Getting the right keyword for your website is important. If you can master finding one good, easy to rank keyword – you will have a greater chance of successfully appearing on the first page of Google search results for other terms, too.This guide will not be exhaustive, but it will give you a brief look into finding good keywords using the KW Finder website, a paid service that let’s you do a few searches free.
Let’s get started!
IMPORTANT: Be sure to log out of Gmail before you use search as you may get very different results due to Google’s automatic search personalization feature. Verify all your research using Google Search and other tools for best results.
Places to Get Ideas for Keyword Phrases
1. Ubersuggest.org – Put in an idea you have, and Ubersuggest will grab all the long tail searches people do on the web around that phrase. An excellent tool!
2. Buzzsumo.com – Look at the most popular articles in your category and try to find out which keywords they wanted to rank for, based on the main words or subject in the title of the article.
Go for keyword phrases that:
- You feel you would be able to write extensively about
- You would have an easy time discussing this subject in many posts
- Around a product or service that has an affiliate program
Avoid phrases that:
- Are too broad like “shopping” or “software”
- Are misspellings like “saerch engine markiting”
- Are merely informational searches like “what is car insurance” or “what is a website”
Ideally we want:
- Highly motivated search keywords like “buy Samsung S6”
- Keywords that interest us and inspire us to write a good, long useful article that people would bookmark
- Keywords that have a product, service or good Pay Per Click figures if we choose Adsense for monetization
- Keywords that have variants like “Samsung S6 reviews” and “Samsung S6 specs and prices”
Once you have a keyword or phrase idea, even a generic one, you can get started. Go to KWFinder.com and enter your term.
I used “car insurance” as my starting term because it is generic and I had a feeling there may be room in this needs category. In the US it’s the law to have insurance, so it makes sense that this will be a very big and competitive category.
I didn’t select any location, but generally you should select the area you are targeting and English.
The results weren’t great. Under SEO, we can see the competition strength is high. That’s what I expected. Now if we scroll lower, I’m sure we’ll find less competitive areas, perhaps where the big companies haven’t SEO optimized their sites. Or where Google can’t find anything to serve.
I click the little magnifying glass icon on “cheap car insurance uk” – it is a pretty specific term and I get the feeling it has room for growth:
Sure enough, after the SEO competition bubble shows up, it’s “19” which means the competition isn’t that strong. But if we look even closer, we’ll find some good news. For example, in the window that shows the Search Engine Ranking Page 1 we see there is a “0” and a green bubble.
Let’s take a closer look.
The window that examines the keyword itself gives us some valuable insight into the term as it ages. In 2005 it was really popular, but then it dove in 2009 and now it seems on the uptick.
This could be a useful piece of information to “add” to your keyword analysis, search trend volumes.
In the Google Search Engine Rank Page 1 we see Good2go.com, with a brownish-yellow ’49’ for it’s external SEO factors and other SEO related indicators evaluated by KWfinder. This means it has a fairly strong SEO condition and it won’t likely budge if we were to build a brand new website, trying to reach position 1.
But, we see Wikihow and Carsdirect directly beneath. Now these have a much lesser rank as indicated by the green bubbles and the single-digit Rank factor.
Finally, take a look at position #5.
What do you think of #7?
This is actually starting to look good for this keyword. This means these websites can easily be pushed out of page 1 ranking.
Let’s go further. Open Google and search for the term you’re considering:
This is how your results will look, without highlights of any kind to help you along…
PROBLEM: The problem with this result is vs KWfinder’s results? Google is still serving me results for my local area– not globally as I had searched using KWfinder.com – and this makes our job harder.
With more ‘localized’ search results, we may get entirely different results. In this case, thankfully, we still see that this is a keyword not well-optimized for by the competitors. Although Youtube doesn’t show up as it did in KWfinder’s results, we can still find low SEO competition here.
What we’re looking for is the keyword we searched either exactly spelled out as a chunk “cheap car insurance UK” or “cheap insurance” “Uk” and “car”; Google used to look for the exact search terms, but now we know Google search algorithms looks for synonyms, and other phrases which appear typically when this search occurs (car, Lexus, tires, wheels, luxury).
I believe you can still rank well for a term that’s highly specific, even if you broke it up from its “exact match” variant. You can see this in the example here, as well.
We can tell that the first 5 or so listed are highly optimized and probably answer the query very well.
But these are the ones that can be outranked:
What we find at the bottom is axa.co.uk and admiral.com and tescobank.com – none of these speak “cheap car insurance uk” to me. But they are being served as a result for search users. There is no “cheap” anywhere in the result for axa.co.uk and none for “uk” in the tescobank.com example.
This confirms KWfinder’s results. This will be easier to rank because the bottom three sites are poorly optimized. Moreover, we could get an exact match domain, or a partial match domain like cheapinsurancepro.co.uk.
If we find an aged domain, we may have even better results.
Mastering how to find a single good keyword is one of the most important skills you’ll need to help your site get good organic search traffic.
And KWfinder makes it easier to find one. Although this tool is free for a few searches, you can still get a lot of good use out of it over the course of weeks as you practice finding keywords.
We recommend it.
If you can find just ONE, you’ll be able to find 10 more that are easy to rank for. Using keywords strategically within your site’s content, alt tags, post titles, categories and other such places will help Google know your site contains the right answer for any given search user.
- Use KWfinder.com – it’s free to use for a few searches, uses a lot of indicators to quickly give you an impression of a keyword’s ‘ease to rank’
- Pick keywords you will enjoy writing about or can easily become inspired about
- Evaluate keywords using Google’s actual search results and examine the sites that aren’t strong competitors for the term
- Use other tools to confirm that you found a good keyword
Update in 2016/2017:
This article provides a simple overview of one way to do keyword research.
In 2016, we primarily use SEMRUSH.com to do our keyword research. It is fast, gets lots of up to date results and is reputable.
Although KWFinder.com may still provide useful results (computed competition percentages), we prefer SEMRUSH’s Competition evaluation, and have had success with its keyword results.
In recent Google Updates (2016 onward), using exact match search terms is still useful – but using synonyms is also useful. For example, if you have a search result you wanted to rank for called “how to make money with freelancing” – you could use a phrase like “how to make an income with freelancing” and Google may accept it and rank you on the same page with articles optimized for “how to make money…”; this is merely an example to illustrate how synonyms can rank.
Remember, even if your competitors have the best backlinks but their content is thin – LESS than 1,000 words and does not accurately answer or engage readers – you may still have a chance with a brand new domain, exact answers and an article with about 1,200-3,000 words. More is usually best.