Why is keyword research necessary?
Keyword research lays the foundation for any good SEO strategy. It is crucial to find out what keywords your target audience is searching for if you want to optimise content to appear for them. A keyword refers to a search term that somebody enters into a search engine. Good keyword research allows you to prioritise the high search volume search terms and ensure that your pages are optimised for the most valuable ones. In addition, keyword research can help you structure your website and pages and make sure that you cover all of the content topics relevant to your audience.
Free tools for SEO keyword research
There are a few easy ways to identify keywords without needing access to subscription SEO tools. For example, Google Search Console is a free tool that allows you to see which search terms people are entering to find your website and how many clicks you are getting. The clicks report is helpful to find out which keywords your website is currently ranking. If you don’t have a lot of data, the impressions report is an excellent way of finding which keywords you appear for but in low positions on Google. Try looking through the lower pages of the impressions report to find new keywords to optimise your content.
Google Ads has arguably the most accurate keyword research tool built straight into the software, and you don’t even have to spend any money with them to access it. You only need to register an account with Google Ads, and you will gain access to the Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to enter keywords to determine how many people are searching for them on Google each month and how competitive they are. It also does a great job of suggesting related keywords, so it is an excellent tool for finding out which keyword gaps your website has.
If you are looking for keywords for your blog articles focusing on long-tail queries and questions will help you focus the articles onto in-demand keyword topics. The easiest way to find these terms is to use the “People also ask” and “Related searches” blocks available on Google search results pages. If you type in a broad keyword, you can usually find helpful blog topic ideas by looking at these areas.
Finally, Google Trends is an excellent tool for finding new keywords that are up and coming. This handy tool shows you how specific keywords are trending over time and which related keywords are trending upwards.
SEO tools for advanced keyword research
If you find yourself looking for more advanced keyword research, the best option is to explore subscription SEO tools with access to keyword data from various data sources. The main appeal of these tools is that you can set up rank tracking for your target keywords and measure the effects of your optimisations on a weekly or monthly basis.
SEMrush is an excellent all-rounder marketing toolkit that offers rank tracking, keyword research tools, and many other features. SEMrush is recommended for beginners as it does a great job of simplifying the research processes and offering easy-to-understand explanations of the features.
Ahrefs is another powerful all-in-one SEO toolkit that offers advanced keyword research tools. Where this tool excels is offering a detailed view of how difficult keywords are to rank for and what SEO investment is required to be competitive for them.
Other subscription keyword research tools are available, so the best advice is to sign up for their free trials and see which ones work for you.