When it comes to keyword research, Google keyword finder gives you results for Google ads, not what people are searching. SEMRush tells you not only what people are searching, but how many people are searching for it, and how many results there are for that keyword or keyword phrase.
SEMRush keyword tool
Most of my time on SEMRush is searching for the best keyword or keyword phrase to use in a blog post. To see how I do that, watch this video.
From time to time I’ll see how my already selected keywords are doing. SEMRush makes it easy to see how people are finding your site and certain pages in a search.
I can also see what keywords my competition is ranking for. Some businesses use this information to try to “take” those keywords from their competitor.
If you want to know where your backlinks are, you can find that out here, in addition to creating reports and graphs to see and understand everything a little better. If you manage a blog on a client’s website, this is a GREAT tool.
Oh yeah, then there’s that thing it does that audits your entire website and tells you what’s not working and how to fix it. That’s kind of important, right?
Like most online services, there are different levels of pricing. SEMRush is no different. When I started, I tried the free version, but it didn’t offer enough. I wanted more, so I paid $70 a month. Because I’m a sucker for a deal, I ended up paying for a full year with a discount.
SEMRush pricing goes all the way up to $400 per month.
It’s not easy to be found in a Google search. I give it up to anyone who lands the first spot on page one. Bravo.
While that sounds like an incredible task, it can be done. I did with a post on my lifestyle blog, Mascara Maven. To find it, search “CPK butter cake recipe.” That’s it in the first spot. It didn’t start there. Many things helped get it there. (Yes, it is possible to act as your own SEO consultant.)
While catchy headlines are fun and make some people want to click, they are not SEO friendly. People don’t Google things in a creative way to find what they’re looking for. They Google the most simple, basic thing. They search for what they want. Your headline, at least part of it, should reflect that.
2. Meta description
What is a meta description? It’s the text under the headline that explains what the blog post or article is about. Everything I just mentioned about headlines, applies here too. You want to make sure the keyword or phrase you want to rank for is here, but in a bit more detail. You have enough room for one to two sentences. Here, you have more space to get creative and tease to get a click.
3. Headers to make your content easy to read
While keywords are important, there is more to SEO than just using words people are searching for. One factor includes making sure your content looks good and is easy to read. Because a lot of people skim blog posts and articles, headers and subheaders make a big difference. There are seven in this blog post!
It’s important to share other content within yours. You can do this by linking to both your other content or someone else’s content. You should link to your content because it keeps people on your website longer while you’re sharing more of your expertise. If you’re referencing other resources, it helps to link to them as well.
For example, in this blog post, I link to SEMRush because I’m writing about SEO and I use SEMRush for keyword research and more.
You can post amazing things online every day, but Google will not recognize your website as an important one if no one else is linking to it. My favorite method of earning backlinks is media relations. (To learn how to start earning publicity online, click here and join my free course.)
By promoting yourself as an expert in your industry to various media outlets, you can earn mentions that will increase your domain authority and help your search engine optimization.
What is domain authority? The title explains it – it’s how much authority your domain has. Is it new or old? Do you get a little bit of traffic or a lot of traffic? Is your site simple or complex? Sites that have a lot of traffic and a lot of backlinks have a higher domain authority than those that don’t.
6. Alt titles and filenames
What you name your images matter. Use those keywords you found in your research and title your images and files with them. But, you’re not done yet. Use other variation of those keywords as an “alt title” during your upload. Yes, these come up in a Google search too!
7. Using variations of targeted keywords
Just like I mentioned before, you want to use a variety of keywords. The main keyword you want to rank for should be in your headline, URL, meta description, and throughout your blog post or article. But in your research, you probably found other variations of the keywords as well. Use those to name images, files, and sprinkle throughout your written content.
Since five of these SEO best practices included keywords, it’s important to do keyword research. A keyword won’t do you any good if it’s the wrong one. To ensure the keywords I’m using are being searched online and have little competition, I use SEMRush. For more on SEMRush, click here.