Creating blog content is great, but understanding how to use keyword research to potentially triple your traffic is an outright game changer.
IE 311: How to Use Keyword Research to Potentially Triple Your Traffic with Aleka Shunk
Today we have special guest Aleka Shunk, a food blogger at Aleka’s Get Together.
She’s been blogging for 5 years and resigned last year from her full-time teaching job to blog full time.
She is also the owner of Cooking with Keywords which is a keyword research focused class online that has a few different courses.
What is the most important thing to know about keyword research?
The most important thing is that fact that it takes and should take you much longer than you’re probably putting time into.
Maybe people will take an hour and do keyword research if that, but it should take over an hour to do keyword research for most keywords.
Some it’s like you find a winning keyboard, you know what it is and it’s going to work no matter what you do.
That’s a rare occasion, but most of the time you have to spend a few hours really diving deep into analyzing competition and looking.
The keyword volume and the difficulty find the overall number you’re looking for.
For example, most of us use a keyword tool to do research, but we look at the volume and that’s usually the keyword difficulty and just based on our decision off of those two pieces of data.
A lot of us don’t realize that if we see a volume that’s maybe 300 monthly searches, some of us will just shove it under the rug and think that’s not what you’re looking for.
It’s not enough but we fail to realize that there’s a lot of other different keyword variations tied into that one specific keyword that will collectively bring you an overall total.
We don’t spend time digging in and trying to find all the different variations of the keyword before making that decision to scrap it.
Then a lot of us also don’t spend time and think about the numbers, so even if you’re in the first position in Google for that keyword you get targeted, you’re only going to get about 30% of that in the first place.
So, if the keyword is collectively a thousand monthly searches, you’re getting what is maybe 300 people coming to your site, is that good for you? Is that gonna move the needle?
If not, then maybe we need to increase our search volume target a little bit more.
What tools do you recommend for keyword research?
Starting off as a blogger, you have almost no money to invest into the blog other than a host and the website and whatever other mandatory fees you have to put in.
It’s called an investment for a reason; you’re going to get your money back in terms of traffic and hopefully add revenue in the long run.
With that said, if you don’t have the money, Google Search Console is the first best thing you can use because it’s free and accurate.
The average position that Google gives you for your rankings is a little bit off, Aleka finds not that they’re wrong but that they’re algorithm averages the rankings a little differently and it’s harder to find where you’re sitting.
So, you can spend all day in there and still not find where your ranking is in the search engine.
You can check out the top pages that your traffic is coming from as well as the queries, which is also a keyword that people are typing.
Now if you have a little bit of money to spend, the next tier up would be key search which is the go-to tool for most bloggers.
It’s only about $30-50 a month and you can have an unlimited number of searches.
You can also start tracking keywords, which is the next piece of keyword research that a lot of people don’t think about.
They’re the most expensive at over $100 a month but it’s well worth it because it can save you so much time.
When you’re analyzing keywords; you’re ranking and competing and time is money.
What steps do you take when doing keyword research?
There are two ways you can do keyword research, so with one thing in mind and going from there and building a target keyword with modifiers and other long tail keywords to make it the perfect keyword.
You’re really trying to piece together the perfect title page and to do that, you can start typing in words and seeing what Google suggests for you.
Say you want appetizer ideas. You’ll type that in and then and then hit the spacebar and see what populates.
Often, Google will offer other suggestions that are commonly researched or commonly searched by users.
That’s a freeway to get ideas, say you want to do a vegetarian appetizer; you don’t want to be as broad or target a broad keyword because your kind of closing your window.
You want to add another keyword like “cheesy vegetarian appetizer”, adding the right keyword so that there’s a volume there.
The competition isn’t crazy intense, and the user intent is also being thought about.
Once you have that, then you’ll do the next step which is analyzing the keyword in Google.
Type it in and see what are the top 10 titles, are they matching your title?
The single thing is the most controversial issue regarding keywords, they aren’t ranking because you’re using something not very many people want to use.
So, it’s really important that the results in Google will guide you to give you an idea of what your post is going to be about.
If you’re still struggling with the right keyword to use, check out how to improve your seo with long tail keywords.
Do you recommend updating old content?
Always, that’s the number one thing that people have started to realize is that it’s super important and should be a priority amongst.
We all just want to pump out all of this new content, but if your traffic isn’t increasing and if nobody’s seeing that new content, what’s the point of creating more?
Going back and making sure that you are updating the content and you can go two different ways.
First starting with your posts that you’re receiving the least amount of traffic on; you’re going to go to Google analytics and check out the posts that are receiving maybe less than a hundred monthly visits.
It depends on your traffic and where you are in your blogging, if it’s getting zero traffic you definitely want to update it.
You can always work backwards from there, always make sure you’re asking yourself “is this content doing anything for my readers?”
If it is fit, which you easily do using the Yoast plug-in. Then that will allow you to still get traffic within your site or directly to the post.
The other way you can update posts, especially if you have a lot of content on your blog is to plug your URL into one of these keyword tools and filter.
Search manually the rankings of the keywords that are sitting in, at the bottom of the first page of Google or the second page of Google.
From the fourth to the 20th position, find keywords that are sitting there and have been sitting there for quite some time that have a high volume.
Then see what posts they’re connected to and then tackle those posts. If the post is at least a year old, it’s the perfect time to update it.
After a year, say you can start to update it, maybe every 4-6 months going forward depending on how it’s doing.
Aleka created a 15-minute training webinar, just to give you a piece of her course and talk about it with you.
5 Steps to Creating the Perfect Title, teaches you how to find certain keywords.