October 30, 2014
Not sure what to write about? Start with keyword research to create topics that support your SEO strategy.
By Maureen McCabe
If you maintain a blog on your small business website, you’re probably often left wondering, “What should I blog about?” Many business owners start off excited about blogging regularly and sharing their expertise with readers. However, in many cases this can be difficult to keep up.
One of the biggest problems that small businesses run into is a lack of ideas to write about. You may have already exhausted your initial list of blog topics to write on, and are left wondering what to tackle next.
When it comes to blogging, your content has two purposes: the first is to entertain and inform your audience, and the second is to bring in more traffic to your website. This is achieved by keeping search engine optimization (SEO) tactics in mind while writing your blog posts. By using the terms that real people are actually searching for in search engines, you can use a keyword search tool to guide your blog topic ideas.
Using the free Keyword Planner https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner from Google AdWords, you can write blog posts that will perform better in search results. If you craft blog titles and content with keywords in mind, search engines will be more likely to connect readers with your site’s blog posts. Here’s how to get started:
1. Create an AdWords Account
You can use your existing Google or Gmail account, or create a brand-new account at https://adwords.google.com.
2. Use the Keyword Planner
Once you’re logged into AdWords, navigate to the Keyword Planner by selecting Tools from the navigation bar and then Keyword Planner.
Next, choose Search for new keyword and ad group ideas.
Then, enter one of your main business keywords, products or services. For example, I’ve entered “Toronto marketing company” as a starting point for my research. This is a fairly broad topic to start with, but we will dig deeper and find more specific keywords as we go.
You’ll also want to ensure that the Targeting is set to Canada (or wherever you conduct your business). Then click Get Ideas!
You’ll be led to a page that looks like the screen below — ignore this for now, and select the Keyword Ideas tab.
You’ll now see a screen with a list of keywords, as well as the average number of people searching using those keywords on a monthly basis. This is the most important element to look at. For blog-topic purposes, you can ignore the Competition, Suggested bid and other columns, as they are only relevant for paid advertising purposes.
Remember, at any time, you can enter a different keyword or search term at the top of the Keyword Planner to see the related keyword ideas it displays. Think about all the different aspects of your business, common questions your customers ask, and look into alternate ways people search for your type of business to find interesting keywords to target.
3. Choose the Right Keywords
Start browsing the list of suggested keywords, keeping in mind a few things as you select potential blog post ideas:
- Choose keywords that could work well in the titles of your blog posts.
- Choose “how to,” “where,” “who,” and “tips” type keywords that naturally lend themselves to blog posts that can answer your readers’ questions.
- Choose “long-tail” keywords (phrases that are three or more words long). Longer-tail keywords are typically more specific, less competitive and give your blog a better chance of ranking well in search engine results pages.
- Choose keywords with an appropriate number of monthly searches — not too few, and not too many. Sticking to keywords that fall between 20 and 1000 average monthly searches is a good idea so you aren’t writing blog topics on keywords that very few people are searching for, or on keywords that are too competitive to rank well for.
4. Create Blog Titles Using Keywords
After you’ve compiled a list of suitable keywords using a keyword search tool, work them into titles for your future blog post ideas. For instance, I might work the keyword “Toronto marketing company” into a blog post titled, “7 Questions to Ask Your Toronto Marketing Company,” or the keyword “video marketing tips” into a blog titled, “Essential Video Marketing Tips for Small Business.”
5. Write Your Blogs!
It’s now time to write your blog posts using your newly created blog titles. In addition to mentioning the keyword in the title of the post, keep in mind that you should mention that keyword within the content of your post. Don’t overdo it — just make sure your blog incorporates it in a natural way a few times for best SEO results.
Hopefully you’ve been able to create a list of topics to keep you busy writing! For more blogging tips for small business, check out these posts:
What’s the Business Value of a Blog? Google will love you more. Drive more sales leads to your site.
8 Tips on How Blogging Increases Your Website Ranking and Helps You Reach Page 1 on Google.
Six key benefits of social media for small business owners. Don’t miss out on this revolution!
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