Finding the right keywords for your blog or website can be a struggle sometimes. If you are new to blogging, you may find 10-20-50 keywords that look promising on the keyword tool. You hope that they will land you on the first page of the Google search results, and they will bring in tonnes of organic traffic.
But after you have written 10-20-50 posts on targeted keywords, you may find yourself in a position where you have run out of ideas. A writer’s block? It feels that you have said everything you wanted to say, twice, posted all your TOP10 articles that made a little sense, and traffic is still not surging your way… You don’t even rank for most of your carefully selected keywords…
So what now?
Where to find more keywords for blogging?
How to find keywords that will rank and bring in traffic?
Endless Source of New Keywords
Here are my favourite places to get new keyword ideas for my next blogpost;
- Google Search Console
I often find that my posts rank for keywords that I did not even target. It is great to see that I rank at position 7.4 or 9.8 for something that I did not want to rank for, but it also signals me that ‘Hang On, there are people looking for answers and they clicked my link hoping to find one. And they could not find their ANSWERS!!’. So, my task is to serve and provide them with the answer… another post.
It may be a surprising one, but bear with me…Google Search Console tells you what keywords / search phrases people type in before they click on your link. Now it can be something totally unrelated search, something partially relevant, or something that you did not think about before.
- Google Autofill / Alphabet Soup
All you need to do is start typing a phrase, add a space at the end of it and wait. Those search phrases are the ones that people search for.Now enter the letter ‘a’ at the end of the search phrase and see what happens. Another ten idea. Then letter ‘b’ etc. I think you get it…
Even better if you use the Alphabet Soup of any keyword research tool. It show you all the variations through the entire alphabet on the same page.
I cannot even count how many times Autofill brought up a sub-topic of a sub-topic that I did not even think about. It is also good fun…
- Keyword Tool Search Analysis
I run this thing called Search Analysis for a keyword (not a long tail one, but for a generic, broad keyword). I can see the Google search results with some additional info. The word-count, backlinks etc is not that important, but there is a huge list of meta keywords…
You probably can use any decent keyword research tool for this…I use Jaaxy because I had tried a few and I found it the easiest to use despite the plethora of functions.
- Google Trends
Maybe the reason that your golden keyword does not perform is that because it peaked like two years ago, pushed the SEO numbers up but nobody searches for it nowadays?
Google Trends also suggests related search phrases with emerging popularity. Do you need anything that’s better than this? It shows you what is GOING TO BE popular! That’s how you beat your competition: target the keyword and rank with it BEFORE the competition arrives.
Works very similarly to your keyword research tool, but rather than showing an average number for monthly searches, it tells you how popular that keyword is RIGHT NOW.
Also, brace yourself on my rant on keyword tool figures, later on…
If you watch videos within your niche a lot, try logging out first, and then search for keyword or topic. Youtube will bring up totally different findings.
The best thing, that if you think about the titles as longtail keywords, you would never even put them in a keyword research tool, yet they bring in 1000s or 10000s views. So people apparently want to see them, want to know the information. That’s a good indicator for me
I must admit, it depends on the niche, but I always look at the ‘Recommended Videos’ section for ideas. Doesn’t always work, and you must be careful not get into a bubble, but there are some great ideas that I will have to find the time for to write about.
- Google Related Searches
Very similar to the autofill function, however, it will show you the wider picture. It also helps you understand what else do people search for…if you can cover them in one post you are more likely to rank for more keywords / key phrases
- Google’s ‘People Also Ask’
Still on the SERP…Very similar to autofill and ‘related searches’, but this one reflects user intent a bit better. It works better in certain niches or with certain types of questions, not so effective with others. But if I run out of ideas, I just type in some generic keyword and then look for all the related questions. There is a good chance that I would find at least a few that I have not covered before but I could easily write a 1500-word long post on it.
- Quora / Question Sites / Forums
The same idea…it gives a good indication of what people interested in, but can’t find the answers for on google (that’s why they asked the question on Quora, or other topical forums). These are often questions that target a very specific problem. So, if you find something related to your niche, and a lot of people would come across that problem / question, then that could be a great pillar post on your website.
Time To Forget Your Keyword Research Tool? Not Yet, But…
So what about competition? How do I know that I picked a keyword that will bring in traffic?
When I started blogging, I always began writing my posts at my Keyword Research tool. Sometimes I had an idea of what I wanted to write about, and I tried to find the fitting keywords for the post.
I followed the ‘rules’, and looked for low competition (below 100 QSR) keywords that would bring some traffic (above 100 Traffic). Sometimes I found them, sometimes I could not, and I left that idea on the shelf.
