There’s more than one keyword method to get found online

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There’s more than one keyword method to get found online

keyword method two vases

Want to get found by your ideal clients at the exact moment they’re looking for you?

Need to know how to pull them toward you without spending money pushing your way into their online feeds?

Interested in learning how to attract them by earning their attention (and not jumping up and down yelling “look at me!”)?

You can do this online with these three words: Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

In other words, be at the top of the page when they’re “Googling” the answer to their immediately burning question! The question that YOU have the answer to.

Today, I’m going to talk about two different keyword methods you can use to get found by search engines.

Why being found exactly when people are looking for you is the best way to find motivated clients

There are a lot of ways to be visible online. One way is to constantly pump out social media posts and connect in groups. Another is to pay for ads, promote pins, or boost posts. Both of these strategies fizzle out as soon as you stop giving them regular inputs of your attention, energy, and money.

Or, you can be in the right place at the right time by organically attracting your ideal clients when they need you. SEO keyword methods help get you exactly where people are looking for someone like you, exactly when they’re looking.

Personally, I think there is a place for all three of these when it comes to being visible online . . . but, most health practitioners seem really focused on social media, spend a bunch on advertising (I know there are a ton of roadblocks here!), and are truly missing the opportunity of SEO.


Let’s dive a bit deeper into these three online marketing options

1 – Organic social media

I’ll admit that, at times, social media can be fun. But it’s all too common that time can often get away from us when we’re scrolling through our feeds and finding people to connect with and posts to interact with. And even if you’re not wasting spending a lot of time on it, you’re probably spending time scheduling posts for your followers and replying to comments on your posts at least a few times a week (or day), right?

With organic social media, you can make connections and get more targeted followers over time (unless you win the lottery and a post goes viral). Then, when you have a bunch of followers you might be lucky and get your posts organically in front of 10 percent of them. This is why there’s a constant barrage of new strategies to stay in front of as many of your social media followers as possible.

Would you agree that social media is a fun strategy that takes time on a day-to-day basis to get (and stay) visible?

2 – Paid ads

You can create an ad and pay for it to show up on Google, YouTube, or FB. You can boost a post. You can promote a pin or tweet. You can sponsor an influencer. In order to maximize your return on investment, before you paid for ads, you probably did some audience targeting and A/B testing to perfect your ad and get a high conversion rate. With advertising, you get results pretty quickly—you find out within a few days if you have a winning ad . . . or not.

Would you agree that using paid ads takes money and time up-front for trial and error, but once it’s up and running you get pretty immediate feedback as long as you keep paying the platform?

Personally, I feel like paid ads can easily (and often) turn into “in your face” marketing for potential clients. What I mean by this is that you throw money at a massive multinational corporation to hijack people’s social feeds. You’re pushing your way into their attention field.

Plus, we’ve known for years that more and more people use ad blockers and have banner blindness so you have to be sophisticated, very creative (or freaking annoying) to get people’s attention.

3 – Search engines (SEO and keyword research)

Optimizing your content and website for search engines is when you’re found when people search sites like Google. Say, someone is looking for a nutritious meal plan, a trainer to help them reach their athletic goals, or a program to help them better manage stress and they find your website and health content.

To accomplish this, instead of spending your energy on organic social media or your money on advertising, instead you do some work upfront with a keyword method, optimize your content for that keyword, and then publish. Keyword research is important because it help you find the best keywords that your audience is typing (or saying). This means you find the actual words and phrases that people are typing into their search bars, see how many people search that each month, and find out how hard it would be for you to rank your content at the top of the page of search results.

After you’ve found a good keyword, you create amazing content and optimize it for that keyword. This step is how you tell Google et al. what keyword your content represents. After publishing, you may need to wait months to slowly inch up the search engine rankings before you eventually start getting decent traffic from Google recommending your exact post near the top of its list when people search for those keywords.

In my experience, once you do start ranking near the top of the search engine results page, your traffic becomes effortlessly consistent. Yes: effortlessly consistent. No social media or advertising is necessary. Plus, the people who find your content from their searches are already warm. They’re looking for someone to help them with their health concern or goal and they find you!

By putting the effort in up-front to find the right keywords and publish awesome SEO-optimized content, you get a steady stream of people on your website who are literally looking for what you have.

It’s like a slow cooker (my favourite way of cooking): Set it and forget it! You put in the effort upfront finding the recipe and chopping, measuring, and adding your ingredients. Then you let something else take over for a bit and voila, you can enjoy a hot and tasty dish.

One reason I like SEO and keyword research way more than social media or paid ads is that I feel like I’m earning attention with thoughtful strategy and great content. I’m not pushing my way into thousands of people’s feeds or jumping up and down yelling “look at me!” Keyword research methods and SEO allow me to create and publish my content and allow it to attract ideal clients to me.

health blog optimization plan

Are you pretty sure your website can be getting you more clients, but you're not sure what needs to be done? Consider getting a website audit and strategic report to see the opportunities to increase your blog's engagement, subscribers, and content marketing strategies. Check out the Optimization Plans here.

SEO and keyword research

If you’re just getting started with SEO and keyword research, here is a checklist with an overview of simple SEO tips.

