When it comes to search engine rankings, it’s hard to argue that keywords aren’t one of, if not the, most important aspects of any SEO strategy.
After all, SEO keywords are the words and phrases that make it possible for potential customers to find your site when using search engines online.
The idea is simple: find the keywords that will give you the best chance for higher rankings
But how do you know which keywords or phrases are going to be the most effective for your site?
It’s called conducting keyword research. And there are a number of online tools available to help you determine exactly which keywords your content should be focusing on.
Yes. There are a number of premium, paid keyword research tools that provide users with advanced options. But there are also plenty of 100% free keyword research tools out there that can be just as helpful.
Today, we’re taking a look at five of our favourites. And the different ways they can help you find the perfect combination of SEO keywords.
Keyword research methods
Good keyword research will help you choose adequate keywords in line with your content. It tells you which keywords have the highest search volumes. Which keywords your competitors are currently using. And helps you create a map of long tail keywords. All stuff that will help you to rank better in search engines.
One keyword research method suggests you might get better ranking results by loading up on keywords that are the same or similar to your main keyword.
Another popular strategy is based on researching competitors’ keywords and achieving effects to your benefit by using better keywords than them.
Different keyword research methods yield different advantages. So the best results are often gained from using several of them.
If you’re really into learning more in-depth keyword research strategies using one of the most popular SEO tools out there, SEMrush, you can check the video below. It’s a long one but you’ll learn a lot from it.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is the web’s most popular free keyword research tool.
It’s part of the Adwords family and can help improve your ranking on Google by finding the best keywords for your content.
First, enter your seed keyword in Google Keyword Planner. Then set filters based on location, language, and other relevant factors. Not only will Google Keyword Planner suggest appropriate keyword suggestions, it will also offer estimated traffic volumes, competition levels, and average monthly searches.
You can ask Google Keyword Planner to show you negative keywords that you’ll want to avoid. Or you can enter the URL of a competitor to see what keywords they’re using.
However, results are not customised. All users stand to get the same results; thus all users can use the same keywords. So use Google Keyword Planner in tandem with other tools. And try using different variations of the suggested keywords.
WordStream is a tool similar to Google Keyword Planner.
Once again, you start by entering your seed keyword. From there, Wordstream will give you a long list of recommended keyword variations and their relative frequency.
Wordstream awards each keyword a competition score and estimated cost-per-click (CPC).
Wordstream also supplies you with valuable, industry-specific information plus information regarding niches where your keywords are currently being used. This can help determine which keywords are most suitable. And help you put together a practical marketing budget.
UberSuggest is among the best free keyword research tools out there today.
Because it provides keywords that you will not get using the Google Keyword Planner. So when used alongside Google Keyword Planner, you’re bound to get the best results possible.
UberSuggest also provides you with some great ideas for long tail keywords starting with the seed keyword you entered. UberSuggest even provides users with great ideas about content for the website based on suggested keywords and long tail keywords.
Serpstat started off as humble keyword research tool. But now that competitor analysis, backlink analysis, rank tracking and site audit functions have been added to its suite of features, it’s now much more of a complete SEO tool.
Its keyword research reports give you lots of useful information divided into several sections.
In the SEO Research section, you’ll see matched keywords and related keywords, top pages where that keyword is used, the names of competitors using the keyword and other suggested keywords for you.
The PPC Research section provides real-world examples, the Content Marketing section shows you relevant search questions such as, “Ask the Public” and the SERP Analysis section gives you up-to-date data on the top 100 Google results for that keyword.
In addition to a keyword volume search, Serpstat gives you the estimation of your chance of being in the top 10 search results based on the grades below:
- 0-20 – easy
- 21-40 – medium
- 41-60 – difficult
- 61-100 – very difficult
Researching the competition to find ways of overtaking them in search engine rankings is a viable strategy. And the Wordtracker Scout Chrome extension is just the tool to help with this.
Simply enter the competitor’s URL and press “W”. Wordtracker Scout will prepare a full report of their used keywords; invaluable data when estimating your own keyword strategy.
Use variations of these keywords, long-tail keywords, and LSI keywords. Better yet, use the same keywords, but more efficiently, inside your content.
Paid services like SEMRush can provide you with more detailed data. But even a tool like that is available with a 30-day free trial so you can see for yourself if all those little extras justify the cost.
There are a number of free keyword research tools out there. These are the ones we like. Combine them to achieve the best results
Instead of guessing which keywords might be best for ranking, use free keyword research tools to find the keywords that really are. You may not get perfect instructions from a single resource.
But once you begin using multiple keyword resources to narrow down the words and phrases best suited to help you with organic search results, the more you’ll begin to see that incorporating search words throughout the content of your website is a surefire way to gain to new viewers – and hang on to the loyal viewers that check your site out on a regular basis.