We have already covered how using keywords effectively can help your blog rank #1 on search engines like Google, but you might still be wondering: “how do I even choose my keywords in the first place??” Fortunately, there are a couple of simple ways to shed light on this problem (like our favorite, the keyword matrix technique. We’ll get to that later).
This question is the first thing that you should consider. Before you start writing any content (better yet, before you even pick your topic!), put down the pen and paper and do a little bit of keyword research.
Write What You Know
Now, before we dive into the technical stuff, it is important to consider the old writing adage: “Write what you know”. Obviously the most important reason to pick your topic is because it fits in with your blog and because you have something to say. Remember: good blogs need good content. There is no super magical SEO hack that replaces the value of giving your readers exactly what they came for. The true art behind using keywords for SEO is making sure that readers can find your content when it has the answers that they are looking for.
Give The People What They Want!
All of that being said, it is equally important for you to research and understand what people are already looking for. This is where keyword research comes into play. The trick is to find keywords that are often put into search engines (or have high “search volume”) and also have few relevant results. Fewer relevant results means less competition for your content! Targeting high search volume/low competition keywords before you begin writing allows you to ultimately better serve your audience. By tapping into a space where there is a need for content on a certain subject, you’re giving your audience exactly what they want!
There are a few different tools out there that can help you zero in on the right keywords for your content. Some are free and others are not. Good free tools include the Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer Free Trial. Unfortunately, Google’s and Moz’s tools are actually rather limited behind their paywalls. If you are willing to pay, you really will get the industry standard out of the Google and Moz tools. Otherwise, the free tools are a great start.
Researching Options with The Keyword Matrix Technique
Both of these tools are going to require you to use a sort of guess-and-check style of research to find the keyword that you ultimately want to choose. It helps to have variations of your keyword ready so that you are able to test several different approaches at the same time. One of the best ways to come up with variations in your keywords is known as the keyword matrix technique.
The keyword matrix technique is a writing technique that employs a grid (a spreadsheet in a program like Excel would be great for this) to produce different variations in your keyword. In each row, you want to pick a new keyword that fits your blog’s content (i.e. ‘pumpkin pie’, ‘wellness’, ‘travel advice’). In each column, you want a different variation term that adds one level of specificity to the topic (i.e. ‘in the fall’, ‘for business’, ‘for women’). Then, you want to fill in each cell in the grid with the combination of the row and column. Each cell in the grid represents a new keyword for you to research to see if it’s a winner. Some of the results may be entirely nonsensical, but others may open up insights you would never have seen otherwise! Below is a matrix made up using the examples in this post:
As you can see, “pumpkin pie for business” probably does not have very much search relevancy (although with today’s pumpkin spice popularity, who knows!), but “travel advice for women” might be just perfect. Ideally, your matrix will be much larger and more complex than this example. It just might lead you to a golden keyword!
Congratulations, You’ve Won!
Once you get that beautiful keyword, you are set to go! Write with your wisdom and experience and your readers will thank you. Make sure to stay tuned here at the Tymbal Blog for more tips and tricks involving writing, SEO, social media, and blogging in general! Until then, happy blogging!