Finding the perfect keywords for your content isn’t easy, and it can take time to find the right words to fit the overall impression you want to provide to your audience.
Each and every SEO professional, myself included, had to learn how to make keyword research work for them, which is why I’ve created this guide with the best keyword tips and tricks to help you save time and give you a head-start towards finding the best keywords for your venture.
Show Table of Contents
- 1 Understand What Keyword Research Is
- 2 Ask Yourself the Right Questions
- 3 Brainstorm Ideas
- 4 Create a List of Topics Based on Your Business
- 5 Search Google
- 6 Use Paid Tools
- 7 Work with Seed (Short-Tail) Keywords
- 8 Work with Long-Tail Keywords
- 9 Don’t Rely on The Keyword Difficulty (KD) Metric
- 10 Piggyback on Niche Competitors
- 11 Manually Audit the SERPs
- 12 Filter by Search Volume
- 13 Know Your Website Strength
- 14 Check Competitor Backlink Profile
- 15 Keyword-Rich Domain Name.
- 16 Look Over Wikipedia
- 17 Find Keywords on Reddit
- 18 Use YouTube Suggest
- 19 Google Keyword Planner
- 20 Work with UberSuggest
- 21 Avoid Generic Keywords
- 22 Avoid Stop Keywords in URL structure.
- 23 Work with Body Keywords
- 24 Work with Head Terms
- 25 Consider Affiliate Marketing
- 26 Use Google Trends
- 27 Use Google Analytics
- 28 Use a Spreadsheet
- 29 Use Google AdWords
- 30 Use Negative Keywords
- 31 All About Localized Keywords
- 32 Search Through Recent News
- 33 Think About Your Audience
- 34 Focus on Your Ideal Audience
- 35 Write for Your Audience
- 36 Consider Spoken Keywords (Voice Search)
- 37 Create Keyword Silos
- 38 Consider Relevancy
- 39 Think About Innovation
- 40 Think About Descriptive Features
- 41 Use SEMrush
- 42 Look at Your Topic
- 43 Rewrite Your Keywords
- 44 Use Yoast SEO
- 45 Start Broad – Then Narrow Down
- 46 Look Toward Your Own Blog
- 47 Consider Where Your Audience is in Their Journey
- 48 Consider Seasons
- 49 Consider When Your Audience is Researching
- 50 Consider the Location
- 51 Analyze On-Site Queries
- 52 Know Where to Place Your Keywords
- 53 About Keywords and Backlinks
- 54 Know-How Much is Too Much
- 55 Stock Image Descriptions
- 56 Offline Magazine Covers
- 57 Consider PPC Campaigns
- 58 Use Keywords to Drive Blog Topics
- 59 Remove the “fluff”
- 60 Understand Google Algorithms
Understand What Keyword Research Is
If you want to understand how to perform keyword research, you’ll need to understand what keyword research is.
It’s not just Googling keywords associated with your topic,
Though that is part of it.
There are tools out there to help you along the way, and there are methodologies purpose-built for helping you find the best keywords for your niche.
Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Before you begin your keyword research, you should ask yourself some questions about your niche and brand.
You can ask yourself what you’re looking to get out of your keywords and where you want to go with your brand.
This will help you to get a better grasp of which keywords will work for your brand.
This will be your first step in actually performing keyword research.
You can brainstorm ideas for potential keywords you’d like to use now or in the future.
Create a List of Topics Based on Your Business
After you’ve brainstormed keyword ideas,
You may want to do the same for any topics you wish to address on your site based on your customer journey.
Questions that customers may have about your offerings and informative topics around your brand.
Google is an excellent tool for those who are looking for keywords.
There’s a section on the first page for other topics people have been searching for, which often includes keywords associated with the keywords you’re already researching.
Use Paid Tools
Paid tools are a great way to find the right keywords for your specific niche.
They often simplify the task of finding relevant ideas and gathering the crucial data that you’ll need to make a decision on whether or not a given keyword is worthwhile.
Know When to Use Paid Tools
There are some great free options out there for those who are working on a budget.
You’ll want to use paid tools when you need to know more information about your keywords, including their search volume, competition, intent and LSI variants.
Work with Seed (Short-Tail) Keywords
Short-tail keywords are 1-2-word keywords for general topics.
i.e., parenting hacks or red shoes.
Work with Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are longer than three words and are more specific.
i.e., parenting hacks for single dads.
These keywords typically have significantly less competition than short-tail keywords.
Don’t Rely on The Keyword Difficulty (KD) Metric
With some paid tools,
You’ll have a KD value pop up.
These values aren’t always accurate.
So it’s always best to manually analyze your competition ranking on SERP for those keywords to see how comparable your site’s metrics are against the ball-park of the top-ranking competitors.
Understand Keyword Difficulties (KD)
Google determines keyword difficulty based on hundreds of factors.
Unless you have direct access to this algorithm, paid tools can’t predict KD with complete accuracy.
While you should take KD with a grain of salt, it may give you a better idea as to which keywords are and are not a good focal point for starting your campaign.
Piggyback on Niche Competitors
We all have competitors in our fields.
And you can find useful tips when you look at what they’re doing successfully.
Manually Audit the SERPs
While this might sound complicated, it doesn’t take long.
You can do this in less than an hour, and it can give you an idea as to how you’re holding up against the competition.
Filter by Search Volume
I always try to choose my keywords based on their search volume.
Doing so ensures more people visit to your site.
Know Your Website Strength
To maximize your keyword efficiency.
it helps to know where your strengths lie within your website.
Your competitor’s backlink profile will tell you which keywords they’re using, which can give you an idea of which ones you should use.
Check Competitor Blog Topics
Competitor blogs are great opportunities for keyword research.
Check Competitor Keywords
Just like looking over their blog topics.
