It is beyond doubt that in order to draw the attention of the visitors and potential customers, your site must be in possession of educative information and curiosity sustaining content. You can produce high-quality content if you understand your audience and cater to their needs. To achieve this objective, knowledge of key terms or phrases that the visitors are actually searching for is important. By learning which terms or phrases people are actually searching for, you can fine-tune your website by posting content that really interests them and in turn convert your visitors into customers rather than taking a general approach.
This is where Keyword Research comes into the picture.
WHAT IS KEYWORD RESEARCH?
According to its definition in Wikipedia, “Keyword Research is a practice to find and research alternative search terms that people enter into search engines while looking for a similar subject”. Keywords help to communicate the most important information – what the page is about.
Brian Dean, founder of Backlinko created Keyword Research for SEO: The Definitive Guide in which he acknowledges Keyword Research as the foundation for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is the strategy that is used to increase the ranking of a website in a search engine’s unpaid results.
You can learn more about SEO and best practices here on our blog.
HOW DO YOU FIND KEYWORDS?
While searching for prospective keywords, take the following questions into consideration
- What words or phrases do people actually use when they search for products or services?
- How many searches are performed using those words?
- How much demand is there for those words?
There are a number of tools to help you find and evaluate keywords. Here is a list of free and premium keyword research tools that you can start using today
FREE KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS
1. Google AdWords: Keyword Planner
To start using Keyword Planner, you should first create your Google AdWords account. Keyword Planner helps you research new keywords that are relevant to your product or service, generate statistics like search volume and traffic forecasts. Learn more about the setup and basics of using Keyword Planner here
Ubersuggest provides you with keywords that are not available through the Google Keyword Planner
Google Correlate is an interesting tool that will help you find keywords that are searched together. For example, if you are writing a blog post on “Healthy Recipes”, you might want to add some content based on the correlation keywords
With this free tool, you can get a clear idea of what people are actually searching for. Here is how it works
- Create a scenario for a search query. Ex: “How to stop my dog from leash pulling?”
- Give the unique URL to your list of contacts
- Watch your keyword list populate
SEMRush generates a list of related keywords along with additional information on their value when you enter a keyword phrase. At the center of the page, below the title, you can even select a device (Ex: Desktop/Mobile). This tool is highly useful for mobile keyword search i.e. for shorter keywords
Soovle provides autocomplete suggestions from a variety of sources in addition to Google including Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia and YouTube
It is a high-powered Chrome extension. After you install the extension, simply visit the web page that you find interesting, hover over the content and hit the “W” button.
Some of the key features are to analyze what your competitors are doing, access to high-level keyword performance metrics, simple to use and understand
8. WordStream Free Keyword Tool
WordStream Keyword Tool is free for the first 30 searches and you can e-mail the keywords list
9. IMforSMB Bulk Keyword Generator
This tool works best for local service companies. You can select a category, service type and location to generate keywords. You can still use this tool even if your business is not listed in the drop-down menu
10. Keyword In
Keyword In is a simple and easy to use tool where you enter your seed keywords and it will generate a list of potential keywords
11. SEO Chat Suggestion Keyword Finder
This tool has three level approach to generate keywords. Level-1 for fundamental keywords, Level-2 for deeper insight, Level-3 to really drill down
Free tool that generates high-quality long tail keywords, number of monthly searches and average cost per click for those who are interested in pay-per-click traffic
PREMIUM KEYWORD RESEARCH TOOLS
Moz offers much more than just keyword research. Moz Pro provides the complete set of SEO tools at one place. Moz Keyword Explorer gives you the largest high-quality keywords with more than 90% accuracy in search volume prediction.
According to Long Tail Pro, they are – The World’s most Complete Keyword Research & Competitor Analysis Software. They can assist with competitor analysis and many more advanced features in addition to searching for target keywords. A 7-day Free trial is available.
Advanced keyword explorer that generate low competition keywords that help uncover long tail keywords that you have a better chance of ranking for. For each keyword, you’ll receive a full analysis of the top 10 websites including the number of backlinks, on-page SEO factors, PageRank and more for comprehensive search result metrics.
Team Explorer is another advanced keyword research tool. Along with keyword analyzer feature, it also provides URL Analyzer that gives high-level insight on any URL
Keyword Tool Dominator leverages Autocomplete databases from Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon and eBay to find hundreds of long tail keyword suggestions. Free version is limited to 3 searches per day
HitTail generates long tail keyword suggestions by analyzing your existing website traffic. You can try it for free, but you may want to upgrade to a paid account that gives you access to all of the features
KEYWORDS – DOs and DONTs
Once you have conducted keyword research, update your site’s metadata, optimize your content and map keywords at the right places. It is ideally best practice to choose a single keyword or a keyword phrase for a page.
Here, I would like to warn about the negative effects of Keyword Stuffing. Keyword Stuffing is a practice of packing the webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate the site’s ranking in search results. It not only results in poor user experience but also harms your site’s ranking.
Has this post answered your questions about Keywords? Looking for additional information? Check out the following resources for more information. Call or ask us a question in the comment section below.
This is really interesting, thanks for sharing, Sam! I love how Google is constantly evolving, but it does make things so much harder to rank for! I’ve always tried to create content around questions that people may be asking, in the way that they ask them, and that’s been working well so far! But i’d be interested to see where it goes next, is Google already ranking based on how generations search for things? So for example, Generation X would (in most cases) use different search terms to Millennials etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Hi, Shreelatha. Thanks for taking your time to read the post and leave a comment.
Google makes changes to its algorithm every year to ensure fairness in its search results. Creating content around the frequently asked questions is a great way to rank higher in search results. Some of the changing ranking factors are time spent on the page/dwell time, brand name or popularity of the site, using Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords which are synonyms to the actual keyword in the content and Organic CTR.
Hope this helps!
A nice list but you forgot nichelaboratory.com – it’s a totally free keyword research tool.
When writing keyword focussed articles don’t forget to write articles that people will want to share and tweet. Also make sure you write articles that are so good, people will keep revisiting your site to hope you’ve written something new.