The Value of Keyword Research for Blogging

Key word definitionOne of the most high-return, valuable, and important activities in search marketing is keyword research. Getting high rankings for your keywords can essentially make or break your blog’s performance. Quality keyword research will help you determine which keywords your target market is using in their search queries. Determining which phrases and terms you should target during your SEO efforts will help increase your blog’s traffic. You’ll also get to know more about your target audience in general.

Keyword research does more than get more visitors to your blog. It’s essential for getting the right kind of visitors. Your research can help you predict demand shifts and respond to market condition changes. In time, you’ll learn how to use your keyword data to produce services, products and content that your target audience is currently seeking.

How to Judge Keyword Values

Do you have any idea just how much a particular keyword is worth to your blog? Let’s say that you own an online shoe store. Are more of your sales coming from visitors who are searching for “brown boots” or “blue shoes”? There are various keyword research resources to help you determine the most popular search terms. However, most of these tools don’t show, directly, just how valuable the traffic is that you’re receiving from those searches. In order to truly understand a keyword’s value, you need to have a good understanding of your own blog, make a few hypotheses, test them, and repeat the process again. Ask yourself the following three questions to help you understand how valuable a particular search term is to your own blog:

  1. Is the keyword or search term relevant to the content niche of your blog?
  2. When your visitors reach your site, will they find what they were searching for when they used the keywords?
  3. Will an increase in traffic result in accomplishing your goals or financial rewards?

* If you answered yes to all three of the questions above, you’re ready to proceed.

Do Your Own Searches

One way to get valuable insight into the competitors you have for a particular keyword is to understand which sites are already ranking for it. This gives you a good idea of just how hard it may be for you to rank for that same search term. Simply enter the term into various search engines and see what comes up. Are there search ads running along the right-hand sidebar or top of the page? Did your organic search brings up multiple search ads?  This typically means that key phrase has really high value. Multiple search ads appearing directly above the organic search results is an indication that keyword or phrase is lucrative in terms of SEO rankings.

Keyword Research Resources

One commonly used starting point for keyword research is the Google AdWords Keyword tool. These are some of its benefits:

  • Makes keyword suggestions
  • Provides an estimation of search volume
  • Predicts your costs for running paid campaigns for a particular term

There are many other sources available for SEO keyword research that can provide you with much more data, but many of them also cost money – the nice thing about the Google keyword tool is that it’s free.  Yes, some of the data is off sometimes, but I’ve also seen every other tool out there be off, so if you are just starting out then using the Google tool is great.  Remember, this tool is used to give you an estimate of potential traffic – don’t discount your ‘gut’ instincts if you find some keywords that you want to try to target just because a tool says there is not much traffic.

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30 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

    • Brian, your welcome! I’ve seen so many people just run around in circles with their blogging, never getting anywhere because they don’t even think about keywords beforehand. Hopefully this helps get people started the right way.


  1. Twitter: AAAccidentlaw
    Keyword research is the market research for online websites and blogs. Knowing which terms to target and which to ignore will really help you focus and avoid unnecessary work. There are a lot of sophisticated tools out there to help with this kind of stuff today, including Google’s own keyword tool. An incredibly valuable tool that shows what people search for, how often, by which region, all kinds of stuff. I would definitely recommend playing around with it in your keyword research. Very valuable information!

  2. Rashmi Sinha


    Twitter: techinitio
    Yeah…. relevant keywords help a blog to better rank in organic search and let people know about your share. They are like voice for your brains :D. Let everyone here it!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your ideas!!!!

  3. If you are choosing a niche blog, all your content should revolve around selected high ranked keywords. It will make your job much easier and the benefits will be higher.

  4. adeel

    nice post i think that keywords play an important role in better seo for a blog or for a website so keyword research is important.

  5. One of the most intensive exercise before string a blog. I use Google keyword and market samurai to get the best deal. Apart from that, one should focus on long tail keyword to get the maximum traffic on his blog.


