Finding great keywords is essential to building a healthy website that receives growing, steady organic search traffic.
Without optimizing your site with a good set of keywords, it can be very difficult to get any visitors at all – even with high quality regular blogging.
This added burden to website ownership naturally leads to one question: Which tool should one use to find keyword opportunities? In this article we’ll focus solely on one research tool, a web based leader in keyword research:
SEMRush.com. It meets our criteria for superb keyword results, and best of all, it saves a lot of time.
Not Another Download
SEMRush is browser-based, so you can access it via your phone or tablet. It doesn’t require you to install anything or update anything. Its interface is just like Google search, type in your topic or keyword base and search. It will populate with thousands of opportunities for some terms. Type in a favorite site and you’ll find a lot of keyword opportunities.
We were pleasantly surprised to find that SEMRush allows limited free searches every day to its non subscribers. This has allowed us to experiment for a few weeks while we mulled over the idea of getting the subscription.
Provides many keyword opportunities
The keyword research platform contains many useful tools found in other platforms both browser-based and downloadable suites. However, its best feature is its huge search database which contains the most up to date information we’ve been able to locate on Google’s incoming search terms.
For one of our sites, a video game-themed site, we were able to find thousands of keywords with very low competition strength in under 30 minutes. These “long tail” terms are very easy to rank for quickly and can make a new website flourish early, without the need for many blog posts. Sometimes a single article with one of these keywords would appear in a high position 12 or 13 (the top of page 2) for a particular search term. No doubt, with a bit more work, that article would rise to page one’s lowest position.
An additional 320 searches per month can make a significant improvement to income to a website, if the term indicates a motivated shopper’s mindset, or a high CPC (Cost per Click, related to Adsense advertising).
Provides accurate evaluation of competition strength for a given keyword
Competition evaluation isn’t a strength for beginners to long tail keyword research and I don’t believe I am very good at it myself. That’s why it’s good that SEMRush does some evaluation for us to that end.
If we know the search volume is high but we don’t know how strong the competition is for a keyword, that keyword isn’t very useful to us.
We need to know if there are just two or three competitors for the term, and how easily we can reach the top positions on page 1 for that term. The competitor strength column allows you to sort easily for keywords that has .00 competition strength. We’ve found anything at .50 (or 50%+) and higher isn’t worth considering for new sites as they’ll face tough competitors.
Allows you to sort and export data for further analysis and tracking
The most pleasing thing about using SEMRush to me has been the ability to get all the keyword data without any confusing tabs or menus. The export button is clear, and gives you the option to get an excel spreadsheet.
The other tools we have tried, such as Long Tail Pro, Market Samurai and others provide similar or identical options but not as a browser based tool. KWfinder.com provides that option, but it’s outgunned by the many features that come standard in SEMRush’s basic subscription package.
That is to say, if we choose a keyword research tool, SEMRush is the ideal tool to date.
Sorting through low competition keywords is easy after you get a clean export file (pictured above).
Enables access to competitor keyword terms
Being able to type in a competitor’s domain name into SEMRush is gratifying because of how much you can learn about your target subject and the users. If you can look deeper into the incoming searches for those sites you are competing with, you’ll learn about areas that could use improvement: and that’s your little niche!
Starting with those “gap areas” you can then expand and focus on higher traffic volume keywords you were once unsure about. With strong blogging using the keywords you find, you’ll be happy to track progress over time using SEMRush’s rank tracking tool, which enables you to see your site’s climb to page 1 for those valued terms.
A time saving accurate product that is worth the monthly price
The price for a monthly subscription of SEMRush is just right. It’s a suite that provides easy, fast access to thousands of long tail, current keyword terms.
With only a single month of this subscription, or a trial version, you can export thousands of keywords making it well worth the price. We are still using some of our exported spreadsheets, which contain terms that are easy to rank for and easy to write on in regular blog posts.
The process of researching keywords took a few weeks, but we won’t need to do it again until we’ve exhausted the terms we already have.
If you’re looking for a tool that gets results and want to know how to use it, please come back later as we’ll go into depth on using SEMRush for great keywords.
That’s all for now.