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Unless you have subscribed to receive updates on my Writing journey. You would not have found this article.
But if you ended up reading this article through a google search generated query. Then, you must read further.
What Is Keyword Research
For the sake of simplicity. It is the process of finding a suitable word(s) that connect your readers and your website.
When it comes to technical parlance. It is the deliberate attempt of finding keywords that favor search queries. So, that your content includes certain words that help pull your articles in SERP. Here, SERP means Search Engine Result Pages.
It sounds complicated. But it gets easy with a few attempts.
If you understand how search engines work. Then, you cannot afford to ignore keywords for search engine optimization.
Of course, you can do free form writing. But then you will have to up your game of hopeful marketing. Else, there is minuscule of an iota to extract a good ROI from your content writing efforts.
For instance. You run a soap making business. Then, various keywords from that industry will give you different results.
Both “buy soaps online” and “buy handmade soaps online” are legit search terms on google. Though both seem similar. Yet, they fetch you dissimilar results.
As a business owner, you understand how much of a difference word(s) can create. Terms like “wholesale”, “retail”, “bulk manufacture” can be the real game-changers.
When these terms are the prefix/ suffix to any search terms. You know that you and your business can enter the wrong territory.
Furthermore, the results will vary as per your geographical location as well.
Hence, adding keywords to a website must precede a defined keyword research process.
Thus, before you carry out the keyword search. It is important to determine what are the best keywords for your business.
How to Determine Keywords
As seen in the soap business example before. The more specific you get to define your business niche. The better you get at tapping the best SEO keywords for your website.
Taking the same Soap business example further. Some more keywords specific search engine queries are:
- paraben-free hand soap
- soap for fungal infection
- buy soap in bulk
- soap made from rice (I made this soap)
- soap made from cow dung (yes, this exists. I did not make up this one.)
As you can see. There are ample of keywords for every business possible. Thus, instead of associating your business with a broad or a wrong search term. You need to pick up the terms that sync with your business.
I have a simple rule to determine the ideal keywords for a business. For that, I ask you to define your business in 5 words or less.
That way you end up getting specific. In business language, this activity is “defining your niche”.
Once you have an idea of what kind of keywords you are looking for. Then, you move on to the next step. That is
How to Find Keywords
There are multiple ways to find keywords.
Google’s Keyword Planner is the most favorite tool among digital marketers. I too have been a regular user of it during my initial Blogging days. But in the present scenario, I do not use it.
That is because it withdrew some of its cool features like Trends. Also, being a Google AdWords tool. It shows more CPC data than Keywords from the organic search perspective.
Many other Keywords Search tools are derivatives of Keyword Planner. That is why their results are better suited for pure e-commerce based businesses. Hence, those tools may not be suitable for a Content-based business.
With experience, I moved on to other Keyword Generator tools. They have been instrumental in improving my business ROI.
With experience, I have zeroed in to a favorite few.
They are as below:
1. Google Autocomplete
The search engine by Google is the market leader in its niche. Therefore, it is not surprising to feature it as a tool to scout keywords.
The autocomplete feature of the Google search engine is the easiest one to use. The moment you feed in alphabets in its search bar. It ends up auto-suggesting the search queries.
As you see in the visual below. The autocomplete feature auto-suggests based on what it reads in the search window.
Thus, it works to give you ideas to brainstorm. You can then use those ideas to further pick up your ideal keywords.
Also, if you scroll down to the end of the search results. You will notice a few more keywords listed. These keywords will add up to your first list of probable keywords for content strategy.
I used the same strategy to come up with the above 5 keywords for the soap business.
This one is fun to use.
Answer the Public tool works on the principle of long-tail keywords.
As you would know. Search engine queries in a defined question format have a high click-through rate. That means if a search query is super-specific. Then, the SERPs at the top spots have a higher chance of getting business.
To end up being one of those SERPs. Your web page must have a related answer to the long-tail keywords query generated.
To answer those queries. As a Content Strategist, you must know what those long-term queries are.
This is where Answer the Public tool fits in. It works as a guiding light to find long-term queries pertaining to your one/two-word query.
It provides questions related to your given search term. The questions display in a visual format that makes their selection easier. Though you can also display them in an array and export into a CSV file.
For instance, I used the 1st keyword from the soap business list in this app. That gave me the following result.
If not for this site’s technical capabilities. You will end up loving the interactive videos that run on the site. Its pro version has advanced features to improve your search results.
3. Keywords Everywhere
This is my go-to keyword suggestion tool. It has an API that works on the existing Keywords Tool like Google Search.
It gives the volume, CPC, and Competition Data on the search terms fed to Google. Thus, it provides information over and above the one provided by other tools.
So, whenever I research keywords on Google. I get a deeper insight into that term. That helps me to further shortlist them as per competition and search volumes.
I use this tool with Google Webmaster Tools as well. That is how I discover new and profitable keywords to include in my Content Strategy.
Moreover, Keywords Everywhere is compatible with AnswerthePublic too. It was earlier free to use. But now you need to pay upfront to use it. I love the fact that it has a pay per use feature unlike the expensive options from its competitors.
