If you are going to start writing your own blog posts, or have started but are still fairly new to the process, understanding what a keyword phrase is and how to identify one for, not only your website but also your posts, may be one of the most important articles you will read.
> Related: Youngren Report (Current Google Search Trends)
Each and every post and page on your website should be optimized for it’s own keyword phrase.
If you want to maximize the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your website – meaning, the relavance of your web site to certain KEYWORDs OR KEY PHRASES where search engines like Google are concerned, I’m going to try to help a bit. However, if you want to be a “real pro” with SEO, I highly recommend you search the web for the latest and greatest information. Do a search on your favorite search engine for “SEO best practices” — theoretically, the sites with the best SEO techniques will come up at the top of the search, right? Do your research, and you can improve your SEO as well.
I have broken this down into the very fundamental basics.
What Is A Focus Keyword Phrase?
It is the search phrase you want to optimize – meaning you want to make it a common tag and content phrase throughout a specific page (or post — in this article, I’ll use the word “page” to also mean “post”).
How Do I Do I Get The Right Keyword Phrase?
1. Start With A Basic Search Term
Write your post. Look at it, then ask yourself, “Who is this for? What are the benefits that person is going to get?” Then ask the most important question, “What might that person enter into Google as a search term and be thrilled to see this article when they click on the link?”
Write down 1-5 very broad, generic terms to get started.
2. Getting Started With The Google Keyword Tool
There are several, but this is the one I use, so this is the one I’ll tell you about.
Google Adwords is where Google sells businesses the opportunity to advertise their websites on a “Pay Per Click” basis. This is a great thing, considering as a business, we pay nothing to Google unless our advertising is actually acted upon.
Through Adwords, Google provides a Keywords Tool to help advertisers determine which keywords might be best for them. It provides concrete data for search terms used within Google. It is up to the business owner to determine whether the search term is appropriate for the page they are linking.
Here, we are going to use the Keywords Tool to find a good Focus Keyword Phrase. You may want to sign up for a Google Adwords Account, if you don’t already have one, so you can save your searches and favorite keywords for future posts.
As you can see above, you can adjust the devices (find only those searches by people using desktops, mobile phones, etc), by language, and by geography (U.S., specific countries, or everywhere).
I usually first enter the most broad term I have on my list. It is typically one word, and is not the “focus keyword phrase” I will use, but it is a great way to get an idea of what is being searched on Google.
I am going to use this blog post as an example, so I will start with the search term, “keyword,” because it broadly describes this post you are reading right now (but not specifically).
#1: Download All
From here you can download the keyword search results.
#2: Statistics for the Keyword Phrase Entered
This shows the keyword I typed in and the statistics for that word. If I enter more than one word in the search (one per line – meaning I type a word, hit “return” or “enter”, then type another, and so on before clicking “search”).
#3: Related Terms
Google gives you a list of related keywords and keyword terms (or phrases). You can sort the entire list (usually multiple pages worth) by any of the headings shown.
#4: Average Monthly Searches
This shows the monthly searches and the column heading I click on to narrow down my search. By clicking on the column heading, it will sort the keywords based on number of Local Monthly Searches in the past month.
It is a good idea to stick to phrases that have 500-5,000 monthly searches, if you want to show up higher on the search results. This is why you want a keyword phrase and not just a keyword. Single keyword is too broad, and too many results will come up for that search. For example, it would be much more difficult to work your way to the top of search results for “marketing” than it would for “internet marketing,” but thousands of people still look for “internet marketing,” so the keyword phrase is a better bet than the individual keyword.
The Competition column shows how much competition there is for purchasing advertising through Adwords is for each term, which is helpful because professional SEO experts and internet marketing gurus often tell and/or teach businesses how to research and purchase their keywords. Usually if the competition is low, it is not a very good keyword for some reason. If competition is high, you’re going to have a tough time getting to the top of the list. Medium to high is where I stick to, depending on traffic and relevance.
#6: Download Your Selected Keywords
As you add keywords to the workspace (see below), there are options to save, download, and delete the keywords sets you have set aside. Those sets can be managed from this workspace.
More Screen Shots of New Adwords Keyword Phrase Search
3. Narrow Down The Search For Your Focus Keyword Phrase
- Find 5 of the most relevant keywords with 500 – 5,000 local monthly searches (I like 800 – 2,000).
- Enter the Top 5 into the Google Adwords Keyword Tools search (remember – one per line)
- Check the “Advanced Search Options” to make sure they are as you’d like them to be.
- Hit “Search”
- Look through the results, including the new related search terms Google gives you.
- Repeat the process until you have your FINAL 5 TOP CHOICES.
4. Pick Your Focus Keyword Phrase
Take your FINAL 5 TOP CHOICES and do a search on Google to see if articles similar to yours come up. Often, our first instinct is to select keywords that reflect what we WANT people to think about when they read it, not the QUESTION they are asking when they sit down to search for a post just like yours.
If you missed the mark at this point, go back and start again. The process might take some time — especially at first — but you’ll get better at guessing in the beginning, and this process will take less time the more you do it.
Again, don’t be afraid to read other articles about why and how to choose keywords and focus keyword phrases.
From those that remain, select the keyword phrase that is used often in your post, makes sense as a heading of a paragraph or section.
You can also keep a list of the most relevant phrases that you can use in future blog posts. Select all the keyword phrases that you think you might use in the future, then download them to keep handy when you write your blog content.
Congratulations – you just found your keyword phrase!