Keyword research is like the cornerstone of working with SEO. You need to address the issues your users are trying to solve using a search query.
If no one is searching for a term, it does not make a lot of sense spending hours crafting a fantastic article. That would be like installing a sparking neon sign in your basement – it might look fantastic, but you are the only one who sees it.
Starting with SEO might be a bit overwhelming, especially when it comes to tools. You have probably already seen a lot of tools, read some blog posts or watched some videos.
Don´t get me wrong, there are a lot of tools that provide a lot of insights, and I also use different tools in my daily SEO work, but if you are just starting out or on a shoestring budget, you can postpone the investments in keyword research tools until you start seeing some revenue from your efforts.
At the beginning all you need to focus on is the keyword intend of the user and the average monthly search volume of the keyword you are planning to target – and of course the competition for the keyword you have chosen to target.
Keywords And User Intent
When you are working with keywords, you need to address the user intent behind a search query: What is it that the user wants to achieve? You can break it down in 3 main categories of searches:
Informational: Searches performed to learn something or to answer a specific question
Navigational: Searches performed to find a specific website (Facebook, CNN, Disney)
Transactional (Commercial): Searches performed with the purpose of buying something
If you are trying to sell something, there are different stages in your customer’s behavior. Perhaps they are just comparing products, trying to find a solution for a problem or they may be ready to make a purchase.
High Commercial Intent Keywords (Buy Now Keywords)
Sometimes you would see keywords combined with high commercial keywords.
That would indicate that the user is ready to make a purchase if he or she is able to find what they are looking for – that could be free shipping, a coupon or discount code.
Here are some examples of Hig Commercial Intent Keywords
- Free shipping
Examples: “Nike running shoe discount”, “Godaddy renewal coupon”, “Miele washing machine free shipping”.
Product Keyword phrases are searches that focus on a detailed product category, brand, or solution.
People making use of Product Keywords have a tendency to be earlier in the purchasing cycle than people that search for “Buy Now Keywords”, but often you would discover that those kinds of keywords can convert pretty good.
Examples of product keywords:
- Cheap + product name
- Best + product name
- Top 10
- Specific brand “Addidas” or “Nike”)
- Or (product vs other product like iPhone 11 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S20)
- Review + product name
- Affordable + product name
A lot of keywords being used as search queries online are Informational Keywords. Those kinds of keywords are being used by users that is seeking information about a specific product.
People seeking information is usually in an early stage and might not consider buying something right away, so a lot of those keywords do not have a tendency to convert well.
That said, you can’t overlook Informational Keywords because they make up such a substantial chunk of the keyword phrases people look for.
Here are some examples of informational keywords
- I need to
- How to
- Ways to
- Best way to
- How do I
Free online keyword research tools
Now you have an overview of what kind of keywords you might want to target, so now it is the time to find some keywords and their corresponding search volume.
Here are some free online keyword tools:
Google Keyword planner Here you can get a basic overview of the keyword and search volume. Note that if you have no ad spend with Google, you would only see some average numbers like 100-1000 monthly searches.
That might be a bit to wide a range for you to determine if you want to target that specific keyword. The results are more accurate if you have spent money on Google Ads before.
Here you would be able to gather a lot of keyword ideas. Sadly they blur out the actual search volume (they want you to pay in order to reveal those data. But dont worry, there is a solution for that!
Serachvolume.io:With this tool you are able to extract the search volume of a keyword. So if you already found some keywords using keywordtool.io, you can simply paste them into this tool in order to ge t the search volume.
Google Trends: This is a free tools that shows you trending topics that people are searching for. It is a great tool if you want to discover trending topics in your niche
Keyword Sheeter: Keyword sheeter is a free tool that is able to pull thousands of autocomplete suggestions directly from Google.
Answer The Public: This is another free tool to extract a lot of questions related to your keyword
Keyword surfer (Chrome Plugin): Keyword Surfer is a free Chrome extension that shows estimated global and monthly search volumes for any keyword query you type into Google.
Keyworddit: Keyworddit is not a typical keyword tool because it is pulling keyword ideas from Reddit. Enter a subreddit, and it’ll mine the titles and comments of threads to find up to 500 keywords. It is a good tool in order to find inspiration for different types of keywords.
Bulk Keyword Generator: This keyword tools are meant for local SEO. Use it to find local It generates keywords based on industry type.
Ubersuggest: This tool is able to show search volume, and is also able to provide some hints about the competition and what kind of backlink profiles you are competing against.
This was the basics of keyword research and how you can use some of the free tools. If you want to dig more into this interesting topic, Fabian has written a very good article about keyword research you should read.
What is your strategy?