Last Saturday, we started talking about SEO. SEO for blogs, run by bloggers who don’t have the time to make learning about SEO a full-time job. Did you see the post?
If not, go read it right now. You’ll need that background for today’s post.
Are you back? Good. Okay, let’s get on to today’s lesson:
Lesson #2: How the heck do I find good keyphrases?
The short answer? Do a little brainstorming. There’s a longer answer, but we’ll start there.
Open up a fresh word doc, get out a pen and paper, grab a crayon and your kid’s sketchpad – whatever.
Now. Put yourself in your readers’ shoes. If you were looking for whatever you’re about to post about, how would you search? What would you type in?
And remember, there’s no point in trying to think like a robot. The web crawlers (i.e. Google) spend all their time trying to get better at thinking like people. So, since you are a person, you have a giant advantage.
Keep going for as long as you can. Write really specific terms. More general questions. Think about what you’d search for if your first search didn’t work. Or how you’d filter your results if what came back was too general.
Hopefully, by the time you’re out of ideas, you’ll have a nice long list.
Got it? Good. Now it’s time to ask a robot.
Meet the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Your new best friend.
Don’t be nervous. It’s easy to use. Just click on over to the Keyword Tool (that link will open it up in a new window). And breathe.
Still with me? Good.
Alright, now you know that list you brainstormed? You’re going to enter it into the box labeled “Word or Phrase,” one term to a line. When you’re done, it should look like this:
The results page that comes back might look a little scary. But don’t worry. I’m going to help you translate it. Here’s the big picture.
So. Your keyphrase is highlighted in blue. In the next column, you’ll see three different words: low, medium and high. That refers to the number of sites that would be competing with you to rank for that term. Low competition is good. Medium competition is okay. High competition is bad news bears.
The other two columns are global and local monthly search results.
Global is, of course, the whole planet. Local, for our purposes, is the United States.
Now, ideally what you want is a term with lots of search traffic and very little competition.
Obviously, we don’t have that in the example I’m showing you. The post I was searching for was quite specific. It was about making a three-dimensional owl cake using Pyrex bowls. I wrote it because I couldn’t find anything online to tell me how to do what I wanted to do.
Therefore, I chose 3D owl cake as my keyphrase. It’s super specific, without a ton of traffic, but it seemed to do the best job of getting the idea across (at the time).
So. I named my post How To Make a Kick Ass 3D Owl Cake. And I get all of the search traffic for that term:
Not only do I have the number one spot for this very specific term, my daughter is in one of the pictures. And it’s been that way for a year and a half now.
That’s how you make the Keyword Tool work for you.
Well, at least, that’s how you find the right keywords. Next week, I’ll show you how to use ’em to get the results you want. If you didn’t go ahead and subscribe last week, you should probably do that now. You wouldn’t want to miss it, after all.
Questions? That’s what the comments are for. Fire away!