What is a keyword research service?
Keyword research is the backbone of great content writing. Not only does it enable the content writer to validate demand for the search term, but it also creates a theme or focus on the writing which can help keep readers engaged.
A keyword research service can come in many different forms. A person that goes and does independent research to find relevant keywords to use in a piece of writing. Or it could be an automated tool that analyses search data to find winning keywords. Something like SE Ranking!
Using a keyword research service
A keyword research service analyses keywords or keyword word phrases that people are using to find information through search engines like Google.
It’s what search engine optimisation is all about. The idea is to write a piece of content around a specific keyword or keyword phrase in the hope that it will show up in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
But keyword research is not just about showing up on the first page of Google. Imagine if all your content shows up on the first page of Google no matter what keyword the user enters. Do you think the person searching would always click on your link?
The meaning of a keyword
It’s also important to select the right type of keyword. Suppose you write some content about fishing to bring new visitors to your website so you can sell them a fishing rod.
When selecting a keyword such as river fishing might seem appropriate because people searching for river fishing must be interested in fishing rods!
That could be true, but what if they actually wanted to know how to fish in rivers. The visitor might be looking for some kind of guide about river fishing because they just bought a new fishing rod.
This type of keyword phrase is called an informational keyword.
Types of keywords
There are four types of keywords: informational, commercial, transactional and navigational.
- Informational: a search focused on finding information or answers to a question.
- Commercial: searches with the intent of finding a service or researching a brand
- Transactional: a search with the intention of buying something
- Navigational: searches that result in finding a page or website
The type of search a user is making can be put into any of the four types of keywords which directly reflects the users intent.
It’s important to align the expectations of the visitor with the content that’s being written and what you want your visitors to do once they’ve landed on your website. Meaning, if the expectation is a visitor buys something from your website, then make sure the keywords you are targeting in the content are of type transactional so the mindset of the visitor is aligned.
This is where keyword phrases come in. The idea is not to target an actual specific keyword, but a phrase. If you think about how you might search for something in Google. It’s unusual to use a single word. Usually there’s more than one word being used for example buying car insurance or finding a new pair of running shoes.
It’s more natural to use a phrase, like river fishing in fast current or what fishing rod is best for river fishing.
Not only can keyword phrases be more relevant to your content, but they are also usually easier to rank for because they normally have a much lower search volume than more generic search terms making them less competitive. This is exactly what a keyword research service should help you to find.
When selecting your keyword phrases, its not only important to think about user intent, but also about how difficult it will be to rank in the top 10 search results.
You might have the best, most accurate and amazing keyword phrase to use, but if your website is sitting at position 200 (page 20) then you will most likely never get any response from those people searching for the keyword.
SE Ranking and all other SEO keyword research services have a metric for how difficult it might be to rank in the top 10 search results. In SE ranking its called, a difficulty score.
Comparing the difficulty score between different keyword research services will show variations because it’s a calculated value based on that service specific calculations.
I’ve found SE Ranking keyword difficulty score to be very accurate, meaning, when it says it’s easy to rank in the top 10 results, my articles have ranked in the top 10 results! Furthermore, the difficulty scores are pretty much inline with other keyword research services like Ahrefs and SEMrush.
SE Ranking keyword research tool
I am not going to bother with a list of other keyword research tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush or any other, because I’ve been using seranking for over a year and can recommend it so highly, I haven’t even bothered with any other tool.
SE Ranking is not only a delight to use, but the difficulty scores are also very accurate (as mentioned above). I’ve compared the difficulty scores with other more popular SEO tools like Ahrefs or SEMRush and the scores pretty much align.
Finding keywords to target
Whats great about SE Ranking is that finding keywords is easy! Simply enter a topic, niche or just one word will result in hundreds of similar or related keywords as well as popular questions related to that initial keyword.
Finding keywords is an iterative process. It’s not going to happen straight away, particularly, because you’ll find that the most obvious keywords, even if they seem obscure, have a high difficulty score.
It’s important to get creative. You might want to consider an initial research phase before diving into SE Ranking.
Research for keyword seeds
A keyword seed is a word or phrase you can use to find other keywords. There are many places you can go to find seed words. Google being one of the first places to start.
Let’s use the fishing example earlier.
Navigate to Google and just type fishing:
Google is giving us other variations to this keyword. In the screenshot above, you can see things like fishing tackle, fishing rod.
So let’s take this further and decide we want to find something more specific on fishing rods:
We can see some very different intents going on here. Fishing rod license (informational) vs fishing rod holders (transactional).
It’s important to decide what type of keyword you are going after. In this example, we have transactional and informational keywords. Stores will likely want a more transactional keyword, whereas a blog might want a more informational keyword.
But it also depends on what kind of mindset you want your visitors to be in when they land on your content. Are you expecting them to navigate to another page after reading your article, or do you think they’ll exit your website?
Do you want your visitors to sign up for an email newsletter that sends fishing tips every week or want them to join a webinar about fishing?
Another Google service that is really helpful for finding new keywords is Google trends. Google trends can also tell you how much the keyword is trending. For example, if the keyword signifies something that is seasonal or evergreen.
Gardening might be more seasonal because people are more active in the summer, whereas DIY is something that people are searching for all the time.
