With 53% of consumers using a search engine to research products before deciding whether or not to buy, keyword research is a must if you want to succeed with your digital marketing efforts.
The problem is that finding the right keywords isn’t exactly easy, at least the way most people approach it. If you’re new to SEO, chances are you’ve been there:
Hours and hours of pouring over keyword lists, trying to figure out which ones are most popular with your audience, and sorting through the results to find what works best for your brand —it’s enough to make anyone pull their hair out!
And when it comes to SEO, the old saying “time is money” is especially true. All the time you spend searching for the right keywords is time that could be better spent implementing your strategy, getting results, and growing your business.
Fortunately, there are other ways to conduct keyword research that don’t require endless hours of data gathering, planning, and testing.
In this post, I’m going to give you some great starting points to save time on your keyword research process without sacrificing quality.
Let’s dive right in!
How to speed up your keyword research process?
Keyword research is an essential part of building an SEO strategy.
It’s the process of understanding what people are searching for and how you can use that information to grow your business, whether it’s small or big ——in fact, it’s one of the best ways to get an edge on your competition if you have a smaller budget.
The typical keyword research involves:
- Thinking of what your target audience is looking for.
- Making sure you’re targeting your intended audience and not just throwing any words at the wall and seeing what sticks.
- Looking for high volume, low-competition keywords that are relevant to your brand.
- Finding related keywords that customers might be searching for to build a solid keyword list.
- Figuring out which of those keywords will be the most effective to target based on their estimated cost per click (CPC) or search volume.
- Doing further research to get more keyword ideas.
- Spending a lot of time looking at different analytics data to see which keywords are performing better than others.
The thing is that with this manual approach it can be tempting to just throw a bunch of terms into the search bar and see what comes up, especially if you’re just starting out with SEO. However, if you do this, you’ll waste your time and money, and if you ever get stuck you’ll have to start all over again.
Instead, you can use the tips below to speed up the process and still find keywords that are relevant to your website:
Tips to make your keyword research faster and more effective
1) Focus on long-tail keywords vs short-tail keywords
While over 70% of keywords with more than 10,000 monthly searches have one or two words, long-tail keywords actually have better click-through rates (CTRs) — 3-5% greater than their short-tail counterpart.
If you’re not familiar with long-tail keywords, they are phrases that consist of three or more words. They are more specific and more tailored to your target audience, so they’re easier for them to find.
For example, if you’re a marketing consultant, your audience is likely looking for ways to grow their business. So instead of just searching “marketing consultant,” they might look for “how to get more customers” or “website design tips.
2) Don’t get caught up on search volume
Search volume is a good indicator of how much traffic you could potentially capture with a keyword, but it’s not everything. You should also consider the competition level and the difficulty of ranking for a keyword.
It’s also important to remember that terms with lower search volume can often be just as good for your business as ones with higher search volume.
That’s because there’s less competition for them —which means it’s easier to get your content in front of potential customers who are searching for them, so every click you get is more valuable.
3) Look at the top 5 results for each search
According to Google’s own data, 67.6% of all clicks go to the top five organic results of Google’s first page.
This means that they can give you a good idea of what’s working and what isn’t in terms of content strategy, as well as some ideas for what would be better than what’s currently ranking well (and why).
4) Do some research on your competitors’ keywords
If there are other companies out there doing similar things as yours, they’re probably using certain phrases when they talk about their products or services —and those might be good ones for you to use as well!
Just make sure that if there are lots of other sites using them too, they’re not too competitive.
Advanced Keyword Research Tools
Another strategy for reducing the amount of time you spend searching for good keywords is to use keyword research tools.
They can help you find the exact words that your target audience is already using when they search for products like yours, see which keywords are related, and check which terms your competition isn’t targeting.
Also, if you’ve already done some keyword research for your website and have a list of keywords, then these tools can help you find a lot of new ideas and dig deeper into key metrics like search volume or search intent in just a few minutes flat.
Now, while there are a lot of different tools out there for finding keywords, not all of them are created equal. Some tools may be too simple or too complex, or they may only work well for certain industries.
Here is a quick rundown of the best tools available to you depending on your goals:
Top PPC Keyword Research Tools
Wordstream is a great free SEO tool for PPC keyword research. It allows you to easily manage PPC ads accounts, find volume keywords, and identify high-value terms that are likely to convert.
With a database of popular keywords for over 60 verticals, it provides an extensive keyword list with suggestions for paid queries that might be relevant to your specific product or service, allowing you to get a quick overview of what your competitors are doing in their PPC campaigns.
It also lets you visualize keyword groups so you can organize and analyze large amounts of search results, as well as pinpoint the most profitable keyword PPC niches.
In addition, it has an ad copy optimization feature that lets you see which new keywords are most likely to trigger clicks on your ads. Then, it recommends new search terms based on what works best for other PPC advertisers who have been successful with their campaigns on similar products or services.
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most popular and widely used PPC keyword research tools, and it’s easy to see why:
Keyword Planner gives you access to Google’s own data, which means that you can discover how many people are searching for a specific query, what are the exact terms they are bidding on, how much competition there is for those paid queries (measured by the average cost per click), and more.
The tool also makes it easy to create a keyword list with find long-tail PPC keywords by allowing you to combine multiple terms, and it even provides forecasts on the performance of your campaigns for specific keywords.
Google Keyword Planner is free and easy to use, but you need a Google Ads account to use it. That’s because Keyword Planner was created to be used with Google Ads (so you can easily create new paid campaigns based on your keyword searches).
Wordtracker is another great free tool for PPC keyword research because it provides a ton of data about your competitors’ campaigns. Also, it can help you find PPC keywords with lots of high volume searches that you might not have thought of otherwise.
However, what makes Wordtracker so great for PPC keyword research is how much information it has about your competitors.
