So you are looking to learn a bit more about what keywords to rank for with your blog content and how to find them, huh?
Well, you have come to the right place. And you also have the right state of mind. Just by arriving at this article, I can tell you that you have what it takes to be a great content marketer with a bit of practice and some proper guidance towards the right resources and content marketing tools.
Finding and using the best keywords for your blog content can make a massive difference in the performance of your content. If you do it right, you can see positive results in:
- Website traffic
- Lead Generation
- Social Shares
- Site Rankings
With this list of benefits of keyword research, it is no doubt that it is important for your website.
So, how do you know what keywords to rank for with your content?
Let’s get to it.
What to Know About Keywords in Blog Content
First, let’s go over a few ground rules to adding keywords into your blog content.
1. Don’t Oversaturate Your Keywords
There is such a thing as going overboard when it comes to trying to sneak in every last keyword in a blog post.
Google has become very adept at determining the line between what is called black hat and white hat SEO. In other words, if they think you are keyword stuffing, they will rank your content lower, and your overall website rankings and authority can suffer as a result.
This means you want to be as organic as possible when including keywords into your blog content. You also want to maintain a certain ratio of keywords to total word count. Typically, experts recommend that this ratio is below 5%, but no lower than 2.5% to ensure that Google understands the purpose of the piece of content.
One of the best ways to filter through this quickly without painstakingly counting your word count and comparing it to your keyword count is to use GeoRanker. This free content marketing and SEO tool is quick and easy to use, and gives you a breakdown based on the URL and entered keywords.
2. Aim for More Long Tail Keywords
This content marketing rule is especially important for people who are just getting started with a content marketing strategy for their website.
When you first start out, you can literally never compete with the big guys when it comes to trying to rank for major keywords. For instance, trying to compete with Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Jordan, and other major shoe manufacturers for the keyword “shoes” is next to impossible.
Even if you wrote a Wikipedia worthy article about shoes, you probably could still never rank on the first page for it without some serious CPC campaigns, or Domain Authority, which can take hundreds of thousands of dollars, or years to establish respectively.
This is where the importance of long tail keywords in your blog content comes in.
You want to look for keywords that have a lower search volume, but are far more specific, and have far less competition. While each one may only garner you 20-100 clicks, over time, these terms begin to add up and establish your site as a leader in the industry.
For instance, “running shoes with sole inserts” is a much easier keyword to rank for because it is far more niche. Start with these types of keywords in your content marketing strategy.
Later in this article, we will explain exactly how to find these.
3. Try to Put a Lot of Long Tails in Your Headings
Equally as important as your content is your headings. These tell Google what the content is about, similar to a table of contents in a book.
By using long tails in your headings on your blog content, you can begin sending even stronger signals to Google to rank your content for those terms.
Over time, this can make a massive difference in organic website traffic. In our professional opinion, this is perhaps one of the most overlooked tips when it comes to the best placement of keywords in blog content.
Put simply, people and businesses just neglect it, and it costs them a lot of potential website traffic from their blogs that could easily be theirs. Don’t take all the time to make great content just to blow your chances at getting it to rank well because of underutilizing your headings.
4. Be Creative – Mix it Up and Use Multiple Versions and Different Variations
Don’t be that guy or girl that writes a piece of content that literally uses the SAME EXACT PHRASE over and over and over in your content.
I absolutely hate this. So do your users. And so does Google.
This will only cost you traffic for a few reasons:
- Google is very efficient at finding high keyword density blogs
- You will not be ranking for as many long tail keywords as possible because of your repetition
The solution? Mix it up!
There are probably a half a dozen ways to say the same phrase, especially if it is a long one.
Think of creative ways to say the same thing. Think of similar queries that you might type into Google in order to find the same answer.
You can even try just typing in a few words into Google and seeing what search terms pop up in the search bar.
Lastly, you can always use great content marketing tools like WordStream, Ahrefs, SEMrush to find keywords within your industry!
How to Find What Keywords to Rank for with Your Content
Okay, it is time now to get down to business and help you find the best tools and techniques for finding what keywords to rank for with your blog content.
Let’s jump right into it.
1. Use Google Search (With These Keyword Hacks)
A highly underrated way of finding out what keywords are best to use in your blog content is to use a good old Google search.
All you really need to do in order to make the most of this entirely free tool is to type in a few keywords and phrases that are similar to the topic that you are looking to write about. Dozens of similar options will come up below what you are typing in, giving you a solid idea of what your audience may be looking for.
