Are you one of those bloggers who wishes they could get a flood of search engine traffic, but are afraid of SEO?
I’ve met plenty of people who think SEO and getting search engine traffic is technical, difficult and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, if you have website analytics installed, you may have noticed that you are already ranked and getting some traffic for keywords you weren’t even trying to target.
Last year, the search engine traffic to my blog increased by over 10 times… and I only did a handful of posts and guest posts.
But I did do some keyword research and target some of my articles towards those keywords. And much of that traffic came from long tail keywords which are less competitive and easier to rank for.
Google Keyword Planner is the most popular tool that people use for keyword research, but unfortunately, it only provides limited data.
But there are quite a few tools and ideas that you can use to get this missing keyword data and incorporate these terms into your content for more search engine traffic.
Want to learn how get more search traffic from long tail keywords? Then check out these 17 keyword research tools and ideas…
Advantages and Limitations of Google’s Tool
Despite all the complaints about limited keyword data, I always start with Google Keyword Planner when doing keyword research.
- Google Keyword Planner
Google’s tool is designed mostly for Adwords advertisers and the main reason they decreased the amount of keyword data provided by the tool was so that advertisers could focus on spending money on higher volume keywords rather than wasting time on long tail keywords.
It’s good to know which keywords have higher search volume and you can still find some good keywords to target with Google’s tool.
For paid advertising, managing a ton of long-term keywords doesn’t provide a good ROI. However, for SEO, long tail keywords are valuable because they are much easier to rank for and send a lot of traffic.
Which is why we need to look in other places…
Other Places to Find Keywords
Even if keyword research tools didn’t exist, you could still do keyword research and find phrases to rank for.
Forums are a great place to find out what people are struggling with or what they are talking about.
A lot of forums will show the number of views each discussion has, which can help you identify popular discussions and questions.
Pay attention to the language and words that people are using in these forums. Then add these words to Google Planner to analyze search volume and competitiveness.
- Social Media Communities
Social media communities like Google Plus communities and LinkedIn groups can be another good place to scour for topics and keyword ideas.
Popular discussions in Google Plus will often get upvoted and on LinkedIn, popular discussions can stay at the top of a group for months.
- Blog Comments
Blog comments are another good place to look for topic and keyword ideas. You can look at the comments on your own blog, but also pay attention to comments on other popular blogs in your niche.
If you read enough comments, you may start to see patterns and keyword phrases that get repeated. These keywords can then be incorporated into your own articles.
- Seed Keywords
Brainstorming has always been a good starting place for generating a keyword list and Seed Keywords is a nice tool that allows you to collaborate with other people to generate keyword ideas.
All you have to do is create a scenario or question to ask and then send the link that Seed Keywords generates to your team.
You can then enter their keyword ideas into Seed Keywords and it compiles then into a list which you can download later.
It’s important to remember that keywords are generated by people, so it’s a good idea to spend time understanding your audience’s perspectives and word choices by going beyond keyword tools.
Keyword Suggestion Tools
Keyword suggestion tools have become particularly popular ever since Google restricted keyword data from it’s own tools.
When you start typing words into Google, it automatically suggests phrases that you may be looking for. These phrases can be a great source of possible keywords to target.
Keyword suggestion tools automate this process. Here are some of the more popular keyword suggestion tools:
Keywordtool.io was released in 2014 and is perhaps one of the easiest keyword tools to use. You can get keyword suggestions from Google, Yahoo, Bing and the App Store for free.
Another nice feature is that you can copy and paste the data into a spreadsheet or document.
The paid version allows you to see search volume, CPC and competition.
Soovle is another neat keyword suggestion tool. Asides from Google, Yahoo and Bing, it also provides data from Amazon, Answers.com and Wikipedia.
The visual layout makes it easy to see keyword suggestions from all of these search engines at the same time.
This can allow you to see what phrases are popular in all the search engines, or to quickly uncover new phrases without having to search each one separately.
- Keyword Snatcher
Some professional SEO’s use Keyword Snatcher, which has a one time cost of around $47.
What makes it better than other free keyword suggestion tools is that it tries out other keyword combinations to automatically get even more keywords.
Keyword suggestion tools are one of the easiest ways to get a lot more keyword ideas fast.
LSI Tools / Related Keywords
Although keyword suggestion tools are useful, they do have an important drawback. All the phrases usually start with the same base keyword.
And if we incorporated all those phrases into our articles, it might look unnatural or keyword stuffing.
That’s why we need to also use tools that find related keywords or LSI (latent semantic indexing) tools.
- Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a neat tool that will generate questions and phrases from keywords that you enter. It also displays the information in a visual format so that you can quickly digest the information.
You can generate dozens of blog ideas from using this one free tool alone.
- Niche Laboratory
Another nice free tool that you can use to generated related keyword is Niche Laboratory. When you enter a keyword, it will scan the top 10 results from Google and analyze the keywords that they are using on the page.
You’ll then be able to see what words and phrases are commonly used, top ranking sites, SEO title tags and meta descriptions, related images and even popular forums for that niche.
- Tag Crowd
Tag Crowd is a nice tool that you can use to see what words are popular on a page. The visual format makes it easy to quickly see what words are used more frequently on the page.
What I like to do is search for similar articles that other people have written and then do a quick search on each one. Sometimes you’ll see patterns or find overlooked keywords.
Competitive Keyword Tools
Another great source of keyword data is analyzing your competitors. While competitive analysis tools aren’t entirely accurate, they can often provide good competitive keyword information.
- Alchemy API
Alchemy API is a tool that gathers data from web pages and there is a keyword tab that you can click to see keyword data.
Just enter the URL and click the search button. Then scroll down and click on the “Keywords” tab.
- Similar Web
Similar web provides a competitive snapshot of any website you want information on and one of the features is a list of keywords that they are currently ranking for.
You can take these keywords and enter them into another keyword tool to get search volumes.
- SEM Rush
SEM Rush is a more expensive tool with an ongoing monthly cost, but it can be a good tool for serious bloggers and content marketers. However, you can use the search on their home page for free to get a few good keywords.
One nice feature of this tool is that it provides keyword data from competitors, along with search volume and CPC.
- Long Tail Pro
Long Tail Pro is another popular paid tool used by some popular bloggers and SEO’s with a one time cost. It can generate hundreds of keywords quickly and there’s a 10-day free trial version that you can download if you want to try it out.
If you don’t want to leave your blog to do keyword research, then you may want to consider getting a WordPress plugin. Here are a couple of useful WordPress plugins that have keyword research capabilities built
- SEO Pressor
One of the most popular paid SEO plugins for WordPress is SEO Pressor. This plugin allows you to optimize your blog post for 3 keywords.
It also suggests related keywords that you can incorporate into your content. This plugin can be purchased for as low as $47 one time cost or you can choose a $5 a month plan if you prefer a lower but ongoing payment plan.
- WP Keyword Suggest
A newly released free plugin that you may want to try is WP Keyword Suggest. This plugin provides keyword suggestions, but with the convenience of not having to go to another site to do keyword research.
You can then click on the keywords that you want to add as tags or even as the article title. You can view a demo of this tool here:
To Sum It Up
Keyword research is still as important today if you want to get traffic from the search engines and luckily, a lot of tools have come out just in the past couple of years.
By the way, if you want to learn more about SEO and keyword research, feel free to download my free keyword research guide, which includes some SEO tactics for bloggers and my full list of 110+ Keyword Research Tools and Ideas.