How to catch a keyword for your business blog posts

Keyword,business blog posts,blog,search,blogging,Google,research

Keywords advice is everywhere, but how do
you decide on which ones to start with?

Everywhere you look in internet marketing circles there is advice on everything to do with keywords, apart from one rather basic thing: how to decide on what keywords to start working with. Why is it that so few experts can give you a simple answer here?

(For a list of the top 10 most helpful articles on blogging for business as chosen by our readers, click here)

In my ignorance about so many grown-up aspects of inbound/content marketing I have spent the last few weeks asking a variety of experts this seemingly silly question. But try as I might to find a straight answer, very few were forthcoming. I either got the impression that the question was so silly as not to be worth answering, or that the expert concerned just didn’t damned well know.

Er, what’s a keyword?

Hang in. They’re words and phrases you use to grab hold of readers on Google and other search facilities, and when you’re blogging you need to insert those words and phrases in appropriate places in your blog, and when you’re setting your blog up before you publish it.

Where this applies depends on which blogging platform you use. If you don’t already know, I’ll run another article soon on here to show you where keywords can be used in a WordPress blog…watch this space.

Let’s keep this simple – about keywords in blog posts

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing the remarkably talented and enthusiastic digital marketing and search expert here in the UK, Matt Lambert of Conversationware – known in the UK industry as the Keyword Geologists  (find out more about that here!)

Unlike the other experts, Matt was able to help me break down the barriers I had been experiencing through trying to make sense of keywords, and help me arrive at some primary conclusions.

“You need to look at different keywords according to where in the “sales funnel” you’re writing for,” says Matt. “I will share my thoughts with you about the bigger picture across the whole of search marketing for another article if you like.** However purely for blog posts, let’s look at three typical types of post and how to start researching for keywords on each one:

1.Informational blog posts. This is where blog posts provide readers with useful information without trying to poke them into the next step of the buying process for which, clearly, they’re not yet ready. Examples include historical pieces, assessments of current needs within a given marketplace or area of operation, reassurance pieces to show how you and your business are the go-to experts in your field.

2.Solution blog posts. These are for readers who know they need to find a solution but need some help in how to choose which one. These readers will find product and service reviews and comparisons helpful, but again without your using a cattleprod to move them towards your own offerings.

3. Product/service support blog posts. These articles are very useful to amplify the product/service offerings on your website, to back them up, to offer tips and notions on how to make best use of them, how to integrate them successfully within the reader’s overall activities, etc.”

Great. Now what about those keywords / phrases?

Guess what: there is no magic formula. Much as the “experts” out there can guide you with your keywords once you have figured them out, they can’t come up with the original words and phrases you need to start with. And in fairness, they’re not clairvoyant: you are the person who knows your business – and your customers – best of all, so you’re the best person to get the ball rolling.

You need to put yourself in your customers’ and prospects’ shoes, and work out what they will be searching for when they’re looking for what you offer.

Sometimes this is more obvious than others.

Taking Matt’s three blog post types one by one, here’s how I see your keywords starting off before you begin the wider research exercise:

1.Informational blog posts need to have initial keywords that capture:

Your product or service – including some specific clarification – not just “dog groomer,” but “specialist poodle groomer”
Interest factor – “poodle grooming worldwide,” “how to be a poodle groomer”
More specific notions – “grooming poodles,”grooming poodle crosses,” “grooming cockapoos,” “grooming labradoodles,” “grooming golden poos,” “trimming poodles,” “clipping poodles,” etc.
Background posts – “history of poodles,” “poodle crosses,” “why dogs shed hair,” etc.

2.Solution blog posts keywords need to focus in harder on: 

Your expertise and cost-efficiency – “expert poodle groomer, “cheap poodle grooming,” “best poodle groomer” 
Failures elsewhere – “poodle grooming disasters,”  “poodle grooming problems” “groom my poodle myself”
What to look for – “poodle grooming services,” “gentle poodle grooming,” “dog-friendly poodle grooming”

3. Product/service support blog posts

Local emphasis – “poodle grooming in (TOWN),” “poodle grooming locally (TOWN),” “local poodle grooming (TOWN)”
Convenience emphasis – “quick poodle grooming,” “poodle grooming 24/7”
Value emphasis – “cheapest poodle grooming,” “value poodle grooming,” ” low-cost poodle grooming”

Check out your competitors

It’s not rocket science. Once you have a good idea of the keywords your customers and prospects might use (as shown above), whack those into Google or similar search box and see what turns up.

If there is nothing much, go on to your competitors’ sites and check out their text on the home page. There’s a good chance that you’ll pick up on the keywords/phrases they’re using, if only because many businesses still overdo the keyword usage and you’ll see numerous manifestations of their favorites!

Never fail to use your common sense and instincts

blog,writing,news,blogging,business,Suzan St Maur,howtowritebetter.net,how to write betterFiguring out the right keywords to incorporate into you blog posts is not rocket science, as I’ve intimated. It’s a lot more about common sense and the ability to put yourself into your customers’ and prospects’ shoes. I know you’re more than capable of doing that, so go ahead – become a customer and figure out what you would search for when checking out blogs of interest.

Good luck! And please share your  views on finding the right keywords for your own business blogging here…

**Matt will be back soon with expert advice on how to write effectively for the different “conversations” your content needs to conduct with prospects arriving on your website from search engines. Watch this space!

photo credit: jonycunha via photopin cc

Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. I don’t know what works. I keep trying to get inside the heads of my customers but I don’t know 🙂 Recently I received a newsletter from Dan Janal a PR guy about another method that I hadn’t thought of but it makes sense. Go to Google and type your search term slowly. Google will suggest other words. Then use these words and phrases as keywords.

    Easy … I should have thought of it …LOL

  2. Great idea, Trudy! Thanks for sharing it. It works well.

Thoughts

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