3 Secrets to Maximizing Your Keyword Research Process

April 14, 2016 Andy Beohar

keyword-research-processAre you having trouble with keyword research? You’re not alone. Businesses across all industries struggle with sourcing cost-effective keywords with high search volumes to drive traffic and boost SEO.

Well, we’re here to help. Below, we share three of our secrets for maximizing the keyword research process:

1. Google Suggest Wild Cards

It’s no secret that Google tools are great for finding surprisingly effecting keyword ideas. Many marketers turn to Google Suggest, the function that autocompletes your Google search with popular results based on what other people are looking for. What many marketers don’t know about are Google Suggest wild cards, which allow you to search for particularly popular phrases in any order using an underscore.

Pick a phrase like "most effective marketing _" and the underscore will be auto-filled by Google Suggest with the most popular user search phrases. The benefits of this keyword research strategy are clear: You can better understand the terms your customers are searching for while also sourcing strong keywords at zero cost. Just don't get too crazy when it comes to your keyword phrasing – you want to find search terms that a number of people are actually looking for.

2. Free Tools for Research

There are a plethora of free keyword research tools that you can use to maximize your research. We’ve listed the top three tools pulled from a survey of 58 experts:

  • SEMrush: SEMrush is a search tool based on competitive data, so you can see what similar companies are doing and what you need to do to stand out amongst them. The free parts of this search tool allow you to look at individual competitors and discover keywords that will drive maximum results for your business. Pay a fee, and you can even see what keywords your competitors are bidding on.
  • Google Keyword Planner: Google's research tool is a staple for many marketers because of sheer usability. Need a keyword? Search for a phrase and get information such as potential performance data and historical usage. Want to examine a competitor's work? Enter their website and see what their users are searching for. As long as you have AdWords, the Keyword Planner is free to use, and you should definitely be taking advantage of it.
  • Keyword Tool.io: As an alternative to Google’s Keyword Planner, put any keyword into Keyword Tool.io and you will immediately receive around 750 long-tail keyword suggestions. The list won't give you much information on search or CPC ratings, but you can pay for that information if you want everything to show up on tool.io.

3. Focusing on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more BOFU search terms that have a lower search volume. These types of keywords can be highly profitable as they are generally less competitive, and the people using them are more purchase-ready. To maximize your keyword research to drive conversions, focus your efforts on long-tail keywords.

Are we missing any keyword research secrets? Let us know in the comments!

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