If you’ve been following me for awhile, you’ll know that I’m all about doing things the easiest way possible. I don’t like doing extra work if I don’t really have to.
Luckily, after years of running my blog, I’ve learned a few tricks here and there that helps me achieve things with the least amount of effort.
Today, I’m talking about finding keywords to write about.
In the beginning
I used to do keyword research. I would dig my nose deep into the Google Keyword Planner for hours on end, typing in all kinds of words that would come to the top of my head. Then I’d look at the search volumes, the first page competition, their metrics, gauge if I could rank against them or not….
I don’t do that anymore.
I simply write whatever I feel like. If I feel like it’s something that is helpful and something that I would talk about with friends, or share with a fellow colleague, I’ll write about it.
I do implement keywords and optimize my posts as best as I can, but I don’t freak out about whether or not the keyword is viable enough, or how the competition looks. I may take a look at search volume for keywords if I’m really curious, but that’s about it.
I like keeping things simple.
Old habits die hard
I used to be obsessed with keeping track of my rankings. “Is it in the top 100 yet? Top 50? Top 10?”
I even had daily emails sent to me via Pro Rank Tracker to let me know if my rankings fell a spot or not. GEEZ talk about being high strung. I’m so glad I got over that part of my life.
Well, I’m not obsessed with how well I’m ranking anymore, but I do like to keep tabs to make sure that I’ve still got it. I sometimes get curious and see how well I’m doing, and if I need to tweak some things.
Enter – the Google Webmasters Tools
If you don’t have a Webmasters Tools account set up for your blog or website, do it now!
This nifty tool lets you know the keyword terms you’re ranking for and the position. There are other tools that do a better job at this, but, like I said…
I’m keeping things simple.
A cool tip with GWT: finding easy keywords
When you go in to snoop around on your own rankings, you may find that you’re ranking for terms that you didn’t mean to rank for.
Some of them will be completely absurd (some terms I’ve seen for my blog are X-rated, which, it clearly is not!), but you’ll also find some terms that give you inspiration for a new post.
I go in to check my current rankings for a post I’ve published a month ago. I see that THAT post is ranking, but it’s also ranking for keyword terms that I didn’t even mean to target!
Well, if your blog post, titled “How to bake blue cucumbers” is ranking for “How to bake blue zucchinis”, that usually means that Google can’t find enough results to display for “How to bake blue zucchinis” and deemed your post as a close enough result.
Search Volume via ToolFeast’s AutoSuggest
If I find a keyword that piques my interest, I’ll quickly plug it in to AutoSuggest (a very simple and no frills keyword research tool. Oh, and it’s free!), to see what the monthly search volume is.
I walk you through exactly how I do this in this video:
Imagine if you took these “accidental” rankings and actually created content around those terms, how well you’d rank? Since you ranked so easily without even trying in a non-related post, a related post could only do better in the SERPs! (That’s short for search engine result pages)
So, it’s your turn now. Go into your GWT and see what new blog post ideas you’ll come up with. Comment below with your funniest/weirdest terms!