How to Find the Best Keywords for Your Site

As Google continues to withhold more information from webmasters, keyword research is becoming increasingly difficult. If you’re new to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and online marketing, you might not recall a period when you could see every keyword that brought traffic to your site via search engines – and how much traffic each phrase generated.

Unfortunately, more than 90% of that data is now marked as “(not available)” for webmasters. So, in this age of unknown and imperfect data, what are you to do?

The good news is that search engines are a lot smarter than they used to be, and they can now grasp a user’s purpose without having to employ “exact-match” search results. Consequently, instead of jamming keywords into material to be found in search engines, content providers can focus more on the experience of their readers.

However, using suitable keywords on your website and in your content is still incredibly important and can help you achieve better search engine visibility. Let’s look at some of the strategies that are still available for discovering the ideal keywords for content optimization.

1. Google Auto-Populate

While you may be thinking that Google is making your life more difficult by not offering valuable keyword data, there are still capabilities like Google’s auto-populate function that can help searchers complete their thoughts while also supplying valuable keywords to webmasters. Many times, searchers will begin by typing a query, only to finish that query by selecting what Google suggests in the search box.

This is one of the best spots to start your research, because you’ll want to see what kind of content is already out there concerning the topic you’re writing about. This is also a good way to find long-tail keyword phrases that aren’t as easy to find as in keyword planners as ‘money keywords’. Google is the best person to provide you keyword ideas.

2. Related Searches on Google

Google provides “related searches” at the bottom of most SERPs, or “search engine results pages,” similar to the auto-populate function. When you’re starting your keyword research, this should be one of the first things you look at.

Don’t be afraid to look for many keyword variations and phrases. This is also a useful exercise for learning how the search engine thinks about certain words and how they relate (or don’t relate) to one another.

3. Keyword Planner for Google Ads

Most webmasters begin their more in-depth study with the Google Ads Keyword Planner. To begin, simply type in a new keyword.

The average monthly searches, competition, and suggested bid for the term you filled in, as well as other suggested keywords and phrases, will then be displayed. The number of alternatives is usually determined by the subject’s popularity.

For example, “keyword research” has significantly more alternative possibilities than “cogeneration plant engineering.”

The only truly valuable information supplied here is the suggestions and average monthly searches, unless you are putting together a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. The competition is simply divided into three categories: low, medium, and high, and is rarely a good indicator of how difficult it will be to rank for a certain keyword. Instead, Moz’s keyword difficulty and analysis tool comes highly recommended.

4. Google Search Console

The genuine webmasters can be found in Google Search Console. This is where you’ll find the most popular search queries as well as the most popular web pages accessed through search.

With this tool, you can discover the top inquiries that have driven visitors to your site during customizable spans of time. You can also examine which content has brought the most visitors to your site over that same period.

5. Google Trends

Google Trends can help you find the best keyword variation for your needs. This tool displays a keyword’s general “interest over time”, as well as a forecast for specific phrases.

Interest is represented as a number between 0 and 100. This score reflects the number of searches for a specific term in relation to the total number of Google searches over time. For example, it’s worth noting that “search engine optimization” has a higher search volume than “search engine marketing.”

However, it’s important to note that they do not represent exact search volume figures.

6. Google Analytics

While much of the keyword data in Google Analytics’ organic area is classified as “(not given)”, if you’ve linked the two platforms, there is a part under “Acquisition” that contains your Search Console data: it can be found under “Queries” in the “Search Console.” This data is identical to that found in Google Search Console. Even though Google hides much of its keyword data in Google Analytics, there are still several services (all of which are free) that you can utilize to find suitable keywords for improving your content.

The Bottom Line: Content is King

Finding the best keywords for your site is crucial for an organic SEO strategy. Begin by utilizing these tools to help you uncover relevant themes and keywords, then write and share engaging content that will appeal to your target audience. Remember: it doesn’t matter how many keywords you can find if your content isn’t valuable or shareable. Above all, you want to increase traffic to your content that people will connect with and want to share.