Keyword Research: How to use free tools to find the best keywords
Do you want to rank higher in the search engines?
Of course you do! Good search engine rankings are an essential part of any content marketing strategy.
Part of the secret is choosing the right keywords — the terms your audience are searching for — and creating content around those keywords.
But there’s a challenge:
If everybody is using the same keyword research tools, then everybody is going to come up with the same keywords…
Which is the best keyword tool?
If you choose very popular keywords that everybody is chasing, you don’t stand a chance of ranking. There’s just too much competition in the search engines.
It’s easy to rank in the search engines for terms that nobody is searching for. But there’s no point, obviously!
So how do you find keywords that enough people are searching for to make them worthwhile, but not so competitive that they are impossible to rank for?
And how do you find keywords that everybody else hasn’t found already — which is the best keyword search tool to use?
That’s what we’re going to cover in this article, but first a few basics (skip this bit if you’re already familiar with long-tail keywords, Google AdWords Keyword Planner, scraping Google Search Autocomplete & Related Searches and go straight to the best keyword research tools).
Keyword research basics
What is a long tail keyword?
A long-tail keyword is simply a longer, more specific keyword.
Long-tail keywords have several benefits over short-tail keywords:
- There is less competition for a long-tail term such as “mens black brogues size 10”, than there is for a head term like “shoes”.
- It excludes irrelevant searches. For example, if somebody is searching for “apple” do they mean the company, or the fruit (or the tree, or the record label)? If they search for “apple iphone 6”, it’s quite clear where their interest lies.
- Long tail keywords can find people who are later in the buying cycle, and more ready to buy. For example, somebody searching for “tents” is probably early in the buying cycle, just starting to research what they want. Whereas somebody who searches for “North Face Kaiju 4 person tent” already knows what they want, and is more likely to be ready to buy.
So as well as being easier to rank for, long-tail keywords are potentially more valuable to you.
And over 70% of Google searches are for long-tail keywords, so added together they have more search volume than short-tail.
But how do you find these long-tail keywords – which is the best keyword search tool to use in 2020?