Most bloggers don't start worrying about finding good keywords for their blog until they already have a blog full of content.
Ideally, you'll want to start mapping out the best keywords and phrases to target before you start a new blog. This is especially true the smaller your niche is.
Luckily there are a few easy steps to determine good keywords for your blog. First, it's important to understand which ones you can actually compete with as a new blog.
I say that because it’s unlikely that you’ll compete with Bloomberg or other major websites for the term “Economy”.
So you must go after the smaller fish first to build up your presence before you can reel in first page of Google status with the big keyword terms.
First, you’ll want to go to the Google Keyword tool or one of the many others which function similarly, and you’ll want to type in the exact two core words for your site's niche or the subject of a new blog article you’re working on. This will be your broad base keyword phrase.
If you’re a brand new blog, look for phrases close to your broad terms that get 1500-3000 searches per month.
You want to make sure the phrase you choose has a minimum ‘phrase-to-broad’ ratio of 15-20%. This ratio is how closely the longer phrase matches the base search words or broad phrase, with a goal being closer to 50% phrase-to-broad match.
The higher ratio phrases could be used in your domain name and meta tag description if your building a small niche blog or website, while the lower ranking phrases will make excellent article titles to reinforce the broader key-phrase and to generate search strength and traffic for those sub-searches.
When you find a few phrases that seem relevant to your topic, that have enough searches per month to explore further, and have decent phrase-to-broad ratios, you’ll want to go to Google.com and search those keyword phrases with quote marks (ie. "cool blog titles") around them.
This will show how many search results are returned for that exact phrase. The lower number of results the better in terms of how many webpages you'll be competing with for those terms.
There is no exact science to how many page results constitute a level that you will quickly be able to compete for first page SERP status.
However, a good rule of thumb is anything with less than 20,000 results is possible for you to compete, although less than 20,000 results is certainly preferred. Once you’ve found a few gems get busy on writing articles around them.
The keyword research steps above to find good keywords for your blog seem like a lot of work, but you’ll become quite good at it pretty quickly and it is vital if you ever expect to start ranking high for quality terms that drive traffic to your blog.
J.P. Hicks is a professional blogger, editor of Blog Tips, and author Secrets to Making Money with a Free Blog. Follow @ Twitter, or like on Facebook.
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