If you have been browsing the internet for a while, you probably know what a keyword is. And if you were following our blog, you definitely know what a keyword is.

We have discussed keywords and keyword research previously. But let’s say that was the tip of the iceberg.

The search engine algorithms are evolving, and you need to up your keyword research game. Keywords are more than words related to your business. It is 2018 and SEO now focuses on semantics. It is about understanding the intent of the searcher.

You can’t spend money on keywords that have zero connection to how your prospects want to interact with your business. If you don’t find the right keywords, your competitors will. You’ll be standing right here watching them climb up the SERPs.

So, it’s a good idea to have pro tricks up your sleeve and improve your whole digital strategy with better keyword research. Before we proceed to the pro tips, let’s have an overview of things you should know before keyword research.

Keyword Research Criteria Are Changing

Whenever Google changes or improves its algorithm, we hear the death chants for keywords. Keywords are far from dead. If anything, they have become more important. The strategic use of the right keyword throughout your website is still the best way to increase your organic traffic.

However, the criteria for good keyword research may have changed. Semantic latent indexing and voice searches are just two of the factors that have changed the whole scenario.

While you may think that you can pick the most obvious choices from the top of your head, it isn’t exactly the smartest strategy. Relevance is just one factor. The intent is what is more important.

A Word about Intent

The intent is not just about what a searcher is looking for but also why they are looking for it.

Don’t you remember the days when you used to ask ‘what is SEO’ only to be bombarded with a long list of SEO providers instead? Most of them weren’t even in your area.

We have come a long way from there. It is almost like Google knows what’s on our mind. It understands the intent and returns the most relevant results. It focuses on whether they just need information or want to buy something. Your keywords should also be able to identify user intent. For that, you have to take your keyword research game to the next level.

So, how do you find the code that deciphers your users’ intent?

We have got you covered! Let’s hear those five ideas that will take your keyword research game to the next level.

1. Savor the Alphabet Soup

The alphabet soup is an interesting trick many pros use. It may not be as technical as all those keyword research tools, but it offers solid results. It is like summoning the Google genie with the help of its own instant search tool.

Yes, you just type your niche plus the first letter of the alphabet i.e. ‘a’ and let Google finish your sentence for you. Repeat the same strategy for each letter until you are done with all twenty-six. Now you have a list of the hottest long tail keywords for your niche.

Now, this may seem too simple to be effective but it is being used by almost every SEO expert since the day instant search was launched. Since it fetches results based on the frequency of searches by the users, it will give you an idea of the most ‘searched’ aspect of your business.

The best thing about the Alphabet Soup Technique is that you might discover not just the right keywords but also the hottest titles for your future blogs.

2. Look for Questions

Look for the right questions and you will find the right answer to what your best keywords are. Quora, Answer.com, Stack Exchange are just a few of the places where people come to find answers. Try to look for questions related to your niche, and you will have a greater insight into your prospect’s mind.

What are they interested in? What are they intrigued about? These are just a few of the questions that will help you understand what will attract them.

You will be surprised by the number of long tail keywords you can extract out of these questions. Again, you can use these questions as topics for your future blogs. It doesn’t get more SEO friendly than that.

3. Get to the Bottom

Scroll down the SERP for any search term relevant to your niche, you will see a section that says ‘Searches related to whatever your search term was’. Ask any pro and they will tell you that this section is pure gold.

The terms listed under it are nothing but all the related long tail keywords. How did you miss that? Since most people never scroll below the first five searches, we can’t blame you for never finding it. You can stop at the list you found right there or you can use each of those terms as the seed keyword and generate more lists like that.

There you have it – a long list of long tail keywords for your business. Again, it’s the Google genie at work.

4. Follow Trends

Searchers are always looking for different things online. Real estate buyers are more interested in a house one season. The next season, everyone wants to buy an apartment. What once was your best keyword, might not be trending a few months later.

So, when conducting keyword research, you need to keep an eye on the trends. You can use Google Trends to analyze how user interest in a certain keyword has changed. You can tell if the popularity is increasing or decreasing. You can also see if the popularity is seasonal. It will give you a deeper understanding of your own niche. This is the information that can help you beyond SEO.

With Google Trends, you can even discover an array of most popular long tail keywords related to your niche. With that said, let us remind you that just like SEO, keyword research is something you will have to analyze and revise from time to time.

If you want to hire an SEO firm, make sure you ask questions about their keyword hunting strategy before making a final decision.

5. Go for Volume

Once you have a list of all the best keywords for your business, it is time to get down to business. Check for search volume and competition. Go for keywords that have high search volume but low competition. High competition means it is tougher to rank higher for those keywords because they are already being used by a number of competitors.

There are several keyword research tools you can use to check search volume and competition for each keyword. SEMrush, HitTail, and Google Planner are a few of the most commonly used ones.

Remember keyword volume is important for both app store optimization and website optimization.

Conclusion

Keyword research is not as simple as it sounds. If you want higher organic hits, you need to get your keywords right. You need to think beyond simple tools and brainstormed basic keywords. Get more creative with your approach and mix smart strategies with advanced tools.