One of the little known benefits of creating a blog is the ability to rank in the search engines for peripheral keywords (terms and phrases that are just outside your core keywords, but still highly-relevant to your market). Many businesses focus their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts solely on ranking for terms that are aligned perfectly with their products or services, yet they overlook the opportunity to rank on additional keyword variations. Leveraging blog content is a very effective approach to target and rank on a broader portfolio of search engine keywords. By doing so, you can expand your reach and drive more qualified traffic and potential customers to your website.
To help you establish and execute an effective blogging strategy for SEO keyword targeting, here’s a three step process to get your business blog up and running and ranking for bigger basket of keywords.
Step One: Identify Your Target Keywords
In my opinion, a business should treat its blog as a valuable marketing asset, rather than a place to post aimless anecdotes and random thoughts, which is often the case. Used effectively, blogs have the power to reach new customer segments and grow your business. To harness to full power of blogging for SEO, you’ll need to adopt a serious, structured and disciplined strategy. This all starts with keyword research.
Ways to Find Keywords
Keyword research is a process to find keywords that will drive traffic to your website. If your site is already ranking well for your core product and service keywords, your aim should be to select additional keywords, which may be in the form of mid to long tail keywords, keyword variations or entirely new terms and phrases you’ve never thought of targeting.
To find these new keyword opportunities, you can use a range of different methods, such as:
- Keyword tools – There are a number of free keyword suggestion tools to help you discover new keywords. One of my favorites is The Free Keyword Niche Finder (NOTE: in the interest of full disclosure, this is my company’s tool. That said, it’s still an excellent free keyword resource). Say you sold organic baby products, for example. If you type that phrase into the Niche Finder, it suggests similar keywords to target, orders them by popularity and groups them semantically.
- Competitor websites – By examining the websites of your competitors, you can see which search terms other companies are ranking for in your niche and jot these competitive keywords down as potential blog post topics
- Google Trends – This is another great place to discover new keyword and content ideas, based on trending popularity and seasonality
- Web analytics – If you have analytics tracking software installed on your website, look at the keywords visitors used to find your website; pay particular attention to new keywords and variations of your core terms
Step Two: Create Your Content
Once you’ve generated your list of new keyword opportunities, the next step in leveraging blog content for SEO rankings is to publish content that is topically-themed around these new keywords. To get started, you should block off some time to examine your list of new keywords and brainstorm some blog ideas for each. I would also recommend you create a content dashboard to house and manage your content ideas. To create a content dashboard, you can: