Finding good SEO keywords that push traffic to your site can be challenging. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics of keywords and hopefully demystify the process of finding ones that work. Armed with an understanding of how to find good SEO keywords, you’ll be able to find ones that work for your content, and you can start pushing traffic to your site. If you’d prefer to watch a video, feel free to play the screencast. Otherwise, read on!
Keyword types and search volume
In the SEO world, there are two different types of keywords: short and long-tail. Short keywords are just like they sound; short and to the point. Think “shoes” or “pizza”. On the other end of the spectrum are long-tail keywords. These are usually phrases or questions; something along the lines of “best running shoes for women” or “how to make pizza dough”.
When working with keywords, you want to try to target a combination of both short and long-tail keywords, but it’s important to understand their nuances.
Short and long-tail keywords
Short keywords have a very high search volume. They get searched millions of times per month, in fact. And as a result, they can be quite difficult to rank for. Taking the above example of “shoes”, all the big players in the shoe industry (Nike, Adidas, and so on) are going to have all the top spots locked down, so you’d need a pretty impressive marketing budget if you wanted to take them on. So while you don’t want to ignore these, you definitely don’t want to spend all of your energy and resources fighting over them.
Long-tail keywords, on the other hand, get searched at a much lower frequency due to their unique qualities. They’re highly specific questions or phrases. A user will type “how to make pizza dough” because it’s dinner time and they’ve already decided they want a cheesy slice of pizza. So if your site is ranked highly with this keyword and you have great content, the user is much more likely to engage with your site.
Search intent is something you want to be considering very carefully when choosing keywords. What this means is that you want to put yourself in the user’s shoes and try to imagine what they’re really looking for. As a very simple example, someone who’s Googling “Tesla Model S photo” isn’t necessarily looking to buy a Tesla. On the other hand, someone using the keyword “buy Tesla Model S” just might be looking to buy a new car.
Finding Keywords using Google, YouTube, and other search engines
Now that we understand the basics of keywords, we can start looking into how we can find them. The simplest, easiest, and cheapest way is to simply start with a “seed” keyword and head over to Google and start typing.
Google has a few different ways to find keywords. The first and most obvious is the autocomplete feature in the search box. With this, you can start typing and immediately see suggestions for words or phrases related to what you’re typing.
Another way is to pay attention to the “People also ask” widget that’s inline with the search results. This is a good indicator of what’s trending and what other users are searching for related to your own search query.
At the bottom of every search page on Google is the “Searches related to…” widget which gives even more long-tail keyword ideas related to your search.
Finally, Google has a free tool that you can use to help you with your SEO called Google Keyword Planner. It’s not as full-featured as some of the other higher-tier tools out there, but for the price, it’s hard to beat.
Social media can be a great tool when coming up with keywords. Following trending topics on Twitter and Facebook and paying attention to what consumers are discussing can be invaluable. Sites like Reddit and Quora have huge communities that you can research and see the sort of questions people are asking. Using these as starting points in your keyword search can be invaluable.
The benefits of professional SEO tools can't be understated.
The benefits of professional SEO tools can’t be understated. They can give you a wealth of information regarding keywords, such as search volume with trends that can go back years, as well the difficulty level of any given keyword. Not to mention they can show you the keywords your competitors are targeting and whether or not they’re succeeding with them.
There are a lot of great professional tools to choose from. The one we use here is KWFinder by Mangools, so we’ll go over the basics of finding keywords using it.
KWFinder allows you to quickly and easily search for keywords, view the search volume and difficulty for those keywords, and see what sort of keywords your competitors are using.
To get started, simply type in a seed keyword and start your search. Let’s say you have a blog about dogs. Simply searching for “dogs” in KWFinder will give you a a huge number of keyword suggestions based around dogs. It also pulls data from Google’s autocomplete feature, linking the query dogs with questions that people are asking about them.
If you want to be successful in the SEO game, you want to think long and hard about keywords when creating the content for your website. No matter what methods or tools you use, the only mistake you can make is ignoring them all together.