A Crash Course in Effective Keyword Research for Your Blog

by WorkFromHome on May 26, 2011

If you have a blog that gets readers through the search engines, then keyword research should be a staple of your writing process for your blog. Taking the time to properly research your keywords will help you to gain more readers, leading to making more money, and can also help you to formulate fresh content ideas. Unfortunately, most people do not take the time to do proper keyword research, whether it’s because they don’t think it’s important or they simply don’t know how. While keyword research does require some extra work, the results you get are very impressive if you take your time and put the right effort into it. Here we’re going to look at the process of researching keywords, and what to do with the results of that research.

Long Tail Keywords and Why Going Short Tail is Inefficient

Long keyword phrases are more specific in nature, tend to have less competition, and are easier to rank for. As an example, “cheap collector’s purple widgets” is much more specific and will have less search engine competition than a more general keyword like “purple widgets”. However, “cheap collector’s purple widgets” includes the short tail keyword “purple widgets”, which is an example of the long tail keyword being efficient in that it contains multiple possible keyword phrases.

If you target specific, long tail keywords, then you’ll rank higher in the search engines on average than if you target short tail keywords exclusively. However, you’ll also rank for short tail keyword phrases since your posts and titles will also include many short tail keyword variations, as shown in the example above. Most bloggers will have the best results with the least amount of work by targeting long tail keywords.

Latent Semantic Indexing and Writing Normally

Search engines are based on computer programs, and these programs don’t have the same abilities of association as human beings do. To compensate for this, search engines use programming techniques and methods that try to figure out the context of what is being talked about in an article or blog post. One such method is called latent semantic indexing, or LSI for short.

Because computers can’t use the association and understanding skills that human beings can, LSI is based on what keywords tend to be used near each other inside of bodies of work. The end result is that if someone is searching for something like “fishing rods”, you may see results based on the keyword “fishing poles”. This happens because LSI can figure out that “fishing rods” and “fishing poles” are used in the same context very often.

What LSI means for you as a blogger is that writing normally with a varied vocabulary is going to help you in the rankings just as much as specific keyword research. Putting a specific keyword phrase in your text over and over is no longer a necessary part of writing content that ranks well, and actually doesn’t help much at all. Instead, including it once or twice in an entire post is sufficient as long as you include other keyword phrases that are related.

Using Your Research to Write Posts

If you find a nice long tail keyword phrase that doesn’t have much competition, here’s how you can make a post that will rank for that term. First, include the keyword phrase in the title of your post in a way that makes sense. Next, include the keyword phrase once or twice in your post body, but also include other keyword phrases that are related to the phrase you’re trying to rank for. This helps LSI algorithms understand the context of your blog post, which will boost your search engine rankings tremendously.

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