Because of this app, I get to know more about my chosen search term “Paraben Free Hand Soap”. The additional data comes below the search window as shown below in the image.
This one is a little-advanced tool compared to the ones listed above.
It is for marketers with substantial experience in Content Marketing.
Most of the newbie bloggers write tons of content without seeing any traction for years. One of the reasons for that issue is targeting keywords that are difficult to rank.
Since ranking difficulty hinders your content from appearing on the first page. Thus, much of the Content Marketing efforts go waste.
That is where the Keyword Difficulty tool by SEMrush comes for help.
You can see in the picture below how the term “Paraben Free Hand Soap” scores in Difficulty measures.
This tool does not suggest what difficulty level is ideal. Thus, as a general rule, I target keywords with Difficulty Percentage below 70. That way I am certain of seeing my Content Writing efforts bear fruit within some time.
Though this tool is free. There is another paid tool called Keyword Magic Tool provided by SEMrush. The paid one gives a deeper insight into keywords vis-a-vis the free ones. The good news is that you can use the paid tool until it is in its Beta stage. That will also allow you to see the top keywords for which your competitors are ranking.
You can try the search window below to try the entire suite of apps by SEMrush below.
5. Keyword Explorer by Moz
Once you are comfortable with SEMrush. Then, you can also explore Keyword Explorer by Moz.
As with SEMrush. This tool also lets you know the Difficulty levels. Moreover, it also lets you know the estimated CTR.
CTR is one of the key metrics to determine the health of a website. Hence, this tool works as a boon for Content Marketers.
As you can see in the image below. Our chosen keyword has an impressive CTR.
Also, there is another cool feature called “Priority” as seen on the extreme right in Green color.
That is the sum total of all the metrics provided by Keyword Explorer. It is the final score for the chosen keyword. So, the more the Priority score, the better are the chances for your content to excel with that keyword.
The drawback of this tool is its freemium model. You get a limited number of searches until you pay up.
Once you become a professional blogger. Then, you can move past the free keyword generator tools.
The free keyword research tools hide the lucrative keywords. Thus, you never get the advantage of knowing keywords that can improve your rankings.
On the contrary, paid tools scrape out the keywords that help get you rankings. Those keywords are optimum since they increase the probability of engagement. Thus, these paid keyword tools get you results with the least amount of effort.
For my blogging efforts, I trust 2 resources to decide what keywords to use.
The tools are as below:
6. KW Finder
I love this tool. It is simple to use and within a few clicks, you get to decide which keywords to use.
Apart from the Search Volume and CPC. This tool has 2 more cool features that set it apart from the rest. They are the Trends and KD. They both are highlighted in red in the image below.
Trends let you know the predictive demand of the keyword phrase. While the KD color code lets you take a decision on the SEO difficulty. This is an added advantage, unlike the SEMrush Keyword difficulty tool.
As you can see in the image below. Both the Trends and KD suggest that our chosen keyword is worth chasing.
For the sake of simplicity. The tool gives a Green colored indication for best keywords on holistic criteria.
So, in case you are not confident of going with the Yellow-colored keyword phrase. Then, you can use the other keywords the tool suggests which are in Green.
You can see the difference in your ROI even if you post 5 subsequent posts using the KW Finder search bar below. Once you will start seeing your website in the top results with its freemium model. You will not mind upgrading to its paid plan.
Jaaxy is the current favorite tool in my Inbound Marketing professional journey.
It is a simple and clear tool that puts all your finding the best keywords for SEO worries at bay.
Its neat UI gets you straight to the decision of selecting the best keywords for websites.
For our chosen keyword. The results are as below:
It has more power-packed features than KWFinder. Some of them are:
- Traffic – An estimate of the number of visitors your website might get once it ranks on top of SERP.
- QSR – The number of websites that are also after this keyword.
- KQI – Keyword Quality Indicator judges your keyword phrase as Great, OK, or Poor. All 3 indicators are color-coded in Green, Yellow, and Red.
- SEO – This is a final score based on Traffic and SEO estimations. The more the SEO score, the better is the keyword for your website.
- Competitive Research – Like the SEMrush tool, you can use Jaaxy to level up with your competitors. It lets you know what keywords are they being ranked for. Thus, you can use the same keywords to get better rankings than them.
If you dread technology, then this software is for you. You can see it in action for your next 30 searches. After that, you can pay up to upgrade your Blogging results.
Let us be honest. If you do not know how to do keyword research. Then, your Blogging career is set for a long struggle.
I know a lot of Bloggers who are successful without concentrating on SEO Keywords. But then, they themselves admit that their results skyrocketed once they implemented SEO.
It is fortunate that in today’s times, SEO has become less technical. If you know how to find good keywords for your website. Then, you do not need to outsource the SEO job.
There are a lot of tools (both free and paid) that help you find the best keywords for SEO. But like the keywords, not all keyword finding tools are equal.
This is where this article comes in for help. The tools mentioned in this article are the ones that I use on a frequent basis.
Because of these tools, I have aced my Blogging earnings. I am not sure if you have used any of these.
I would love to know your experiences in case you have. Also, I would like to know your favorite keyword research tool that does not find a mention here. It will be great to learn about a new one.
Header Image Courtesy: Pixabay