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I've read a lot about the importance of doing keyword research, but then you also get the impression that to really do that research properly can take a long time unless you get lucky early on or really know what you are doing. So I wonder, with some people pumping out huge amounts of hubs, are they doing keyword research, or just relying on strength of numbers? What do people think: should you spend lot's of time on the research and then produce fewer hubs, or just go with quantity. And what happens if you don't do any research at all, but just produce loads of hubs? Will you still pick up lot's of traffic through hubpages, and could it ever match the traffic from search engines with good keyword research?
I would suggest good keyword research is needed for your article to rank in the search results and so get traffic. The key is to choose a title that you can compete with - it needs to be a narrow topic otherwise you have no chance of being read via traffic from the search engines. You need both popularity ( say 1000 searches and month) and to be able to compete (average PR score for competing pages 2.5 say).
If you do no keyword research your articles could attract no traffic.
This is an excellent FREE tool to start with
http://www.seodevgroup.com/products/Nic … inder.html
see <link snipped>
Traffic from within HubPages could never come close to traffic from search engines. Thea active community here is actually quite small. Your Hubs will only get reasonable traffic from HubPages when they're new - after that, around 90% of your traffic comes from search engines.
I don't spend hours on doing keyword searching. I write naturally and don't worry too much about keywords. Of course, I don't earn as much as others but I do reach payout every month.
Doing good keyword research and having the best keywords will attract visitors to your article through major search engines like google and yahoo. I have seen good articles on hubpages coming up on first pages on search result and this is done through having good keyword research and quality content on articles.
You do not have to spend hours at a time doing keyword research. You can spend like 15 minutes with the free version of market samurai and have a good list that will last you like a month. This is how I write and do keyword research quickly and easily.
Color me stupid, but doesn't everything start from a base of "relevant quality content?"
I don't write that much, and my writing is targeted to a very narrow niche demographic, but I try to put myself in the shoes of the person(s) trying to FIND my writing. And I try to put myself into my OWN shoes, when I look for information.
What do I want? I want a "content heavy" article that makes it irrelevant for me to click on 47 links before I actually GET to a site that tells me how to install a new carburetor in a 1993 Volvo (for example)... if your keywords send me to an article of yours that doesn't PROVIDE that, and actually looks more like a page of "keyword fluff," I will admit that "you got me once," but I will probably avoid reading anything you've ever written, ever again.
I've never been too obsessed with traffic, so my hubs (the specialized ones, anyway) only get between 10 and maybe 150 reads a day.
So my answer is this: I write an article, fine tune it and polish it until I think it reads well and "looks good," THEN I try to figure out what keywords might lead someone to it... AND after reading the article would think "Yeah! That was EXACTLY what I was looking for!"
After almost 3 years here on HP, I am anything but a 'keyword-oriented' writer/hubber.
In fact, I am completely self-taught on this computer; I've yet to attend a class of any sort on computers/technology.
But, I am fairly high in Google's rankings, at least I think(!)I am.
I still don't understand the keyword 'concept', though many folks and 'experts' have tried to explain it to me. I just don't 'get it'. But, Ethan, I don't care about this any more. I'm not too interested in the money angle, since it's highly unlikely that I'll be a famous writer one day!
So I write without considering the results of my writing; I find this terribly distracting. I tried once a few years ago, but lost my 'writing focus' in the process.
I've never 'pumped out Hubs', obviously; I prefer to write at my own pace and try, try to consider and focus on quality content.
It seems to be serving me well!
Good thread, Ethan.
PS: I don't think many really great writers of yore considered cash when writing, but I could be wrong...
You will absolutely get more traffic by doing keyword reserch. I started out just writing hubs and giving them catchy names - which is what I did in magazine work. Well, people search for topics by using keywords, so all my catchy names on hubs aren't real searchable.
