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The easy way to do keyword research for blog posts

Taking the time to properly do keyword research for blog posts is something quite new to me. As I mentioned in my SEO plan, I…

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Taking the time to properly do keyword research for blog posts is something quite new to me. As I mentioned in my SEO plan, I never used to really bother with keyword research.

I did try to learn how to do keyword research for my blog posts. I spent some time looking at the Google Keyword Planner tool but I found it quite complicated to use. I quickly gave up on doing keyword research for my blog altogether. I know it’s something I should be doing but just buried my head in the sand with it because I didn’t see the time and effort that proper blog keyword research takes as worth it.

How I used to do SEO on my blog posts

He’s how I used to do SEO (search engine optimisation) on my blog:

  1. think of a blog post.
  2. think of a random keyword I would target that I thought would be popular.
  3. write the blog post,
  4. stuff the keyword in the alt texts of my images
  5. go back and edited the post until my Yoast plugin gave me a green light.
  6. schedule blog post

My approach to keyword research was all wrong! 

As you can see, I was just picking any old keyword out without knowing how competitive it is. Or how much search volume it gets.

I knew long-tail keywords work better for smaller blogs. So I just made my targeted keyword more specific. Again, without research into how many people were searching for those terms.

I know other bloggers do the same as me. Because I’ve read SO many blog posts and they basically say the same thing with regards to keywords.

  1. use longtail keywords
  2. use Yoast to optimise your blog posts for search

But that’s not enough.

If you’re lucky, some blog posts will rank high on Google. But by doing the correct keyword research for blog posts, you can increase your chances of ranking and get that beautiful organic traffic!

image of a keyboard with a note book, phone, pens and flowers for a blog post about keyword research for blogs

Why do I want to increase my traffic from Google?

  1. you get targeted traffic that is easier to convert into money via affiliate marketing or selling something
  2. more ad revenue
  3. charging higher for collaborations
  4. change to increase your newsletter subscribers
  5. If your content is useful, more chance of it being shared or linked to

So, I changed the way I blog.

A few years ago I blogged daily. For 5 years. Every single day I had a brand new blog post out. I felt so motivated and it made me feel so good that I could do that! What an accomplishment. I stopped daily blogging in 2019 because I didn’t know why I was doing it anymore.

I was often posting any old thing just to get a blog post out.

When I went on holiday, I’d pre-write content. Including when I went to Australia for a month!

It was quantity over quality. Even though I knew longer, more useful posts were better for SEO, I just did what. could to keep my daily post streak going. It was ruining blogging for me and I wasn’t getting much organic traffic at all and I wasn’t sticking to the SEO tips that I regularly wrote blog advice about.

My barriers to doing proper SEO research

Daily blogging

So the thing that I was most proud of was the thing that was holding me back. I just didn’t have the time to write long blog posts every day and properly optimise them for search! I was not doing keyword research for my blog posts when I was daily blogging for the majority of my posts.

I was rushing

I was all about BULK BULK BULK. Wrote those posts and get them scheduled. I could sit down and spew out a blog post in 30 minutes. I think there was one day where I wrote 14 blog posts in one go!

I was trying to do too much at once.

I was:

  • working full time
  • going to the gym and weight training 5-6 times per week
  • daily blogging (plus running two other blogs!)
  • just started piano lessons
  • studying for a CIM in marketing

I didn’t make time for SEO

The above three points meant that I didn’t have time for SEO. I couldn’t do everything I wanted, all my free time was allocated. Something had to give. So I stopped daily blogging.

Then loads of other things happened over the next few months, including getting pregnant, Covid19, working from home, becoming rather obsessed with my piano and practising about 2 hours a day (while battling morning sickness and other yucky pregnancy inconveniences),

Blogging took a back seat and I was posting just once or twice a week. I wasn’t posting for the sake of it though! I just posted when I wanted to. I enjoyed it and felt no pressure to post, it was fab. My views and blog income did decrease though.

AND I still wasn’t doing SEO properly!

I gave birth in November 2020, had a few weeks in newborn baby bliss (and a fog of tiredness) and went days at a time without even opening my laptop. I watched lots of TV while up all night with the baby and breathed him in, knowing he wouldn’t be a newborn forever.

At 3 months postpartum, I decided it was time to start doing something productive while I was off work. After spending most of my time sat on the sofa holding a sleeping or feeding baby, I needed to do something for myself. I revamped my blog, changed my blog’s SEO strategy and started working on earning a decent blog income once again.

