If you want to rank well on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you need to select the right keywords for your business.
It’s because any visitor that came to your site via a search engine, found you because of the words and phrases they typed in. Each search journey ALWAYS begins with keywords.
But how do you find the right keywords for your page?
By using smart keyword research tools.
In this article, I’ll show you paid and free keyword research tools available and how you can use it to boost your rankings.
What is Keyword Research?
Keywords are words, phrases, and terms people enter into search engines to find websites with answers to their queries. These keywords help search engines find the most accurate and relevant content.
Keywords act as a bridge between your website and the search engine.
Keyword Research should be part of your SEO process. It identifies words, phrases, and terms that will help you achieve your business goals.
There are thousands of keywords in a given niche, but if you understand who you’re selling to, what your customers are searching for and why they’re searching for these terms, you’ll learn which keywords can deliver the most benefit to your business.
Types Of Keywords You Should Be Using
Broad keywords are phrases that indicate that the searcher has a rough idea of what they’re looking for. These terms generally have good traffic.
Examples of broad keywords include:
- Dance shows
- Travel guides
- Self-help videos
Long-tail keywords are phrases that show that the searcher has a clear idea of what they’re looking for. These terms are more specific so they have less search volume and less competition but have the highest conversion rates.
They’re also responsible for approximately 70% of all searches.
Examples of long-tail keywords include:
- Which dance shows are available in my area?
- What’s the best travel guide for countries in Asia?
- The top self-help videos for people who are lacking motivation
Types Of Keywords You Should Avoid
Generic Keywords are phrases where the searcher’s intent is extremely vague and unclear. While these words tend to have large amounts of traffic, conversions are extremely low and it takes a lot of work and money to rank for these terms.
Furthermore, most large multinationals and manufacturers compete for these terms so it’d be very expensive to compete against them.
Examples of generic keywords include:
Tyre Kicker Keywords
Tyre Kicker keywords are phrases that indicate that the searcher is looking to get something for free. Tyre kickers are generally people who will waste your time and resources.
Examples of Tyre Kicker Keywords include:
- Download piano sheets
- Free yoga instruction manual
- Learn how to play ukulele for free
Keyword Research Tools
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most powerful and underrated SEO tools in the market.
For each keyword, you can see:
- The exact search volume from each word
- How much advertisers are willing to pay
- Other related keywords
- How these words perform in different locations
Google Keyword Planner shows you almost everything you need to know when it comes to finding profitable keywords. If you use it correctly, you can uncover a list of strategic keywords without spending anything on expensive tools.
If you want to use the Google Keyword Planner to come up with keyword ideas, first click on ‘Find New Keywords.’
Then, enter words, phrases, terms, or even a URL related to the keyword.
For example, if I was conducting keyword research for Google Keyword Planner, these are the keywords I would enter.
Google Keyword Planner will then generate a list of different keywords for you.
It’ll also show you the keywords (by relevance), average monthly searches, competition, and bidding numbers.
Matthew’s Intelligent Spreadsheet
While Google Keyword Planner is an extremely helpful free tool, it doesn’t tell you how difficult it will be to rank in the search results for a keyword search term.
Thankfully, I’ve developed an intelligent Google Spreadsheet that can do that for you.
I’ve developed this spreadsheet so you can:
- Construct a keyword strategy
- Automatically find the right keywords that have high search volume and low competition
- See if there is a featured snippet available
- Analyze keyword intent
The Problem With Free Tools
Free tools can be extremely helpful. However, they contain many limitations, which could hurt your SEO campaign.
1 - Free tools take a lot of time.
With Google Keyword Planner, you need to jump through multiple hoops to get ideas and exact search volumes.
2 - People’s search queries often don’t make sense
Oftentimes search queries are almost illogical. Google’s Keyword Planner limits the number of results it returns, which makes it difficult to find the 5-10 long-tail phrases.
3 - You can’t conduct in-depth research.
You can’t quickly find relevant and similar keywords with search volumes and keyword difficulty levels with free tools.
SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO suite that contains a Keyword Magic Tool.
To begin your keyword research, go to ‘Keyword Analytics’ and click on Overview. Then, enter your target keyword into the search bar.
Once you hit Search, you’ll see a page full of search results. Here, focus on the ‘Phrase Match Keyword’ and the ‘Related Keywords.’
Under ‘Phrase Match Keywords,’ click on ‘View Full Report.’ Here you’ll find information on the search volume of the keyword and its value to an advertiser.
Under the ‘Related Keywords,’ click on ‘View Full Report.’ Here, you’ll see further information on the individual keywords like their search volumes.
Ahrefs is a must-have tool for those who are serious about their SEO.
With Ahrefs, head to top toolbar and click on ‘Keywords Explorer.’ On the keyword explorer page, enter as many keywords as you want and then hit ‘search.’
You should then see the ‘Keyword Results’ page.
Under ‘Keyword Ideas,’ you’ll find a large database of keywords. Each of these lists has a different set of data for related keywords. Under ‘Newly Discovered,’ you can even find keywords that no one is ranking for yet!
LongTail Pro is a fantastic tool if you’re looking for niche keywords.
To generate a keyword list, add your domain and seed keywords.
Once you click ‘Retrieve,’ you’ll see a list of long-tail keywords. They have key metrics like search volume, bid, rank value, and average keyword difficulty.
Trials You Can Take Advantage Of
These paid tools can be expensive. But did you know, the best premium SEO Tools often come with a free or discounted trial, or a freemium account?
What you can do is, first prepare a list of pages you need new keywords for. Then sign up for the free or discounted trial. During the trial period, make sure you complete all your keyword research. This way, you gain all the benefits of a premium research tool without having to pay a single cent!
For the premium tools above:
- SEMRush: Get 14 days of unlimited access for free.
- Ahrefs: Sign up for a 7 day trial for $7
- LongTail Pro: Sign up for their free 7-day trial.
Wrapping It Up
If you want to increase traffic, sales, and revenue, you need to select the right keywords for your business.
While there are free tools available, I recommend you take advantage of the freemium or free trials that premium tools offer. These premium tools can help you save time and come up with a comprehensive list of keywords to target.
Remember to take your time with keyword research.
It’s the foundation of every successful SEO strategy.