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As you know, keyword research is one of the crucial SEO activities when optimizing a site.
In an ideal world, keyword research should be done first before an article is created. This way, we can ensure the article is created around the target keyword to avoid a lot of SEO headaches.
However, in reality, keyword research process is a lot messier.
In most cases, we have to deal with existing blog posts/ articles that were created without SEO in mind.
This is not even because the lack of understanding in SEO, but rather it’s the time required to do the keyword research that prevent many people from doing keyword research first.
Even I do skip keyword research from time to time, because I am not sure if the article will end up with enough content to rank for a keyword to start with.
I know I can just keep mumbling about the topic to get it up to more than 1000 words but I am sure the readers will disagree.
So, in this post I am going to share with you how to solve this problem when you have to align an existing blog posts / articles that are not optimized.
What is the best keyword research approach for existing blog posts?
First – we do not want to mess with what is already working.
Most likely, a lot of the existing blog posts do rank for some sort of keywords.
So the first step is to find out which keyword(s) the post is ranking for.
Step 1) Use SEMrush to find out which keywords the article is ranking for
This is essentially what SEMrush.com was originally created for…. to find out which keywords a site is ranking for.
Let’s use one of the pages from DigitalReadyMarketing.com as an example – https://digitalreadymarketing.com/key-performance-indicator-kpi-amazon-affiliate-niche-websites/
Input the URL into SEMrush.com to find out which keywords (if any) the page is ranking for.
As you can see, this particular page talks about Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and is ranking for relevant keywords.
Step 2) If no keywords are found in Step one, use Keyword Planner tool
If your page is not ranking for anything, it means whatever keywords you have on the page either have really high competition, or nobody searches for them.
Either way we want to use the Keyword Planner tool to get the monthly search volume first. Then we can start looking for other ways to say the same thing.
Let’s use the title of this post as an example – “Keyword Research for Existing Blog Posts”.
People might actually search for “How to find keywords for existing blog posts” instead.
Brainstorming for keywords is out of scope for this post, so I am just going to provide this link for you to explore..
Think about purchase funnel (a.k.a buying funnel)
Which purchase funnel step do you think the article is targeting?
If it is at early stage, you should look for keywords with “how”, “what”, “why”, “where”, “which” etc
If it is at later stage, you should look for keywords with “the best”, “review”, “buy” etc
Step 3) Check how competitive the keyword is
Now that you have identified a set of keywords, it’s time to see which ones have low competition.
Use the Keyword Difficulty Checker we developed or any other keyword difficulty tool on the market.
Step 4) Sprinkle the keyword strategically
The target keyword should be present in these key SEO elements. It’s also important to make it appear at least once in the first 200-300 words.
- Meta description
What do you think?
So to sum it up, it’s really the first step that is important. The rest is pretty much the standard on-page optimization stuff.
If you don’t find out which keywords your blog posts are already ranking for before tweaking and optimizing, those posts might not even rank for anything afterwords.