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How To Do Keyword Research (And Why Its Not As Hard As You Think)
Many campaigns in the digital word are dependent on keywords, PPC, SEO, even Youtube videos. The success of these avenues rest heavily on good keywords, which are found with good keyword research.
Now, there are dozens if not hundreds of keyword research tools out there that can assist you in finding good relevant keywords, but chances are, if you are a brand new business, or you are just starting your SEO or PPC campaign, you don’t have a budget for many of these tools.
Well, the purpose of this article is to show you that while these tools are extremely helpful and oftentimes very worth the money you pay for them, they are not necessary. Great keywords can be found and used, and it can be done at no cost at all. It’s even easier than you might think. Here, let me show you.
Step 1: Googling
Nearly everyone uses Google, in fact Google gets 5.6 billion searches per day, or 63,000 searches a second. (https://seotribunal.com/blog/google-stats-and-facts/). Thats nuts. But more importantly, that means Google has an insane amount of data when it comes to what people are looking for.
You’ve probably noticed when you type something into Google, it starts to guess what it is you are searching for. For example, when I am looking for some cool new D&D dice sets (Yes, I am nerdy), here is what I see.
See how Google guessed that I was looking for some sort of dice? This isn’t because Google is an amazing guesser, its because Google has an obscene amount of data, and in that data, they have seen when someone types DnD d, they are most often looking for dice.
This is often the best place for you to do some keyword research because Google will literally give you the keywords you will want to go for.
Now, let’s say that I am a D&D Merchandise seller, I’ve gotten a few sales, but I really want to see my store take off and for my organic traffic to spike. Not only do I sell things D&D, but I have decided to start a blog as well in an attempt to get relevant traffic onto my site, then interest them in some killer products.
Not knowing really what I should blog about, I would head over to google, and just tupe in D&D, just to see what Google suggests.
These search results are alright, but for those not nerdy enough to know, most of these search results are general information, it would be tough to get my little blog to compete for them. So let’s try to dive a little deeper.
I do this by putting D&D and then testing out each letter of the alphabet. D&D A, D&D B… and so on, until I see some things that look interesting, something I feel like I could write about. Everytime I find a keyword I feel like is one I can talk about in my blog, I set it aside in a sheet or excel document. I then move on to searches that make sense to me. Things like, best D&D… or D&D how to…
Now, after spending just a few minutes playing with Google, I have 10 keywords that I know people have been searching for. You can stop here and use these keywords in your blog, but there are a few more steps you can take to find which of these keywords are the best.
Step Two: Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword planner is an amazing resource you can use when trying to figure out keywords, and it is absolutely free. I will guide you how to set up a new account with Google Ads, and how to get over to this resource. Don’t worry, you don’t need any credit card information or anything. If you already have a Google ads account, feel free to skip down to B)
When you see this page, click switch to expert mode.
Google will prompt you to choose a campaign. We do not want a campaign, we just want some keyword research, so go ahead and press the “Create an account without a campaign”.
It will make you to a page where it will ask you time zone and currency. Put whatever makes sense to you, then press submit
Yay! The account it made, hit explore your account, and we will be on our way to keyword research.
You are now in your very own Google Ads account. We just need to get to the keyword research tool and it will be smooth sailing from there.
Click the tools and settings button, and navigate under the Planning section of the menu, to Keyword Planner.
Once there you will see these two options.
Click on the “Get search volume and forcasts” (don’t worry, we will swing back around for the other option soon).
You will see a screen where you can input keywords. Take the keywords that we gathered in the first part of this article and put them in. It should look like this
Press get started, and you should see a page that looks like this. We want to look at the historical metrics, so go ahead and click on that.
Finally, we have arrived. What we really want to focus on right now is the average monthly searches and the competition. The ideal keyword is going to have as high of searches as we can get, but have a very low competition.
As you can see, some of these keywords are better than others. I’ve gone ahead and sorted them by the number of monthly searches. According to Google, four of the keywords I am going for don’t have any monthly searches.
