Post updated on March 24th, 2020.
I’ve been digging deeper into keyword research for a few clients over the last month or so – focusing on trying to find the heart or seed keyword that they can use for their optimization plans. Along the way, I’ve found a few really interesting (and new to me) tools that I thought I would share – in some cases I’ve created a few videos to show you how the tools work.
Keyword Research Brainstorming
AnswerthePublic.com is a tool that I thought everyone had heard of, but I brought it up in conversation the other day and it seems as though not everyone has tried it. It helps you visualize keywords in a new industry. I open up this tool in the early stages of keyword brainstorming.
I also use Google Adwords Keyword Planner and put on the site to see what terms it will surface.
I also ask the client about their competitors (SEO Quake’s Chrome plugin is great for scraping the terms from competitor pages. I am also a fan of Ahref’s content gap report and Keywords Everywhere Chrome Plug-in. There is also a new free tool called What’s My SERP I’m starting to use. ), industry magazines, journals, and conferences. Simply check what terms your competitor’s sites or industry sites use and see if you can capitalize on those terms.
When you search for a term on Google Trends, you can then pivot to just US queries and then check out the “related terms” to see if there are any additional terms you may have missed. Here is an example.
Focusing on terms with volume
Ahrefs & Moz – both have great keyword data sets. I tend to use Ahrefs more now since it has surfaces keywords with lower volume. I don’t use Google Adwords Keyword Tool anymore as it’s data is unreliable.
You should check them out. They have great data on keyword volume per keyword overtime which I think is really useful:
Brainstorming with keyword suggestions
Keywords Everywhere is a great tool, although it is not free anymore. It overlays Google Suggest terms while you’re searching and in your Google Analytics reports. It also has a database that will pull YouTube and Amazon searches for you. I have a “how-to” video here.
WMS Everywhere is a free and easy-to-use Google Chrome extension. You get keywords as easy as simply adding the extension to Chrome, Google something and start getting keywords, volume, and cost per click.
Eliminating keywords based on searcher’s intent
I’ve seen across many clients that you can achieve top rankings without having the most backlinks if you really nail the searcher’s intent for the keyword. Not sure how to get started with searcher’s intent? Check out my blog post here.
Mapping keywords to pages that are ranking & finding gaps
You can pull reports from Google Search Console.
Alternatively, you can use SEMRush or Ahrefs to quickly give you a list of pages that are ranking for target keywords. You can then compare your target keyword list and see where you have gaps. Then, you can use Google to find a page that is close to ranking for the term to optimize first instead of starting from scratch.
If you happen to have Tableau, this approach is amazing: this article related to visualizing keyword research, but for most folks tableau is pretty cost restrictive.
Helping you group keywords topically
Most folks I talk to do this manually, but I like to speed up my work with tools as much as possible. Along those lines, I found the following tools that I’m trying:
Creating a writing brief per keyword
After the keyword grouping phase, I then distill the information into a brief that highlights all of the competitive and searcher’s intent data per keyword. This provides clear guidelines for writers to follow (including supportive keywords) before they start writing on the topic. I provide a complimentary copy of my writing brief to site members here.
A side note about YouTube keyword research
Keywords being used by searchers on YouTube are different, and I’m currently trialing these two tools to find appropriate keywords for a client:
Do you have tools that you love to use for keyword research?
Let me know in the comments!