You can see which exact keywords they’re bidding on, what their ad copy looks like in Google, and how much traffic they get from each exact keyword —it’s all there.
The free version provides lots of great data from Google and Bing’s search results, as well as a limited number of other sources, and it includes some pretty cool SEO audit functionality that’s really helpful to optimize your ads.
Top Keyword Research Tools for Ecommerce
Semrush is one of the top keyword research tools for eCommerce. It’s a fully-featured app that provides everything you need to build your own solid keyword list, optimize your content and get more traffic to your website.
It has a large database of keywords (more than 22.3 billion!), as well as information on search volume, intent, estimated CPC, and ranking difficulty in Google among other metrics.
In addition, Semrush offers a huge number of features specifically aimed at helping you optimize your product or service and make it more visible in search engines.
This includes tools that let you analyze your competitor backlinks, track rankings in Google for new keywords, check out how often websites are linking to your competitors’ sites, and get ideas for new content on your own website based on your potential customers intent.
SellerApp’s Keyword Research tool was made specifically for Amazon sellers and includes tons of features that make it easy to find the perfect phrases and terms for your products.
In just a few clicks, it’ll show you up-to-date information on exactly which keywords are selling well on Amazon —and which ones aren’t.
The app allows you to track up to 100 keywords in your account, which is great for monitoring your high-performing keywords and checking which terms need optimization.
To get a list, you just have to enter your query in the app’s search bar and wait a few seconds. You’ll then get an extensive list of keyword suggestions curated from Amazon’s search queries.
KWFinder is another keyword research app that has been created by Mangools, an SEO company based out of Slovakia.
KWFinder offers two main ways to find keywords: by keyword or by the domain name.
The former is ideal if you already have terms in mind that you want to target on your site. The latter lets you mine keywords from your competitors’ sites to discover untapped opportunities for optimization and monetization.
To get started, you just have to select a location and insert one of your primary keywords. The system will then analyze the search intent and a variety of other factors like competition level, CPC, and average ranking.
This way, you’ll have all the information you need to determine whether it’s worth implementing those keywords in your eCommerce brand.
Top Keyword Research Tools for Bloggers
- Easy to use
- Proven system
- Streamlined SEO for your writers
- Credit-based pricing
- No free trial
The #1 Content Intelligence tool that merges content strategy, creation, and optimization into one process – to help content teams grow brands, organic traffic, and revenue.
In a nutshell, Surfer SEO is a powerful on-page optimization app. You can use it to get data-driven keyword ideas and optimize your existing page content to rank higher in Google.
The best thing about Surfer is that it has a Keyword Research tool that comes with a SERP similarity feature.
This indicator tells you how closely related your seed keyword is to any other search terms, which is very helpful.
Ahrefs is a popular keyword research tool that helps bloggers find their best keywords. It allows you to easily analyze the competition for any given keyword, giving you an idea of how difficult it will be to rank for that keyword in search engines.
You can also use Ahrefs to find related keywords and get suggestions for long-tail keywords that you might not have thought of before.
Ahrefs also includes a tool called Site Explorer that allows you to see all of the backlinks pointing to any competitor in your niche, how much organic search traffic it’s getting, and what keywords it ranks for.
Jaaxy is another reliable tool for doing keyword research and finding related topics that your readers might be interested in.
Once you enter your topic or query, the tool will generate a list of suggested relevant keywords, along with some stats on each one (average monthly search volume, traffic to first page results, competition level, etc), so you can determine which are worth pursuing.
In addition to the keyword research tool, Jaaxy offers you access to its Affiliate Programs feature—a feature that lets you enter a keyword to see a list of affiliate programs you can apply. The list is sourced from external affiliate programs like ClickBank and Link Share.
Keyword Research Services
You can also benefit from the help of professionals who specialize in keyword research.
They can take some of the guesswork out of the process and help you focus on the keywords that are going to make the biggest impact on your business.
Here you have some of the best options out there:
Top Keyword Research Services
Loganix is well-known for its competitive prices, quick turnaround time (2 days), and overall customer satisfaction. Their full-service keyword research package starts at $149 and includes 5 seed words, topic grouping, search volume, and search intent.
The company bases this list on commercial keywords that are likely to convert, and filters out those keywords that are irrelevant to your business.
Spectroomz takes a unique approach: They’ll ask you to fill in a questionnaire about your business and intent, and use a proprietary combination of 15 different tactics to give you valuable insights into your search terms.
Based on the answers, Spectroomz will put together a report that includes a list of relevant keywords for your site. This list will show you exactly how strong each keyword is based on standard metrics and what your next steps should be.
The service cost $399, and they have a turnaround time of 7 days.
Among the top keyword research services is also E-Store Factory. It specializes in Amazon product listings, so if that’s your primary concern, it might be the best option for you.
The tool collects a list of keywords related to your products and sorts the list based on how likely those keywords are to convert into sales. For example, it will give you a list of all the variations of “women’s leather purse” and sort them based on which ones are most commonly searched for.
By collecting this information in an organized way, E-Store Factory helps you rank higher on Amazon listings, bringing you more traffic.
Their keyword research reports are priced at $49, and you have to pay for them upfront. Once you contact them, they’ll share the details (such as turnaround time) and ask for further information on your keyword research goals.
Keyword research is an art and a science. Brainstorming, defining, contextualizing, researching, and narrowing down your list of five options —it’s no wonder why people often give up at the point of trying to make sense of it all!
The truth is finding the right keywords isn’t something that can always be done successfully from home in just five minutes. But it’s definitely a process you can do faster and more effectively if you know what questions to ask yourself and which tools to use.
The guidelines and tools I’ve mentioned above can help you save hours of time and conduct keyword research in the most efficient way. You’ll be ready to start ranking your site sooner than you might think!