Your first step is to choose good keywords. A keyword (or phrase) is the exact words your ideal clients type (or speak) into their search engines to find the answer to their question or solution to their problem.

Are they searching:

  • “vegetarian or meat protein powder” or “kinds of protein powder”? (Note: choosing a top-level keyword like “protein powder” will almost guarantee you won’t rank in search engines because you’re competing with huge health sites with lots of authority.)
  • “why am I anxious” or “why am I so anxious”?
  • “mood neurotransmitters” or “neurotransmitters for mood”?

In my experience, finding a good keyword is based on both science and art. The science is the software that gives you the metrics you’re looking for: monthly searches, difficulty, etc. The art is taking the metrics into account, plus getting into your ideal clients’ heads and how to frame a piece of content to rank for that exact keyword.

So, the first question is: How do you find the right keywords to target and optimize your post for? The answer, of course, is to first do keyword research. (Just as the answer to writing a credible health blog post that’s going to help people is to first do your health research!) 😉

Here are two keyword methods to find the science/metrics behind good keywords to target.


Keyword Method #1 – One-offs

This keyword method starts with a specific topic in mind for one piece of content. Then, you do research to find the best keyword for that topic.

For example, I wanted to write this post on two strategies to do keyword research, but I was pretty sure that it would be impossible to rank for a top-level term like keyword research so I typed that “seed” keyword into my software to find out. Apparently, it gets 5,400 searches per month, but the competition is very hard, so it’s not a great one to try to rank for.

(The super-simple software I use for this is called Textmetrics.)

Next, I asked the software to give me related suggestions and scrolled down the list until I found something with a reasonable number of monthly searches, but was much easier to rank for. This is how I came up with the term: keyword method.

By doing these “one-off” keyword searches you can try to rank individual posts for individual keywords.

BTW, Textmetrics also helps you to optimize your post for that keyword, similarly to what the Yoast WP plugin does.


Keyword Method #2 – Strategic

The second, strategic, keyword method starts with several keywords (e.g., ones relating to your overall niche or brand) and ends with a list of keywords you can use to plan out your next several posts.

You do this by running a bunch of seed keywords through super-powerful software like SEO PowerSuite. The reason I call it “super-powerful” is because when I run it, it takes a while (sometimes hours) and my computer fan gets humming. 🙂

First, you can have the software find suggestions (once I entered about 220 “seed” keywords for a client and it found over 9,000 suggestions!). The software is a computer, so it will pull up many keywords that you’d never use. So, you need to filter those suggestions to find the real gems. This software will pull monthly searches, competition, CPC (Cost Per Click), and calculate a KEI (Keyword Efficiency Index). These metrics will help you easily find the keywords that get a lot of searches and are easy to rank for. Then take that science and apply the art of choosing ones that will resonate with your audience that you can easily create content around. Once you’ve narrowed down the top keywords (sometimes a handful, sometimes dozens), you can map out your content planning strategy to target over the next few weeks and months.

Now you have a list of keywords to strategically target for upcoming blog posts!

Remember, ranking for keywords goes farther than individual blog posts because Google looks at your post, plus who else blogs about that keyword, your entire site’s authority, who else on the internet links to you, etc., etc. This is why, beyond keyword methods, it is a good idea to run a site audit to see what issues search engines like Google find on your site so you can correct them and possibly boost your site’s authority in the search engine’s algorithm.



There’s more than one keyword method you can use to get found online: one-offs and strategic.

One-offs start with a specific content idea and finds the best keyword to rank for. The strategic method is broader and can cover your niche and brand to find a bunch of keyword opportunities for you, which you can then prioritize and plan your future posts around.

Use at least one of these keyword methods to start getting your awesome content in front of ideal clients exactly when they’re looking for you. Now’s the time to get started on this, as there are just a few in health practices who are really doing this well right now.


Signing off and toasting: To being exactly where your ideal clients are looking exactly when they’re looking.


Over to you

What do you think? Which keyword would you LOVE to rank for? Are you already doing keyword research or other SEO strategies? Did I miss any other great tips and strategies that help you?

I’d love to know (in the comments below)!

Originally published February 2019; updated with even more awesomeness in October 2022.

health blog optimization plan

Are you pretty sure your website can be getting you more clients, but you're not sure what needs to be done? Consider getting a website audit and strategic report to see the opportunities to increase your blog's engagement, subscribers, and content marketing strategies. Check out the Optimization Plans here.

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  1. I am with you, the only way to cut through the noise and clutter online is to consistently deliver SEO optimised quality content that speaks to an audience in an authentic voice. Great post, I am jsut checking out the links now. Thank you 🙂

    • Totally agree Sarah! There is so much noise now and massive competition for people’s social media feeds–you have to be where they looking for you when they need you, and not put 100% effort into only pushing stuff out there.

  2. Thanks Leesa,

    This article and the guest post by Naughty Nutrition is very helpful. I am such a novice and have no idea about any of this. I am taking a course called Sprint SEO from Thrive University to help but your blog fills in the gaps with what I am not so clear on.
    Cheers! Luana

    • Hi Luana–that’s great to hear that these posts help fill in the gaps. I hope your course is amazing to help with your SEO. Let me know if you have other questions and I’ll add them to my list of topics to blog about. 🙂

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