SEO keyword research isn’t just for big, for profit companies. It’s something that even small nonprofits can use to attract more visitors to their websites and gain more exposure for their mission. When drafting a new blog post, press release or other website content, follow these six steps to find the right keyword phrase for your content.
Step One: Decide on your topic & audience location
Easy right? Let’s say you want to write about your favorite day hikes for your organization’s blog. It will be mostly read by people in Virginia. Your audience could be national, several locations or just your town/city. It depends what people your organization serves.
Step Two: Figure out how people search for your topic
Your topic may be fascinating, but you need to write about it in the same terms people commonly use in search. How do you figure that out? Well, there’s a bit of an art to it. First, go to Google’s Keyword Planner. This is a free tool to research how often people are searching for keyword terms in your area. It’s mostly used for planning paid Ad Words campaigns. But you can use it for SEO keyword research too.
Step Three: Enter in your keyword phrase and target audience location
Look under the first heading, “Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category.” This will show you how popular your keyword phrase is in your area. Enter your potential blog topic and your audience location. I entered “favorite day hikes” and “Virginia.”
Step Four: Look at the SEO keyword research stats
Keyword planner will give you statistics on how often people search for your phrase and provide ideas for similar keywords. It also gives you information on how competitive that keyword phrase is. “Low” means that not many people are competing for that keyword. Stay away from keywords with “High” competition. The “Suggested bid” column is for paid search campaigns. We can ignore it here.
Unfortunately, the exact phrase “favorite day hikes” has little to no average monthly searches. 🙁
But scroll down, and you’ll see that people are searching for other hiking-related terms. I don’t recommend picking one-word keywords. These are very broad and difficult to rank for. Look for keyword phrase of three or four words.
Step 5: Look for high searches and low competition
You may need to try a few different searches until you find something that works. I changed my search to “hiking in virginia,” and that came up with several good options. For this blog post, I decided that “hiking trails in virginia” did the best job of capturing all three factors: high searches, relevance to my blog topic and low competition.
Step 6: Have Yoast? This phrase is your “focus keyword.”
If your website if on WordPress, I highly recommend installing the Yoast SEO plugin. Check back soon for tips on using your SEO keyword research in your blog and website content.