You can still write about the same topics you might pick, but spending time doing keyword search for the right title or how to narrow the hub to a niche is well worth it. Then your writing time will spy off better. If your goal is for your work to be read, you'll also have more readers.
Really great question.
You'll get answers all over the spectrum.
If you really know your topic and can intuit what people are looking for to find your hub, then write organically.
My suggestion would be hub your heart out. Get those hubs written. See how they do. You can always tweak them later, including the titles.
Good luck. And welcome to HP! 8 hubs in 3 weeks is a pretty darned good start!
One of the most important things that you can do is to drop your keywords into Google and check the first page of the results. If there are a lot of good pages from strong (brand name recognizable) sites already in place, just leave it. Unless you have something stellar to offer.
Also avoid spammy subjects that might get you Pandalized.
If your motivation is purely fun, then feel free to ignore keywords. If you want to get lots of trafic and/or earn money, then you have to pay some attention to them. You can write the greatest article ever, but if it isn't built around keywords that people search for in Google, the chances of getting lots of traffic are limited.
Brilliantly said, Paul - I wish there was a like button or rating button for individual replies in forum threads.
I write on HubPages mostly for fun, and to be a part of the community - although the little I do make here is a bonus.
My articles that I put a lot of research, and keyword research into, I sell to clients or put on my own sites - on my own sites I don't have to share the ad revenue with anybody - and if my "target market" is a search engine, and I can get a good natural (organic) search result position for words in my articles, (and if I'm trying to improve my passive income) then those articles belong on my own sites.
Bottom line, (Ethan Green), yes, spending hours on keyword research, and making good use of those keywords and phrases in an article, is well worth it.
5 hours spent on an article that ends up getting 200 visitors a day, is better than 5 hours spent on 5 articles that end up each getting only 10 to 20 visitors a day.
If you want traffic then you need to look at the keywords; there is no point writing about a subject that gets just a handful of searches a month as you will not make any money - if your motivations are not money and readers however write what you like...
That being said it is better to write fully around a subject without getting too hung up on individual keywords - google is not stupid; if all of your titles are high traffic keywords out of one of the various tools and you ignore other aspects of the subject with lower searches then they will not look at you as an authority.. To be an authority you need to cover a subject fully, this may be only a few pages or many many pages..... Long titles and long articles with many headings and sections are likely to get many longtail searches for a subject, remember about half of all Google searches are unique and don't show up in the keyword tool... BUT cover all the keywords in a "natural" way for the subject..
I'm a traffic failure but I'll 'contribute' anyway.
I can't write to keywords and I'm not interested in research. Boring.
So my methodology, if you can call it that, is to write what I feel like writing. To me, quality above all other considerations is the important thing. You may not think it if you read my pages, but they are what I am aiming for.
When those pages then fail to get traffic after a few months, I revisit them. I ask myself what the page is about, and I sometimes check out possible keyword improvements and the competition for those keywords.
Occasionally they are worth tweaking and revising into something more 'commercial' or search attractive. Sometimes I delete them. And other times, if I am 'proud' of the page - I just leave it.
Very rarely they get some traffic anyway without any research.
This is a great thread / question because there are thousands of individual writers on HP, with individual attitudes to writing and different aims.
Thanks for all the great replies folks. I imagined that the responses might flow along these lines, with people having a variety of attitudes towards writing hubs with or without keyword research.
I guess from my point of view, it makes sense to do the keyword research if you want readers. The only thing is that to do it properly seems to be a lengthy process. One YouTube video I was watching that was really well put together was suggesting that it can take an hour or two to really hone in on the best keywords for a subject. That strikes me as an awful lot of time to spend wading your way through the keyword tool suggestions. But then again, if people are re-visiting their hubs at a later date and doing posthumous keyword research, then how long does that take?
I know time isn't the most important factor, but to me it is definitely a relevant consideration.
If only we could compile a nice looking graph with the Y axis being traffic and the x axis being time spent on keyword research and another line for just prolific hub writing with no research. That would make interesting viewing!
