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It is a common misconception for new bloggers that keyword research can be completed in a short amount of time and that the focus needs to be on writing, while writing is vital keywords are the driving force.
In reality, it takes hours of careful analysis to find the best keywords for your niche site, business, or website. Keyword research is not something you should think about as an afterthought but rather how you should approach SEO from the start.
Keyword research can take 7+ days while working to develop a keyword strategy. You then gather up all the relevant details about keywords like their volume, competition, and trend analysis. A strategy must be created after conducting this type of research in order to grow organic traffic towards a site.
Keywords are how search tools, like Google, interpret users’ searches for information and it is how visitors are shown results through major search engine results pages what they were looking for on the web.
The more specific your targetted keywords are, the better your chance will be to rank higher and drive traffic to your niche site, blog, or business overall. If you’ve been working hard at content creation without thinking about how people might find it online then now is the time!
Here’s how I have learned to approach keyword research!
How Do I Do Thorough Keyword Planning Research?
I always spend at least the first week of any site build focused on looking for the best starter keywords, these are called “long-tailed keywords” due to the number of words contained in the base query and that they are typically very narrowly focused.
Where many people may think of keywords like “ink pen” this is a short-tailed version and will be darn near impossible for a new website to rank high enough to get any real traffic from your writing efforts.
This is why targeting phrases like “what is different on an ink pen for left-handed writers” can yield so much more chances to rank as you are getting very specific to a searcher’s intent.
Understand Your Current Status
For most fresh sites you will want to write on these, generally easier to rank content pieces, for at least 50-100 posts.
The intent is to become that site that ranks in positions 1-3 for a wide range of similar keywords, building more topical relevancy than your competition by exploring topics in-depth instead of just at the surface level.
You have no history, search engines will not know your quality unless you can start building high-quality user interactions. This is natural and unless you have a huge amount of free cash for purchasing links, you will need patience and to work hard to post content prior to seeing any significant growth.
Find Your Niche
For many, this may be the easiest or the most difficult step on the path to keyword research and beginning to build the website. If you want help walking through this process I have a guide here to make this as pain-free as possible.
The niche will be the key to your entire keyword search, so understanding and being choosy here will help you know the directions you can go within research.
Many times I will write out niches while looking at them for viability even if I don’t build a site, this helps me think and focus on options in existing sites and maybe something ready for a breakout.
Build Out List of Categories For Simple Silo Structure
Once you have chosen a niche or if you are reading ahead, I like to start at the niche level and look for key branches within the niche. For example a site on “pens and pencils” you could have categories for pencils, pens, markers, etc.
These can give you your first way to look into one of these categories to search for post options which we discuss below in more detail.
I try to find at least 3-6 of these categories at first and many times while doing research I will find unique categories which can sometimes yield amazing results.
Begin Assembling Keywords Based on Category
This is when I begin to use Google Sheets to start each project, I will start normally looking at ideas with tools like KeywordChef, AskSocrates, Answer the Public, and then use those ideas to look at the SERP itself as they are long-tail keywords finders.
I try to add at least 100-200 base ideas to my Google Sheet as that gives me a solid base to find 30-50 posts that I can start writing within the week and know that I can rank them and start getting visitors and traffic within months.
Once I have assembled this list the time to write is simple as I can then mark each keyword as “too competitive”, “in progress”, or “posted”. This allows me to never delete any of them from my sheet so there is always a way to go look later when I may be able to compete without re-finding keywords.
Research Keywords Finding Viable Competitive Chances
The last part is the hardest for a new site owner if you are really new to blogging, understanding who is real competition and who is actually on point for a keyword can leave many newbies scratching their heads.
What you want to look for are lower competition sites, for many blogs this would be things like Quora, Reddit, generic PhpBB forums, and similar content. As a note though, just because it is a forum doesn’t mean you will definitely outrank them, maybe the keyword is better with a variety of opinions.
These sites just expose the fact that there are fewer people overall competing for the keyword OR that the search intent is aimed towards having multiple opinions from multiple people and you want to distinguish this fact.
I try to rate the competition as Easy (short content and most of the time forums or fully off-topic from the keyword intent), medium (other blogs on the topic and aligned with search intent), and then difficult (sites that are definitive like HealthLine, Wikipedia, and maybe niche-specific sites in some cases).
Then after I evaluate my entire list I will sort it by this “difficulty” and then I will begin writing from the easy moving forward to the difficult.
The difficult may never specifically rank but if I feel the visitors need it and I want to link to it I would rather link to my own content than send them off-page to another site.
How Can You Do Keyword Research Quickly?
The simplest way is to learn to use tools like KeywordChef, since they are focused on providing you low competition keywords at low costs it can grossly increase your speed in finding keywords you can win outright.
Their plan comes with the first 1000 results free, then for a super small fee of $20 or more you get more searches and enable the SERP analyzer that tells you how many low competition options exist on page one!
This can help many be ready to build their first 30 to 50 posts in less than a day!
Final Thoughts on Keyword Research
You need these very important first posts on a site to rank, you need them to reach the top 10 and preferably the top 3 to help get you started with the search engines. These visitors are key to the springboard of your site and if done wrong will slow down your progress tremendously.
If you’re looking for the quickest way to shorten keyword research time, then I would suggest you signup for KeywordChef today and find your first 1000 search results for free!
It’s an amazingly easy way to jump on the low-hanging fruit when it comes to keyword research as the tool was built by an affiliate marketer with the focus on creating a tool specific to new owners who need those low competition topics.
It is as simple as entering a seed set of keywords that relate to your niche or subject in general and you will be provided the chance to search for questions.
Signing up is free so there really isn’t any risk involved—you have nothing to lose but everything to gain by trying out this amazing new SEO tool!