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how to conduct keyword research

How to Conduct Keyword Research Using Free Tools

The question “how to Conduct Keyword Research using free tools” is probably the most common question in SEO industry. This is because, learners who are doing SEO might not have enough money to buy monthly subscription. Keyword research is a crucial part of SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It helps you understand what people are searching for so you can create content that meets their needs. By using free tools, you can do effective keyword research without spending any money. This guide will show you how to do just that, using simple language and examples to make it easy to understand.

Introduction

Why Keyword Research Matters:

Keyword research is like finding out what people want before you open a lemonade stand, if you know everyone wants strawberry lemonade, you can make sure to offer it. This way, you attract more customers because you’re giving them exactly what they’re looking for.

Benefits of Using Free Tools

Free tools for keyword research can save you money while still providing valuable insights. They help you discover what terms people use when searching for products or services like yours, making it easier to create content that ranks high on search engines.

Overview of the Steps Involved

  • Understanding keyword basics
  • Finding seed keywords
  • Using free keyword research tools
  • Analyzing and refining keywords
  • Implementing keywords into your content

Understanding Keyword Basics

What Are Keywords?

Keywords are the words and phrases that people type into search engines. They are the bridge between what people are searching for and the content you provide.

Types of Keywords

  • Short-tail Keywords: These are broad and general terms like “shoes.”
  • Long-tail Keywords: These are more specific phrases like “red running shoes for kids.”
  • LSI Keywords: These are related terms that help search engines understand the context of your content. For example, if your keyword is “cars,” LSI keywords might be “vehicles,” “automobiles,” or “sedans.”

Keyword Intent Understanding the intent behind keywords helps you create content that matches what people are looking for. There are three main types of keyword intent:

  • Navigational: When someone is looking for a specific website (e.g., “Facebook login”).
  • Informational: When someone wants to learn something (e.g., “how to bake a cake”).
  • Transactional: When someone is ready to buy something (e.g., “buy running shoes online”).

Finding Seed Keywords

What Are Seed Keywords? 

Seed keywords are the basic terms related to your business. They are the starting point for your keyword research.

How to Find Seed Keywords

  • Analyze Your Niche and Competitors: Look at what keywords your competitors are using. If you run a bakery, check out other bakeries’ websites to see what keywords they use.
  • Use Google Autocomplete and Related Searches: Start typing a keyword into Google and see what suggestions pop up. These suggestions are popular searches related to your keyword.
  • Check Industry Forums and Q&A Sites: See what questions people are asking in forums related to your industry. This can give you ideas for keywords and topics to cover.

Example : Imagine you own a pet store. Your seed keywords might be “pet food,” “dog toys,” and “cat litter.” By checking out competitors and using Google autocomplete, you might find additional keywords like “organic pet food,” “durable dog toys,” and “clumping cat litter.”

Using Free Keyword Research Tools

Overview of Popular Free Tools

Google Keyword Planner: This tool helps you find keywords related to your business. It shows you search volumes and how competitive each keyword is.

Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest provides keyword ideas, search volumes, and insights into your competitors’ keywords.

Google Search Console: Google Search Console shows you how your website performs for its top keywords. It helps you identify which keywords bring traffic to your site.

Answer the Public: This tool generates keyword ideas based on common questions people ask about your topic. It presents the data in a visual format, making it easy to see what people are curious about.

Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator: Ahrefs’ free tool offers keyword ideas and search volume data, helping you find related keywords and understand their popularity.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using Each Tool

Google Keyword Planner

  1. Set Up and Access: Create a free account on Google Ads and access the Keyword Planner.
  2. Find Keyword Ideas: Enter your seed keywords to get a list of related keywords.
  3. Analyze Metrics: Look at the search volume and competition for each keyword. Use filters to narrow down your list.

Ubersuggest

  1. Get Started: Go to the Ubersuggest website and enter a seed keyword.
  2. Explore Keyword Ideas: Review the list of keyword suggestions and their search volumes.
  3. Competitive Analysis: Check the keyword difficulty to see how hard it is to rank for each keyword.

Google Search Console

  1. Set Up and Use: Connect your website to Google Search Console.
  2. Identify Performance Keywords: Look at the Search Performance report to see which keywords bring traffic to your site.
  3. Analyze Clicks and Impressions: Identify keywords with high impressions but low clicks and optimize your content for these keywords.

Answer the Public

  1. Generate Ideas: Enter a seed keyword to get a list of questions people ask.
  2. Visualize Data: Review the visual representation of the data to see common queries and concerns.
  3. Create Content: Use these questions to create content that addresses what people are searching for.

Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator

  1. Use Ahrefs: Enter a keyword to get a list of related keywords and their search volumes.
  2. Find Related Keywords: Look for keywords that are relevant to your business.
  3. Assess Keyword Difficulty: Check how difficult it is to rank for each keyword.
  4. Analyzing and Refining Keywords

Filtering Keywords Based on Search Volume and Competition

  • High Volume, Low Competition: These are the best keywords to target because they are popular but not too competitive.
  • Low-Hanging Fruits: Focus on keywords that you can rank for easily. These might not have the highest search volume, but they can still bring significant traffic.

