How to Find the Best Keywords for Your Blog for Free

By Irwin Lagman | Blogging

Jan 25

Successful blog posts start with the right keywords.

The ability to find the best keywords can help assure your blog gets ranked well in search engines. It’s one of the best ways to achieve top ranking.

Every blogger wants to get to the top of search engines because it increases the chances of getting viewed by more people. Web pages on the first page of Google tend do get more traffic than those that are not.

I’ve ghost blogged for various clients before and one of my responsibilities was to find the right keywords—relevant search terms that have low competition and enough monthly searches.

There are different ways to and find the best keywords. Most companies buy keyword research tools because these make finding great keywords easier. But you don’t need to spend money to find good keywords. I use Google’s Keyword Tool and it has proven to be one of the best ways to uncover great keywords that help blogs perform well in search engines.

What the Google Keyword Tool does

This is a web-based tool that allows users to find niches and keywords. Originally designed to help Adwords advertisers find profitable keywords, this became a must-use tool for publishers looking for awesome keywords to rank for.

This is great to use because it’s straightforward and easy. It offers accurate information (level of competition, amount of monthly searches in specific areas, and possible LSI keywords) that will greatly help you find the best keywords. The best thing about it is it’s free.

How do you use it?

There are 2 things you need to remember when searching for keywords: it must have enough monthly searches and doesn’t have high competition.

This tool makes it very easy to identify keywords you have to ignore.

Let’s say you want to blog about blogging. All you need to do is go to the Google Keyword Tool page and follow these steps:

Step 1: Find possible keywords

On the search box (Word or phrase) type in the topic or niche you wish to find keywords for. Select Exact Match and filter your search. You can select different locations, devices, and languages.

Google keyword tool search box

Step 2: Browse the list and select which ones fit your blog

You will then see a list of possible keywords. It’s possible to get as much as 100 key terms. Go through the list and see which ones fit your blog. In the image below, you’ll see choices like starting a blog, how to start a successful blog, how to start a food blog, how to start a fashion blog, and where can I start a blog.

Find the best keywords with Google Keyword Tool

Obviously, you can’t use all of them. If you want to blog about blogging tips for beginners, then how to start a food blog and how to start a fashion blog aren’t the ones you need.

Step 3: Check for level of competition and monthly searches

Going back to the guidelines I mentioned above, you have to check for level of competition and monthly searches. Fortunately, Google’s Keyword Tool has made it easy for us to see which keywords to ignore.

Beside each keyword you’ll see High, Low, or Medium under Competition. This basically tells you which ones to ignore. Obviously, you should ignore those that have high competition because it can be hard to rank using those.

What if a keyword you like has high competition? It’s up to you, basically. But be prepared to do a lot of work and waiting before you get ranked at the first page of Google.

In my experience, it’s better to find other keywords because most of the time, you need to contend with big-budgeted companies and popular bloggers for these types of keywords and even though you create an awesome blog post, it will take longer to see results.

What I found helpful was to pick something that has low competition and monthly searches that are more than 500.

Looking at the image below, how do I start a blog is a great choice because it does not have a lot of competing pages and there are many people who search for it each month.

Find the best keywords

Step 4: Check the actual results for specific keywords to see the kind of competition you have

Even though you have a pretty good idea which keywords are good, I advise you check out actual results. Go to the arrow beside the keyword you like and choose Google Search. This will direct you to an actual results page to see the sites that ranked for that keyword.

Find the best keywords

The image below shows the different websites that ranked for the keyword how to start a blog. It gives you an idea how much work is needed to get to the top. You’ll notice that 2 entries, Wikihow and Blogger, are present.

Find the best keywords Google search results

What does this mean? If I were to use this keyword, I’d have to topple these two to get to the top. It can mean a lot of work. But it’s possible. In most cases, I’d be thrilled to place 4th or 5th because it’s still going to get decent traffic to any blog post.

You’ll also see, just below the search box how many results Google was able to pull up. Astoundingly, there are at least 3 billion web pages for this keyword. Initial results showed that how to start a blog has medium competition. But I don’t think the figure is anything but medium. I’d probably pick another one or fine tune the search.

You see how important it is to see an actual results page?

