I would spend lots of time reading up on how to do it…
I would then go test out how to do it…
I would buy this tool and that tool trying to figure out what it all meant…
I would pay someone else to send me a list of keywords…
And all it did was get in the way of me serving anyone!
While I was busy thinking and planning and organising keywords, no one was being served and I was certainly not making much money or even getting any traffic to my site…
Now, I spend more time creating content and less time worrying about keywords or keyphrases or whatever the new buzzword is…
It is not that I do not do it at all but really, I want people to be more attracted to the content I produce than to come over to my site because I manipulated the search engines. Because if I manipulate the search engines too much, I get the wrong people into my world and guess what, they do not buy.
They just sit there having come on a false pretext because I thought this phrase would be popular with readers but they are not my people. Picking a phrase just because it is popular and will get people to your site does not take into consideration all the other elements that you really should be thinking about when you are in business.
Having the most traffick-ed site on the planet when no one is buying is just sad and depressing.
The other side of this is that even if I managed to get the search engine manipulation right, the search engines could change their algorithms and I go from hero to zero in one second! All that effort and for what?!
So, I am going to tell you what I do instead of focusing on keywords and phrases and LSI’s and all that stuff.
Unless of course, your business is helping people with their SEO then you possibly need to know that stuff!
What I Now Do For Keyword Research…
1. Find out what people are asking
So, I am in business to serve people, to provide some kind of value to the marketplace and therefore, my first thought is to listen in to what people are asking. How do I find this out? By asking them… simple!
If you have a mailing list, ask people what they want and take each of those things and write a post about it.
If you do not have a list or a social media presence with responsive people, then pop into groups, forums, industry leader’s pages and see what the people you think you want to sell to, are asking.
Make a list of questions and write content that answers those questions.
And I now take it one step further and …
2. I ask myself what I want to talk about.
If I try to answer all the questions people are asking without knowing what I also want to talk about, then I get the wrong people into my world.
People tend to want the quick fix solutions and yes, I can talk about that when creating content but I must put my slant on it or risk attracting the wrong people. If I get people into my world who are only about making money with no sense of service or purpose or mission then I get irritated and get rid of them as soon as possible!
So, how do I filter them out? I have to be interested and knowledgeable enough in what I am talking about and yes, I talk like me so as to attract people who think like me, I hope! It does not always work, I sometimes get the crazies but hey… I generally repel them after a little while which is fine.
I sometimes do this in a different order – talk about what I want to talk about and then figure out how to make it what others want to hear about (Usually the headline is the only thing that gets tweaked!). If I am on a content drive and trying to create a lot of stuff then I start with what my people want to hear about by looking through the tools below. I have a list of topics that I know people need to know and I go hunting down ideas if I run out of creativity!
3. Google Webmaster & Analytics tools
Now, that I have a good body of work on my site, I pop into Google Webmaster Tools & google Analytics and check what people are searching for when they turn up on my site. that gives me an idea of what my site is turning up for in the search engines and also what people click through for to land on my site.
There are full instruction on the internet for getting these set up for your site or pop on over to Fiverr.com and ask someone to do it for you! Please don’t get bogged down in all technical detail – This just stops you from doing the real work.
4. Google Keyword Tool
When I am truly out of ideas for headlines or topics to talk about then I do head into the keyword tool where I can stick in my website url and ask it to come up with ideas but I can also stick in the websites of other people in my niche and see what keywords come up for them and decide if I want to write something on that.
A great one for coming up with ideas for content that leads to lead generation
A great place to pick up books in your niche, inspect tables of content and reviews to get an understanding for the things that people want to talk and learn about.
7. Be All About The People
When you get into the habit of creating content that people want to consume (This comes with practise and just writing something each day!) then it is time to get a lot more strategic about what you write about. Ultimately, get ideas about your niche and your people from everything I have said above and start to deliberately think through what your people are thinking and write to that.
Forget the search engines and think about the people. Do not wait for the search engines to find you – Take your content to the people where they are. Social media is a great place to find people as already mentioned in groups. Put your content on your profile whenever you publish something. Find blogs that your people read and put your content there.
One day, when you are rich and wealthy, you can even get some numbers person to come optimise everything if you so choose but for now, keep the people you are speaking to firmly in your mind’s eye and deliver content they want to read and that you want to write.
Build a business you like…
Work hard and do things you like in it each day…
Do not get so caught up in the technical craziness, unless that is your business…
Your goal is to exchange your value for their money and live a purpose driven life so focus on that!
If you are going to worry about anything when it comes to keyword research and content creation, worry more about producing compelling headlines!