When it comes to our websites, we often think about layout, images, and functionality first. These components are all very important, but there is one more critical piece you can’t overlook: your website copy! The content on your website is what Google will use to send traffic your way. Adding targeted keywords to your copy will make it easier for your ideal customer to find you. Learn how to use keyword research tools effectively to get found.
Free Keyword Research Tools
There are loads of keyword research tools to choose from, ranging from free to paid options. Two popular keyword research tools you can subscribe to are SemRush and Moz. If you’re just starting out with keyword research, get your toes wet with one of the great free options that are available. Some of the best free keyword research tools are:
- Soovle. Explore the most typed-in keywords on multiple search engines, including Amazon and Ebay.
- Ubersuggest. This tool give you more information about keyword volume and related search terms.
- Answer the Public. This resource is especially helpful for creating blog content, as it can help you generate topics around keywords.
- Google Trends. While not a dedicated keyword tool, this resource shows you what people are searching for, which is very helpful for researching keywords.
How to Use These Tools
To get started, make a list of relevant topics for your business. First, think of industry terms that pertain to your field. If you sell cotton candy machines, some terms you use often might include spun sugar and party supplies. Next, think of your customer’s pain points. What problems are they trying to solve? Add those questions to your list. Finally, let your keyword research tool check out the competition for you. Tools such as SemRush will allow you to type in a competitor’s URL so you can see which keywords they rank for. If it works for them, it might work for you!
Once you have this list, start honing in on keywords. If your customer’s pain point is “what’s a fun party food for kids?”, the keyword phrase you can focus on might be “fun party food”. A quick and easy way to isolate key terms is to use Google itself. Type in the phrase or question you want to answer, and see what the top results are. Then scroll to the bottom of the page to see what related search terms are shown. Add these to your list of potential keywords.
Finally, you’re ready to really start using those keyword research tools. You’re going to dig deeper into your potential keywords and phrases to find the best options for your site. Type in the keyword you think you might want to use and look at the following:
- Volume: how many people are searching for this term? You don’t want to choose a term that no one is searching for. What would be the point? And you also don’t want to use a keyword that is extremely popular and therefore very difficult for you to rank for. For example, according to my keyword research tool, “cotton candy” has over 90 thousand search queries per month, whereas “cotton candy maker” has 12 thousand searches. By using the search term “cotton candy maker” I have a better opportunity to land on the first page of search results, and I’m still in the running for the shorter “cotton candy” search term as well.
- Long-tail keywords: for every keyword you input, your research tool should be able to provide some long-tail keywords. It’s important to have a few longer phrases that cover pain points and questions being asked. Going back to my cotton candy example, my keyword research tool suggested long-tail keywords like “how to make cotton candy”. This is a relevant term that is possible to rank for, so it would be added to the list.
- Competition: look at who else is ranking for the keyword you are considering. Do you have a chance at knocking them out of the top three? With my hypothetical cotton candy business, if the top ten sites listed for my chosen keyword are Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other major retailers, odds are pretty low that my new site will be able to compete with them yet. Right now it’s best to focus on the keywords I can compete for, and a good keyword research tool will help me see who my competition is and whether or not I have a chance to top them.
While intuition is helpful, solid data is best when it comes to SEO. Keyword research tools give you the information you need to make the best choices for your brand. If the idea of doing keyword research terrifies you, we can do it for you! Our SEO Audit not only assesses your web presence but also provides you will a well-researched list of keywords to target and how to implement them on your site!