Before you start writing any content for your website, you should know what keywords you want to target. There is no point in spending a week writing a fantastic piece and then targeting a keyword that gets 10 searches per month. On the other end, there is no point targeting a keyword that gets 10 million searches per month if there are already a thousand other websites targeting the keyword. You need to be very clever about how you approach keyword research in SEO as you will end up wasting a lot of your time if you do not.
How To Find New Keywords
There are many tools out there, some of which cost quite a bit of money. These tools will take a search term or some sort of category and give you back a list of keywords that you can target. I have found most of these to be a waste of money for websites that are starting out. Mainly because Google offer a tool that is completely free that will give you all of the keyword ideas you could need without needing to pay a single penny.
Use Google Adwords keyword planner
Google Adwords keyword planner is a free tool that is featured as part of the Google Ads network. The point of this tool is to help you find some good ideas that you can use to advertise with on their network. It is effective in what it does, but it is also very effective for the average website owner to use as a keyword suggestion tool.
To use this tool, all you need to do is enter the search term that you want to use as a base and the keyword planner will give you a huge list of suggested keywords to target along with the competition and search frequency. This is a fantastic tool to use and even better that it is free. While I do pay for some SEO tools, I regularly use this to help me with keyword research for my own websites.
Find additional keywords using Google
This method is a little more clunky and slow, but it is free and is incredibly effective. Often when you search for something on Google, you will see a box with the title “People also ask”. See the image below for a better example. For this example I performed a search with the term “best place to buy vinyl records”. This is what was presented in the “people also ask” section of the search results.
These might not seem like keywords that you want to target, but according to Google, they are ones you should target. Why? Because Google thinks that these searches are related to the search that you just made. If you want to write a great piece, you should be targeting more than one keyword. This is a great place to start if you want to find some additional keywords to target in your post.
Use Advanced SEO tools to assess the keywords
This is the part that costs a bit of money unfortunately. The expense is not huge, but if you want to buy SEMRush, which is what I use for most of this, you will need to have at least $99 per month put aside to pay for this. If you can’t afford it right now, the two free methods I have mentioned above will do more than enough to get you started. Once your website is making a bit of money, you can pay for this tool and it will definitely help you push things to the next level.
All of these SEO tools already have great documentation, so I don’t see the point in going into great detail here as the guides they publish will be better than mine. To give you an idea of what you can expect from these tools. I input the same search phrase that I used in the previous example and put it into the keyword magic tool for SEMRush. The tool gave me back further keyword suggestions that were related to this search along with the search volume, exact difficulty and a large list of 810 other keywords that I could also use.
For me, SEMRush is the way that I decide whether or not to waste my time with a particular search term. If the difficulty is too high and the competition is too much, it’s time to give it up and go for something that is not so difficult. The original rule still stands. If the keyword you want to target is too difficult right now, aim for a long tail keyword and you will not only rank for that, but in the future, will give you a better way of actually ranking for the harder keywords. Start slow and work your way up…unless you have lots of money. Money makes things much easier!