Keyword research is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO). It helps you identify the words and phrases people use to search for information online. By understanding these keywords, you can create content that is more likely to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs).
If you’re just getting started with SEO, or you have a limited budget, you may be wondering how to do keyword research for free. Fortunately, there are several tools and techniques that you can use to identify relevant keywords without spending a dime. In this article, I will share some of the methods and tools I have used to find profitable keywords for my websites.
Understanding Keyword Research
As a blogger or website owner, it’s essential to do keyword research during the content creation process. You need to identify what keywords your target audience is searching for and then create optimized content for those keywords. In this section, I’ll explain keyword research and why it’s essential.
What is Keyword Research?
Keyword research is the process of identifying the most relevant and profitable keywords for your website or blog. It involves analyzing search terms and phrases that people use to find information on the internet. You can determine the demand for specific keywords and phrases by doing keyword research and optimizing your content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are several tools available that can help you perform keyword research. Some popular ones include Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush. These tools can provide valuable insights into search volume, competition, and related keywords.
Why is Keyword Research Important?
Keyword research is essential for several reasons. First, it helps you understand your target audience better. By identifying the keywords and phrases they use to find information, you can create content that is more relevant and valuable to them.
Second, keyword research can help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). By optimizing your content around the right keywords, you can increase your chances of appearing on the first page of search results. That can increase your website or blog’s traffic, leads, and sales.
Finally, keyword research can help you stay ahead of your competitors. By analyzing their keywords and phrases, you can identify gaps in their content and create content that fills those gaps. This can give you a competitive advantage and help you attract more traffic to your website or blog.
Free Tools for Keyword Research
When it comes to keyword research, there are many free tools available that can help you find the right keywords for your content. In this section, I’ll cover some of the most popular free tools for keyword research.
One of the easiest ways to find new keywords is to use Google Autocomplete. As you type in a search query, Google will suggest related searches based on what others are searching for. These suggestions can be a great source of inspiration for new keywords. To use Google Autocomplete for keyword research, start by typing in a broad keyword related to your website or business. For example, if you run a fitness blog, you might type in “fitness tips” or “workout routines.” As you type, Google will suggest related searches to use as potential keywords.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool from Google Ads that allows you to research keywords and see how they might perform in Google Ads campaigns. While it’s designed for advertisers, it can also be used for SEO keyword research. To use Google Keyword Planner, you’ll need a Google Ads account. Once logged in, you can enter a keyword or phrase and get suggestions for related keywords, along with data on search volume, competition, and more.
Google Trends is another free tool from Google that allows you to see how search interest for a particular keyword has changed over time. You can also compare the search volume for multiple keywords and see how they stack against each other. Google Trends can be a helpful tool for identifying trends and seasonal fluctuations in search volume, which can help you plan your content strategy accordingly.
Keywords Everywhere is a free Chrome and Firefox extension that you can use to analyze keywords for websites and Google search results. Some features require credits, which are pretty inexpensive, but many features can be used for free. I use Keywords Everywhere to get ideas for keywords from Google SERPs and analyze competitor pages to get ideas for keywords.
Ubersuggest is a free keyword research tool that lets you get keyword ideas and see data on search volume, competition, and more. You can also enter a URL and get information on the keywords that site is ranking for. Ubersuggest is an excellent tool for finding long-tail keywords and uncovering new keyword opportunities.
Answer the Public
Answer the Public is a free tool that allows you to generate keyword ideas based on questions people are asking about a particular topic. You enter a keyword or phrase, and Answer the Public will generate a list of questions related to that topic. Answer the Public is an excellent tool for finding content ideas and identifying the questions people are asking about your industry or niche.
Analyzing Competitor Keywords
As I mentioned earlier, analyzing competitor keywords is a great way to find new keyword ideas for your website. Here are the steps I follow when analyzing competitor keywords:
The first step is to identify your competitors. These are the websites that are ranking for the same keywords as you or targeting the same audience. To find your competitors, you can use tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs. These tools allow you to enter your domain name and see a list of your competitors.
Analyzing Competitor Keywords
Once you have identified your competitors, the next step is to analyze their keywords. This will give you an idea of what keywords they are targeting and how they are using them on their website. Here are a few things to look for when analyzing competitor keywords:
- Keyword density: Look at how often your competitors are using their target keywords on their websites. This will give you an idea of how important those keywords are to them.
- Title tags and meta descriptions: Look at the title tags and meta descriptions of your competitors’ pages. This will give you an idea of what keywords they are targeting on each page.
- Content: Look at the content on your competitors’ pages. This will give you an idea of how they are using their target keywords in their content.
- Backlinks: Look at the backlinks pointing to your competitors’ pages. This will give you an idea of what keywords other websites are using to link to their pages.
You can find new keyword ideas for your website by analyzing your competitors’ keywords. You can also get an idea of what keywords are important in your industry and how to use them on your website.
Refining Your Keyword Research
Once you have a list of potential keywords, it’s time to refine your research to find the best keywords for your content. Here are some ways to do that:
Long-tail keywords are phrases that are more specific and longer than short-tail (generic) keywords. They usually have a lower search volume but are more targeted and have higher conversion rates. To find long-tail keywords, you can use tools like Google Autocomplete, Answer the Public, and Keywords Everywhere.
Search intent refers to the reason behind a search query. It can be informational, commercial, or transactional. Understanding search intent is crucial because it can help you create content that matches the user’s intention and provides value. To determine search intent, you can analyze the search results and see what type of content is ranking for a particular keyword.
Keyword difficulty is a metric that shows how hard it is to rank for a keyword. It considers factors like competition, search volume, and domain authority. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, and Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to find low-competition keywords.
In conclusion, doing keyword research for free is possible and can be done using various tools and techniques. While paid tools can provide more comprehensive data and insights, plenty of free options can help you get started.
When conducting keyword research, it’s essential to remember your target audience and their search intent. By understanding what they are searching for, you can tailor your content to meet their needs better and increase your chances of ranking higher in search results.
In addition to using free tools, keeping an eye on your competitors and analyzing their keyword strategies is essential. By understanding what keywords they are targeting, you can identify gaps in your own strategy and find new opportunities to rank higher in search results.
Overall, using a combination of free tools and techniques, you can conduct effective keyword research without breaking the bank. With a little effort and patience, you can find the right keywords to drive more traffic to your website and grow your online presence.