Great question and one which is bandied about from time to time, usually after Google does an algorithm update as they do several times each year.
Some pages drop off the SERPs, website owners start to panic just a little, and we start asking are keywords important for SEO?
I can categorically tell you in 2018, at the time of writing this article, keywords are still vitally important to get your blogs ranked.
But not just any keywords. As Google’s Rankbrain algorithm grows and gets smarter the use of keywords to outrank your competition is getting tougher. Fortunately, you don’t need to get trickier, you actually need to become more genuine in your content and your desire to provide quality information.
This starts with finding and using keywords that are current and topical and then crafting your content around those keywords to provide the very best information and help your audience. This is search engine optimisation at its best and will protect your blogs from Google algorithm updates now and into the future.
How so Heidi? Well I’m glad you asked.
Head, body or longtail keywords?
If you are not familiar with the terms head keywords, body keywords and longtail keywords check out my first blog which gives you all the base information on keyword types and how to choose a long-tailed keyword.
I am not going to rehash that information here, today we are going to talk about some more advanced ways to find and choose great quality keywords that will help your SEO.
Keyword Research made easy
Help! I know keywords are vital to my blogs but I can’t find any high search, low competition keywords!
Most people go to their chosen keyword research tool and randomly plug in words they feel they would search for within their given niche. This is one way to do it, but you are simply missing a huge chunk of your audience doing it this way.
As we know we are all individuals and the way I think about a given topic will probably be completely different to how you think about it. So if you just go with my way of thinking you’ll be limiting yourself to those who only think like me.
Let’s tap into the mind of the masses and extend our keyword searches a bit further afield.
Forums within your chosen niche are an absolute gold mine for finding not only high search keywords but keywords that are actually interesting.
Remember your keyword is going in your title so you want it to capture your audience’s attention. Say you’ve made it to Page 1 in the SERPs but you may be half-way down the page. Don’t worry – if your title is catchy and your meta description is likewise intriguing to the reader, they will skip over the first few boring titles and Bob’s your Uncle, they are clicking on your blog instead.
So back to forums. These are great places to tap into real people, who are interested in your niche. Some of them may well be quite expert within your field. All the post titles in these forums make for excellent sources of keywords.
Let’s take an example from within the archery niche. Let’s even narrow that down a bit shall we, how about bow hunting.
This is a topic I know nothing about but by checking out archery-forum.org I can find heaps of great keywords and do a tonne of research on what products and topics people in this niche are talking about.
So you can see from the image the very first topic suggests an interesting long tailed keyword – Is a licence required for bow hunting?
This sounds like it would make a great topic for a blog if you were in the bow hunting niche. It got 96 views on the forum in the space of 4 weeks, so not bad.
Number 2 on the list – Gamin introduces the laser rangefinder bow sight. Sounds like a product review right there. Along with number 4 – Chinese compound bow sets and number 8 Choosing the right compound bow through compound bow reviews.
So without even opening the topics I now have 4 possible keywords to research within my niche.
I’m sure if you actually opened the topics and had a bit of a read, there would be even more information on what these guys and gals prefer, other questions they are interested in etc.
We all know Wikipedia is a great source for facts, but it’s also a great way to find keywords. Their Table of Contents basically does all the hard work for you and categorises the keywords into neat little sections.
Let’s check out bow hunting again in Wiki.
So we could do a blog on the modern history of hunting animals by archery.
Within the equipment section will be lots of ideas for product reviews.
Methods of hunting should give us various content posts so that we adequately cover the interest of our niche. I see at a quick glance there is walking hunting, stand hunting and hunting for fish. Very interesting, I’d love to see someone catching a fish with a bow and arrow.
Then there is a heap on the various cultures that use bow hunting, all good blogs or perhaps combined into the one.
And of course for a little controversy there’s always the opposition to the niche. You shouldn’t steer away from controversial blogs. Many of your readers will know about and be interested in the facts when it comes to those who hold opposing views of your sport, craft or special area of interest.
Another great place to find keywords from the general population is Google Trends. You can see in the image below we have a couple of new areas to investigate.
I am not sure why a comedian gets a mention in related topics but I’d definitely be googling his name to find out why. A couple more likely product reviews in GoPro and binoculars as well as a grappling hook.
Plus we’ve got bow hunting safety and bow hunting courses, as well as bow hunting ranches in related queries.
All that without even looking at the extended results or investigating further into each topic. So you can see even from someone who knows nothing about this niche I can find a tonne of potential topics and keywords, and this took me about 15 minutes of research so far.
Check out Neil Patel’s video below on a couple more fantastic ways to do your keyword research using Ubersuggest and Quora.
That’s all good and well but they are just topics we can write about – what about some actual keywords to improve your SEO?
[bctt tweet=”Not all keywords are created equal. And honestly it takes as much work to write an article with a rubbish keyword as it does to use a low hanging fruit keyword.” username=”TheRatRaceEscap”]
Again if you are not sure what that is check out my Keywords Research: How To Guide here. You might also want to check out that article if you are not familiar with how to read the Jaaxy Keyword Results as I won’t go in depth about that here either.
What I am saying though is its worth spending that bit of extra time to find a great keyword that fits the article you want to write and then get writing.
So you have a heap of potential keywords, now you need to determine which one to use. Here is where your keyword tool comes into play.
I prefer Jaaxy, it comes as part of my Wealthy Affiliate membership, so I don’t pay any extra for it. It’s what I use on a daily basis and I find it easy to navigate and the results are always spot on.
So I put licence for bow hunting, remember that was the first result from our forum research, into the Jaaxy search and get this.
Bow hunting is looking like a great niche for my money. I have just screenshot the first 10 results to give you an idea, but it actually shows 25 results and then further suggestions for searches on the right-hand side of the page. As you can see in the first 10 results there’s not a keyword with an SEO of under 94, which is excellent.
The QSR (Quoted Search Results = number of competing websites ranked in Google for the exact term) show 9 of the keywords have under 50 websites, and even a couple with only 1!
The traffic for this niche is quite good considering the QSR’s for these keywords is excellent. You can imagine if your site has 100 blogs with all different keywords getting anywhere from 6 to 18 visitors per blog per month your site will be doing well.
So I would then go on and do keyword searches on all the other potential keywords we found from forums, Wiki and Google Trends. Jaaxy allows you to save the best ones into a list so you don’t need to start looking for them all over again. You can check out Jaaxy and do your first 30 keyword searches absolutely free by clicking here.
I like to do my keyword research this way. I find if I am on a roll I can get 30 – 50 researched great quality keywords saved to a list and I’ve got ideas for a couple of months worth of blogs all ready to go.
So back to the original question Are Keywords important for SEO?
Yes they definitely are and now you know how to find great ones and lots of them, plus how to make sure they are the best ones for your niche. Use these advanced keyword techniques to choose low hanging fruit keywords and get your blogs to optimise most favourably for the search engines.
Leave us a comment below if you found this article helpful or if you have any questions about keyword research or just how important keywords are to getting your blogs ranking well in the SERP’s. And as always you can help us out by sharing this blog, you will find the social sharing buttons onthe side of the page.