Google keyword tool used to be a favorite keyword research tool among digital marketers and SEOs. But in recent years, Google has reduced the amount of keyword data available to people in Keyword Planner as well as with Google Analytics.
A lot of people brushed off keyword research and started saying things like “just create great content” or “write content for people instead of the search engines”.
While creating high quality content is important, ignoring keyword research and SEO is foolish.
The fact is that even though less data is available through Google’s tools, people still use keywords to find what they’re looking for. Finding out what keywords people are using is still as important as ever if you want to succeed in getting search engine traffic.
Webmaster’s Note: This is a guest entry by Brian Lang from Small Business Ideas Blog.
Although I only blogged once a month last year, I was able to increase SEO traffic to my site by over 1,300%. And much of that traffic comes from long tail keywords in my content.
So how can we find useful keywords to incorporate into our content?
The good news is that there are plenty of other tools that you can use to do keyword research to get the long tail keywords that aren’t available in Google Keyword Planner.
Here are a few useful tools that you might not know about:
1. SERPs Ubersuggest Alternative
One popular method of getting more keyword ideas is through the keyword suggestion feature that Google and other search engines provide.
Basically, when you start typing into Google, it suggests keyword phrases that you might be searching for.
These keyword suggestions are based on phrases that people actually search for. You can try typing a variety of keywords to get more keyword ideas.
Several tools have been created to generate hundreds of keyword suggestions automatically with a single search. One of my favorites is SERPs Ubersuggest Alternative.
One of the nice features of this tool is that unlike other keyword suggestion tools, it provides keyword volume and CPC data, which can help you decide which keywords to focus on.
2. Tag Crowd
Another way to get keyword ideas is to analyze content from your competitors. Tag Crowd is an easy-to-use tool that will allow you to quickly see what keywords are important on a web page.
Simply click the “Web Page URL” tab and enter the URL you want to analyze in here. Tag Crowd will then display a cloud of keywords, with the most important keywords highlighted.
You can also analyze your own content or other text by using the “Paste Text” tab.
3. Niche Laboratory
If you want to get keyword ideas from pages that are currently ranking for a keyword phrase, then you might want to try the free search at Niche Laboratory.
Niche Laboratory will grab data from the top results for your search term and provide a list of keywords and keyword phrases from those pages. It also displays a keyword tag cloud to show which words are most important.
In addition to keyword data, it also shows a list of the top 10 sites, their title and meta description tags, related images and forums related to that niche.
Finally, related Hubpages shows you some related content that other people have written and can provide inspiration for your own content ideas.
4. Merchant Words
If you are doing keyword research for e-commerce, then you may want to consider adding Merchant Words to your keyword research tools. This tool can be especially useful for people that are selling on Amazon.
Merchant Words crawls Amazon and gets keyword data from Google. It then combines the data to provide volume estimates for each keyword.
You can try to the free search on their site to see how it works, but it only provides a few keywords. The paid versions start at $30 and will give you access to more keywords.
5. Answer the Public
Content marketers might want to play around with Answer the Public to generate topic and even content ideas.
In addition a long list of alphabetically sorted keyword suggestions at the bottom, Answer the Public also provides questions and list of popular prepositions.
It does this by combining keywords with terms like “what”, “when” and “how” for questions and “for”, “like” and “near” for prepositions. This can automatically generate keyword and content ideas that other keyword suggestion tools might miss.
6. Seed Keywords
If you have a marketing team or even a few friends to brainstorm with, then you might want to try out Seed Keywords.
With Seed Keywords, you can create a scenario or question and ask people what they would search for if they were looking for an answer in the search engines.
People can then enter their keyword phrase ideas and Seed Keywords will compile those ideas.
You can then download the results as a CSV and even click on a link to search in Google to see what results show up.
7. SEOPressor Plugin for WordPress
If you are a blogger, then you may want to check out the SEOPressor plugin for WordPress, which comes with quite a few features.
You can specify up to 3 main keywords that you want to rank for and SEOPressor will analyze your content for these keywords. It can also warn you of over-optimization if your keyword phrase appears too often on the page.
It also provides related keywords that you can insert into your content or replace other phrases.
Other features include easy internal linking, rich snippets and social media integration.
This plugin can be convenient for bloggers since it’s located within WordPress, which means you can do your keyword optimization without having to go to another site or app.
BONUS: Ahrefs Keywords Explorer
Ahrefs Keywords Explorer is the go-to tool if you want to discover tons of unique keywords. Its database contains over 5.6 billion keywords supplied with a bunch of unique metrics. They signal which keywords work in terms of traffic generation.
Some queries look promising due to a high search volume, but that’s misleading. As Google shows a Knowledge Card with an immediate answer, they bring few page visits. With Ahrefs’ Clicks metric, you can estimate the organic search traffic potential for any keyword.
To get an answer to some queries, it’s enough for users to click on the first result only. It means you may get no visits even if you rank as high as #2 in SERPs. Clicks Per Search metric reveals how many search results users click on for each query.
Since the system collects users’ clickstream data, it reveals quite accurate Search Volume. Due to the large backlink index, Ahrefs also gives an accurate Keyword Difficulty score based on that data.
With Ahrefs’ visualized interface, smart filters, and sorting options, you’ll find it easy to research keywords for your projects.
To Sum It Up
Creating content for people is important. But so is keyword research and understanding what phrases people are using to find content.
SEO and keyword research aren’t dead. And if you aren’t incorporating keywords into your content, then you’re probably missing out on a lot of search engine traffic.
If you need some more keyword tools to play with, then check out this massive compilation of over 70 keyword research tools and ideas: 70+ Keyword Research Tool Alternatives to Google Keyword Planner