But this doesn’t tell you all that you need to know, which is where our hack comes in.
While this is a bit inundated, and even slow compared to the other tools out there, there are a few simple hacks we have found that make this process at least 10x easier and more informational.
This bad boy is a free SEO tool that you can install as a plugin for Google Chrome.
Honestly, this might be the single most helpful Google Chrome Plugin for content marketing that we have ever found.
Take a look for yourself:
What you see here is a bar that shows the similar long tail keywords and phrases which people have typed into Google, along with their search volume, CPC and competition.
This turns one Google Search into about 15-30 solid long tail keyword ideas for you to rank for with your blog content almost instantly.
By searching some of the terms that are now shown in this sidebar, you should be able to use this free content marketing tool to find even more keywords to rank for with your content.
2. Answer the Public
This tool is a masterpiece.
If you combine it with the power of the Keywords Everywhere tool that we mentioned above, you can find hundreds of long tail keywords for your blog in seconds, with minimal effort.
All you need to do is type in the topic you are looking to write about, and hit go.
Next thing you know, you have a massive list of questions related to what your audience has searched for on Google.
Combined with the power of Keywords Everywhere, this free content marketing tool is super powerful, because not only will you have a list of hundreds of questions you could potentially answer with your content, but you will also have their search volume, CPC and competition, which will help you further breakdown which keywords present a good opportunity for ranking your content.
Chances are, if you have been in the content marketing or SEO industry for some time, there is no way you have not heard of the elephant in the room – SEMrush.
Put simply, this tool is insanely powerful when it comes to finding data on your competition. It allows you to find who your competition is locally and nationally within your industry.
From there, it allows you to access their analytics data, giving you insight into their traffic, and performance of their individual pages on their site.
Why is this important for finding keywords to rank for?
Here’s the crazy part about this tool – you can actually see what keywords each individual page ranks for!
This is absolutely indispensable when it comes to trying to outrank the competition with better content.
You can begin to imagine the possibilities when it comes to finding a blog page that is similar to what topic you are writing about, finding what keywords it ranks for, and then trying to produce better content, with better keyword density, more additional keywords, and superior content in order to overtake them with some time.
However, this powerful tool comes at a pretty hefty cost – $100 per month for even the lowest level account. For a lot of people just starting out in the content marketing world, or with low content marketing budgets, this is just not an expense you can justify or afford.
You could always try their 7 day free trial to see if it is worth it, or you can leverage the account we already have purchased, by using our PoofNewSales Free Content Marketing Tools!
Ahrefs is a competitor of SEMrush, with a similar pricing structure and value offering.
Essentially, you can use this tool in the same way to identify competitors, their content, and what they are ranking for.
One advantage of using Ahrefs over SEMrush is that they have a built in content researcher tool, which allows you to type in a keyword and then displays the top ranking content for it, along with how many social shares it has, the URL to it, word count, traffic, and analytics into the page itself.
However, if this is something you are looking for, we recommend a free solution by using BuzzSumo.
5. Google Search Console
Google Search Console is one of the best places to monitor your own traffic. It allows you to check up on your site’s impressions, clicks, page rank, and more.
One of the best ways to use this platform to find keywords to rank for is when it comes to repurposing your content, or making similar content in the future.
You will want to take note of new keywords you are ranking for each day by checking in on the Search Analytics Tab.
You will also want to make note of any changes in rankings you have experienced with some of your major keywords.
Also, you will want to monitor the performance of your individual pages by looking at their statistics such as:
- Bounce rate
- Average time on page
- Exit rate
You can also see the keywords that individual pages rank for. This can help you to develop an understanding of how the way you write your content affects how Google reads it.
It can also help you identify keywords you want to focus on in other blog content that link back to other pages, as well as finding pieces of content you want to go back and repurpose when the time is right to give them a boost in rankings and make them even more authoritative in their subject matter.
Find the Best Keywords to Rank for with Your Content
Finding the best keywords to rank for with your content is not easy. It takes a lot of time and practice, there is ultimately no way around this.
However, there are some great free content marketing tools that you can use to help you identify content gaps in your industry, which can help you find topics to write about with your new content.
For some of the best free content marketing tools on the web, check out our PoofNewSales Content Marketing Tools Suite.
We want to continually improve our platform and our tools, and in order to do that, we need your help. Please leave comments and tweet at us to let us know what we can improve on.
Our goal is to provide our audience with the best content marketing tools on the internet one day. And while we are in the early stages of doing this, we know the mission will be achieved with the help of our awesome audience.