I tend to do some keyword search just to see how much traffic is searching for those words and try to use the words I find. I think it depends on your topics you write. I get 80% of my traffic on several subjects and none with others.
I am also a hobbyist. I love it here. It is fun. But I know I won't make enough to live on. If you want to make oodles of moula, you have to do everything well, write, market, seo, social media...I don't spend that kind of time on this, but love reading and have met some cool people just being here. You control your own success here. They give us the tools and a platform.
The only research I do is through the Google search bar itself. I do receive traffic.
So do I, RB! I went through a period of time one year ago when I attempted to fully comprehend the keyword 'concept'. No luck there-I don't know why I apparently have such a block.
Anyway, my point is that I get traffic as well, and focus primarily on content quality.
As I type in the Google Search bar I see a ton of suggestions that are not included in the keyword too. I have started using them. I don't know how that will affect me, but I will find out!
Well, I would suggest both. We do hub to share of our ideas, feelings, or review about our opinion and view about certain stuff in daily life. Unless are are simply hubbing to earn. Then it might be make sense to do keywords research before writing your hub.
Anyway, keywords research isn't that hard nowadays as there are many tools our there like Google Adwords.
My fellow Hubber, keyword research is very important for massive search engine traffic. If you want to earn more writing here, then never you rely on those traffic coming from HP.
I never spent hours doing keyword research and have been relatively successful in the past.
But it depends on the type of keywords you are trying to target. If you target certain types of niches that have high competition, then you may want to research more.
I pretty much write naturally, but I get ideas and keywords unconventionally.
Ironically I have hub that I wrote in 20 minutes and it was one of my most successful hubs (view wise and comment wise), but I don't even think it was that great, but the keywords were hot. (This hub no longer performs as well)
If you're in this for money, then that means it's your business - whether you're going at it full-time or just a few hours a week. And since it's a business then you probably want it to be successful. If that means you have to spend a couple of hours doing keyword research, then so be it.
First - the more you write online the more keyword research becomes second nature. It should only take 'hours' if you're researching the keywords for an entire blog's worth of content. One Hub takes one keyword = about 5 minutes of work. After a while you'll only be doing the research to confirm your suspicions.
And second - when it comes to my business, I always like to ask myself "what would Donald Trump do?' I doubt that the Donald would just walk down the street and willy-nilly pick a house to buy. I'm sure he's become a very rich man because he recognized the importance of research.
Google is the search engine we most need to please and they provide a free tool for keyword research. They also suggest in numerous Matt Cutts videos that you use that tool to help you rank.
If Google recommends it, and your competitors are using it, and you want to be successful, then it makes sense to use it, too.
Keyword research is an important part of adsense for publishers who want the organic traffic. It is same as they say location, location and location for a retail business. When your Hubs rank high on search engines, you increase chances of getting lots of traffic. You make money from the search engine traffic not from Hubpages visitors.
Last month I hit my first million page views mile stone, all because of adsense keywords and ranking of my Hubpages on Google search. I believe more than 95% of my traffic comes through Google search.
Therefore, I suggest you use Google adsense keyword tools. Happy hubbing and good luck.
The best strategy depends entirely on how long keyword research would take you and how likely you are to hit good topics intuitively.
I never spend hours doing keyword research. I do about 10-15 minutes to discover what words or phrases people use to talk about the topic I'm planning on writing. It's like picking a good cover or title for a book to help people find it.
After years of doing a little keyword research here, a little there, I can write a hub on Friday and have nearly 2000 visitors by Sunday. To me, it's worth it. If I wanted to write just for me, I'd keep a journal! When I write something that's useful ( or in this case, time-sensitive), I'm going to spend 10-15 extra minutes to make sure it gets found by the people who are looking for that sort of thing.
Very well stated Greekgeek.
I think sometimes people think keyword research ends after a hub has been published. I like to check out Google Analytics and see the queries from real people, as well, and make any necessary adjustments to gain better placement. This process usually produces positive results.
