Anybody can run a list of keywords (or phrases) through a tool and sort the results. That’s a simple matter of copy, paste, point, and click. Where the pros deviate from the pack is in their ability to find targeted keyword ideas.
Keywords drive “traffic.” What’s another, more personal, definition of traffic? People. Readers. Finding keywords that attract the types of visitors to your blog who are likely to hang around (as opposed to those who may be short-lived) takes a keen sense of detection.
Step 1: Know Your Target Audience
As bloggers, we can become focused on what we want to say. However, it’s vitally important that we understand what our readers want to hear. While it’s your blog, the content should be all about your followers. After all, without visitors, a blog is merely an empty shout out into cyberspace.
One of the best ways to figure out what most interests your followers is to simply ask them. Create a post that explains your desire to develop content that is intriguing and/or useful to your virtual guests; then ask what topics they’d love to see you cover. Post your question on social media, too.
Want to be sure you get lots of responses? Conduct a random drawing of those who participate and give away something universally loved, such as cash or an Amazon.com gift card.
Step 2: Lurk
OK, if you don’t want to sound so ominous, we can rename this step “observe.” With pen and paper (or keyboard) in hand, visit your own blog first. Read the comments your followers left on your posts and pull out the words that might make good keywords.
For example, this post on the BlogPaws blog got several comments. Can you find a potential keyphrase idea from this one?
Looks as if the commenter wants to know more about using hashtags. Make a note to check “how to use hashtags correctly” or “the right/best way to use hashtags” for possible inclusion.
After you’ve looked through several (aka, a LOT) of your own posts, move on to other blogs in your realm, rinse, and repeat.
Step 3: Consider Various Types of Keywords
Not all keywords have the same DNA. There are four keyword types I use on a regular basis. Here’s a quick rundown for you:
Information-Seeker Keyword Types
- Problem-Based Keyword—States a problem such as “puppy peeing” or “chewing on furniture.”
- Solution-Based Keyword—Indicates a solution including “puppy housebreaking” or “behavioral training.”
Buying Keyword Types
If you promote your own books and products, or are an affiliate for pet products, these will come in handy:
- Use Keywords—The phrase “insulin syringes” could apply to people or pets since both can have diabetes. Without including the use of the item (pets or humans), the search results will not be accurate.
- Target Audience Keywords—There is a huge variety of target audience keywords that could possibly be used to drive traffic. These might include practically any descriptor of your target audience, such as:
- beagle lovers
- new puppy owners
And literally hundreds more.
After you’ve evaluated these three steps (and taken ample notes), you’ll be equipped to add your new-found keyword nuggets to your favorite tool for analyzing. Chances are you’ll walk away with some exciting ideas with which to entice new readers!
What questions do YOU have about keyword research or incorporating search terms into your pet blog? Leave ’em in the comments below so we can all discuss and learn more!
Karon Thackston is President of Marketing Words, a full-service copywriting agency specializing in conversion and search engine copywriting for the web and Amazon. She is a graduate of the DISC Behavioral Model course and also a Certified Landing Page Specialist. Get access to Karon’s weekly newsletter today; it’s full of insightful tips you can put to use immediately and rank higher & convert better.