  6. Twitter: The_SM_Bloke
    Keyword research is a vital component if you want your blog or website to do well. Thanks for some great ideas here; I would add that you should regularly check up on your chosen keywords to see how they are doing. Many people do the keyword research at the beginning then forget to check up and see whether those words are still doing well for them. There’s no point in sticking to them if they only get a few searches each month!

    • Andrew, I admit I’ve been guilty of that before – specifically with what I call ‘dated’ keywords (keywords that have dates in them). I have found that I can actually go in and edit those posts and target the ‘new’, ‘trending’ keywords but still retain the juice I’ve built to the original page. So, don’t be scared to edit the post/article afterwards to keep it up to date with what people are searching for!


  7. Twitter: theworldtoptens
    Good one. Without keyword research it is almost impossible for your website to rank. If you are targeting only one keyword like cars or blogging, then forget about ranking in first 30-40 because there are already many quality and authenticated website on these broad topic. I would like to ask you one question. What do you think about long-tail keywords? I think they work best. I always target long-tail keyword and my every article rank in first or second page of Google.

    • Arslan, long-tail is where the money is, especially for those who don’t have the experience and/or budget to go after the large, much-more-competitive keywords.


  8. Twitter: rancorinfotech
    I use Google Adwords Keyword tool and Google trends to determine good keywords. However the search volume shown are not accurate enough. But still you can at least know which keywords is more popular and which one is less.

  9. Use the keywords that are low competition keywords. This is a very important factor that can immediately get you the highest search engine ranking. Low competition keywords are those keywords, especially the long-tailed keywords that are highly searched for on the internet, but not many internet marketers are optimizing their web pages for these power keywords.

    • @Paul – great point! I actually have built entire websites around keywords that show ZERO traffic in the google keyword tool, and have been very successful. It’s important to remember that the tool is limited, and that even if a term only shows 100 searches/month that does not mean it’s not valuable.

    • Exactly, everyone needs to understand that keyword research is just one of the first steps to becoming successful. Analyzing the competition plays a huge role as well in terms of deciding if it’s a keyword that’s even worth going after.

    • Tayyab,

      Synonyms work great – you should definitely put in all related keywords to the tool. However, when you do this, make sure to not put them all in at once, as doing so will limit the keywords that the tool kicks out somewhat. Different synonyms will return a lot of different keywords, so make sure to export everything into excel to keep track of them properly.

  10. Great advice thanks. I agree completely about your point around doing your own manual searches when researching keywords as this gives you a better feel for the keywords and in particular competition in that niche. The google keyword tool will tell you some basic information around competition for the domain name but it doesn’t give you information on competing websites with the keywords int he URL.


  11. Twitter: listverge
    Adword tool is some how great for Finding good keywords but i often make use of Google Search. I type some words of my niche and it displays the most searched Phrase. And then I write about it. That’s all.
    Nice article btw,
    Thanks for sharing

  12. The Google Keyword tool is really all you need. I have used Market Samurai in the past but I have noticed that most of the really valuable information I could get from Google for free. If you happen to be fortunate enough to not have too worry about money there are a few bells and whistles that really are just a luxury to have. But for most marketers the Google keyword tool will more than suffice.


  13. Twitter: skysavior24
    At first I never really care about what keyword thing I will use on my blog or in my blog post. But when I finally started to use good keywords on my blog, It surprised a lot because it really give me a big boost of traffic I receive from organic search. Your right choosing the right keyword is really very important. Thanks for this great article.

  14. Well I agreed that Google Adwords is good tool for estimation of search volume and paid campaign predictions. But can we use it to analyze keyword competition according to SEO ?


  15. Twitter: DigitalTechbuz
    Keyword research is important factor in blogging. You will need to learn the whole process of it for better results. Most of the newbies at start don’t analyze such things due to which they never get success and thinks about to leave blogging.

  16. Hi Chad….. As You told keyword research is very important before you blog about something. Especially in case of niche marketing if you are going for micro niche blogging keyword research is become a important part of your planning . It will become more easier with some tools available in market. If you get best keywords during your research you will get success for sure……. :)

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