When writing blog posts or any other type of web content, we want to be sure we’re using the right lingo – the type of language that not only speaks to search engines, but more importantly speaks to human beings. We do that by getting inside the heads of potential users to figure out how they’re searching in Google to find specific products and services.

Let’s skip ahead and assume that the Keyword Research has already been done – the data collection, that is. Now it’s time to figure out a) what to write about based on the needs of potential readers, and b) which keyword themes (aka: collection of keywords) should we use?

Keyword Selection: Step-by-Step Instructions

Open your keyword research spreadsheet.

You’ll see a bunch of tabs along the bottom. Each tab contains keyword search data for a specific category. Choose the “category” you want to write about. Let’s go with Creatine for this example:

keyword selection




We’re looking for keywords that (in this order):

  1. Have high search volume
  2. Have Low competition
  3. Might have expensive suggested bid

How to sort those results for easier viewing:

choosing keywords 2


how to choose keywords


sorting keywords

how to sort keywords

Click OK.

Now What?

Look for keywords that best fit the criteria of high search volume, low competition & possibly expensive bid prices.

You’ll see in this case that the prices are all pretty similar. We’re looking for outrageous differences, not what we see here. So let’s focus on the other two pieces of the puzzle, high search volume & low competition.

keyword selection list

Keyword Themes

You’ll start to see themes emerge:

  • Creatine bodybuilding, bodybuilding creatine
  • Micronized creatine, micronized creatine powder
  • Top 10 creatine, best creatine supplements, what is the best creatine

Above we’ve highlighted some keywords you might choose.

Suppose we’re doing a top 10 list of creatines, the primary keyword would have the highest search volume & lowest competition ratio: “top 10 creatine”

Secondary keywords would be any others that make sense, such as: “what is the best creatine, best creatine supplements, best creatine supplement.”

But what about Google Hummingbird?

Everything changed when the Hummingbird arrived. In a good way — a great way, in fact, for writers. Since Hummingbird helps Google understand language better, we don’t have to use exact match keywords like we used to. I wrote another post about that over here.

What it means today is that we use keyword research as more of a guideline to tell us what people are searching for online, and thus what kind of useful topics we can write about. For example, if you sell computer equipment, and your keyword research shows that users are searching for “back to school deals,” you don’t have to repeat that exact phrase a dozen times on your page in order for Google to understand what the page is about.

Since Hummingbird, Google now understands that if a user searches for “back to school deals” and you have a page all about “back to school sales” or “end of summer bargains,” there’s a direct correlation. Google is now smart enough to make the connection, and rank your page as relevant to the search query. Just like it’s now smart enough to know that a car is also a vehicle.

But getting back to the topic at hand, here’s a final thought about keyword research:

REMEMBER: Keyword research is 1 part science (sorting the data and looking for the three criteria mentioned above) and 1 part art (use common sense and apply your everyday logic).

Have questions about keyword research? Buzz me anytime, I’m here to help!