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How to Do Blog Keyword Research

A blog is only as good as the traffic and performance signals it produces, right?

If you are running a business, there is literally no reason to be posting your heart out on a blog that lacks a keyword-focused, consumer-driven strategy.

As any SEO will tell you, deciding what to write should be the last decision in the chain. The best content topics will emerge in the course of thorough keyword research – as long as you do it right.

So how do you go about finding long-tail keywords for a blog?

It is best to break down your blog keyword research into three steps:

  1. Define your origin keywords
  2. Build out a list of niche keywords
  3. Steal competitors keywords

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

  1. Define your origin keywords

In thinking about the year of blog posting ahead, you want to have some structure to what you publish. Structure comes in the form of origin keywords. These are essentially the re-phrasing of the product and service the company provides in more generic, conversational phrases.

For example, if the company sells boutique sunglasses, you might want to include origin keywords like “where can i good quality sunglasses” “sunglasses boutique online” “high quality sunglass boutique” or “boutique sunglasses in (your region)”.

These origin keywords should be complementary to your homepage and service page keywords, and will become the foundation of your blogging.

But you can’t blog successfully with a bunch of conversational phrases. You need to get specific.

  1. Build Out A List of Niche Keywords

Here is where you want to build out a list of complementary keywords for each origin keyword. To accomplish this goal, you should research all the different ways a consumer might think of/want to engage with your product.

To use the boutique sunglasses example again, you could plug a simple phrase like “boutique sunglasses” into a keyword research tool (like Ahrefs, Moz, or SEMrush) and scroll through the similar/suggested keywords. Do this for all your origin keywords and you should get tons of ideas here.

Once you see what people are searching for in and around your topic area, you can create content to match. Maybe you realize that a lot of people are searching for a guide to the history of sunglasses. A quick check on the SERP for “history of sunglasses” shows the following …

SEO - Keywords

As you can see, there is an opportunity to rank if you write a comprehensive ‘history of sunglasses’ with an origin keyword of “boutique sunglasses in essex”.

  1. Steal Competitors Keywords

The great thing about SEO is that you can see what your competitors are up to. When it comes to keyword research for your blog, you can see what your competitors are up to by:

  • Plugging a competitor’s URL into a research tool
  • Plug in your origin keywords and see which sites rank on the first page

Either way, you get a clear idea of who is ranking ahead of you, what other keywords they rank for, and the quality of content they have published in order to rank. The number of keyword ideas generated from this simple exercise should keep your content team busy for a year.

Focus on Competitors, Not Keywords

The underlying focus behind all these keyword strategies should be your competition, not the keywords in isolation. At Climbing Trees creating traffic around super niche keywords is harder than jumping into the fray with a series of quality blog posts that steal traffic from your competitors.


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