If you’re well-versed in best practices for SEO, you know that the proper use of keywords is pivotal for the ultimate success of your website.
Why? Because keywords are directly correlated to the things that consumers are searching for on the internet – and if consumers aren’t searching for what you’re selling or writing, no matter how hard you try, you won’t get any traffic from Google.
That’s why this week we’re walking you through how to research keywords on your own – whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the SEO game, read on for our list of tips and tricks!
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimizing your website, in order to rank in the search results for specific terms that are related to your business.
What is ‘keyword research’?
Keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms that people enter into search engines, with the goal of using that data for search engine optimization or general marketing. Keyword research can uncover queries to target the popularity of these queries, their ranking difficulty, and more.
How do I perform keyword research?
We’ll be honest with you: targeted keyword research is difficult to do without specialized tools. And while there are lots of keyword research tools out there – both free and paid – we’re not going to discuss them here today. Instead, we’re going to focus on some strategies that you can use to come up with LOTS of keyword ideas all on your own.
In your search for keywords that are relevant to your product or business, there are few better places to start than Wikipedia. Think about it: where else you can find useful articles that are already organized into categories, and curated by thousands of industry experts?
Let’s use an example to walk you through how to use Wikipedia as a tool for keyword research: imagine that you have a dog food company.
Head over to Wikipedia and type in a broad keyword to search.
In this case, let’s use “dog food”:
Look for the ‘contents' section of the page and click. This section lists out the sub topics covered on that page:
- Use the subtopics like the ones listed above as inspiration, and start pulling keywords. These subtopics often directly correlate to commonly searched terms that would also make for great keywords, in this case: ‘semi-moist dog food’, ‘raw dog food’, ‘low protein dog food’, and so on!
- We can take our research a step further, and click on some of the internal links available. These will lead us to ‘table of contents’ pages for other closely related entries, offering even more subtopics that can serve as useful keywords.
If you’re not already familiar, Reddit is a social news website and forum where content is socially curated and promoted by site members through voting. It also happens to be another great platform to utilize in your search for relevant keywords.
Let’s stick with our dog food company example and walk you through how to use it:
- Head over to Reddit and see if your target audience is present on the platform by searching for a broad topic that your target audience might be interested in. In our example, we’ll search for “dogs”, then choose a subreddit where our audience might hang out.
- Check out the comment section. This forum alone will offer many keywords – after all, keywords are reflective of what people search for, and if certain terms are present in popular subreddit sections, it’s safe to say they’re also highly searched on Google and other search engines.
- We can dig deeper by searching: “Keyworddit” on Reddit, which is actually a free SEO tool that scans Reddit for words and phrases that people use. It then sorts those phrases by monthly search volume – pretty cool, right? Just type in the name of a subreddit and pick one from the auto-generated list. Then click ‘Get Keywords’ to extract keywords from that subreddit. Remember that Subreddits with lots of comments have more keywords than those with little activity. Check out this example scenario below. We typed in the subreddit “aww” and here’s what we got:
‘Searches Related To’ Section
Another great, organic way of finding keywords? The ‘Searches Related to’ section at the bottom of Google’s search results. Here’s how to navigate it:
- Type in a keyword in the Google search box. We’re going to use the example “dogfood”.
Scroll down to the bottom of the Google search result and you’ll see eight closely related keywords. See example below:
- Click on one of the ‘Searches Related T’ keywords, scroll down, and you’ll find even more new keywords. Repeat this process with each one.
The best part about using a tool that’s offered by Google, is that it takes the guesswork out. These keyword ideas come straight from the source, so we don’t need to wonder whether or not they’re popular – we already know!
‘Google suggestions’ are algorithmically determined based on search volume and popularity. You can Google Suggestions both for your keyword research, and as a tool to define the search intent.
Let's look at an example of this auto-completion tool, using our trusted keyword: “dog food”.
If we type “dog food” into the search engine, Google Suggest will auto-populate the most relevant completions to that phrase, helping us to understand whether users searching for "dog food” are more interested in: brands, recipes, food for small dogs, or something else. See the image below:
Once the intent is defined, we can then continue to play with auto-completion to find other phrases related to the same keyword niche. Bonus: we can go through the same process with Youtube and Bing!
You can do an incredible amount of important work through keyword research, to optimize your site and ultimately drive traffic to your business.
See how far you can get on your own, but if you’re ready for some help for the pros, reach out to us here at Slicedbread Agency. We’ve got you!