Before we talk about finding keywords, I want to take a quick moment to explain why keywords are important. If you’re just getting started online, you may not be familiar with keywords or maybe even long tail keywords. So, let’s get started.
Keywords are simply buzzwords that potential visitors would use to find your site. They enter these keywords into search engines such as Google or Chrome to find what they are looking for. As a website owner, you hope the information they find is yours to lead them to your website.
You can make that happen by properly using keywords on your website. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, there are places you want to use these keywords—not just in the main copy and text on your website, but in the headlines, image descriptions, alt tags for your images and more.
In many cases, we guess at what keywords people will use to find us which doesn’t always work. While we might know our product or service really well. We might not know the exact words our potential customers will use.
While individual keywords for our site are important, you should also think about sets of keywords more commonly known in marketing as long tail keywords. These long tail key- words go one step further by narrowing down your niche to a specific area.
Let’s look at an example to help define it a bit better. Let’s say someone is an author and just finished their book. It’s time for them to work on the cover. What might come to mind is that they need a graphic artist. So, they Google graphic artist. That search will receive 738 million results to sift through. If you are a book cover designer, chances are you are not going to be found. You can see the gap of what the author searched on and what you might think prospects would look for.
So back to the drawing board— the next thought is they might search graphic artist for book cover which in this case is a long tail keyword. In doing this, they still receive 337 million results. While that’s a bit closer, it’s a very slim chance your site will be found in those results.
So How Do We Find Keywords?
I want to share some ideas of how to build your own keyword list utilizing different tools readily available to you.
Create Your Own List
The easiest way would be to just start making a list. Write down everything you can think of and all of the variations of anything you think people would use to find your website. But, remember this is what you think people would use to find you. This could work starting out. If this is where you start, think about the long tail keywords we talked about above and be sure to think about plural words. For example, graphic artist for book cover is different from graphic artist for book covers. Notice I added an s to the end of cover. In case you’re curious, when I did this, the search result was narrowed down to 44 million results.
Check Out the Competition
Another way to build your list is to spy on your competitors. While this is not a bad thought to get ideas, you may also want to see where they rank with those keywords. Just use it as an idea generator for potential keywords. Also, keep in mind they might not be using the keywords in a way that is favorable to the search engines as we talked about above.
While there are common ways to find keywords that everyone talks about such as the Google Keyword Tool, there are some other places that you may not be aware of to research your keywords.
Google Predictive Search
The first one I want to talk about is Google search suggestions. If you’ve ever done a search on Google, you will notice that as you type in the search box, Google will try to predict what you might be typing.
By entering different terms from the initial list that you generated above, you will expand your list based on the suggestions. This is a good way to see patterns for other long tail keyword ideas as well.
Google Feedback Tool
While you may have seen and used this, you might not have realized it is a good tool for additional long tail keywords. Using the same search as just used, we can look down the page on the results listing and see a section titled People Also Ask.
As you will see, we have six results about book covers and de-sign questions. This is a good way to find keywords that are relevant to your main set of keywords. It may even help you realize there is content that should be added to your site.
Think about it—if people are asking these questions, you might have answers which makes these good for your long tail keyword list.
Here’s an additional tip. Locate a question that people ask that is relevant to your keyword. Look to the left and click that down arrow, then click again to close it. Your results have now grown. In the following illustration, I have only clicked on two more questions and have doubled my results to twelve. Imagine how many keywords you can find using this method!
Google See More
If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will see a few more suggestions. In some cases, these are very similar to the Google Predictive Search, but you can pick out a few more nuggets as you move from page to page.
Some of the other search engines have a few of these suggestions, but they do not seem to work as well as Google as of the writing of this article.
Another tool I like is Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest tool. This is a free tool but limited to a set number of searches a day unless you create an account or pay for a different level.
There are many things I like about this site but the top two are that you can search by keyword or by domain. Searching by domain helps with a tip I mentioned earlier about spying on our competition. Using the Ubersuggest tool, you simply paste in your competitor’s URL and click search. You will find the keywords they are using, the search volume, keyword position and so much more.
Using the keyword search option, you enter the main keyword you are using and click search. In this tool option, you receive other data such as trending, search volume, cost per click, PD—paid difficulty, which means the estimated competition in paid search, and SD—organic search competition.
This tool has a lot of other features but the two I mentioned are the most common you would use in your search for keywords.
Organizing Your Keywords
If you are serious about your keyword research, you will want to stay organized. I suggest storing your keywords in a spread- sheet such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.
The main reason to do this is it keeps them all in one place, but it also allows you to sort keywords easily. I also find it easy to de-duplicate your keywords in a spreadsheet. This gives you a quick option to weed out duplicates you may have added during your search process. An additional tip to help find even more keywords is to use the list you’ve generated. You started with one keyword to generate this list. Take the next keyword on your list and use it in the manner you did for the first one. I guarantee you will find even more keywords. Do this to move through your original list and add new keywords to the bottom. De-duplicate your list and you should have an exhaustive list of keywords to help expand your organic and paid search engine listings and help build your website copy to become more relevant for your specific niche.
Something else I’ve found is that by generating this long tail keyword list, you’ve also generated a good list of titles for arti- cles and blog posts for your website.
Now, it’s time for you to take the time to go do this for your website. I hope you find this keyword exercise useful and that you are able to generate more traffic and income for your business! Drop me a line and let me know how it goes.