Thursday, October 1, 2015

SEO essentials for pet bloggers: How to do keyword research

Sinead demonstrates keyword research for pet bloggers

Last week, in the inaugural entry in this SEO series for pet bloggers, I told you all about the importance of using keywords in your pet blog. (If you missed that entry, you can check it out right here.) This week, I'm going to help you find the keywords you'll need to use in your blog. And Sinead here is sitting in front of the top tool I use: Google Adwords.

This free tool is designed to highlight the key phrases people in your industry use when they're talking about the same thing you plan to talk about. And the data comes right from Google.

To use this tool:
  1. Go to the Google AdWords campaign page.
  2. Sign in (you'll need a Google account, which is free). 
  3. Click on "Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category" under the green "Find new keywords and get search volume data" heading.
  4. Enter one or two words to describe the topic you plan to write about in the "Your product or service" box. 
  5. Enter your website address in the "Your landing page" box.
  6. Select a product in the "Your product or category" box. (I usually select "Hobbies & Leisure" and then "Pets & Animals.")
  7. When the page loads, click on the "Keyword ideas" tab.
You'll be shown a number of different variations on keywords that are quite a bit like, but maybe just slightly different from, the words you were planning to use. And you'll see how many consumers search for the terms you might pick, so you can see how much competition you'll face for a specific term.

I'll say, straight off the bat, that much of the terminology you'll get in a search like this is worthless, especially if your original terms are vague. For example, when I run this set of steps on the term "Boston terriers," I get:
  • Boston terrier breeders
  • Boston terrier for sale
  • Boston terriers for sale 
  • Boston terrier puppy

Unless I have a little box of pups to foist onto the world, these terms don't help me at all. So it takes a little bit of clicking and sorting and investigating in order to find alternate keywords that actually relate to the topic at hand. You'll need to get picky.

But, with practice, you'll be able to spot the hidden gems in the hundreds of results you get with this free tool. And you might end up ranking for terms that have always eluded you in the past, especially if you put the keywords you find in the right spots (More on that next week!).

So that's your lesson for this week! Any questions? Hit me up in the comments.


  1. Thank you. This is very helpful info. Then do you use the keyword in the title or body of your post? Or just as tags?

    1. The short answer is yes to all three. But next Thursday, I'm planning to answer this question more completely. Stay tuned!

  2. Wow, these are great tips!!!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  3. I have had the hardest time trying to do this. My page says "About Your Business" and then wants me to set up my first campaign. That first page where Find keywords is my sign-in page. What am I doing wrong?

    1. I think I figured this out.

      Are you new to AdWords? If you are, Google is trying to get a ton of data about your business and your billing because (technically) this is a tool you'd use in order to buy an ad in Google search results. You'd buy an ad for a keyword, and your text would appear above, beside or below the results for the term.

      So you can do a couple of things. Give accurate data, knowing that Google will never bill you b/c you're never buying an ad. Or, give bogus data b/c you're never buying an ad. Once you get past that setup account screen, you'll follow the steps I outlined here.

      Did that work? If not, shoot me an email. It's all linked up in that "Contact Me" page to the right of this post.