In all likelihood, this isn’t true, as Google did suggest these keywords to us, but the search volume is probably very low. More often than not, the average monthly searches found here are actually a little lower than what you could potentially get, however, it is better to err on the side of caution and assume these numbers are accurate.
With that being said, we now only have 6 keywords that we want to look at since they are the only ones with search traffic according to Google.
I will need to look at these keywords with my end goal in mind. Not only do I want to attract users to my site with interesting content, I want them to then buy some of my products. So I want traffic, with a higher intent to buy. Out of all these keywords, really two of them stick out.
How to DM
Best D&D Dice.
In a game of D&D, there are players, and there is the story teller, the DM. The DM needs to know the rules of D&D, and they usually have quite a few little items that help make the game run smoothly.
If someone is interested in the basics of D&D and how to run a game, the chances are they do not have these small items or products, so it would be an awesome opportunity to not only teach these new DMs, but also offer products that will make their gaming experience more fun.
On the other hand, if someone is looking at what the best D&D dice are, the chances are they are shopping around for some dice to take home. Both of these have higher traffic, with a higher chance to convert.
Competition will be the deciding factor on which blog post I will write. While D&D dice are a high traffic, high intent audience, I can see that they are high competition, whereas How to DM is low competition, meaning it will be easier for me to rank for that phrase and get that traffic onto my site.
The winner is clear. How To Dm is the blog post I should write.
Of course that doesn’t mean I can’t write a post next week on dice, or on the best class for wizards. The research done today can be used for the next few weeks as I add more and more content to my blog.
But what if I start running out of ideas?
Well… we’ve got you covered.
Remember that second option in Google Keyword Planner? Lets head back there and check it out. This time, lets click on “Discover New Keywords”
You will see it open up and look something like this.
As you can see, you have two options here. Start with keywords, or start with a website. When you start with your website, you simply put in your url, Google scans it, and gives you some feedback on what some good keyword might be.
What we are going to look at more in depth is the Start with Keywords.
Here you will want to put in a keyword that you know has worked in the past, or a keyword you think will work well in the future.
For example, lets say by this point I have written my “How to DM” blog, and it just did awesome. I know there is an audience for that, but I am just not sure what else I could write about. So, in that search bar I should put How to Dm, then press get results.
So, in that search bar I should put How to Dm, then press get results.
It will take me to a screen that looks like this
Google has now listed for me a list of keywords that are similar to mine. Once again we can see the average monthly searches and competition, and I can go through and choose which I think I could write about.
The Final Tool:
The last free tool that I find to be quite useful is Ubersuggest. This is a powerful free tool which will allow yo to dive even deeper into keywords and find their effectiveness, as well as look at potential competitor data.
So, once again, lets put in a keyword that has done well, or will do well, so we will put in our “How to DM’. We will see a search like this
Ubersuggest will give you a little more of an exact number for your search volume, as well as give you an idea of how easy this keyword is to rank for SEO.
I suggest diving into Ubersuggest and looking at more of its features, as it does quite a lot for a free tool.
But right now, we just want further suggestions, keywords that we feel like we could write about and successfully bring in traffic.
Down the page you will see a little section that’ll look like this. Click on the “View all Keywords” button
Not only will Ubersuggest give you some other suggestions, many of which do not appear in Google Keyword Planner, but it also will show you other websites who are currently ranking and getting organic traffic for this keyword
You can then click on any of those websites, and Ubersuggest will pull up a report on that domain, showing you the keywords that it is currently ranking for
You can go through these keywords that your competitor is ranking for, and see if there is anything you feel like you can write about, If your competitor and rank for that keyword, why not you?
Keyword research is insanely important, it can be the difference between very little organic traffic, and thousands of visitors the day. With these free tools, you will be able to find high applicable keywords that can drive traffic to your site, and help your business or blog thrive.