One of the hot topics of discussion over the years has been the use of keyword research on a blog. Should it used? How often? How extensive? For what reason? All of these are questions that have been long debated in the blogging community.
Keyword research is, at its core, simply discovering what keyword or keywords that a user types into a Search Engine like Google to find information. Using these discovered keywords in your postings is referred to as search engine optimization or SEO.
Some purists say that you should write for your audience without the need for specific search engine optimization. The thinking goes that people as attracted to good, high quality content and as long as your are producing said content, people will read your stuff.
Others relay almost solely on strong research of keyword search terms and then base their writing around those terms. The thinking goes that you should be producing content that people are actually searching for. This is, in this groups minds, the way to grow a blog.
A third group uses a mixture of both methods. Keyword research is a part of their blogging strategy, but not the only part.
So who is right and who is wrong?
What is right is what you want it to be. In my experience I have discovered that all three methods work. Personally, I fall into group three. Some of my posts are optimized with keywords. Others are not – it just depends on the topic and my strategy for the post.
I would recommend the group three style but I realize that this deal is a choice thing. Choose which one feels right and works best for your particular blogging strategy (assuming you have one).
If you do choose to use keywords in your blog posts, here are three suggestions:
1. Make an extensive list of keywords for your blogs focus and purpose
Hopefully you did this when you were first setting up your blog. The idea is the brainstorm keywords that go along with the theme, topic, focus and or purpose of your blog. Consider all words that would “fit” with that purpose.
Here are some examples of keywords that would be fitting with the purpose of For Bloggers By Bloggers:
….just to name a few.
2. From your extensive list, pull keywords for further research
Now is the time to use a keyword search tool to help you determine which words will give you the best results when people do a search for that information.
There are a bunch of high powered keyword research tools out on the market. I have a couple of them, but more often than not, I use Google’s free Keyword Research Tool.
Through the process of searching for the best, most often used and searched keyword terms, you will come up with a list to use in your posts.
3. Write naturally and use your keywords sparingly
Remember, your audience wants to read good quality content that is written with them in mind. They do not want keyword stuffed posts that are more about getting traffic to your blog than their needs.
The easiest way to avoid problems is to write first in a way that flows with your chosen topic. Write like you are talking to one person who has a need that you are trying to meet. Once this is accomplished, go back and replace appropriate words with your keywords.
Keywords and the research that surrounds them can be effectively used in your blogging strategy. Use them when needed. Do so in a manner that enhances your writing and the purpose of your blog.
Most of all, have fun!
Do you use keyword research on your blog? In what ways has it helped or hurt?