In 2020, one strategy is still proven effective to rank high on search engines - keyword research. Today, I will share keyword research tips and tricks that could help you take that number one spot on search.
There are three main reasons keyword research has become one of the most important trade tools of digital marketers everywhere:
- The constant change in Google's algorithm.
- The increasing number of websites published online.
- The way people use words to search for stuff on the web.
With these three things in mind, stuffing your website with so many keywords is just a waste of time, money, and effort. I know that a lot of people do it, but it's time to stop.
First, I want to define what keyword research is and why it is essential to your SEO campaign.
Let's jump to it!
What Is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is an SEO practice of finding, analyzing, and using actual search words, terms, or phrases that people use in search engines to find information on the web.
The insight you can get from doing keyword research could help you create a more educated content strategy, as well as a broader overall marketing strategy.
Importance Of Keyword Research
Keyword research is vital because it tells you what topics people care about and how important those topics are among your audience.
As a digital marketer, it's important to research keywords with high search volume and low competition in your business industry. Why? Because it is the only way to be competitive in search rankings.
6 Keyword Research Tips And Tricks
Now that we know what keyword research is, it's time to talk about effective keyword research tips and tricks that could help improve your search ranking.
Learn How To Use And Find Long Tail Keywords
In SEO, there are two types of keywords - head keywords and long tail keywords.
Head keywords are the ones that most people think they should target. They are very general and very competitive. It's tempting to use only head keywords, but as a rule of thumb -- if you want to rank for a keyword, then use long tail keywords.
A long tail keyword is a specific type of keyword that usually consists of more words. Fewer people create content about these keyword topics, which makes them a perfect target.
To differentiate a head keyword from a long tail keyword, here's a sample:
- Head Keyword - "Indian Restaurant"
- Long Tail Keyword - "The Best Affordable Indian Restaurant in Denver"
Knowing how to use long tail keywords can help you get a new website off the ground because they are less competitive.
You have two choices when deciding how to use long tail keywords in your content:
- Create a blog optimized around a long tail keyword.
- Evenly spread long tail keywords into your content.
Easy to do, right? These options would help your rankings tremendously.
Now, here are the simple tips on how to find long tail keywords:
Type "Searches Related To..." In Google
Type anything in Google, and then scroll down to the bottom of the search results. You’ll see a section called “Searches related to…”?.
In the example above, there are at least two long tail keywords for the search term “Keyword Research.”
My tip is to type one of the long tail keywords from the “Searches related to…” area into Google. Then, check out the “Searches related to…” results for THAT keyword.
Repeat the process until you have a list of long tail keywords.
Take Advantage Of People Also Ask Boxes
Here’s another long tail keyword pro tip for you.
Use the People Also Ask box in Google’s search results to find keywords.
Type a keyword in Google and then use the questions that people ask around the topic of the keyword you typed in.
Also, click the expand button to uncover more related questions.
Check Google Search Console Performance Report
Google Search Console or GSC could show you 2nd and 3rd-page long tail keywords that you rank for in Google that you’re not optimizing.
Here's how to find these long tail keywords in GSC:
- Step 1: Log in to Google Search Console.
- Step 2: Go to the Performance Report.
- Step 3: Scroll down to Queries.
- Step 4: Sort the list by Position to find 2nd and 3rd-page keywords.
- Step 5: Set the number of rows to show to 500.
- Step 6: Scroll down until you start to see positions 10-15.
- Step 7: Analyze the keywords that are ranking in those positions.
- Step 8: Use the Google Keyword Planner to check the search volume of the keywords.
- Step 9: Click on the keyword when you find the ones that make sense for your site.
- Step 10: Click the Pages tab.
To learn more about GSC, read my article Google Search Console Basics: Everything You Need To Know.
Use Answer The Public
One of my favorite keyword research tools is Answer the Public. This tool generates question-focused keywords, which could be very handy for your research task.
Follow these steps to find long tail keywords using Answer The Public:
- Step 1: Log in to Answer The Public.
- Step 2: Type a broad keyword into the field and click Get Questions.
- Step 3: Sort the data alphabetically:
- Step 4: Download the data as a CSV.
The tool will show you questions that users ask about your topic. And because question keywords tend to belong, they’re natural long tail terms.
Think of Quora as Yahoo! Answers but better because the responses are SUPER helpful!
