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Are Keyword Research Tools Needed for SEO?
Keyword research can be done without any tools in as little as ten minutes by using Google’s Search Suggestions and analyzing competitors.
Using these methods can save you time and money from having to invest in expensive SEO tools such as:
- Ahrefs: starting at $99/month
- SEMRush: starting at $119/month
- Ubersuggest: starting at $29/month
- Moz Pro: starting at $99/month
- Brightedge: starting at $59/month
If you’re looking to pull large amounts of keyword data, the paid tools listed above are the ones that do it best, but they are rather pricey and unnecessary for the average business owner.
There are also additional free programs that I love to use such as Answer The Public that can be highly useful. I recommend checking it out.
There are many other paid tools out there but I’d recommend steering clear of those as they often provide inaccurate keyword data.
So how can we pull together a list of keywords without the use of any tools at all? Let’s dive in.
Finding SEO Keywords Using Google SERPs
One of the most effective ways to find keywords without the use of tools is by using the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). To do so, follow these steps:
First you’ll want to brainstorm a list of questions that your potential customers/clients might be asking when they are considering your product or service. For example, someone considering buying a gaming laptop might ask the following questions:
“How much RAM do I need for gaming?”
“What screen resolution is best for gaming?”
“What is the difference between a GPU and a CPU?”
Now that you have your list of questions, you’ll want to start plugging these questions into the Google search bar one at a time. Take note of what your SERP competitors are doing to capture these keywords. Is the page in the form of a product page or blog post? How are they answering the user’s search intent?
These are all indicators as to how you should style your page that is targeting this keyword. If the top 3 results are all product pages for that particular keyword, then Google is prioritizing product pages for that keyword and you should follow suit.
To expand on your initial keyword ideas, take a look at the People Also Ask sections and the Related searches sections.
Use these suggestions to grow your keyword list; allow yourself to go down keyword rabbit holes using this method to discover questions and topics that you might not have thought of.
Keep in mind, all of these suggestions are things that people – potential customers or clients – are searching for on a daily basis.
For example, the Related searches section for “What is the difference between a GPU and a CPU” yields these additional keywords:
By now, you should have a solid list of keywords related to your product or service from using the Related Searches and People Also Ask snippets on the SERPs. Great. Obviously, some keywords will be better to go after than others.
What determines a good keyword? How can you target it and earn a top rank in Google for that keyword?
This is where keyword categorization comes in.
If a keyword is phrased as a question, it is best suited to be addressed in a blog post. The longer and more specific the question, the easier it will be to rank for. These are called long-tail keywords.
If a keyword is shorter and more of a statement, then it is likely better suited for a service page, product page, or some other landing page.
Here’s an E-commerce example for a Supplement company:
|View various product options
|Category Page or Product Landing Page
|"protein powder under $40"
|View affordable protein powders only
|Filtered Category Page or Listicle
|"is protein powder bad for you"
|Learn more about protein powder
|Blog post and/or video explainer
Each keyword on this list gets more and more specific. The more specific the query is, the easier it will be to rank for. Use this strategy to categorize your list of keywords.
A good practice to follow when categorizing your list is to just plug each keyword into Google and look at what the top results are. When I search “is protein powder bad for you”, all of the top results are blog posts. Therefore it is recommended to use a blog post to target this keyword.
Don’t try to assume what Google wants. Mimic what is already ranking, except execute on it better to outrank everyone else.
That being said, if you look at the SERPs for a keyword and the top 10 results are all going to be impossible to outrank (Amazon, Webmd, .gov sites, etc), then you’d best steer clear of those keywords until your website builds up more authority.
What To Do After Keyword Research
Well, there you go. Now you have your list of kick-ass keywords for your site, all without having to drop a bag on some unnecessary tools.
Once you’ve done your keyword research, you’ll want to create pages for your keywords filled with helpful content, images, videos, and more. Each page should be laser-focused on satisfying the user’s search intent. The user is all that matters here.
Consistently putting out high-quality content will have you outranking your competitors in no time.
Delivering value to your customer base to drive website engagement is what we teach as apart of our Organic Flywheel Marketing methodology.
If you have any questions or want to see how Organic Flywheel Marketing can turn your brands website into a revenue-generating machine, contact Ryder Digital today.
Keyword Research FAQs
To win in SEO, Google wants to see your site as authoritative and relevant to your audience. The best way to do this is to have a lot of helpful content on your site that ranks well. As your website’s authority increases, the easier it will be to rank for more competitive keywords – the keywords that drive revenue.
This depends on your website’s authority. If your site has been up for 3 years and you only have a few core pages up, your authority will be low. You will have a hard time ranking for competitive keywords, and there’s very little point in publishing content that will have you sitting on page 50.
This is where long-tail keywords are so important. Yes, there may be fewer people searching for it, but ranking on page one for a low-volume keyword is far more valuable than ranking on page 23 of Google for a high-volume keyword.
If you’ve done little to no SEO on your site, focus on accumulating as many rankings on low-volume, long-tailed keywords as possible.
No. Google looks at every page on your website collectively to see what your site is about to determine how authoritative you are. If you have content in pets, finance, tech, etc. just because they’re good keywords, it won’t help you rank better as a whole.
If you’re running a website focused on pets, only write content related to pets, and become the all-knowing source of knowledge for all things pets. The more niche you can be in the beginning, the more authoritative your site will be in the eyes of Google. This is how you get traction early on in SEO.
The more your site grows, the broader you can get.