What is Keyword Research?
Keywords are the #1 ingredient of search engine operations. Search engines process user input to return the most relevant results based on their algorithms. Keyword research is the method of discovering words or phrases by using brainstorming, creativity, keyword research tools, and competitor analysis.
It is an essential element of any SEO campaign. Search engines analyze website content and assess its relevance by looking at the keywords used on its pages.
If you want to drive organic traffic to your site, you have to include the relevant keywords in your content. It is also a best practice including other long-tail keyword variations of your main keyword.
Keyword research is not an exciting task for many people, because it requires time to invest in research. However, If it is done right, it will set you far ahead of your competition.
Important Considerations Before Making A Keyword Research
Research Your Audience
It is very important to research your audience before starting any research. The common mistake many businesses do targeting keyword before analyzing who their potential customers are.
Choose The Right Type Of Keyword
Knowing keyword intent is very important to choose the right keywords that convert.
Let’s assume your business sells chewing toys for parrots. The mistake many people do is trying to rank for keyword “Parrot”. It is not only useless to rank for that term but also very hard.
Searcher type “parrot” in the search bar most of the time are not looking for buying a chewing toy for a parrot.
Other than that, it is almost impossible for you to outrank authority websites I have just named.
You should better target for long-tail keywords like:
“Chewing toys for African Grey Macaws” “Natural Chewing Toys” etc.
By doing that, you not only increase your ranking probability but also the conversion rate since the organic traffic you bring to your site has more buyer intent.
Should You Do Keyword Research?
There are many benefits of doing keyword research. You may write an amazing piece of content that everyone would love to read. But, unless you include the keywords people are searching in your content, search engines will not serve your content often.
By performing keyword research and developing content that matches user intent, you can tailor your website for laser-targeted traffic that has a high conversion potential.
However, there are also many people who just write their content and publish without any research, and they rank for many keywords. This is also entirely possible. If you have a personal blog that has no profit intent, not doing keyword research wouldn’t harm your blog.
What To Look For When Choosing Your Keywords?
Search volume is the total number of searches for a keyword conducted by the search engines. It is generally expressed as “monthly search volume” which is the total number of searches in a month.
Search volume information is very important for your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) success. In order to drive the highest amount of targeted organic traffic to your website, you should optimize your content for keywords that have a sufficient amount of search volume.
The most reliable tool you can use to obtain search volume information is the Google Keyword Planner.
Keyword Difficulty / Competiton
The keyword competition level dictates how successful your SEO campaign can be. You may have created a keyword-optimized content that is likely to attract organic traffic from SERP.
If there is too much competition, you may have a hard time your site to be served on the search engine result page.
Before creating any content for a search term you need to check the competition on Google. You can either use keyword planner, or just type your keyword in the search bar to see the total number of results served by Google.
Obviously, higher the competition tougher for your content to rank. However, there are always good ways to outrank the competition either choosing different types of keywords or providing a better user experience on our site.
If your competitor is ranking for a search term with a 1500 word article, try writing a 2500 article, and structuring it for better user experience.
Every niche has certain “buyer keywords” that potentially brings the highest percentage of conversion. We want to rank for those keywords although it is though to do so. Because everyone targets those keywords.
If you want to sell Canon cameras you need to target “buy Canon digital camera” or its other long-tail variations.
However, planning our content solely on the buyer intent keywords would be a big mistake. There are many easy to rank keywords in every niche that is literally low hanging fruits.
Should You Use Keyword Research Tools?
The shortest answer to that question is YES!
You don’t have to buy any keyword research tool. But if you have a budget, having a high-quality one would definitely benefit your business.
Keyword research tools are good, and definitely make our job easier to find the keywords that have low competition and high search volume. However, blindly following them will not produce any good results for us.
Keyword tools shouldn’t be our starting point to develop content around the tool’s suggested keywords. For instance, it may recommend us producing content by targeting the keyword “Neil Patel blog” but the searcher’s intent is to find his blog, not ours.
Even if we write a great piece of content targeting “Neil Patel blog” and rank for it on Google’s first page, we probably wouldn’t get many clicks on our website. Because user intent is different than what we offer.
Wouldn’t it be a better idea to write a piece of content and including the keyword “Neil Patel blog” in our content as I do now?
