In recent years, a lot of people have complained about the reduction in keyword data from Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Analytics.
While Google’s tools are still a good place to look for higher traffic keywords, long tail keyword data has become more difficult to find. And most search traffic to a website comes from long tail keywords.
Many bloggers and marketers started saying things like “just create high quality content for the people.” However, by ignoring keyword data, you are leaving a lot of traffic on the table.
Search traffic to my blog increased by around 1,310% in 2014, mostly from keyword targeted content that I created.
Google Keyword Planner is still useful, but good keyword research now requires other tools as well.
Although Google Keyword Planner provides less data than Google Keyword Tool, there are still a few features that make it worth using. In fact, Google is still the first place I go to when I need to do keyword research.
1. Google Planner’s Keyword Volume Data Comes from Google
Even if the volume data isn’t 100% accurate, it is still pretty good as a whole. You have to remember that Google’s Keyword Planner is mostly intended to help Adwords advertisers spend money efficiently when purchasing ads from Google.
Thus, it is in Google’s best interest to provide useful data to these Adwords users. For SEO’s, this means we can still use the data to find higher traffic keywords that are more likely to send organic traffic if we are successful in our optimization attempts.
2. Displays Important Money Keywords
Google removed a lot of long tail keywords from their keyword tool to simplify it for Adwords users. Bidding on low volume long tail keywords is a waste of time and resources when it comes to Adwords advertising.
As a result, Keyword Planner is now an efficient tool to use if you want to find higher volume keywords that people are spending money on. For SEO and content marketing, these are often the main terms you will want to target with your on page SEO.
3. Google Analytics Still Displays Some Important Keywords
Although most keywords will be displayed as “not provided”, Google Analytics does still show some of the most important keywords that are sending you traffic as well as which pages are performing the best.
You might get some benefit from expanding and optimizing the content on the pages that are already doing well. Google Webmaster Tools provides a wider range of keywords than Analytics if you want to get even more data from your current content.
For these reasons, starting with Google’s tools is still a good idea. But you’ll miss out on a lot of traffic if you don’t research long tail keywords.
Other Keyword Research Tools
While you can no longer rely on Google for all your keyword research needs, there are plenty of other alternative tools that you can use to get more keywords. It’s important to dig deeper and get long tail keywords that you can incorporate into your content, since over 90% of search traffic comes from these keywords.
Here are a few unique keyword tools that you might not know about:
1. Seed Keywords
Keyword data comes from people, so sometimes you can get ideas for keywords from your own team or audience. Seed keywords is a unique tool that you can use to generate keyword ideas from other people.
The first step is to create a scenario in the form of a question to ask what people would look for if they were looking for the answer.
For example, you could ask something like “If you were looking for ideas to promote your blog, what would you search for?”
Once you create a scenario, Seed Keywords will create a unique URL that you can share with your team or a relevant audience. People can then enter keyword phrases, which will get added to Seed Keywords.
You can download the data as a CSV or click to view the results for each keyword in Google. Once you have the keyword list, you can check the search volumes in Google Planner or another keyword tool.
2. SERPWoo Keyword Finder
SERPWoo Keyword Finder is part of the SERPWoo SEO suite which was originally designed as a rank tracker. Keyword Finder allows you to search for a keyword phrase and then extracts long tail keyword ideas from the top 10 pages that are ranking for that keyword.
You can then export this data for further analysis. This tool is not free, but you can watch the videos on their site or sign up for a free account if you want to try it out.
Google keyword suggestions are a popular way to get more keywords from Google and keywordtool.io is quickly becoming one of the more popular keyword suggestion tools.
With a single search, this tool can generate hundreds of keyword suggestions from Google, YouTube, Bing and even the App Store. And it’s free and pretty fast!
There’s a convenient copy button that you can use to copy the entire list, which you can then paste into Excel or a notepad.
Keywordtool.io does not provide keyword search volumes, but you can easily paste the keywords into Google Planner if you want to get this information.
Content marketers might want to look into Spokal, an SEO suite that integrates with WordPress. Spokal is far more than just a keyword research tool and has features like rank tracking, title split testing, email marketing workflows and more.
Keyword data comes from SEM Rush and you can quickly remove any keywords that you don’t want from the list. You can also integrate geographical locations if you are targeting prospects within a local area.
This video explains how you can do keyword research in Spokal:
5. Niche Laboratory
Niche Laboratory is a free keyword tool that is worth trying out if you want to find related keywords. It crawls the top 10 search results for any search term you enter and displays a list of keyword ideas.
It also produces a keyword tag cloud, a list of top ranking websites with their title tags and meta descriptions, and related images. A list of niche forums is also displayed in case you want to do some further research into possible content ideas.
Creating high quality content is important, but keyword research is still as important as ever when it comes to getting search engine traffic.
If you want even more keyword research tool ideas, then check out this compilation of 70+ keyword tools and ideas:
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
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