There are many reasons you may choose to start a blog for your business, but at the heart of each reason is one simple goal: awareness.

Unfortunately, even well-written blogs can go unnoticed if they aren’t leveraging the right keywords.

If you’re not familiar with common SEO practices, adding keywords to your blog can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, keyword research for your blog doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Today there are many tips and rank tracking tools like Linkio that make it creating a keyword strategy for your blog easy as long as you’re willing to put in the work.

Here are seven tips to help you figure out how to do keyword research for blog posts, improve your search results, and get your content in front of your target audience.

 well-written blogs can go unnoticed if they aren’t leveraging the right keywords- ContentMender

1. Brush Up On The Basics:

SEO is one of those practices that can be both alarmingly simple and overwhelmingly complicated. Before you start your keyword research, it’s a good idea to brush up on some of the basic SEO terms and concepts. Doing so will make it easier to make educated decisions about which keywords to choose and how to monitor performance. This is especially true since you’ll likely bump into some basic industry jargon along the way.

2. Think Like  A Customer:

An effective SEO strategy is one that helps your content appear in the top search results for a specific keyword, but just because you’re aiming to please a faceless algorithm doesn’t mean you should leave the human mind behind.

If you want to rank for terms your customer’s search, then you’ll need to base your keyword research for blog posts efforts on their brains. That’s when basic who, what, when, where and why questions come in handy.

What questions do they have that might lead them to your website? How does your product or service solve their problem? Or, more importantly, what problem does your business solve?

These questions can help you identify common sense keywords based on themes and topics you uncover. They can also help you flesh out your editorial calendar and craft content that matches your customer’s needs and your SEO goals.

3. Make A Working List Of Keywords…And Then Refine:

Using the questions, themes, and topics you discovered, create a list of keywords that seem relevant to your efforts. This isn’t a finite list, so don’t get bogged down by trying to make it one. Consider this list as a semi-focused brainstorming session. Using some of the tools mentioned below, you can sift through the terms later and widdle it down to a smaller list of targeted keywords.

Make a list of keywords and then refine-ContentMender4. Diversify:

Google’s algorithm seems to constantly shift, and that means that the value of any given keyword, backlink, etc. can fluctuate or even become worthless. Diversifying your targeted keywords and ultimately your keyword strategy can help you maximize optimization efforts and avoid putting all your eggs in the proverbial basket. Diversification can make it easier to reach more people.

5. Go Long:

A keyword can be a single word, but it can also be longer phrase – also known as long-tail keywords. Though they get their name because of their length, the value isn’t necessarily in how many words you string together. Long-tail keywords are valuable because they are often more specific and therefore more targeted. When comparing keyword volume, you’ll likely find that your long-tail words have fewer searches, but what they lack in volume they often make up for in conversion.

6. Don’t Forget About Location:

If your target audience includes location-specific groups, then it’s important to consider that when building your keyword strategy for your blog. For instance, say you were trying to increase traffic to your corporate law firm in Baltimore. Instead of targeting “law firm” or even “corporate law firm,” your best bet would likely be to target local-based long-tail keywords like “corporate lawyer in Baltimore.”

There are a lot of great local SEO tips that make it easier to target customers and clients in your area, but when it comes to keyword strategies, leveraging location-based longtail keywords is a must.

7. Take Advantage Of Free Tools.

There are some awesome paid SEO tools and resources out there, but you don’t need to break the bank to do basic keyword planning. Not sure where to start? Google AdWords, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Analytics are always a great option, and if seasonality is a concern, you can also check out Google Trends.

Google doesn’t corner the market on keyword research tools, however. Soolve, Answer the Public, and Internet Marketing Ninja’s Side-by-side SEO Comparison Tool are all great resources. There’s no reason to stick to just one.

Learning how to do keyword research for blog posts can help you increase the chances that your content will reach your target audience. Getting started can seem challenging, but with a few great tools and some solid brainstorming, you’ll be well on your way. Of course, targeted keywords, though extremely valuable, are only as good as the words that surround them. If you really want to make sure your blog posts reach your intended audience, you’ll need to make sure your content is well written and researched as well.