I like to see which keywords they use openly on their website.
Hone-In on Your Niche
To figure out the best keyword.
You need to hone-in on your niche and specify what you’re representing.
Hone-In on Your Brand
Honing in on your brand is an opportunity to create your overall image.
And to figure out which vibe you want to replicate with your keywords.
Keyword-Rich Domain Name.
This is a great way to boost your SEO.
You can look at your competitor’s domain name to see how they’ve incorporated keywords into it, or you can do it yourself.
Look Over Wikipedia
Wikipedia’s table of contents can give you some great keywords for your site.
Find Keywords on Reddit
I always use Reddit in my research.
This is a great way to find out what people are looking for and to find relevant keywords. A good tool for Reddit keyword research is questionsdb.io
Use YouTube Suggest
Much like Google, YouTube’s suggestion section can give you some insight into which keywords people are looking for.
Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent tool for those who need both keyword suggestions and for those who need to plan and record information about previous keywords.
Work with UberSuggest
UberSuggest will give you possible topics or keywords based on a keyword you’ve entered.
This is one of my recommended free keyword research tools you should be using.
Avoid Generic Keywords
You should avoid generic keywords because they won’t attract people to your specific site.
Avoid Stop Keywords in URL structure.
Stop keywords like; is, that, we, to are best avoided in your URL structure.
Work with Body Keywords
Body keywords are the ones you use most in your text. Incorporate them intelligently into your text.
Work with Head Terms
Head terms are the high-volume and highly-searched keywords you’ll incorporate into your site.
Consider Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing allows you to incorporate more keywords into your subtitles that are valued highly by Google.
Use Google Trends
Google trends can give you an idea of what’s popular right now.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics will keep you up-to-date with which keywords are and are not working for you.
Use a Spreadsheet
A spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of everything you’ve done thus far.
Use Google AdWords
Google AdWords has a great list of keywords to choose from when you’re running ad campaigns.
Use Negative Keywords
Negative keywords allow you to prevent a specific keyword from affecting your SEO or Google ranking.
All About Localized Keywords
If you have a small business.
It can be a great idea to adhere to your local population.
Search Through Recent News
To find keywords that people will be more interested in, it may be a good idea to look through recent news.
Think About Your Audience
To find keywords that tailor to your audience, You need to consider who your audience is.
Focus on Your Ideal Audience
After figuring out who your audience is, you should consider who you want your audience to be.
Write for Your Audience
It can be easy to create stuffy content that’s full of keywords that don’t fit the voice of the text but remember to put your audience before your keywords and to create good content.
Consider Spoken Keywords (Voice Search)
With Alexa, Siri, Google, etc.,
You’ll also need to consider oral keywords when creating content.
Create Keyword Silos
Keyword silos map out keywords that are relevant to each other or that can feed off one other.
When creating content with keywords
I always ask myself whether this content will fit into the scope of my work thus far and whether it’ll fit into the bigger picture.
Think About Innovation
When I say innovation, you may also want to consider unique keywords.
Usually, these will be long-tail keywords.
Think About Descriptive Features
You can also incorporate descriptive features into your long-tail keywords, like colors or numbers.
SEMrush is similar to UberSuggest. It gives you an idea of which keywords are stronger than others and which are going to be more popular.
Look Toward Internal Databases
Your computer comes with some great programs pre-installed to help you analyze data like excel.
Look at Your Topic
Look at your topic to find possible keywords.
You should look at the overall meaning of your topic and why you want to write it in the first place. You can find some keywords here.
Rewrite Your Keywords
When you have a good set of keywords figured out, you can create new ones by rewriting them.
Use Yoast SEO
The Yoast SEO extension can rank how well your content is doing on the SEO scale and can tell you where you can improve regarding your keywords.
Start Broad – Then Narrow Down
I always start with broad keywords, and then I narrow them down to be more brand-specific.
Look Toward Your Own Blog
You may have lots of content that you can spin or expand on if you’re stuck.
Consider Where Your Audience is in Their Journey
The audience’s journey determines which keywords are more applicable.
Choose keywords based on the season to be more relevant to searches. Keywords with “Christmas” intent works best in December.
Consider When Your Audience is Researching
Knowing when they’re looking for content will help you to decide on the right keywords.
Consider the Location
Next, you’ll need to consider where your audience is searching from.
Analyze On-Site Queries
The topics your visitors are searching on your site tell you which keywords are in demand.
Know Where to Place Your Keywords
Where you place your keywords will affect your ranking.
You should have a keyword in your title, in your main heading, and in your first sentence. From here, you should have a ratio of about 7 keywords per 1000 words in your body.
You should be including keywords in your backlinks, which weigh more in search engines.
My anchor formula is NBLEG
N – Naked
B – Brand
L – LSI
E – Exact
G – Generic / General
Know-How Much is Too Much
Keyword spamming/stuffing will destroy your SEO.
Stock Image Descriptions
The alt text of stock images will often have keywords incorporated.
Offline Magazine Covers
Magazine covers are littered with keywords, making for quick and easy keyword research.
Consider PPC Campaigns
PPC campaigns are a great way to find new keywords for your content.
Use Keywords to Drive Blog Topics
Just like you can use your topics to find keywords, you can find topics based on keywords.
Remove the “fluff”
Remove any unnecessary words from your keywords because search engines don’t recognize them.
Understand Google Algorithms
While no one can genuinely understand Google’s algorithms, there are regular updates available about how changes in the algorithm can affect rankings.
Keyword research doesn’t have to be challenging.
If you choose to follow the range of tips I’ve laid out in this article, you’ll definitely have a leg up on the competition!
Elena is an SEO and Keyword Research enthusiast, Contributes to the blog section, and manages the chat system at 1stpageKWs. She loves spending her precious time with the family.