What are Keyword Research Tools? (And How to Choose the Best One)

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In order for companies to be found online, they need to know what people are searching for in the search engines. This is where keyword research tools come in

However, this is often one of the most difficult aspects of creating content for a company’s website.

What are people really searching for? Some of the answers may be obvious, but these keywords are also often the most difficult to rank for because so many other companies are already using them. 

One of the most effective methods of selecting keywords that will help get your business recognized is using a dedicated keyword research tool. These tools will help you select the appropriate keywords so you can rank well and get the attention you deserve.

What Is a Keyword Research Tool?

First and foremost, you need to understand what these tools are and how they can be used to help give your website a boost in the search engine rankings. However, this isn’t the only thing a research tool can be used for. 

Not only will you be able to search for the best keywords to use and the easiest to rank for, but you will also be able to put together a marketing plan that will help you track the usage of your keywords and determine whether they are producing the results you want or not. 

If they aren’t, you will be able to make any necessary adjustments to improve your rankings and help attract new visitors to your website and your business. Google AdWords is one of the most popular options for businesses due to its familiarity with Google and the ease of use.

When companies use Google AdWords or any other keyword planner tool, they will be able to easily identify which keywords are the best options to bring attention to a company and attract more new traffic. 

In addition, these tools often provide tracking mechanisms so you can monitor the success of the keywords you are using and make decisions regarding which ones to use and which ones to switch out for others. 

You may also be able to access historical statistics related to your chosen keywords and get traffic estimates that give you insight into the potential number of clicks and impressions particular keywords may generate through pay-per-click campaigns.

What are Keyword Research Tools Used for?

Maybe you’re thinking you don’t need a keyword research tool. After all, you know what products you sell, isn’t that enough?

Frankly, no.

In reality, keyword research tools offer a number of benefits which are crucial if you want to stay competitive.

Searching for Keyword Ideas

Often the first keywords that come to mind aren’t the most effective to use. 

Keyword research tools are crucial here

While they may be searched often, there are likely many other businesses using the exact same keywords, which often make them far more competitive and thus more difficult to rank for, especially on the first page of the search engines

With an effective keyword planner tool, you will be able to enter words that relate to your website and generate a list of potential keywords that will produce the results you’re looking for. 

You will be able to see potential traffic numbers and determine how competitive each keyword is so you can choose effective keyword phrases that will generate traffic and increase your chances of landing on the first page of the search results. 

Many Internet users don’t venture past the first page, making these rankings even more critical.

Once you choose your keywords, you can generate a list to help you keep track of what you are using and how well each of the keywords is working. 

Checking your Existing Keywords

In addition to using a keyword planner tool to find new keywords you should be using, you can also use some of them to check the keywords you are already using. 

Many businesses have created a website using keywords they felt would be the most effective and bring in the most traffic. However, they also don’t often know how well it is really working. 

With the right planner tool, you will be able to enter the keywords you are already using and see how well they stack up against the other recommendations. 

Keyword planner tools can also recommend other options related to the keywords you are already using, allowing you to find alternatives that can improve your rankings and help drive more targeted traffic to your site.

Targeting Your Audience

Keywords won’t be effective if you aren’t reaching the right people with your content. While general keywords are the base for an effective content marketing plan, you need to find ways to help target your specific audience. 

This often means including geographical words, such as cities, to your regular keywords so you can attract the people who are most likely to need the products and services you offer. 

This is especially important if you primarily operate a brick and mortar store and don’t target a national or international market. The right keyword planner tool can help you determine the best ways to target your particular audience based on their interests and needs.

Tracking Your Progress

One of the areas where many businesses fail is in tracking their keywords once they are put into place. Unfortunately, many individuals look at keyword research tools and feel like that is enough to get the results as long as they make the right choices. 

However, you won’t know if you’ve made the right choice until you use the keywords and monitor your site’s traffic numbers and conversion rates

If you aren’t looking at these factors, you won’t know if the keywords you chose are having the effect you need. A good keyword planner tool will help you track your progress so you can clearly see how each keyword is doing. 

