When I hear the phrase “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization”, my eyes automatically start to cross and I want to automatically put my fingers in my ears and mumble “La, la, la! I can’t hear you”…not because I don’t want to know what it is, but because it can be so difficult to understand! What are keywords and SEO anyways?
As bloggers though, we need to know and understand SEO and how it affects our blogs and chances of gaining new readers. And that’s where Tim comes in. My friend Tim (@sogeshirts for you tweeps reading) is going to tell us exactly what are keywords and how they play such an important role in our blog posts and for SEO.
If you don’t know my friend Tim, he is one of the best people out there on Twitter. He is the re-tweeting master, is beyond helpful, and even owns a clothing shop called Soge Shirts. And he’s a genuinely nice guy. If you tweet but don’t follow Tim, go follow @sogeshirts now!
Anyways, Tim also does blogging, SEO, and social media consulting. He’s currently working getting a new website for that, so for now if you have any questions for him, either tweet or DM him if you are interested in speaking with him.
Take it away, Tim!
What Are Keywords And Why Are They Important To Building Your Blog
Keywords are essential for any blogger wanting to get more readers, fans, subscribers, and ad revenue for their blogs. What are keywords? Keywords are search terms that people search on search engines like Google or Bing to find your blog. If you can get ranked highly for a keyword that is searched a lot on Google or Bing, you will get organic traffic to your site. Organic traffic is great because it is traffic through the search engines and it doesn’t cost you anything. The goal to build your blog is to find many keywords relating to your blog that people search a lot, and then rank in the top ten in the search engines for those keywords.
Now that we know why keywords are important we need to figure out how to find good keywords to try to rank for. The keywords you should be targeting depend on what theme your blog or website has. The more specific your blog is the easier it will be to rank for keywords. For example it will be harder to rank for the keyword blog then something more specific like cooking mom blog or parenting blog.
Since the term blog is very general there is going to be much more competition. Another thing that will help in ranking high for keywords is if your website is a .com instead of a .blogspot.com or .wordpress.com. When you own your own domain anytime you have someone link to your website your site will get a boost in the search engine rankings, instead of blogspot or wordpress getting that boost. If you are blogging for money or wish to brand yourself, invest in the .com domain.
Let’s start finding some good keywords. I’ll use the example parenting blog. To find what keywords we should target if our blog is a parenting blog we should click on the google keyword planner We type the keyword parenting blog into the box where it says word or phrase, and fill out the annoying captcha. Then we hit the search button. 100 keyword ideas will come up. If you click on the local monthly searches you can have all the keywords organized in order of which search term gets the highest monthly searches for parenting blog all the way down to the lowest.
Notice on the left side of the screen you see match types and underneath the box, broad is checked. If you remove the check from broad and check the box exact instead you will see which exact phrases get the most local searches on Google, and the competition for each.
For example the keyword parenting styles gets 8,100 local monthly searches and appears to have low competition. To be in the top ten for keywords it is easier to find keywords that still get a decent amount of searches and have low competition, then go after a keyword that has a lot of searches and very high competition. If you eventually target many smaller keywords with low competition this can add up to some big organic search engine traffic from Google and Bing!
Tim, thank you for sharing this and making it so easy to understand! But guess what everybody? There’s more to the keyword story! Here’s Part 2 of Tim’s explanation of keywords.