How to Use Keywords: 4 Solid Tips For Building Your WordPress Blog’s Traffic

How to Use Keywords: 4 Solid Tips For Building Your WordPress Blog’s Traffic

Keyword ResearchI’m going to put it out there straight away – you, noble WordPress user, do not need to do keyword research. Having said that, I’m not writing this article just for fun. Whilst you don’t need to do keyword research, you certainly should.

Why? Let’s explain it in simple terms. You post content that you think will be interesting to your readers. You would also like to think that there are plenty of people out there who are not reading your content, who would find it interesting, if they could just find it.

That’s where keyword research comes in. Getting more eyeballs on your content. Simple as that. Whether you are a personal blogger, budding internet marketer, or business owner, keyword research is something that you should be doing.

Getting Started

For those of you who are still wondering what the hell I am talking about, let me explain.

For the purposes of this article, a keyword is defined as something that a person types into a search engine. Just to confuse you, a keyword is typically more than one word.

So, “cars” is a keyword. But so is “1992 Ferrari F40” (yeah baby).

Keyword research is simply a process whereby you evaluate keywords and ascertain their worth.

The Four Basic Principles Of Keyword Value

Keywords
Keywords are everywhere you look!

I have used the word “basic” above with hesitation, because there isn’t much that is basic about keyword research. It is more of an art than a science, and as we all know, it can take a long time to become a master of an art. Having said that, an understanding of the key fundamentals will get you a long way, so let’s address them in turn.

1. Relevance

Let’s say you blog about parakeets (don’t ask me why that popped into my head). “Badgers” is not going to be a valuable keyword for your blog. Unless you are running some kind of parakeet/badger fight club, but I trust that you are in fact sane. “Parakeets”, however, would obviously be a valuable keyword to you.

More Keywords
Anyone for zumba?

2. Search Volume

A valuable keyword should have a relatively high search volume. Whilst in principle, “parakeets” is a great keyword for your blog, if only 10 people in the world are searching for that term on any given day, it’s never going to bring much traffic to you.

3. Competition

Finally, the keyword needs to be something that you can rank in Google for. How can you determine that? I am not going to open that huge can of worms, but let’s just crack the lid a bit so we can peek in tentatively.

Google loves websites that are high-quality, relevant, and an authority in their niche. So they will look for clean code, content that is relevant to the keyword in question, and lots of independent sites linking to that site. In the most simple of nutshells, that is how Google values your site.

You could have a highly-relevant keyword, with a spectacular search volume, but it would all be for naught if you couldn’t rank for it.

4. Commerciality

Dollars
It all comes down to the simple dollar...

Here’s a good question – can you actually make money from the people who visit your site? I read recently that only 9% of web browsers are ‘buyers’. If you are keen to make a good income from your blog, then you will need to make sure that you are attracting as many of those 9% as possible.

Consider the two following keywords:

  1. parakeets
  2. parakeet toys

Which one do you think is a more ‘commercial’ keyword?

A golden star to everyone who said number two. When valuing a keyword, you need to consider the intent of the searcher. I’m going to take a wild guess here and state (hope) that the online parakeet sale business is not booming. However, I’m sure that there are plenty of online pet stores that sell parakeet toys. It’s far more likely that a searcher is in a buying mood if they are typing in the second keyword, rather than the first.

Parakeet lovers don’t want to buy parakeets online. But they do want to buy parakeet toys. So the second keyword is more valuable.

Where Does My Blog Come Into This?

Simple. If you spot a valuable keyword, you should look to attract those searchers to your blog. But how do you do that?

Search Engine Optimization
Get SEO in your line of sight

Siobhan is a lifesaver here. Back in October of 2010, she wrote an awesome three part series on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Keyword research and SEO are brothers-in-arms. Each relies on the other. So head over to Siobhan’s articles and use your newly-found knowledge to good effect:

Surface Scratching

Consider the above a basic introduction to keyword research. There are an enormous number of resources you can head out to now without running the risk of your head exploding (I’ve seen it happen).

If you want to start dabbling (and who doesn’t like a good dabble?), then check out Google’s Keyword Tool. It is intended for users of AdWords, but doubles up beautifully as a basic keyword research tool.

As always, SEOmoz is a wonderful resource for all things SEO-related. Check out their introduction to keyword research, and read up on 6 Keyword Research Mistakes You Might Be Making.

That is certainly enough to get you started. A word of warning though – be very careful as to who you take advice from. Stick to reputable and well-known websites. The sheer volume of conflicting information out there is mindboggling. Stay on the beaten track!

Creative commons images courtesy of Images Of Money, Lloyd Morgan, Plings, and Sean MacEntee