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You could have the best content in the world. But if no one can find it—what good is it? In this post, I’ll teach you how you can identify both long-tail and short-tail keywords. I will also show you how to optimize your post for the chosen keyword. This will help you to maximize the chances of getting a lot of free traffic from the search engines. Say goodbye to guess working your way to success with keywords.
Here are some examples of long-tail keyword:
- How to start a blog
- Make money blogging
- Blogging about business
Here are some examples of short-tail keyword:
Don’t overdo it!
I want to give you a word of caution before we start this guide. Google and the other search engines do not want you to manipulate the rankings. Their goal is to give the person searching the best possible result. Therefore, never compromise the quality for SEO purposes.
With that being said; there is no point in not replacing a less searched keyword with a more searched keyword. After all, you’re not doing anyone a favor by hiding your work. Okay, let’s cover two ways of doing keyword research.
How To Find Keywords for Free With Google Keyword Planner
The first way to do keyword research is by using Google’s keyword planner. This way is 100% free, but it’s less efficient than the second way that I will show you.
Step 1: Access the keyword tool
If you don’t already have a Google account; create one. You’ll need it to access this tool. Sign up here if you haven’t already. Once you’re logged in—search for “google keyword planner” on Google. Now you may have to log in to AdWords before you can access the tool.
Step 2: Write a word or a phrase to get different keywords
Now you want to click on “Find new keywords and get search volume data”. After that you’ll get a box that looks like this:
As you can see, I’ve used “skin care” as a keyword. You can filter the information to your choice, but I just click “get ideas” after I’ve written the word or phrase.
Step 3: Choosing the keyword[s]
The tool gave me 701 keyword ideas:
We can see that the average monthly searches for “skin care” is 10 000 to 100 000. But since that’s a short-tail keyword—it’s most likely very hard to rank for that keyword alone. The competition score is only showing the competition if you were to pay for an ad. It might be easier to rank for the long-tail keyword “best skin care products”.
The Problem with “Might”…
Here is where I find this free tool to be lacking. You can see the number of searches and get related ideas—that’s great! But… you can’t see how easy or hard it is to rank for that keyword. Therefore, we chose to go premium and bought a software called long-tail pro.
How To Find Keywords with Long-Tail Pro/Platinum
As its name discloses, this software is a long-tail keyword tool. The benefit with this software is that you can see the competition. By seeing the competition—you can choose keywords that are easier to rank for in Google or other search engines.
Long-tail pro can allow you to be a big fish in a smaller pond—instead of being a small fish in a bigger pond. This is not to say that you will never choose keywords with a high search volume. But you might be strategic and find a sweet spot where the search volume is high enough and the competition is low enough.
I will not do a step-by-step guide for long-tail pro. You’ll get that from long-tail pro when you buy the software. But I can give you a sneak peak.
Similar to the previous example, I write the keyword “skin care” and get 701 related ideas:
As you can see—the software differentiates between advertiser competition and keyword competition. You can see the search engine competition to the right. As stated before, you’ll get a lot of great videos from long-tail pro. For example, they say that a keyword with around 30 in competition score is a good target for a new website.
You can also choose to see more specific information about the websites that are ranking high for a keyword:
So if you’re serious; you may want to consider getting long-tail pro.
How To Optimize Your Blog Posts
For this part, we use a WordPress plugin called Yoast SEO. I recommend that you get it because it will help you to see the SEO score of your post. It’s free, but you can upgrade if you want to. We are using the free version.
After you’ve installed the plugin—scroll down on the post that you want to write/publish:
Here is what Yoast SEO looks like:
Let’s say you chose the long-tail keyword “best skin care products.” As you can see in the picture above—I’ve written it where it says “focus keyword.” Now the plug-in will tell you what to improve for SEO purposes under “analysis.”
You want to get as many green dots as possible. So for example, I could improve the SEO by adding a picture and writing the keyword in the first paragraph.
There you have it! “On page SEO” doesn’t have to be complicated. Again—don’t compromise the quality for SEO purposes. Sometimes Yoast SEO tells me that I should have higher keyword density. But that’s inappropriate for some blog posts. Therefore, focus on quality content first and then optimizing your content.
With that being said; I would concentrate on doing keyword research before creating the blog post. I wrote a post once around a keyword with less than ten searches a month. But by using long-tail pro—I was able to change the keyword without compromising the meaning of the post. Now it has a keyword with 1600 monthly searches instead of less than 10.
I hope this blog post was able to help you with keyword research and optimizing your post for the search engines. Please feel free to drop a comment below and share this post to anyone that you think can benefit from it!