You do not have to do anything special for Google or any other search engine to give you a high ranking position. You don't need keyword research.
There are many successful bloggers and website owners out there that simply do not do any research. They are well-versed in their niche of choice, and just write about stuff they think is important.
If you are a good writer and knowledgable about your topic, your blog posts will just naturally get ranked. Google is smart. It can figure out what you're talking about and hook up you up with relevant search engine users.
However, being good at keyword research has two benefits.
- If you are unfamiliar with your affiliate blog niche, keyword research helps you discover what your audience is searching for
- If you are already an expert about your topic, it helps you prioritize what to write about, both in terms of order of tasks, as well as where to focus more time
After choosing which keywords to write for, and how in-depth each article should be, search engine optimization can further help you optimize your articles to outrank your competitors. Having an SEO process for your writing will help to optimize your content for search engines so you can stay on topic and efficiently deliver information to the reader.
Keywords For Organic Search Engine Traffic
Keywords Are Just Guidelines!
Keywords are just a method we use to reach human readers. I like to think of them as guidelines, not an exact formula. They tell me which topics are getting the most traffic, and which phrases are the least competitive to rank for.
Keywords can suggest where I should focus my energy, but they don’t tell me how I to run my business!
Google is a robot, and it's trying to figure out what the pages on your affiliate blog are about. By using keyword research and search engine optimization, you can give strong hints to Google as to what you're writing about.
Still, no amount of SEO wizardry will guarantee that you rank #1 for your phrase of choice. It’s Google's job to make sure that people cannot manipulate the algorithm and rank for anything they want. Imagine a world where you could just type in a formula and put your website in any position you want. Sure, it would be great for you, but what about the million other people that want that exact same spot.
At the end of the day, you have to realize that there is only so much control you have over the rank of a post.
1. Is This A Good Keyword?
If the keyword makes sense and you think it’s useful to your audience, then yes, it’s a good one. I really don’t care how much traffic it’s getting. Even if 1 person a month finds that post and buys something because of it, that’s 1 sale per month for the next 10+ of years my business is in operation.
Every piece of content on your website will be indexed in Google. You might end up ranking for things you didn’t plan on anyway, so it’s worth your time (at some point) to write about any useful topic. You can write about it now, or write about it later.
2. How Do I Use Keywords To Get Ranked?
I cover much more in depth strategies later on, but the basics are pretty simple to memorize. Here's what I do:
- Required: Keyword in title & URL
- Required: Keyword in first paragraph
- Optional: Keyword in h2/h3/h4 tag
- Optional: Keyword in alt tag & image title
- Optional: Keyword near the end of the article
Video: Where Do I Put Keywords For SEO?
3. Can I Change My Keyword?
If you want to slightly alter your phrase so it's the same basic meaning, but using different words, that's fine. I do not recommend that you spend a bunch of time doing this, but you may go back to old content and discover you made a mistake. Optimizing for a different, but similar keyword is OK.
For example, one reason you might want to do this is if you wrote a blog post for an awkwardly worded phrase, and want to humanize it a bit more. E.g. instead of How To Build Fence In Backyard you want to change it to How To Build A Fence In Your Backyard. That's fine.
You need to decide if the content, title, and URL is salvageable or not.
Video: How I Deal With Bad Grammar Keywords
It's probably a waste of your time to completely rewrite a blog post with the intent of optimizing for a brand new keyword though. You might as well just create something new and better rather than fix something broken.
Sure, that's time wasted, but it's also a lesson learned.
4. Can I Use Two Keywords In One Article?
No, you cannot. Targeting two keywords takes away focus from the first keyword. One topic per article means one keyword per article.
If you love that second keyword so much, write an article about it. If it's very similar to the first keyword and does not deserve its own article, then it would be a waste of time to write about it anyway.
5. Why Am I Not Ranking For My Keyword?
There are many reasons a post might not rank for a term you are trying to rank for.
The #1 reason I see is that your website simply doesn’t have enough authority. If you have a brand new domain name, only three pages of content, you just don't have the power to rank. Search engines don't know you very well, let alone trust you.
Even a website that’s 2-3 months old and has 5-10 blog posts averaging 400-500 words per post is going to struggle to rank for higher competition phrases. Google's a robot and it needs data (words) to figure out what your website is all about. Feed it some data by publishing more often!
Competition is another thing worth considering. Though long term I don't think competition is an issue, in the short term, you'll struggle to rank against your bigger, older competitors. If you think that's the case, try looking at the competition stats from your keyword tool and aim lower, for easier to rank terms.
Continuing With Keywords & Writing
This is an introductory lesson to keywords, and I'll get more in-depth into keyword concepts in the Intermediate Training Modules.
The two main things you need to do from here on out is see how to actually do the research. I used Jaaxy (review) for many years, and still recommend it. Scroll to the bottom of this page to see some Jaaxy tutorials.
In the next lesson we're going to learn how to find products to promote and how to write product reviews. For guidance on how to outline and write an article for your website, please see the tutorial on writing a keyword targeted blog post.
If you are struggling with writing, there’s no easy way about it; you need to practice. Do not fear writing bad content. Practicing is the best way to get better! You can always go back and edit your old posts to improve them, or even redirect them to an updated version.
Keep reading about keywords for search engine optimization, for greater insight into how to use keywords, why some work and some don't, how to transform a bad idea into a good one, and how to analyze page 1 competition results.
More Keyword Videos
I did some live training sessions dedicated to learning about how to pick good keywords and use them in your blog. If you are struggling with keyword research, please watch these videos and see if they can help clarify how I use keywords for my websites.
Keywords For SEO
Here are a few more (older) videos worth watching if you have the time. I'm using Jaaxy in the videos.