Step 1: Get keyword ideas and suggestions
This first step will show you have to find new keyword ideas and suggestions and what keyword suggestion tools you can use in your process.
Basically you want to make sure that you uncover and find the best keywords for you company and niche before getting data for those keyword and move on the next step in your keyword research.
You do this by creating a list of keywords that you work with in the later stages of your keyword research.
How to think about keyword ideas
You should think about you customers consumer journey when they search for you product. Keyword can here be placed in your customer funnel.
You customers will of course search for you brand and your products and services. Bit you should should think about how keyword can be categorized already now. What kind of attributes will you customers likely be searching with.
In the early customer research process there might be keywords that are more like symptoms or inspirational that you would like to uncover.
You might have a hypothesis about how people are searching. While getting keyword ideas these should be included so that you can later find out exactly what the search behaviour is.
The concept of longtail keyword
When researching the search behaviour in you market you want to unveil as much of the search behaviour as possible. When doing this you will always find that there is big decline in search volume when looking at broad keywords compared to more specific searches. However, later you will find that it is in the longtail keywords the true value lies as the competition here is lower and the volume will add up anyhow.
You want to find those longtail keywords so that you SEO strategy gets more nuanced and better. By targeting not only keywords with high volume but looking at competition and relevance you are able to attract the visitors you want.
You keyword idea process should thus strive to find as many keywords as make sense for your keyword research. The amount of keywords you wish to include in your keyword research will vary from market to market and company to company.
It comes down to the behaviour of you customers how many different keywords you can meaningful include in your data. Also it comes down to how much time you can actually allocate to performing the research. There more time you use on find keyword ideas and suggestions the less time you have for execution of your SEO strategy so find the right balance. I often use around 25 hours for a proper keyword research and in to this goes around 3-4 hours of finding keyword suggestions and ideas.
Think about userintention before keywords
When including keywords into your keyword research it’s important to think about the intention behind a keyword when you decide whether to add a keyword or not into your data. You don’t want to add too broad keywords that will never be relevant for you to rank for because the intention behind it is not to find you.
So be realistic when choosing your keywords so that you don’t end up having a lot of keywords not relevant. You have to find a balance in your dataset so that you have the wide understand of how people search but not too wide so that you get sidetracked in your focus. This is easier said than done but try to already at this stage rule out irrelevant keywords.
Keyword suggestion tool
There is a lot of different tools that you can use to get keyword ideas and suggestions. You need to find the tool or tools that fit you needs the best. If you are only performing a single keyword research it might be overkill to invest in a tool for just one keyword idea approach. But if you are an agency som of the keyword suggestion tools make sense to invest in.
There is here a couple of free keyword suggestion tools, that you might want to use instead of their paid counterparts. Of course pad keyword suggestion tools are better in many ways, but if you are only performing a single keyword research they simply don’t pay off.
The first possibility is looking at Google autocomplete for keyword ideas. Basically you can utilize Google own search box for finding inspiration by first locating you primary keywords which you probably already know.
In Googles search bar they will automatically fold out suggestions for you search phrase. These suggestion are based on what other people search for and are thus a look into what people are searching for. A great way to get keyword inspiration.
You can type in your keyword yourself and see what Google suggestions. Then you can type in an ‘a’ then a ‘b’ too see what suggestions Google comes up with.
Of course this is a manual process so here you can use the free tool keywordtool.io to harvest keyword ideas via Google autocomplete. Type in your keywords and then either export the list and remove irrelevant keywords or cherry pick the keywords you want to add to your keyword research.
Keyword suggestion tool protip 1: Use SEO Powersuite’s Ranktracker
SEO Powersuite’s Ranktracker to create the lookups for you.
When you work in Ranktracker you can then mark the keywords you want to expand from and make the tool perform the search and then begin harvesting your ideas.
Ranktracker have made it possible to perform Google autocomplete at scale so that you can much faster and easier get the right keyword ideas. This will make sense if you perform a lot of keyword research for clients if you are an agency.