Part of that SEO plan was to realise that less is more when it comes to the number of posts. I’ve now finally accepted that I can’t post just for the sake of it. I need to post less. So now, I blog three times a week (ideally). But those posts have to be quality. Last week I published three blog posts that were all over 3000 words long. I cannot do that every week and it was HARD, but I’m now prioritising longer content that I spend more time on. No more 30-minute blog posts.

1 post week that ranks and gets traffic is better than 7 posts a week that add ZERO value to your readers or your blog.

image of a keyboard with a note book, phone, pens and flowers for a blog post about keyword research for blogs

How I do SEO on my blog now

Each blog post MUST have value.

So now every single one of my blog posts need to have value. So when I write blog posts, they’re either:

A collaboration

Pretty self-explanatory – I’ve agreed to work with someone in exchange for a blog post. I’ve either been paid or gifted something useful to me.

I still will look for an affiliate program for the brand and do my keyword research before I wrote my blog post! But the main purpose is the collaboration.

Affiliate

You’ve probably seen this a lot lately on my blog! I’m trying to increase my passive income with affiliate sales. It’s slow progress but I’m trying a few different things and I’ve got lots of ideas for the future.

I’m experimenting at the moment with what works and what doesn’t work for me.

An engaging post

This is something I think will be of value to my reader (like this post!), an opinion piece or a bit of a personal update. The aim is to keep my connection with my current followers alive and get shares across social media.

So my blog writing process has changed a lot and I’ve learnt so much about keyword research in the past few months. And how important it is to use keyword research tools.

Here’s how I write a blog post now:

  1. have an idea that has value
  2. see if I can monetise it someway with an affiliate or referral scheme
  3. do keyword research in KeySearch
  4. tweak my idea depending on what keyword I decide to target
  5. run my keyword through Content Assistant on KeySearch
  6. have a goal in mind for the word count
  7. have a list for must keywords
  8. optimise my images by resizing and renaming the file for search
  9. start writing my blog post
  10. use Rank Math to check my SEO and edit according to suggestions
  11. insert images and try to get keywords into alt text if it makes sense
  12. insert an image for Pinterest
  13. check my must keywords in content assistant, look for an opportunity to use more
  14. proofread
  15. schedule post
  16. track keywords in KeySearch

As you can see, I have 11 extra steps in my new blog writing process! It takes me much longer to write a post than previously but I do things properly and I am already seeing the results I’m ranking for the terms I am picking. I even ranked 20th in a few days on my new money blog!

That blog currently has a DA of 1 as it’s only a couple of weeks old and it already ranked 20 for the second post on there, which isn’t bad!

get organic traffic with to your blog with keyword research text on an image of desk accessories

How I use KeySearch

This is my blog keyword research process and how I carry out keyword research for blog posts.

So, first I have a blog idea and I want to see what keywords I want to target.

For this example, I’m going to use manifestation as my main idea.

I open up the Keyword Research tool in Keysearch and see what search information for that keyword comes back.

KeySearch example of keyword planner

This tells me that there are about 740000 searches for manifestation a month and it has a score of 50, which is quite difficult to rank for. The monthly search volume is amazing, but with it being difficult to rank for, we are best looking for a keyword that is more realistic keyword difficulty.

On the right-hand side, it gives me a list of similar terms, their search engine volume and difficulty level. The green and blues are much better! I can pick one of these keywords, or search for something else.

I see that the term ‘manifestation meditation’ has a difficulty level of 15 and 8100 searches. Money manifestation is easier to rank for but has only around 390 searches a month.

I decide if I can angle my idea towards meditation. If I can, that’s the keyword idea I’m probably going to go for. I click on the keyword and it gives me a list of the websites that currently rank for that term. This gives me a chance to visit them to check out the competition and also gives me a bunch of stats for the articles:

I’ve covered up the URLs in this example, but it gives you a good idea of how good a chance you have of outranking the competition. It’s not just a case of whose DA is the highest, that is just one of many factors that will dictate which website gets to number one in search. But this information can give you an idea of your chances.

Next, I go over to Content Assistant and search for ‘manifestation meditation’ and this tells me the average word count on the first page of Google is 714 and it gives me a list of commonly used words and phrases for that search within the articles on the first page. So I’m going to add as many of these as I can without it sounding unnatural,

You can cut and paste your content into this tool and it will highlight the terms you have used.