Other times I just played with the keyword tool, trying to find ‘low hanging fruit’ keywords within my niche. Long tail keywords with low competition, hoping that they would be grammatically correct…so that I could use them in the title of my post, and can put them in a more or less sensible sentence.
Just as a side-note…at one point I installed the Yoast plugin for wordpress. If you are not familiar with Yoast, it helps you write your content in a SEO friendly way. There’s a red-amber-green system to inform you about keyword density, paragraph length, headings and sub-headings, grammar, readability etc. It gave you an overall SEO-friendliness score.
My problem with Yoast was that I had to re-write and re-write my article so many times, that I felt that I was writing for Yoast, not for actual people. I had many posts in the green though, and many in the amber. Did it improve my rankings? Not really… Some of you may have better experience with Yoast, but it did not work for me.
I had much better results with posts that I just wrote for fun and did not even care about ranking. I did not care about keyword density, keywords in the first two paragraph etc.
Maybe the old methods do not work anymore…
Or not that well…
I touched on it in my post on How to Get On Google Page One, but let’s recap here too:
The way Google understands user intent has changed dramatically. The purpose of Google has not changed, so you must understand this first. Google’s task is to find the best answers or queries that people have (ie. search for).
Not so long ago, Google was like a student learning the language and recognised certain words within a sentence (keywords), but also had to rely on other indirect indicators such as backlinks, social media etc. Now Google understands not just the whole sentence, but the actual context, and is much less reliant on the indirect factors. That’s the only way they can show the most relevant findings to any query.
If you think about how advanced Google’s speech recognition is, you see that ‘rigging’ the algorithm does not work anymore. Or if it does, it won’t be long until Google won’t care about carefully placed keywords, if the whole post does not fully reflect on the user’s intent.
Keyword Tool Numbers Are Just Wrong!!
What I found as I built my website, that the difficulty to rank and the organic search volume / clicks suggested by any Keyword Research Tool were not even close to what I experienced with those posts.
Why would they? If you think about it, a keyword that has the following attributes Search / Clicks / Competition 250 / 50 / 78 effectively means that it has a 20% Click-through Rate (Impressions: 250, clicks: 50). This can only be true if you are on first page…But if you target your audience with the right keyword, you can easily achieve 50% CTR. On the other hand, if you start ranking for a neighbouring keyword, the CTR may be much lower, around 2-3%. And even though your monthly impressions would be 10-times what the keyword tool suggested (2500 for the sake of this example, monthly), the clicks would remain at this 50-odd level. So those numbers don’t mean a thing…
It also started to bug me, what if I omitted a lot of absolutely perfect keywords just because I had relied on the keyword tool that said it would not bring in enough traffic, or because the keyword seemed too competitive?
Let Google Write That Post for You
I tend to think that Google knows better what people search for than I do, thus I should ‘ask’ Google what people search for. I am here to serve my audience, fill that gap of information, right?
If I do my research outlined above, and I see that there is still some place for me to fell, then the article is literally laid out for me.
- I can see if the question is not answered, I just look at the SERP (results page) and skim through the titles. Do they answer the question (keyword)?
- I know what else may be interesting for my audience, and how to put it in context (related searches, related questions)
That outlines most of my sub-headers, that I can focus on answering. Without even noticing I have a post that does not just answer the main question, but covers a lot of similar areas that people most likely trying to find out. My post contains the main keyword and other related phrases that people search for.
Those sources of ideas give me a plethora of new keywords to write about. But don’t forget, that context and understanding user intent are the keys. In terms of SEO, focusing on a single keyword is only part of the picture (also see my posts on How to Get on Google Page One), it should not be your main drive.
Don’t try to rank for 1 keyword only, because it will have the opposite effect.
Despite that most of the keyword tools drive this ‘old-school’ SEO and keyword research, they can come handy sometimes.
Even the basic keyword tools can save you a lot of time doing your research. The one I use, Jaaxy, does not just include Google’s autofill (Alphabet Soup), but it can show you all the variations through the alphabet at the same time.
It comes very handy doing the competitive research. It shows the search results as Google would show it, and in addition, it tells you how long those ranking posts are (word count), with info on internal links, backlinks and meta description. And don’t forget the meta keywords for the endless amount of keyword ideas for your next blog, or even new niche ideas for your next website.
If you haven’t found a good keyword research tool yet, you can try Jaaxy for free. However, the number of searches you can run is limited.
If you struggle to get noticed, you may find my post on ‘How to Get on Google Page One article very useful. The process of creating content I outlined in that article worked for me beautifully in getting ranked with multiple posts, the same day I published those posts.