by Juan Robin II
Being able to research your keywords is a powerful tool. It lets you increase the amount of traffic you get and improves the odds that that traffic buys what you’re selling at the end of the day.
But keyword research is a time-consuming thing. You have to balance demand, difficulty, competition, and a number of other challenges. And when you finally do find a keyword that works, you have to create a killer blog post for it.
You probably can’t afford to spend that kind of time on the whole process, you’re operating a business after all. But luckily, there are a number of ways to make keyword research easier.
Read on to learn our 12 research tips to make finding keywords easier and less time-consuming.
1. Look At Your On-Site Search Queries
Many of your website visitors will use your built-in search function to find the answers to the questions they have. And those people are much more likely to actually buy something from you as well.
When people use your search function, it’s because they can’t find what they’re looking for. There’s a need and you can fill it.
That means that when they’re using your search function, they’re doing your keyword research for you. Take advantage of that treasure trove of data.
If the search queries you find are broad, use them to create long-tail keyword variations.
This will give you months worth of content ideas. And yes, when you do keyword research it’s with the goal of bringing in new viewership, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the people who are already on your blog.
Create a list of ideas based on the things your customers are searching for and use them to create new pages and blog posts.
2. Look to Google
Google’s whole schtick is that they solve our problems for us. It’s designed around the concept of just typing in a question or issue and resolving the matter in the shortest amount of time.
Think about Google’s suggestions. The suggestions that pop up while you are typing in your search query come from Google’s ability to learn your behavior.
When someone has to change their search results a lot before they can find their answers, Google knows about it.
Those suggestions are actually quite helpful for your keyword search as well. The suggestions that pop up are the most common things that people searched for before, during, and after their queries.
If that doesn’t help, scroll down to the bottom of the page where it says “searches related to.”
Another way Google can help with your keyword search is through the “people also ask” feature. These are questions that are related to the question you already posed.
All of these options are basically hand-picked by Google and they’re right there, waiting for you.
3. “Seed” Keywords
If you’ve ever looked at those lists of suggested keywords and wondered whether or not people are actually searching for those things, you’re certainly not alone. That’s where Seed Keywords comes in.
This is a free tool that allows you to discover keywords and questions that people are actually using.
All you have to do is create a scenario and give the link they provide to your contacts list.
As people answer, your keyword list will populate based on those answers.
Now, this won’t work for everyone, but it’s worth giving a shot.
4. Answer the Public
Answer the Public is sort of like Google’s “people also ask” feature. You create a list of questions around a topic that your customers actually look for.
You can find a lot of content and headline ideas through this service.
All you have to do is enter your broad topic into the search bar and select the country that you’re trying to target. You can filter out the graphics and choose to only see the raw data they collect for you.
And best of all? It’s free!
5. Google Keyword Planner
Whether you love the Google keyword planner or hate it, you can get some important data with it. Did you know you can also use it to gain data competitively?
You can use the hard work your competitors have already done to create your list of blog ideas.
Instead of searching with your own URL for potential keywords, use your competitor’s URL. It’ll show a ton of results out of their topics and keywords.
6. Bulk Keyword Generator
You can capitalize on local and mobile searches by using the Bulk Keyword Generator to bring up localized, long-tail keyword lists.
When you’re trying to build a keyword list that is as specific as local ones are, you have to use a tool that caters to that niche.
All you do is select your business type, enter your location, and generate keywords. The service will give you a long list of local keywords for you to use.
If you’ve used all of these resources, you should have hundreds of keywords to use by now. That’s a lot of keywords, right? How do you manage all of that?
Open up SEMrush and figure out the organic and PPC potential that these keywords have.
8. Mix Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords
Head terms are short keywords and long-tail keywords are the ones with more than three words.
Head terms are usually a lot more competitive. The more simple and broad a search, the more websites with a lot of authority are out there using it.
Now, long-tail keywords are less competitive, but people don’t search them as often either. You have to understand your target audience to know when to stick with the head terms or when to jump for the long-tail keywords.
An updated SEO strategy needs to include a balance of these keywords so you don’t wind up investing all of your time on one thing.
9. Don’t Force It
Some businesses but keyword goals into their SEO strategies. But this is pretty arbitrary and only leads to redundant and superfluous phrasing that will seriously damage your content’s quality. High-quality marketing companies like Dryden Labs know better than to stuff keywords into your content.
Your SEO doesn’t improve with the number of keywords that you shove into your articles. Your content is more important than your keyword density.
10. Put the Focus on the Consumer
It’s not hard to lose sight of the big picture when you’re neck-deep in SEO. But it’s important to remember that your target audience is what you’re trying to attract here.
That’s obvious, sure, but it needs to be front and center for your SEO strategy.
Consumers know what they’re looking for. You need to make your content around their needs and experiences. When you make it your job to know what your customers are looking for, you can create content that they want to read. And when that happens, you rank higher on Google.
If you don’t think your target audience would ever use those keywords, don’t use them. Create content that serves your audience.
11. Narrow Down Your List
If you used the techniques we mentioned earlier, you should have hundreds of keywords to use. But look through it again and decide what you should leave out.
Do this a few times a year to see if any of your keywords have gone out of style.
12. Individual Keywords Only Hold So Much Power
Google is constantly eliminating every loophole in its search algorithm. Don’t expect to be able to take advantage of any of them for very long.
Individual keywords are usually the main focus of black-hat SEO tactics so Google is trying to move away from them.
Just don’t think of your keyword research in terms of only finding individual terms. Google is working to make that method obsolete.
Keyword Research Tips
We hope these research tips will help you to create a more complete, successful SEO strategy. In today’s market, it’s so important to always stay on top of the trends and streamline your keyword research as much as possible. But as long as you follow these basic ideas, you’ll have a steady content stream in no time.
And like we mentioned before, revisit your lists and do some more research every few months. SEO changes quickly, and you will probably have to come up with new keywords, remove the keywords that have low search volume, and check to make sure that your average customers are really searching for these things on Google.
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