By doing so, I’m not only targeting the keyword, but I’m also creating relevance for my content by suggesting Google my content is somehow relevant to his blog.
People using keyword research tools trying to rank for odd keyword combinations with a lot of stop words. It is sad to see some people still believe today adding the exact match phrase to their content and using it repeatedly would make them rank for that long-tail keyword.
Google is smart enough to understand the user’s intent and serve the most relevant result with what the user is looking for. This is right even if a search query does not have any combination of the keyword suggested by the tool.
A Better Way Of Doing Keyword Research
Let me show you a much better way of doing keyword research. The way I believe the most effective and better than any tool can come with.
Let’s assume you want to write a post about “list building”.
What is the keyword research process the average Joe follows?
He’ll go to Google keyword planner or Ubersuggest to find different keyword combinations for his target keyword.
He’s going to use SEMrush to try to stealing keywords from the competitor’s websites. It’s still good and you should definitely take advantage of it.
But how can we be more creative and find keywords that no keyword tool shows us yet?
Before sharing my best-kept secret, I ask you to share this content with others to help this new blog grow.
How do I make keyword research?
Let’s assume I am chasing the keyword “list building”. Here are the steps I would take,
Visit the websites of 30+ autoresponder companies in the market.
What could be a better place to use the entire keyword database of multimillion-dollar autoresponder companies?
Autoresponder companies have deep pockets. They make the most comprehensive keyword research for the phrase “list building”. It is unlikely for you to find their keywords if you have made your own research by ignoring them.
Open at least 10 of the most important pages on each autoresponder company and note down all the keywords in an Excel file.
We want to use Excel because we will have a lot of duplicate results that Excel makes it easy for us to remove all duplicate keywords.
At this point, we have visited about 300 pages assuming 30 autoresponder companies exist in the market. A bonus place to check for keywords is the WordPress list building plugins websites.
I may also want to check Google’s first 20 search results and note down all the keywords I have found.
Note down important points to address ideas discussed in certain posts. These points will be included in my content to show a relationship with similar content published. It is kind of showing your opinion about a post another blogger published earlier.
The keyword research took us about 4 hours but we are left with a database of keywords that potentially to rank for many different search queries.
If you can do what I outlined above you are going to rank for so many keywords people cannot even imagine those keywords have existed.
Using LSI keywords in your content
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are the keywords that are either synonyms or closely related words to your keywords.
For instance, dog and canine are synonymous words. Although they are not exactly the same, they show similar intent.
If you’re writing content about dogs, you need to include words like canine, puppy, bone, and labrador in your content. Google’s primary consideration is serving the most relevant content to the searcher. By doing so, you will increase the relevancy of your content for Google.
You may think why not use a keyword research tool to analyze keywords on a URL, and instead, we are using a tool to make our research. The reason is, keyword tools have certain algorithms and will only produce the results they think are important.
Learn how could you drive traffic from the unknown keywords no one else is targeting.
Pro Tip: Visit storybase.com and type your keywords in the search box. StoryBase works as a “reverse search engine,” provides you all the phrases relevant to the word you have typed.
Potential Places To Find Great Keyword Ideas
Google Keyword Planner
If I have been asked to use only one keyword tool and nothing else I would choose Google Keyword Planner. It is is a great free keyword tool that can replace all other tools by itself.
More importantly, it is the information Google provides us. Chances of Google’s provided data being wrong is not likely.
Google Keyword Planner should be definitely at everyone’s reach especially when analyzing keyword search volumes and the keyword competition level.
Have you ever thought why does Google autosuggest search results while we are typing a search term?
The reason is very simple because people were searching for that auto-suggested term before you. Google wants to match your search intent with an earlier search intent it has experience with. It makes your job easier and Google’s as well.
However, Google only suggests search queries that have a sufficient amount of volume. If you were wondering how to find long-tail keywords with low competition, Google autosuggest is the place.
Youtube has also the same functionality that lets you tap the keyword database of all popular searches made earlier on Youtube.
Youtube is growing faster than any other site around the world. You definitely want to include its keyword suggestions while optimizing your SEO campaigns.