When I’m happy with my article, I will schedule it and then add the keyword to my Keyword Tracker and watch what happens. It can take 6 months for an article to find its place in Google. Being patient can be hard as often the rankings will jump up and down a bit!

KeySearch keyword tracker dashboard - SEO for bloggers

The above is the example I was talking about further in the post – my new blog post on my brand new blog has ranked 20 in just a few days! Yes, it’s a low volume keyword but I picked something I thought I had a good chance of ranking for in search results.

Most of the traffic goes to the top 3 searches, with some going to the top 10, so that’s what I aim for.

I also use these to track old blog posts that perform well already and have edited the posts to increase their position.

Why KeySearch is perfect for bloggers!

You can sign up to Keysearch here and use the discount code KSDISC to get a 20% discount.

Keysearch is the perfect tool for keyword research for blog posts.

Other SEO tools cost a lot. For example, SEMRush starts at $119.95 a month. This might be fine for someone who works in the SEO industry and uses it for clients, but for a blogger like you and me – that’s too much.

There are other great tools within KeySearch, too. You can do competitor analysis, you can check what keywords you already rank for and check your backlinks.

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog keyword research tips, let me know if you do keyword research for blog posts or do you just wing it?

22 comments

  1. This is sooo helpful! I’m still quite old school, I just write and whack something up – I don’t check too much which I probably should. Maybe one day I’ll get my time back and be able too xx

  2. My day job drilled into me the importance of longtail keywords, SEO and enginges like Keysearch. I use SEMrush for a lot of my blogging bits but if I’m honest, I don’t follow these rules for all of my blog posts. Sometimes if I’m time poor, I’ll do some guestimations and see what happens. Then when I have more time, I’ll go back an optimise the post with better performing keywords!

    Rosie

  3. Hi Corinne,

    What a brilliant post about keyword research! I’ve read other posts on the topic and they are often very dry and unengaging – yours was very interesting and the personal touch really helps the reader to engage.

    Keep up the good work šŸ™‚

  4. As a newbie blogger this was very helpful. I think I am still far off from montezing my blog, but its good to know what it takes and the level of commitment it requires. Also, congrats on being a new mommy! šŸ™‚
    I’ll be checking your Blog Tips section for more information.

  5. KeySearch sounds like it’s a really useful tool when it comes to keyword research for blogging. I have yet to really dive into all of that, but since rebranding at the beginning of the year, I’ve had a tough time getting my blog back to the stats I once had. It might be really helpful for me to begin working on that aspect of blogging so I appreciate your insight!

  6. We have started using Keysearch recently and boy, do we have plenty of work to do on our older posts! But you are right, whatever is coming out now, it’s coming out with quality in mind, always. No more 300 words posts, because we though that was acceptable. No more random images with no alt-tags. We’re revamping and while it will take a bit to start ranking on some, we have seen some progress and could not be any happier!

  7. “1 post week that ranks and gets traffic is better than 7 posts a week that add ZERO value to your readers or your blog.” – SO TRUE. When I started my new blog, I planned on posting quality posts but only once a week. Yes, that is less but quality matters. This is the first month that I didn’t feel the pressure to post more because of dipping stats, and it is my best month so far! Posting quality content shows results. Thanks for sharing your SEO plan! I don’t do research for all my posts but when I do, they do well, so I should do it more haha.

  8. Keysearch sounds like an amazing tool! I’m like you were, I haven’t had the time to prioritise keywords but I’m going to next month. Super helpful post, thank you x

  9. These are all amazing tips! I started using Keysearch not long ago and totally diving into it now to see what can help or not. DIscovered only last week about the content assistant, so hoping it can be a game changer! Saving the list so to approach the blog post differently x

  10. I was put onto this post by another blogger as my DA is increasing but I’m not ranking for any keywords – I need to improve my keyword research so I’m really glad I was linked to this post. It explains things in words I can understand and now I’m going to see how I get on!

  11. Hi! Iā€™m just starting out (not live yet) and this post cleared up a lot for me. Thank you. You mentioned a keyword tracker. Is that a spreadsheet you created for your own use? Iā€™d love to know more. Iā€™m all for building good habits from the start.

    Congrats on your new little one.
    Thank you.

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