural fit. You should also include the main keyword within the blog post’s URL and meta description. Search engines analyze both the URL and meta description to figure out what your blog’s content is about, so incorporating your keywords in these two spots is very important.
It may help if you create a short checklist before beginning to write your blog. That way, you can keep track of how many times you’ve used the keywords and make sure that you are using them in the correct places.
Writing a blog with the appropriate keywords is often not enough to improve your ranking on its own. After you have published the blog, it’s important to begin a link building strategy. Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your blog within their site. The more links you have on other websites, the higher you will rank within search results because Google will assume that you are a valuable resource.
Building links can be a time-consuming process, but not if you know which websites would be willing to link back to yours. How can you find websites that would be open to this idea? One way is by using Moz’s Open Site Explorer Tool. Using this tool, you can enter any URL and see a list of websites that currently link back to it. If you are looking for link building opportunities, use this tool to do a little competitive research. See which websites are linking back to your competitors’ blogs and why they are linking back. Your competitors’ links may be listed on blog rolls or directories or they could be used within a guest post. Find out how they are getting on these pages, and then use the same approach when you contact the website.
By searching for relevant topics, using the keywords in the right places, and building back links to your blog, you can help your blog land on the first page of search results. For more advice related to SEO and digital marketing, contact us today to schedule a free consultation.