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Starting out, almost no one (including myself) does keyword research for their blog. It feels overwhelming and rightly so. It’s a crazy complicated subject that makes you want to run and hide behind your content that isn’t getting seen by anyone. Keyword research is something you will want to get very comfortable if you want to make your blog a business instead of a hobby. Figuring keyword research out even just a little bit can help drive massive traffic to your blog from Google.
Since no one really tells you how to do keyword research (like it’s some secret they don’t want
Things really began to change when I put a focus on keyword research and SEO. It’s when I started to see a big boost in traffic from
While I know just a fraction of what the experts know; it’s enough to at least get started and stay motivated to keep learning and growing.
You might have heard of SEMRush (affiliate) as “the standard” in keyword research tools. It is. I put off subscribing for a long time because of the high cost. I couldn’t justify spending $99 per month on a tool when I wasn’t even making much each month from my blog. If I could go back, SEMrush is one of the first things I would have invested in. These free tools can get you really close, but they will end up taking more time.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases that people type in search engines like Google. The research part not only identifies what people search for, but how often those phrases are searched for as well as how competitive that phrase is in search results. Doing the research gives you insights and ideas to new words and phrases that you can create blog posts for and actually rank in search engines for.
Do I even need to do keyword research?
The answer is an absolute YES! That is, if you want to skyrocket your traffic from Google and make more money with your blog.
Why is keyword research so important?
Your time is your most valuable asset. If you spend a lot of time writing a blog post, it might as well be time spent writing content that has a chance to drive massive traffic.
If your goal is to create content that people are actually going to read, then it’s important to be creating content that has a chance to be seen. If no one is searching for the blog posts you are writing, then it’s not likely that anyone will see it. Even if people are searching for the keyword you wrote about; it might be too competitive for you to show up high enough in the google results to have a chance of being seen.
How much time do you need to spend conducting keyword research?
A lot of experts will recommend that you spend almost as much time conducting keyword research as you do writing your blog post’s content. That’s how important it is. This might sound a little crazy, but it’s not when you really think about it. Doing the research acts as a guide to outline your post and gives you new ideas to include that you might not have thought about. Spending the time on keyword research actually makes writing easier and saves time.
Investing in keyword research is a game changer
If there was one thing I would have invested in way earlier, it would defintely be keyword research. I put off even trying to figure out keyword research for a long time.
As soon as I put an intentional effort to attempt to figure it out (still working on it), my traffic started to increase significantly. I went from getting lucky with a post now and then, to
There is the time investment to learn it and there is the monetary investment in the best SEO keyword research tool, SEMrush. The ultimate keyword research tool is SEMrush. You can ask all the experts, and almost all will recommend it as the ultimate tool for conducting keyword research, competitor analysis, auditing your own blog, and monitoring your Google rankings.
SEMrush is not free. It’s definitely an investment. An investment that I would have made much earlier if I could go back. If you aren’t ready to make this investment, don’t worry, there are a lot of free options out there to help you jumpstart your keyword research and drastically increase your traffic.
You can get a free 7-day trial through this link to see what it’s all about. It will be overwhelming at first, but they have tons of webinars and help videos to guide you through it.
There are countless tools to help do keyword research, and a few are free. These free tools that I am recommending are not limited versions of paid tools, they are totally free tools. Limited versions of paid tools (even SEMrush) aren’t worth using. They cause more frustration than provide value and just aren’t worth your time trying to use them.
Here are the best keyword research tools that are totally free
There are a ton of tools out there, and a lot of them are free. After trying a lot of them; these are the SEO keyword research tools that I actually use and are great free alternatives to SEM Rush.
While none of these are all-encompassing like SEMRush is, they can be pieced together to conduct solid keyword research to really boost your Google search rankings and traffic. You will start creating content that people search for.
Keywords Everywhere is a Google Chrome and Firefox browser extension that inserts monthly search volume, CPC & competition right on the Google search results page. It also provides related keywords with their volumes of the phrase you searched for “People Also Search For.”You can handily export all of this data to a downloadable CSV file.
Not only does it display data in Google, but also YouTube, Amazon
Check out Keywords Everywhere
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) is a super powerful dashboard to monitor your website's performance and health. Not only can you see search engine analytics for the keywords your site is ranking for, but you can see if there are pages that have errors on them so they can be fixed. The search engine data can be used to see what you are ranking so you can create similar content.
Check out Google Search Console
Neil Patel’s super powerful and free keyword research tool that gives search volume as well as keyword suggestions.
Check out UberSuggest
While there might not be any data listed, the Google Search Results Page (SERP) provides a lot of valuable information you can use to create your content. Not only does google give you insights to who the potential competitors are, but they tell you “People also ask” and “Searches related to.” These are both excellent tells as to what people are searching for and what content you should be including in your posts.
Excellent free tool for suggestion what questions people are asking in google related to they keyword you specify. You can pick out the popular questions and answer in your post.
Check out Answer the Public
Pardon the name. This tool will generate thousands of keyword ideas for you based on one that you type in. It’s great if you need help brainstorming a certain topic to get ideas. In conjunction with Keywords Everywhere, it will give you the search volume and competition for the keywords it spits out.
Check out Keyword Shitter
Google Trends can help you identify seasonal trends so you can create content for that season and know when it should be promoted for the most traffic. It also helps you find topics that are currently trending so you can capitalize on them by creating content before everyone else does. The related queries can give you new related keyword ideas
Using the Pinterest auto-suggest dropdown in the search bar to give you ideas of what people are searching for related to the keyword you type in.
Soovle gives related keyword ideas and
Check out Soovle
A combination of the above tools can be used to do pretty solid keyword research. The problem is that you are using multiple tools, which takes more time. The advantage of one tool that is even more powerful than all the above tools put together is that it saves you so much time. It can pay for itself in just a few days. Save time, create better content that brings you more traffic so you make more money.
The best paid SEO keyword research tool is SEMrush
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