Check out Neil Patel's article on How to Generate Long-Tail Keywords Using Quora and Google Trends to learn how to use this platform.
What's the best tool when it comes to keyword suggestions? Google! By using Google's autofill search suggestions, you can see popular search topics.
You see these suggestions every time you type something in the search box.
Here’s a nifty trick. Use an underscore to have Google suggest a word in the middle of a phrase.
For example, if you type “best _ in Michigan,” google will fill in the most commonly searched words in place of that underscore.
Doing this can help find interesting keyword phrases. It saves a lot of your time too!
Pay Attention To Timelines
In doing keyword research, always remember that not all keywords are trending year’ round. Some are extremely useful for a week or two in December and have low search volume for the rest of the year.
There’s one tool that could tell you if a keyword fits a specific time of the year or not. It’s called Google Trends.
Google Trends is a great tool to know whether or not interest in your keywords is increasing or free falling.
Here’s how this works:
- Step 1: Go to Google Trends.
- Step 2: Enter the keyword you want to rank for into the search field.
- Step 3: Analyze the Interest Over Time chart.
- Step 4: Scroll down to Related Queries.
Most of the keywords under Queries are keywords that you won’t find in other keyword research tools.
Google Trends is a free tool, by the way, so go ahead and take advantage of it!
Use Negative Keywords In Your Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns
It’s useful to target the customers you do want, but it can be just as helpful to rule out the customers you DON’T want.
Negative keywords can help you tighten your target even further.
According to Google,
Negative keywords let you exclude search terms from your campaigns and help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers. Better targeting can put your ad in front of interested users and increase your return on investment (ROI).
There are three types of negative keywords:
- Negative Broad Match - If the search includes ALL negative keyword terms, then the ad will be hidden, even if the search terms are in a different order.
- Negative Phrase Match - If the search includes the EXACT keyword terms IN THE SAME ORDER, then the ad will be hidden.
- Negative Exact Match - If the search includes the EXACT keyword terms, in the same order, WITHOUT ADDITIONAL WORDS, then the ad will be hidden.
Learn how to add negative keywords in Google Adwords in this article.
Do Competitor Research
Ever heard of the quote, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”? The same applies to keyword research.
Competitor research is an effective way of analyzing what keywords your competitors are investing in both successfully and unsuccessfully.
Why is it important?
By knowing what works for your competitors, you can discover what you need to do to improve your search rankings.
It eliminates the possibility of making your own mistakes and even learning from them early on. Also, you save a lot of time and other valuable resources.
To do competitor research, search via a website but use your competitor’s site instead of your own.
You could choose from any of the following tools when doing your competitor research:
Utilize Local Keywords For Local Businesses
Focusing on localized keywords and phrases is one of the best keyword research tips and tricks I could give.
It helps you target buyers who are close to your physical store locations, and it improves your search engine ranking, especially if you are a small business owner.
If your business has a local storefront or you service a set geographic area, don't miss the opportunity to utilize local keywords such as the name of the city and surrounding cities.
For example, aside from using "Denver Colorado Indian Restaurants", use:
- Affordable Indian Restaurants in Denver Colorado
- Denver Colorado Indian Restaurants Great For Kids
- Popular To Go Indian Restaurants in Denver Colorado
- Denver Colorado Indian Restaurants With Great Car Parks
- Best Indian Restaurants in Denver Colorado For All Ages
While these search terms get less traffic overall, don't let that scare you because it will be more meaningful traffic.
Don't forget to check out my article about Proven Local SEO Tips to Catapult Your Rankings for more helpful information.
And that's it!
Those are the keyword research tips and tricks you can use to improve your search engine ranking.
In conclusion, keyword research isn't an easy and quick task, but given the right training and experience, you'll get the hang of it!
I put together a list of helpful online resources for you to check out if you need more keyword research help. Also, don't forget to SEND US A MESSAGE if you want to know more.
Recommended Keyword Research Resources
3 Super-Actionable Keyword Research Tips to Try Right Now
Keyword research in 2019: Modern tactics for growing targeted search traffic
How to Do Keyword Research: A Comprehensive Guide
So what do you think about this article? Did any of these keyword research tips and tricks help?
Leave a comment below and let's discuss.
Also, if you think this article is worth SHARING, it would be a huge honor.
Need more local SEO tips? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Local SEO.
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