"Keyword research is a fundamental part of online marketing of all kinds, and is especially relevant for freelance writers, online publishers and bloggers. Compelling content is favoured by search engines, but if you don't use the words people are actually interested in and actively searching for, you're missing a lot of traffic." (http://www.copyblogger.com/keyword-research/)
Keywords are the words that you type into the box marked "Labels" or "Tags" at the side of your blog under "Post Settings". They usually appear at the bottom of your post in a different colour than your text (mine are orange).
How do you select the most appropriate keywords? According to KISSmetrics, many bloggers choose very broad words like "pizza" or "hotel" or "Los Angeles". Others choose obscure phrases like SEO/Link Building/Social Media. KISSmetrics recommends that you sit down and brainstorm, making a long list of suitable keywords and phrases for your personal or business blog.
Secondly, investigate the keywords that your business competitors or fellow bloggers are using. SEMrush is a great tool to use for this process. Enter a domain to see the which organic keywords and ads keywords attract the most online traffic. Another possibility is to visit Google.com and type in a keyword. You will get results showing ten phrases related to your keyword, directing you to a more targeted search.
You can also visit the following websites to do keyword research:
1. Yahoo (https://ca.yahoo.com/?p=us)
2. Bing (http://www.bing.com/)
3. Blekko (http://blekko.com/)
4. Ask (http://www.ask.com/)
5. Dogpile (http://www.dogpile.com/)
An article from KISSmetrics highly recommends visiting Google Adwords Keyword Tool at https://adwords.google.ca/KeywordPlanner. The author of the article accessed this page, typed in social media and received 100 phrases. Then he officially logged into his Google account (or Adwords account) and received 800 phrases for the same keyword. Google Adwords will tell you the following information about your keyword:
-competition: how many advertisers are bidding for a particular keyword
-global monthly searches: 12 month average of user queries for the keyword
-local monthly searches: if you specify a country, it will give you the 12 month average of user queries for the keyword for that country
-approximate CPC: approximate cost per click if you were to bid the keyword
Learn more about match types from Adwords Help at https://support.google.com/adwords/?hl=en#topic=3119071.
Here are some points to remember when conducting a keyword search:
1. If your website is commercial, go with keywords that seem to have the most commercial intent on the currently ranking websites. If your website is informational, like a blog, go with keywords that have the most informational intent.
2. Look for a "sweet spot" of high search volume in conjunction with low difficulty/competition.
3. Look for keywords with high search volume with top competitors that have lower domain authority and backlinks.
4. If your website is already ranking on the first page, but not in the top five spots, and the keyword has good search volume, focus on getting those keywords and phrases to move up.