How to know what your audience is searching for

You have a fabulous new idea for a blog post (or podcast or video) that you think your audience would loooooove.

And in addition to sharing it with your existing audience on social media and by email, you also want this content to help you get found by a new people, ideally people who are already searching for this topic on Google.

But how do you know what your audience is searching for?

Simple: Keyword research. You need to learn the phrases that they’re searching, so that you can be found for those words.

You’ll notice I said

Here are 3 steps to get started with keyword research:

Ask people what they’re curious about via crowdsourcing

You could send a survey, post an open-ended question in a facebook group, or go through customer intake conversations to discover the problems that your ideal client is experiencing.

For example this question came up in my free SEO Action Heroes facebook group (Wait, you’re not in it? Join us for free!):

Not only is this an awesome question from the original poster, but you can see in the second comment that somebody else has been wondering this too … so it led me to write this blog post: Will a Dedicated Resources Page Help or Hurt Your Site’s SEO?

I tend to believe that if 1 or 2 people are asking me a specific question, that means that at least 100x as many people are turning to Google with that same question … so why not take the answer you’d give those people and turn them into a blog post for everyone to read?

“But Meg,” I hear you wondering (because I’ve gotten so good at keyword research that it’s turned into mild telepathy), “how do I know what phrases people are actually searching for once they get to Google?”

Easy: use a keyword research tool.

Find the right keyword phrases

When it comes to finding the words that people are using to search Google, my favorite free keyword research tool is Ubersuggest. It gives a ton of keyword research data to you — for free! — in a user-friendly way.

So let’s say, for example, that you want to write a blog post about incorporating healthy fats into your diet. You could go to Ubersuggest and type in “healthy fats”:

And you can see that there are 33,100 searches every month for the phrase “healthy fats.” But look at the “SD” (search difficulty) — this is a metric of how hard it is to rank for that phrase in organic search rankings.

“Healthy fats” is a 30 … but right below it are phrases like, “healthy fats in foods” and “health fats for keto,” which have much lower search difficulty (9 and 11).

And if you keep viewing the related terms, you’ll also see “healthy fats snacks” and “healthy fats for vegans.” So those are other topics that you can include in the blog post, to make this blog post likely to be found by people with lots of different related needs.

So now, beyond your original keyword of “healthy fats,” you have FOUR great keywords that you know people are searching for: “healthy fats in foods,” “healthy fats for keto,” “healthy fats snacks” and “healthy fats for vegans.” You know that all of these topics have people who are interested in reading about them. So what’s next?

Choose one primary keyword and 2-3 secondary keywords

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to choose ONE of those keywords as the exclusive point of entry to your blog post. If you write a really fantastic post about “healthy fats snacks,” you should also show up in searches for “healthy fats” and “healthy fats in foods.”

But you should choose ONE that is most important to your end goal — like “healthy fats snacks”, so that your writing has something to focus on … then you can sprinkle a few other keywords throughout your writing to make sure Google knows that they’re related. (“Are you looking for healthy fats in snacks for your Keto diet?”)

Once you’ve got those keywords selected and prioritized, it’s time to get writing.

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