Even though there are many complex and pricey keyword research tools available today, you can really conduct some fundamental research using only three free tools: Google Trends, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, and Google Suggest. Even if you have and employ paid keyword research tools, you may use these as a beginning point when researching a topic by seeing how Google groups related keywords or link them to related searches. This can help you gain a new perspective on your target phrases and improve your search strategy. You’ll be able to conduct some quick and cost-free keyword research for yourself once I go over how each tool operates and how they are combined.
1. Google Suggest
The quickest method to conduct keyword research is likely to be using Google Suggest, a list of words and phrases that appears in the search box when you enter a query on Google.com:
The four most popular searches that include the keyword you put in the search box at the time of your query are often displayed in Google Suggest. This implies that each time you run a new search, the data in Google Suggest may change.
Different Suggest results are frequently obtained by typing different versions of the term you’re researching.
2. Google AdWords Keywords Planner
A popular place to begin when looking for SEO keywords is Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner. Despite being a component of the AdWords toolkit, search volumes reflect all users, not simply those who clicked on sponsored search ads.
You don’t need to run ads or use a credit card to have an account with Google AdWords (https://adwords.google.com), but you do need one to use this feature. This will be your Google AdWords home page once you’ve finished setting everything up. Click the tools and analysis option at the top after you’ve arrived here. Click Keyword Planner after that.
Four options will be displayed by the tool. We want to click on the top option, which reads “Search for fresh keyword and ad group ideas,” in order to do keyword research.
Once you do that, you have a number of choices:
Here, you have a variety of choices. You should insert keywords associated with the content of your website in the first field. You might start by using keywords like “zach galifianakis” to come up with keyword suggestions.
In order to improve the results, you can additionally choose a location (a particular nation, or all locations), or add phrases you want to exclude.
There are two tabs in your results:
- Ad Group Ideas
- Keyword Ideas
Ad Group Ideas groups related terms by a parent concept, as seen in the following result for “Hangover Zach”:
The keyword(s) you’re studying may be improved or expanded upon using these groups as a starting point.
You can get keyword suggestions connected to your initial query in the Keywords Ideas tab’s unsorted list. These can be downloaded into Excel or sorted by volume:
The volumes represent an average for the month. You can view monthly volume trends to see seasonal terms when you download terms. Volume numbers are directional; the actual amount of visits you receive for these keywords will typically be substantially less based on your position in search results, the time of year, and your click-through rate.
Pick terms that fully capture the idea under investigation. The better a phrase performs in general, the more specialized it must be.
3. Google Trends
You can quickly compare how frequently your target keywords are searched for using Google Trends. For instance, suppose you’re unsure whether the keyword “between two ferns” or “zach galifianakis” would be more popular. Enter “Zach Galifianakis” and “between two ferns” into the search bar of Google Trends. A comma must be placed between each search term or keyword phrase you want to check; quote marks are not required. Five comma-separated keyword phrases can be entered at once. Click the Search Trends button when you’re done.
A colored line graph displaying the frequency of your selected phrases appearing in Google search queries over the previous three calendar years is returned by Google Trends. Google Trends quickly demonstrates, using our example, that the phrases “swimsuit” and “swimwear” are somewhat interchangeable. You can see which regions use a term most frequently by looking at the map below.
The related terms displayed by Google Trends can be utilized to identify new keyword variations to target. The associated terms are arranged in order of “Top,” those that have gained the greatest traction throughout time, and “Rising,” those that are developing most quickly. Typically, you want to focus on a mix of well-known and rapidly expanding terms.
A Method for Combining These Tools
Here is a step-by-step explanation of how I would conduct keyword research using only these tools:
1. Do Google Suggest Searches for Target Term & Variations
List the terms that appeal to you the most in a spreadsheet.
2. Enter the Terms In The Google AdWords Keyword Planner
In order to try and eliminate unnecessary phrases, look at the ad group ideas first. As necessary, add terms to Exclude. Check the terms you want to learn more about in detail in each group that interests you. If necessary, modify your query to update the results. You can only download the conditions you have read and agreed to in order to begin working on page ideas, title tag revisions, text tweaks, etc. when you have finished reading them all.
3. Google Trends
When two of the keywords you’ve chosen overlap (such as “swimsuit” and “swimwear”), you can use Google Trends to determine which term is a better target. Additionally, you can find associated terms and re-enter them into the AdWords Tool.
4. Deciding on Which Terms To Use
Once you’ve downloaded your initial set of keywords, you should try to group them into the following categories:
Terms that could be the title or a portion of the title of a unique page are those that come to mind. They should typically reflect a distinct idea and have a high enough search volume to support the creation of a new page.
Terms that can be added to an existing page – These are terms that either don’t warrant a new page due to their lack of uniqueness or their low search volume. A page that already ranks in Google for certain terms can have these phrases added to the text copy. You might raise the page’s standing for the phrase by including them. In some circumstances, it might also make sense to include these terms in the page’s title. Understanding the terms the website already ranks for is necessary for this, as is making sure that adding the phrase to the title won’t affect rankings for other terms. It’s a little bit of an art that needs to be tested.
This may seem quite elementary, and to be honest, it is, but these three tools can help you get started or open your eyes to new possibilities and insights. Even though our company has high-priced 3rd party KW products and internally developed ML ones for keyword research—that perform some incredibly fascinating stuff with n-gram analysis and k-means clustering—these free ones have in the past much aided us in gaining valuable ideas.
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