One of the phrases that blog writers use (a lot) is ‘keyword’ content, and many freelance bloggers will know that content often has to include specific keywords within their article.
So the first obvious question is why is this so important, and secondly how do you determine what a keyword actually is?
What Are Keywords?
Firstly keywords are not just used in blogging they are used in other areas of writing as well and especially in academic research. The principle is the same there as it is in the digital marketing world, i.e. these are the words that can be used to classify your work, they are the core words upon which the rest of the article is built.
They have particular significance in digital writing because the main search engines use them to determine how and where to rank your articles, so that people can find them. This is exactly the same in an academic library system, that will also file articles under the main keywords that are listed in the abstract.
I’m drawing parallels between these two systems because even if you have never written or read an academic paper, the point is the system of keywords is not new.
The next problem is what keyword tools are available to use, to help you in this task? The next section looks at a number of tools available on the market.
There are number of ways that keyword tools can be used to assist in writing a blog article. Take for example this article which I knew was going to be about keywords, so I entered that into my own keyword tool (which is available through Wealthy Affiliate).
The results show a number of options involving the term ‘keyword‘ and alongside each option there are a series of numbers. These numbers show the amount of google searches carried out per month and the amount of traffic that a search for this term would produce.
The aim of the search is to find a word that will give a higher ranking on google, not necessarily find the largest searches or most traffic.
Therefore keyword research is about finding gaps in the search engine system – where there are fewer competition sites and your own work will be noticed easier.
Using Google to Find Keywords
Google have changed the way they track and find keywords but you can still use it for your own benefit. By simply entering a term or keyword into the google search bar this will still provide a rough indication of how many hits this term will get, and how many pages you are in competition with.
You can repeat this exercise using a system called the Alphabet Soup technique which gives you a list of possible keywords and long tail keyword options.
Google adwords also has a keyword planner but this is aimed more at advertising rather than blogging. For that reason a blogging specific keyword tool is probably a better investment for serious marketers and bloggers.
Other Keyword Tools
I mentioned the free tool on Wealthy Affiliate if you are a member but there are other tools that have a free trial period to try out. The other main tool that I also use is Jaaxy.
This is a more advanced keyword search tool as you can see from the screenshot below, although the results look similar to the previous tool from wealthy affiliate (which is probably because it is linked to the same company).
This time I was looking at keywords to use on the theme of this website, which is to write and get paid.
Once again the aim is to look for words and phrases that are searched for in Google, but for which there are not too many websites providing the answers.
This also applies if you are freelancing and writing blogs for companies or other websites, your clients need their site to appear high up in the rankings whenever these terms are looked for.
Another major keyword tool on the market is SEMRush. This is a more expensive option but worth looking at if you are serious about SEO work and manage multiple websites. You can also use it to check your competitors keywords and track competition in your niche.
Give it a Try
Getting started with keywords can be daunting at first, but remember it is simply a way of categorising your work ready for it to be indexed and found easily.
Your writing should still flow and read naturally and if the keywords match the topic you are writing about, then they will also flow naturally. If you find you can’t easily identify your keywords then perhaps the article or blog page isn’t specific enough, or is moving between a number of different themes. This can help focus the work and bring more structure to your writing.
If you need more support in finding or using keywords leave a comment below and I’ll help in whatever way I can, and I would love to hear other ways in which people are doing their own keyword research. Other articles that may be of help to you on this site are;
- Using Long Tail Keywords For Better Conversions
- Advanced keyword Use in Content Writing
- How To Get More Keyword Suggestions For Your Content