This gives you the opportunity to replace those that aren’t as effective.

It’s always important to check your keyword plan frequently so you don’t miss important changes. 

Free keyword research tools give you all that you need to know about keywords. They provide you with valuable information about the volume of a specific keyword and all other words associated with it. 

For example, if your business sells sports shoes and you type “sports shoes,” into the keyword search tool, it will give you all keywords that included “sports shoes” as shown in the image.

an example of keywords to target for SEO goals
Keywords, both short and long, should be considered to help your website reach its SEO goals. Credit: ProfileTree.com

What are the Best Free Keyword Research Tools?

Now that you understand the theory, it’s time to figure out which keyword research tool is best for you.

Google Keyword Planner

This is the most powerful and well-known free keyword research tool. You’ve probably heard of it. Google Keyword Planner gives so many features to its users. 

First, you need to create an account for free and then you can start enjoying the benefits. The next step is to enter your product or service, your website’s URL, and any other preferences. Google will do its magic and give you a detailed list of all relevant keywords. 

Moreover, it will give out information about each keyword’s level of competence and the number of searches it gets whether on a global or a local level.

Golden tip: You can write down your competitor’s website instead of yours to get results about the keywords which Google suggests to them. Since you both have the same niche, you can target the same keywords they use.

Google Trends

Google never runs out of useful options. This free keyword research tool will do you a favour when it comes to determining current trends in your niche.

Of course, it will allow you to compare keywords to find out which one is more popular, but that is not all. The best feature Google Trends has is that it can predict future trends or keywords with increasing popularity in your field. This will put your SEO game one step ahead.

Golden tip: Include those keywords in your content and prepare for a trend before it happens. You owe Google.

SERPSTAT

SERPSTAT is a wonderful free keyword research tool which grants you a LONG report for the keyword you are searching for. 

You will be amazed at the amount of data you can get. It provides information about top organic and paid keywords, along with the volume of each one. 

On top of that, it gives you a “keywords-trends” graph, and a graph of keyword difficulty, too. Furthermore, it makes you a list of your competitors whether on organic search or paid Ads. It will even provide you with sample Ads related to your product. Too good for a free service.

Golden tip: Use SERPSTAT to find out the top achieving businesses in your niche. Use web traffic estimators to gather more information about them, you can learn a lot from their successful approaches and apply it to your own business.

Three Tips to Get the Most out of your Keyword Research Tool

Once you’ve chosen a keyword research tool, your next challenge is putting it to effective use. With that in mind, here are three tips you can use to make the most of the results of your keyword research.

Automate Keyword Research Processes

It’s long been said that automation is a marketer’s best friend. Essentially, one of the goals of a modern marketer is to identify repetitive processes which can be automated. If you’re a whizz with a coding language like python, you may choose to do this manually.

For most of us though, the best option is to seek out existing marketing automation tools.

Specifically to keyword research, there are many tools out there to help track your success. For instance, SEMRush’s position tracker is a great way to automate the process of monitoring your keyword ranking over time.

Conduct Ongoing Optimisation

Unfortunately, SEO professionals never get a minute’s rest. Rather, ranking on search engines requires constant improvement. If you want to make the most of your keyword research tools, you must conduct ongoing optimisation.

A large part of this is monitoring your success and coming up with new improvement plans for your existing content.

Beyond this, there are plenty of off page actions you can take in order to meet your SEO targets. One of the best ways to do this is improving your domain authority through a backlinking campaign.

Understand Search Intent

Of course, deciding what keywords to target is only half the battle. As such, keyword research tools will only get you so far. When you’re targeting keywords, it’s also important to know what users actually want to achieve.

This is called search intent.

Essentially, a search can mean a user wants to do one of four things:

  • Buy a product,
  • Research a product,
  • Find a specific website,
  • Find a piece of information.

To succeed, you need to match your content to this goal. Luckily, figuring out search intent is incredibly simple. All you really have to do is check out the content which already ranks.

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