You can see Google trends also provides related topics and related queries, similar to Google search which helps to expand your keyword possibilities.
Answer the public and Ubersuggest
Answer the public is a service that analyses thousands of signals across the internet to pull together questions, search terms and lots more data related to a search term.
Simply enter a keyword, like fishing and get back thousands of results and ideas to feed your keyword library.
Because the service is now owned by Ubersuggest, you can also use their service for three free searches a day to get a few more ideas.
The keyword difficulty scores do not align very accurately, but the amount of searches every month should align with Google keyword planner which is what most other SEO software uses.
Google Keyword Planner
Probably the oldest and most talked about tool for finding seed keywords is Google keyword planner.
The tool spits out tons of keywords related to your search term and gives you an estimated CPC and search volumes. Most SEO tools use the search volume data from Google keyword planner, so you can be sure its quite accurate.
What people try to find are keywords that have a high search volume and low CPC. The strategy here is low competition (low cpc) vs high search volume equals easy wins.
However, don’t be fooled. A low CPC almost always indicates a low commercial value. Meaning, users searching for these terms have a low commercial intent and are less likely to be in the mindset of spending.
Which brings us back to the mindset/intent of the search term and your specific goals. Make sure the user intent aligns with the goals of the content.
Using SE Ranking to find keyword phrases
For this example, we’ll use the seed word found in Google suggestions, “fishing rod holders” that was offered when using the search term fishing.
If I use this term in SE ranking keyword search, I can see many keywords I can target:
The search is targeted at Google UK and immediately you can see this term is quite difficult to rank for in the top 10 Google results. It does have a decent amount of search traffic every month (1000), but quite a low CPC.
This term is not ideal to go after, its difficult to rank for and not too much commercial intent. With a low CPC, it would mean not too many people are looking for fishing rod holders or at least buying them online.
Lets take a closer look at some alternatives.
Now SE Ranking is showing us some alternatives and not only that, some low competition keywords that are similar to our search term.
As you can see, “fishing chair with rod holder” looks like an easy win! Very easy to rank for with 480 searches a month.
The CPC is quite low which could mean the buyer intent of the users might not be high, but because its such an easy win with the difficulty score being so low, it would be worth investing and uses this term as both a traffic drive and spender.
Its also worth noting, that you should not feel restricted to only target one keyword. You can include as many keywords as you like. In this example, there are keywords related to fishing rod holders for boats. A piece of content around types of fishing rod holders would allow the inclusion of more than one of these keywords.
SE ranking also suggests related keywords. It can be quite overwhelming with the amount of suggestions, so using the filtering is necessary and very effective.
Here you can see that filtering is possible only show keywords up to a certain level of difficulty and min search volume.
This is very useful to quickly find out if your search terms have a decent amount of low competition related terms.
Why is that useful? If you keyword does not have a lot of low competition related keywords, then you’ll quickly run out of topics you keep writing about that are low competition.
If you are just starting a new blog for example, you’ll need a lot of low competition keywords to target so that you can start to drive traffic and win higher Google search rankings. Otherwise you’ll quickly run out of topics to write about and also never show up in Google search results.
Another way to find keywords is to analyse competitors keywords and see what they are ranking for.
If I search Google for the term “fishing rod holders reviews” I expect to see some blogs that review fishing rod holders that are ranking for related terms.
As you can see, review your gear is ranking 3rd for this term. Lets take a closer look:
The domain trust is not very high and the site has 1.2k keywords it ranks for. Lets take a look at these keywords and see if we want to compete with any:
What is really great about SE Ranking is that you can see a list of keywords, search volume and the position the site is ranking in Google search.
This site is ranking in position 1 on Google UK for a few keywords, but as you should have noted they are all low volume/low difficulty scores on keyword phrases.
The exact strategy that most new blogs are using to drive traffic. You can use the URL column to see the content that the site has written to provide ideas of the type of content to write for the search term.
Creating the content brief
Now that you’ve found plenty of keywords to target, its time to plan the actual content. SE Ranking provides a great content planning tool that integrated into the platform.
Click to add a new article and enter the keywords you want to target. For this example, we will target the keyword “fishing rod stands”.
The tool has a lot of features to make it easy to plan and optimise the content from the start.
Competitor analysis and word count
See how many words your competitors are writing for content thats ranking on the search term you intend to target.
Additional keyword terms
See what additional search terms you should include in your content and how many times the terms should be included.
What headings are your competitors using to structure the content and easily add headings that you want to use in your own content brief.
The final content brief
Once you are happy with your content brief, go to the content editor to help write your content.
Paste the structure you just created, your have SE Ranking tool generate a structure for you.
Your complete article draft is ready with just a few clicks. On the right hand column you can see how well optimised is the piece of content by providing a various scores.
Export the content
Easily export the content into CSV or Google docs to share and review with your team. If you are outsourcing the content, this is where you can export the content brief to your writer.
SE Ranking overall rating
Overall, SE Ranking is the best keyword research service for finding long tail keywords and keyword phrases as well as actually creating the content.
With the built in content writing tools and competitor analysis tools, nothing beats it! You can also sign up for a free 14 day trial to test out all its features.
The monthly pricing is also very reasonable for the amount of features that are included. You’ll be driving traffic in no time.
Get started with the Keyword suggestion tool