Google used to provide a free Keyword planner. It isn’t free anymore. I’m told what you have to do is sign up for Google Adwords, start a campaign and IMMEDIATELY STOP IT to stop the dang thing from charging you. So what is a newbie blogger, home business person, or content creator to do, then? Here’s a bit of what my research reveals.
Moz has a free keyword planner. Moz is authoritative, so it was a good place to start. You get 20 free searches a month. Hey, I can live with that! It’s got a lovely interface and little pop-ups that tell you what they MEAN and give the scale and other stuff. This is nice. But the best little tip that Moz provided was in introducing to me a term I didn’t know: SERP
Search Engine Results Pages (or SERP)
When you go out to search for something like “how to do SEO,” that word or phrase goes into the results engine and those search engine algorithms (those elves of the Internet) rapidly run around compiling a list of suitable suits for you in the blink of an eye. That page of results is the SERP or Search Engine Results Page.
SERP is a social media advertising bit of jargon but like all good jargon, its widely used and accepted and identifies a particular thing you talk about alot without having to go through all the syllables.
When you put in a keyword into the search engine, you will likely get a slightly different SERP than I do. This is because Google’s elves have spent every moment you’re online, using their products, trying to establish your “pattern” (for want of a better word). They’d probably have some mathematical term for it, but in a nutshell, Google and other search engines want to deliver to you, things you are likely to want to go for. For example, if you like left-leaning publications like The Guardian, news results will have more of that flavor of news. If you prefer Fox News, your news returns will go the other way. (And that is why this country is in such a state, but let’s get back to SERP).
Keyword planners are giving you SERP results are just giving you the TENDENCIES of search engines to return a page with these particular words at the top of the list. They also show you how much competition you have on that search page that gathered material using that keyword.
Long-tail Keywords are search words that occur pretty frequently but don’t have a lot of competition on the search engine results pages people see. Everyone wants a good long-tail keyword.
Working with the Moz Keyword Planner showed me I had a lot to learn about SEO! But it also looks like it isn’t super-difficult. Moz has a very good beginner’s guide to SEO. But I also found this next piece, which has a fairly thorough, somewhat different look, as well.
The Process of Keyword Planning is Complicated, but Not Hard
Their description of their process is very detailed. In my next post, I’m going to compare these beginner’s guides — and others, and provide a round-up of SEO for beginners best sites.