Every blogger, no matter the topic or type of blog, is looking for an edge to gain more traffic. How can you get more traffic to your blog? There are many ways, but one of the most successful is through the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). You’ve heard of the term, but might not have taken the time to become an expert.
The truth is that SEO is one of the top tools for better traffic, mainly because it is based on a (somewhat) scientific method. If you can get better at SEO, you can increase traffic to your blog. And one way to get better at SEO is to use the free Keyword Tool from Google AdWords.
What is Google AdWords and why does it matter for a blogger?
Adwords is an online advertising platform created by Google that matches key search terms with paid-for ads. Basically, AdWords is a program that allows you to buy text-based ads for certain search phrases that people use when performing a search. This post isn’t about buying search traffic, though. You don’t want to pay for traffic that you could get for free, right? This post is about using the power of the Google AdWords program to write better blog posts that perform better in search.
How do Keywords work?
Every time someone performs a search, the text on your website comes into play. Google’s job is to connect those who are performing a search with the content that they want. This means that if your website uses certain terms that Google’s visitors are looking for, Google will become more likeley to match that visitor with your website. This is why a big part of good SEO is built on the use of important keywords and phrases.
Because the Google AdWords program is built on keywords, Google has tons of data on which keywords are the most popular for each industry and website. So, how can you use it to improve the SEO on your blog? It’s as easy as following these simple steps.
Step 1 – Get An AdWords Account
The first thing you need to do is to make sure you have a Google AdWords account. You can use your current Google or Gmail account to do this by simple navigating to https://adwords.google.com. This is the easy part.
Step 2 – Find the Right Keywords
Once you have created your account and logged in, you will need to find the Keyword Tool. This is the tool that you will use to find important keywords surrounding your blog or business.
Step 3 – Enter The Keywords That You Would Like to Know More About
After reaching the keyword tool, you will need to type in a few terms that you would like to know more about. The terms you search for should surround your industry. For the purposes of this blog post, we used the internet marketing category. To start, I entered a few important terms surrounding this topic.
These are not necessarily the best example of keyword terms. They are very broad, and when selecting keywords it is better to be as specific as you can. Luckily, the Keyword Tool can help us narrow down our topics as we go by suggesting alternate terms that could work a little better.
As you begin browsing through the list of suggested terms, begin selecting the terms that you think could help your blogging efforts. Ask yourself, which of these terms could I easily work into my article headlines or blog posts? As you check each keyword, they will automatically be added to a “Saved ideas” list that will come into play later.
Step 4 – Understand How To Select The Best Keywords
It is important to remember that not all keywords are created equal. Some are better than others. In the listing of each keyword, you will see three key metrics that can help us determine the value of each word.
- Competition – This metric will give us an idea of how popular a keyword term is. Now, this doesn’t mean how many people search for it, it really means how many people purchase the keyword. Remember, most people use this tool for buying ads, not writing blog posts. For the blogger, this metric isn’t the most important, but there is something that we can learn. Keywords with a ranking of “High” competition could potentially be harder for us to compete against because they are more sought out by buyers.
- Global Monthly Searches – This will tell you how many times the keyword or phrase has been searched for , globally, in the last month. Now we’re getting somewhere. The more popular the term, the larger the number. However, bigger isn’t always better here. In the chart above, the terms with the lowest numbers might actually be the easiest to target. Remember, the more popular the term, the more competition you will have.
- Local Monthly Searches – The third data column will tell you how many people are searching for a suggested keyword on a more local level. This is generally by country. Similar to Global Monthly Searches, this metric will give you a more local flavor on search terms.
Step 5 – Downloading Your Keyword List
Once you have run through steps 3 and 4 a few times, you should have compiled a list of several hundred keywords in your ”Saved ideas” list. You will be able to download this list as an Excel file for easy reference. To do this, just click “Download” and choose “My keyword ideas” from the drop down menu.
Step 6 – Put Your Keywords Into Practice
Once you have compiled a list of great keywords, you will need to put them into practice. This means you need to actually incorporate them into your blog posts. I like to open the spreadsheet and a blank text document side-by-side when I write new headline ideas for blog posts. This is great, because writing powerful SEO-driven headlines is really important for successful blogging. As I write headlines, I attempt to incorporate as many keyword phrases that I can. For example, using the keywords above you might generate headlines like:
- What Is SEO? A Companion Guide To An Important Internet Marketing Technique.
- Internet Marketing Strategies That Even Your Boss Can Understand
- Why Online Marketing Strategies That Bring Business Online Elude Most Companies
Don’t stop there. Use your important keywords as you write your post and as you write subheadlines within your post. The more you use them (in a natural way) the better. You don’t want to get too agressive, of course, but sprinkling them throughout your post is great SEO.