Google related searches
The related searches are the box in the Google search result you will often see in the bottom of the SERP. While autocomplete is great at collection long tail keywords that include your starting keyword, related search will allow you to expand into other keywords that Google think are highly correlated. These are keywords that your customer would also search with when they are looking for you primary keyword. This is thus a great way to capture other ways of searching to really get to understand how people are search for you product.
Google Keyword Planner
The next way to harvest keyword ideas is to use Google’s keyword planner for suggestions. The Google Keyword Planner is another way to tap into Google’s database of keywords and how you keyword universe should be understood.
To harvest keyword ideas you don’t need to have a running Google Ads account to get keyword ideas. They will simply provide you with all the different keyword ideas they think would be relevant. So here you can type in your primary keywords and start collecting keywords for your list.
There is a function where you can add to your Google Ads project to structure your work in the interface in a better way. I often use this to filter out to keywords I want to include in the data as Google Keyword Planner will often suggest very broad and thus also a lot of irrelevant keywords.
Keyword suggestion tool protip 2: Use SEO Powersuite’s Ranktracker
Again SEO Powersuite´s Ranktracker is great way to do this at scale and to much easier handle your keyword suggestion process. Simply mark your primary keywords and let Ranktracker via the API look for Google keyword planner suggestions.
The good thing about Ranktracker here is that it will allow you to collect other data like monthly search volume before you move the keywords into your targeted keyword list. So in this tool you will actually be able to do more steps simultaneously instead of collecting keywords before getting data. I find this to be much more efficient which is why I recommend you this as your keyword suggestion tool.
Google ads account as inspiration
If you are already running Google Ads this is a great way to harvest keyword ideas. As you will probably already be visible on a lot of especially your low funnel keywords.
Simply log into your Google Ads account, jump to search queries and export for the last couple of months. Use this list to filter your keyword list and use this to choose the keywords, you want to add to your keyword research.
You can also find the same data in your Google Analytics account if they are correctly linked. Here you can go to the Google Ads areas and pick search queries and export this list.
Look at what competitors are ranking for
The next possibility is to look for what competitors are ranking for and get keyword ideas based on that. Here you will have to invest in a keyword discovery tool that do that.
Type in the competitors domain and export their ranking keywords into you data of keyword ideas.
Here it’s also a good idea to not only look at competitors but also look at niche specific websites in your market so that you can expand your keyword idea generation from only looking at primary keywords to also unveil keywords in the earlier phase of the customer journey.
Keyword suggestion tool protip 3: Use SEMrush
SEMrush is here a tool to you can use to exactly that. In their Keyword Magic Tool you are able to look up any domain and export their rankings in the targeted market.
SEMrush have one of the largest keyword pools available so this one of the best ways to get keyword ideas if you have strong competitors you can get inspiration from.
Keyword suggestion tool protip 4: Use SearchMetrics
SearchMetrics is another possibility to get keyword ideas from competitors or relevant websites. Here their Research Cloud is where you should find your inspiration. Type in a competitor and jump to long tail keywords to find the keywords the domain rank for.
In some occasions it makes sense to mix keywords at scale. You do this when you have a number of keywords you want to mix with another list of keywords to create a long list of combinations that you can then test for search volume.
I find this method particularly effective when you look at local searches where there is often a city or a location together with the keyword. Here you are able to match you primary keywords with a list of locations you want to get in to your data.
It’s important that you delete keywords with no searches so that your dataset don’t expand into a way too long list of keywords. This is why you should not just use free tool doing this but use SEO Powersuite’s Ranktracker
Keyword suggestion tool protip 5: Use SEO Powersuite’s Ranktracker
In Ranktracker you will find an easy and scalable way to expand keywords by mixing lists of keywords. The reason why Ranktracker is effective at this is that it will allow you to immediately afterwards check for volume and only include keywords that has actual search volume.