Ktrapp, how do you check Google Analytics to see the queries from real people? Thanks, Kelley
Hi Kelley. You can see search queries within Analytics by going to "Traffic Sources" - "Sources" - "Search" - and "Organic."
However, I should have stated that I like to use Webmaster Tools for looking at search queries even more.
In Google Webmaster Tools click on "Traffic" - and then "Search Queries." Then what I like to do is sort the "Avg Position" column so it goes from lowest to highest. This way I can see the position of my hub for a particular search query that a real person made. I tend to focus on the ones in the position 6-20 range. I figure for those hubs I can probably impact the positioning the most. This works well if I notice some keywords or phrases in queries that I originally missed or didn't think were important enough to put in the title.
After I make changes, sometimes I submit the updated hub through webmaster tools so that it is crawled to sooner. I have a hub that walks through the steps on how to do this.
I hope this helps.
I've learned most of what I know by looking at my traffic and seeing what people searched to find my stuff. That tells me what I can write about that other people actually care about. Also, it helps me tweak my writing to be more responsive to readers.
It's like being able to read the minds of the students who are too shy to raise their hands, but have questions about what you're saying. You can make your lecture better by responding to them.
The shy student is a great analogy.
Usually when I analyze queries in Analytics/Webmaster Tools my focus is on improving the hubs I've already written.
But the search queries I see where a hub has a very low impression in Google, like 100, can be very valuable. That query may actually provide an opportunity to write a related hub that is more specific to the topic of the query.
I so agree with you that keyword research doesn't stop after the hub is published.
I do basically the same thing. I also look at search queries in Hub stats and click on the word/phrase that brought the viewer in and check out the other search results (although I know that these do vary and aren't always the same).
I think 15-20 minutes before writing the hub is plenty of time to check out keywords. I'll still write on a topic if I want to write, I don't let keyword data affect whether I'll write on a subject or not. But sometimes I'll change or modify a title or content after reviewing search queries and keywords after the hub is published and is receiving traffic.
I've never seen the appeal of simply pumping out hundreds of hubs. I think we can now see from some posts lately in the forums that it doesn't guarantee anything, especially if you get hit hard.
Since I've started using a very basic keyword research formula, my earnings have literally increased by 2000% over the last 2 months. My page reads (readers stay and read these articles from start to finish)numbers have also exploded and are mainly from Google. Some of these articles have hundreds of tweets.
My question is: All things being equal, what would be the difference between posting a well keyword researched Expert quality article on HubPages vs another site on your own blog or one of the other writing sites top writers here are suggesting?
Are people losing traffic because they are dropping from the fist page of Google for quality reasons or because they are posting on Hubpages?
I do keyword research for every hub, but ironically my best performing hub was the one that I did the least research on. Probably just coincidence eh!
Not a coincidence, IMO.
Bear in mind that everyone else is using the same keyword tools
. . .which means they're coming up with similar results
. . .which means that everyone is writing about the same subjects
. . .which means those subjects get over-saturated.
One of our top Hubbers used to say she didn't use keyword tools - she just kept her eyes and ears open in Walmart, to see what other customers were looking for or talking about. The keyword tools tells you what has already become popular - to make big money, you need to spot the trend that no one else is writing about yet.
Personally, I've had most success writing about stuff I'm interested in, then using the keyword tools to optimize after I've written, rather than letting keyword research dictate what I write.
You should have some keywords in mind, of course, but remember it has to be readable to make that your priority. You can even do a little bit of keyword research AFTER you have written your hub and from there you could tailor your hub. You need to enjoy it though so that this can shine through in your writing.
You may even find that you hit some of those keywords without even trying - but research is the key to so many things in life.
I'd do a bit of keyword research before venturing into a Hub. I'd search for a long-tail one and 2-3 supplementary ones. They would help my Hubs get more traffic.
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