Considering Seasonal Trends 

Use Google Trends to see how search volumes for your keywords change over time. For example, searches for “Halloween costumes” peak in October.

Balancing Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords 

Head terms are broad keywords with high search volumes but high competition. Long-tail keywords are more specific and less competitive. A good mix of both helps you attract a wider audience.

For example: If you own a gardening shop, head terms might be “gardening tools” and “flower seeds.” Long-tail keywords could be “best gardening tools for beginners” and “organic flower seeds for sale.”

Understanding Keyword Metrics

Search Volume: Search volume tells you how many times a keyword is searched each month. It’s important to choose keywords with a decent search volume to ensure people are searching for them.

Keyword Difficulty: Keyword difficulty measures how hard it is to rank for a keyword. Tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest provide this metric. Focus on keywords with lower difficulty when starting out.

Cost Per Click (CPC): CPC indicates how much advertisers are willing to pay for a click on an ad for that keyword. High CPC often means high commercial intent, making these keywords valuable for businesses.

SERP Features: SERP features are additional elements on search results pages, like featured snippets, videos, or maps. They can affect your click-through rate, so consider targeting keywords that trigger beneficial SERP features.

Example: A keyword like “best-running shoes” might have a high search volume but also great difficulty. If you’re just starting out, you might focus on a long-tail keyword like “best running shoes for flat feet,” which has lower difficulty and still has a decent search volume.

Organizing Your Keywords

Grouping Keywords by Theme and Intent: Group your keywords into categories based on their theme and intent. This helps you create focused content for each group.

Creating a Keyword Map for Your Website: A keyword map is a plan that shows which keywords you’ll target on each page of your website. It helps you organize your content and avoid keyword cannibalization (where multiple pages target the same keyword).

Using Spreadsheets and Tools for Organization: Use tools like Google Sheets or Excel to keep track of your keywords, search volumes, competition, and which pages they are assigned to.

Implementing Keywords into Content

Best Practices for On-Page SEO

  • Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: Include your main keyword in the title tag and meta description to help search engines understand what your page is about.
  • Content Optimization and Keyword Placement: Use your keywords naturally in your content. Avoid keyword stuffing, which can harm your SEO.
  • Using LSI Keywords Naturally: Include related keywords to give context to your content. This helps search engines understand your topic better.

Creating High-Quality, Keyword-Rich Content

Focus on creating content that provides value to your readers. Answer their questions, solve their problems, and provide useful information. High-quality content is more likely to rank well and attract backlinks.

Monitoring and Updating Your Keywords Regularly 

SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly check how your keywords are performing and update your content as needed. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your progress.

For example, if you run a travel blog, you might create a post titled “Top 10 Travel Destinations for 2024.” Use keywords like “best travel destinations,” “where to travel in 2024,” and related LSI keywords like “vacation spots” and “holiday destinations.” Make sure your content is engaging and informative and answers common questions travelers have.

Conclusion

Recap of Key Points

Keyword research is an essential part of SEO. It helps you understand what people are searching for so you can create content that meets their needs. By using free tools, you can do effective keyword research without spending any money. Here’s what we’ve covered:

  • Understanding Keyword Basics: Keywords are the bridge between what people are searching for and the content you provide. There are different types of keywords, including short-tail, long-tail, and LSI keywords, each serving a unique purpose.
  • Finding Seed Keywords: Seed keywords are the starting point for your keyword research. Use tools like Google Autocomplete and check industry forums to find these keywords.
  • Using Free Keyword Research Tools: Tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, Google Search Console, Answer the Public and Ahrefs’ Free Keyword Generator help you find and analyze keywords.
  • Analyzing and Refining Keywords: Filter your keywords based on search volume and competition, and consider seasonal trends. Balance head terms and long-tail keywords to attract a wider audience.
  • Understanding Keyword Metrics: Metrics like search volume, keyword difficulty, CPC, and SERP features help you choose the best keywords.
  • Organizing Your Keywords: Group your keywords by theme and intent, create a keyword map and use spreadsheets to organize them.
  • Implementing Keywords into Content: Use best practices for on-page SEO, create high-quality content, and regularly update your keywords.

Encouragement to Continuously Monitor and Adapt Keyword Strategy

SEO is an ongoing process. The digital landscape is always changing, and so are the ways people search for information. Regularly monitor your keyword performance, update your content as needed, and stay informed about the latest SEO trends and updates. By doing so, you’ll be able to maintain and improve your search engine rankings, attract more visitors, and achieve your business goals.

Resources for Further Learning

By following these steps and utilizing these tools, you can conduct effective keyword research that helps you create content your audience is searching for. Happy optimizing!

How to Conduct Keyword Research Using Free Tools

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