Google Search Console
Google search console is not only to verify coverage issues or monitor manual actions Google takes against your site. It is an invaluable keyword research tool that shows you what keywords your site is ranking for.
Google is not as transparent as before today. It shows which keywords our website ranks, but this is not the entire data Google shares with us, but only a portion of it. This is due to many people used all search terms that brings traffic to their site to keyword stuff their content. Google doesn’t like it and limits the information sharing with us.
Advertisers spend a lot of money to create the best performing ads. They constantly test different variations and optimize according to the new data they acquire.
Google Adwords is a keyword treasury for those who want to benefit from it.
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is one of the most popular keyword research tools. The reason for its popularity Ubersuggest provides many premium features for free.
Earlier Ubersuggest was only a keyword research tool that is thought to be an alternative to Google Keyword Planner.
However, it made significant progress with the new features it provides today. Although it is a viable tool it needs improvements to be used as an only keyword research tool by itself.
Using Reddit to explore new keywords can really boost your content marketing strategy.
Reddit is very much misunderstood by many people. Because it has a reputation for being eccentric, having its own peculiar code of conduct, and not particularly accepting outsiders, most people are quickly turned off.
Reddit has a forum for everything you can imagine. Entrepreneurship, eCommerce, dog shower opinions, chewable parrot toys and all other categories you never think if it existed.
If you want to find specific information about a niche, you need to ditch to subreddits. In subreddits, all types of nerds of a niche discuss their opinions. Reddit can be very valuable if you try to include it in your content marketing strategy.
SEMrush is a very versatile tool that can be used for keyword research, technical SEO audit, backlinks audit, SERP position tracking.
Wikipedia Table Of Contents
Wikipedia is a great place to make in-depth keyword research without learning a new technology, purchasing product licenses, or develop additional skills.
All you need is typing your keyword at Wikipedia search to find the content that is relevant to your niche. The amazing part of Wikipedia, it is packed with information-rich content that naturally includes a ton of organic keywords.
I would especially recommend targeting the Table Of Contents section of Wikipedia that summarizes most of the keywords you may be interested in targeting.
Amazon is not only a store you order stuff but also a search engine. Amazon stores data that is useful for its business and serve it when searcher requests it. It doesn’t work similar to Google or Bing however it doesn’t completely serve the same goal.
If you have a product-based business, Amazon can be a great place for you to find long-tail keywords used in product descriptions that people are searching for.
There are many Q&A sites that exist on the web. However, Quora is the most popular today. The questions asked at Quora more relevant to what people are actually searching for.
Quora is great to find long-tail keywords at ease. Using Quora you will be able to see what questions are people actively asking.
To maximize the benefit from Quora you should use questions as keywords. You can also grab questions asked in Quora and plug into Google Keyword Planner to find other related keywords.
Answer The Public
Answerthepublic is a smart keyword insight platform that incorporates Bing and Google’s suggested searches and visualizes them in what could be called a search cloud. Organized in categories like what, where and why, these search clouds provide an overview of the questions people type in search engines.
Answerthepublic is my favorite tool to find long-tail keywords that have low competition.
If you are using Google Chrome I would recommend you install an extension called “Keywords Everywhere”. It provides monthly search volume and CPC information in your browser session.
Keyword Tool can help you discover many new long-tail keywords relevant to your niche, by automatically generating search suggestions from Google. Suggestions for keywords are created by using the Google Search algorithm and the language you set.
Keywords are trending creatures. They breath live and die. New keywords born every day since human creates new things constantly.
You may want to target a keyword that was a trending search in the past but today not. Knowing what are people actively searching for is extremely important for any SEO campaign.
Google trends can help you find trending searches for both Google and Youtube separately. Results can be sorted for any season, geographical location or demographic. Keep in mind, there’s no other business that has as much information as Google has. The most lovely thing, it is completely free.
KWFinder is an outstanding keyword research tool that really simplifies the process of keyword analysis in a way that other tools have struggled to do.
It provides a comprehensive data set to keep your SEO campaigns targeted. It has perhaps the most intuitive user interface on the market which provides the greatest user experience.
Since it is a browser-based application, it automatically eliminates most compatibility issues that may be sourced from the user end. It provides a one-click keyword score that tells how competitive a keyword is right away.