Step 5: Choose three to five main keywords and then do the whole thing all over

After taking into consideration the first 4 steps, you should be able to choose at least 3 main keywords. Next step is to find related keywords that you can use in future blog posts.

This time, try long-tail keywords or those that contain more than 3 words. You’ll discover that it’s easier to rank for long-tail keywords. A few examples would be how to start a blog in Word Press, starting a blog for free, how to start a blog for free, and best blogging platforms to start a blog.

Keyword research is a task every blogger needs to learn how to do well. This will have a huge impact on the performance of each blog post. It does not have to be difficult nor expensive. Google’s Keyword Tool will help you find the best keywords to create a successful blog.


About the Author

Irwin creates awesome content for various businesses online. He blogs about writing and other stuff, like Survivor. He also contributes for a lifestyle magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

Thanks. This was really helpful and I will try some for my own blog. Have a great day.

    Irwin Lagman January 27, 2013

    Good luck with that, Jake. Feel free to drop by anytime you have a question.

yecruzsulla January 25, 2013

Great post irwin…
i usually use adword tool too, to find long tail keyword
but i think the “competition” on adword tool is not for us ( as publiser)
but its for advertiser who want pick those keyword,

the real competition is appear on result page. we must analysis pagerank and backlink who stand in page one google. ( i use seo quake)
if its average 2 for page rank…
i think its hard to join competition :)

ps: sorry for my bad english :(

    Irwin Lagman January 27, 2013

    You’re right. It is designed for Adwords advertisers and not publishers. That’s why I highly advise that we still check actual Google results pages and see the sites that rank for a certain keyword. I think SEO Quake is a good tool to use too. Some of the tools I’ve used were Market Samurai and Wealthy Affiliate’s keyword tool.

Sean Nicholson January 26, 2013

Such a great tool, but completely under- utilized by bloggers. I agree with using the AdSense tool, as well!

— Sean

    Irwin Lagman January 27, 2013

    I agree, Sean. Thanks for dropping by.

Harry January 26, 2013

great post and very helpful for my keyword research! :-)


    Irwin Lagman January 27, 2013

    Thanks, Harry. I’m glad it was able to help you. Don’t hesitate to drop by in case you need some help.

Kapil January 27, 2013

This is an excellent walk through of the Google Keyword Tool. I find it to be a great tool to quickly generate a number of keywords along with ubersuggest if you haven’t tried that yet –

    Irwin Lagman January 27, 2013

    I’m glad you liked it, Kapil. Thanks!

Jalpesh Vadgama January 27, 2013

Excellent post. I have been using google web master tools for keyword and other tool but I did not know that we can find keyword this way!!

Thanks for posting such a nice information.

Irwin Lagman January 27, 2013

I agree, Sean. Thanks for dropping by!

Muhammad Waseem January 27, 2013

Hello, thank you for the update, Can you please help me with my website? i am bad with SEO :(

Methews January 27, 2013

Google keyword tool is amazing way to get best key word plan for your blog .

Sohil Memon January 27, 2013

Hello Irwin,
I am daily using this tool its awesome as well as I have purchased advanced tool that helps me alot :) I like your article and the way you have explained its great :)
So, thanks for sharing such a great article 😀

Doreen Dickens January 29, 2013

This is exactly what i need to keep my site running. Simple, clear and to the point.

Thanks a lot for sharing




Your Name January 29, 2013

Google Adword tool is really a walk through. i appreciate you effort in the post.
i have used google adword tool, and it is simply great, we just simply list down the keywords of our own choice whether exact,phrase or broad

Ian February 15, 2013

Nice post! I started blogging recently and got some keyword analysis software to help me target good niches which I find helps massively. The first software I actually paid for, called Micro Niche Finder (you can find it via Google for about 100 dollars), but I’ve just discovered an even better (in my opinion) tool called “Market Samurai” that goes into even more depth with keyword analysis, and I think there’s a free version of it – either that or I’m in a free trial period – anyway check them both out. They even show details like how much advertisers are paying for clicks on Google Adwords, if you were thinking about monetizing your site. I find it saves me a ton of time while I’m still a noob! :o)

Pawan February 23, 2013

That was really awesome, thanks for sharing. I really learned a lot from this post.

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