Beginner’s Guide to Effective Free Keyword Research

Keyword Research Tools Can Help Focus Your Language

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Keyword research is a big topic, and I’m not ready to tackle it in my characteristically entertaining long form.

But, since the whole point of this blog is to document what I learn as I learn it, I wanted to drop this quick update to let you know that I am starting to dabble in keyword research.

My understanding of keyword research hasn’t made it out of kindergarten yet, but I’ve started to explore how I can use it to optimize what I’m writing – with a rather large set of caveats.

I was poking around on YouTube, and found the video I’ve embedded in this post. It’s from a guy named Miles, who spends a good deal of time talking about topics that are going to be important for my blogging adventure. Full disclosure, I got sucked into the Miles wormhole a little and watched like ten of his videos in a row. Who needs Netflix?

Too often these SEO or marketing or keyword research Youtube guys use lots of words to tell me basically nothing, but Miles has actually given us some useful and actionable information. He’s told us how to get a decent free keyword research tool (look! free! the internet’s favorite word), how to install that tool in our browser, and, most importantly, how to use the tool to make sure that our writing is actually saying what we think it’s saying.

In this video, the example Miles uses about the drone really stuck with me. You’ll have to watch the video to get the whole scoop, but his point is essentially “hey, if you spend three hours writing about something, and produce quality content, but then you call it something different than what like 90% of the people looking for it call it, that’s super dumb.”

Indeed, good sir.

Even though I could do without all the exclamation points (since I’m neither dumb nor a nine year old girl), the point being made is spot on.

If I’m writing about apples, but I keep calling them “round red hard fruits,” then there’s zero chance that anyone is ever going to find my page by searching for apples. Even though my page might be the best page in the universe about apples, and even though it really is about apples! If I want people looking for info about apples to come to my site, then I have to stop saying “round red hard fruits” and I have to start saying “apples.”

This insight hasn’t changed what I’m writing about, but it has kindled an awareness of how I’m wording things. It’s made me appreciate the simple power of phrasing key ideas in a way that’s more in line with what normal searchers are searching for.

Following Miles’s advice, I installed the Keywords Everywhere extension for Chrome. So far, it’s been an interesting and useful free keyword research tool. Right now I’m going back through articles I’ve written and checking them for consistency. I’m interested in finding optimization opportunities in my existing content.

For example, I did some revising to my article on email hosting because I kept using the phrase email host, but hardly anybody searches for that term. Instead, lots of people search for email hosting. So, I went back through the article and tried to make some changes. We’ll see how well it works.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to write about the topics I like, though I may tweak the wording on certain things.

While I’m not so interested in using keyword research tools to help me decide what to write about, I am interested in using them to more carefully craft the envelope containing the content I’ve already written.

If you’re far enough along in your own blog adventure, I’d really like to know how you use tools like this to package the ideas you’re already writing about.

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