Choosing the right target keywords builds the foundation for a company’s blog and website SEO. If you don’t select the right keywords, you risk not being found in the Google SERPs — but how do you decide which keywords have the highest potential for return?
Obviously, data is very important to keyword selection, but to get the data, it must first be collected and analyzed (which can be very expensive). For small businesses with limited budgets and without access to paid SEO tools, there are plenty of free tools that can be leveraged to generate enough information to make informed decisions on keyword targets and set themselves up for successful SEO strategies.
8 FREE Ways to Find Keywords For Your Blog Posts
1. Google Suggest. This is by far one of the simplest ways to find keywords for your blog posts.. for FREE!! You simply start typing something in Google and a list pops up.
This list isn’t just a randomly selected list. It represents what has been searched for before and what is frequently searched for in Google. So, take your main keyword (it can be a word or phrase you want to be found for) and start typing it into the Google search bar.
Next, we can check how many results were displayed for that initial term I wanted which is over 498 million results. That is how many other web pages are ranking for that particular keyword.
See how many results display for other terms and pick one which isn’t as competitive (aim for less than 1 million).
You can also look at Google’s suggestions at the very bottom of the results page for more ideas.
2. SEMrush. SEMrush is great for checking on your competition for organic local keywords for your business. The goal is not to outrank this person but to rank in search results and get new leads for my business, service or products. Also, you are likely to see a term being used differently, which can help you in the long-run.
3. Keyword Planner. Basically, you don’t need to be paying for Adwords to use this free tool. Go here, and from Adwords dashboard, you type in a keyword and it will show you results for keyword ideas and exact keywords. Remember to be on the lookout for low/medium competition and avoid the high ones if you can.
4. Pinterest. Believe it or not, Pinterest is a wealth of SEO knowledge. Go to Pinterest and do a search. Watch the words that show up below in tabs, and this will give you so many other ideas about your keywords. THEN check the articles that are popping up. Look at their text copy and at the hashtags and the descriptions. This will open up a wealth of information that you can add to your list as well.
5. Ask your clients and past clients. Many times, small business owners begin to think too much from the business side of an industry and forget how everyday people converse and search. Do a quick survey to ask your blog readers, newsletter folks or even social media audience what terms they would use to search for X keyword, then sit back and see if you learn anything new. You may be surprised.
6. ÜberSuggest. This tool sometimes has some weird results, but there may be some nuggets in there. Also, it’s free to use, so it’s worth checking out. They give you results in ABC of keyword variations, and you can export the results.
7. Online forums and groups. Not only can you check how and what folks are talking about regarding a specific topic, but you can also plug the URL of the forum into the keyword planner and see what terms keep coming up. For example, you can use the advanced search for Twitter and see the language that’s being used around the keywords you want to be found for. Then go back to Keyword planner and see if any new results comes up.
8. Amazon book titles. Amazon is so huge, it’s like its own mini search engine, so take your topic and plug it into Amazon to see which book titles come up. You may find some new interesting keywords for your business. This will show you what the current thought leaders are saying about that specific topic, and I’d even read some of the top reviews of the favorite titles you find to see if there are keywords and phrases there that you haven’t thought about before.
Remember, you should be always compiling your master worksheet or a place where you store your main and alternative keyword lists. If you have no idea what I am talking about when I say keywords, start here!