Keyword research is the most important part and in this post you will learn how you can do keywords research for free .
I will also share my secret weapon aka best blogging tools for keywords research.
So just countinue reading….
Video Guide for this post:-
- Keyword placement matters more than usage frequency. That is, using keywords in the title tag and header has more weight than using them five times in the content.
- Using synonyms is more than acceptable. Now that Google is more sophisticated in interpreting data of a website, keyword specificity is fading. So even if different key phrases are used, as long as they have similar context, Google can place them in the exact same category, theoretically.
- Semantic search is making a huge difference on user searches. In the past, Google dissects search queries by words. A search query about “running shoes Utah”, for example, would return anything that may be related with running, shoes and even events in Utah.
Along with these changes is the need to take a different approach to keyword research. Keywords still matter, but they need to be perfect to be really effective. So whatever process you have been following for as long as you can remember, you should completely forget.
What does Keyword Difficulty Analysis mean?
Keyword difficulty is defined as a factor that helps determine how easy or difficult it is for a website to rank based on a particular keyword. So it’s no longer about short-tail or long-tail, and high or low, because other factors now come into play, such as the following:
- The number of pages currently ranking for a specific keyword
- The number of pages bidding on a keyword in paid search campaigns
- The volume and cost per click of a keyword for a particular month
If you want to go down to specifics, you also need to look into queries that you must compete for based on three elements:
- Your competition or the number of indexed pages for a particular query
- The authority or ranking strength of a website based on the quantity and quality of incoming links
- The relevance of well-ranking websites in terms of how they match certain search queries with consideration to factors, such as on-page ranking and off-page signals.
Difficulty analysis also entails estimating keyword difficulty. The easiest way to do this is to check out strong and weak search results based on a keyword or key phrase that is widely used. Between “running shoes Utah” and “Nike running shoes”, the latter is harder to rank with, especially for normal and less-popular blogs. There is no way you can compete with high authority blogs.
A search query on “Pebble Time review” would return the following results:
All of these make up the top 10 strong results, which is clearly hard to outrank by less authoritative websites.
But if you use long-tail keywords, there is a possibility that the results will include forums, non-relevant sites, YouTube videos, Yahoo Answers and other websites that will be easier to outrank or those that make up weak results. So, what you want is a keyword that will return weak search results.
But because there are no hard-and-fast rules in difficulty analysis, you need to use tools at your disposal. A keyword difficulty tool can come in many shapes and sizes, so to speak. It’s not just a specific type of software, but a set of procedures that lets you identify keyword difficulty.
Perform difficulty analysis based on several principles
Top 10 Search Results
If you want to determine the metrics involved in keyword difficulty, determine the top ranking sites related to the terms you intend to use. Getting results is easy. It is making the searches non-personalized that is challenging, although not impossible. You just need to use the right tools to de-personalize your search and get the results that matter more. Using Chrome browser in incognito mode is one good example. What this does is to remove results returned based on search data and preferences, such as ads, news, images and YouTube videos.
Number of Links
Top-ranking pages are likely to have a significant number of external and domains pointing links based on certain key terms. If you use the same keywords, you would definitely have a hard time ranking. But if there is a top-ranking website with just a few direct links, you have a door of opportunity. Using Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO, you can acquire a number of linking domains a website has. But know that a site with few high quality links can have the same authority as one with plenty of low quality links, which is why further analysis is necessary.
How strong a competitor website’s off-page optimization is reflected on the number, authority and type of links it has, including the backlinks. Keyword difficulty analysis will look into page authority, domain authority, keyword in anchor text and the diversity of unique linking root domain.
Now that you know who your competitors are, find out how well optimized they are. Think like a search engine and look for different signals that will help your keywords rank easily and effectively.
- Keyword in title tag
- Length of the title tag
- Keyword in H1
- Keyword in image alt text
- Keyword in domain or URL
You can also keep your evaluation simple by just ranking each page’s optimization as none, minimal, over, fair, decent or good, and excellent. Regardless of which step you take, however, this process takes a lot of work. If you want to cut down on the amount of effort and time you spend, you should filter your keyword list to a manageable size.
What do the figures tell you?
- If the total results are equal or close to 1,000,000, you have higher chances of ranking on the first page.
- If the results with allintext are just 50% more than the total results, keyword difficulty is very high.
- If the results with allinurl and results with allintitle is less or close to 1,000, the chances of ranking on the first page is high provided that certain criteria are met:
- 2000+ words in-depth blog post
- Proper image optimization
- High Flesch Reading Score
- Quick Load Spee
- Good Social Shares
- Efficient Inter Linking
What is great about using Google search operators is that you will know your competitors during your research. But you can always take a shortcut through a keyword difficulty tool.
Long Tail Pro
Originally a professional SEO tool designed for digital marketers, Long Tail Pro has recently introduced a tool for keyword difficulty analysis where you can bulk check ranking of multiple keywords.
It is not free, but you do get a 14-day free trial period. Look for the keyword difficulty analyzer under Tools, type in your keywords and then search for their difficulty score. You can put in a maximum of 100 search terms per line.
Additional Reading :-
Long Tail Pro Review:Why and How to research keywords
The great thing about this tool is that you get more in one go. That is, you not only learn about Keyword difficulty, but also Keyword Research, Competitors Analysis, and even Backlink Opportunities.
There are just a few examples of keyword difficulty tools that you can use. Among the three options, Long Tail Pro is considered the simplest to use and is highly recommended for affiliate marketers and bloggers.
Keyword difficulty analysis can be done for app store optimization as well. Check out the result count to determine the number of apps targeting a particular keyword. Simply type in the search terms on the app store and both Apple and Google will show which apps use certain keywords.
Once you have a list of keywords, sort and filter them out into different categories, such as immediate and short-term keyword targets, medium-term keyword targets that need to be groomed and grown, and long-term keyword targets that can be obtained through sustained effort.
Keyword difficulty analysis may seem like a new concept, but it is the new way of ranking in search engine results, which is why it is worth implementing in your SEO campaign.