Keyword research is a crucial part of any SEO or content marketing strategy. Choosing the right keywords to target can make or break your efforts to rank higher in search engines and attract more visitors to your site.
The problem is, thorough keyword research takes time – more than most of us have to spare. But did you know you can perform effective keyword research in as little as 5 minutes?
In this article, I’ll explain how to research and identify lucrative keywords quickly, so you can start ranking for terms that will drive qualified traffic to your site. Follow these simple steps for fast yet robust keyword research.
Identify Seed Keywords
The first step is coming up with a few seed keywords and phrases that relate to your topic. These will serve as the basis for your research.
To generate seed keywords:
- Brainstorm words and phrases you’d expect users to search when looking for content like yours. Think like your target audience.
- Leverage existing content like blog posts and web pages. Extract keywords and topics you’re already ranking for.
- Use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword Planner or SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool. Enter a url, topic or keyword and it will suggest related terms.
The goal is to end up with 5-10 seed keywords to expand upon. Don’t overthink it – even one good seed keyword is enough to get started.
Use Google Suggest and Autocomplete
Once you have a few seed keywords, it’s time to leverage Google’s vast trove of search data.
Google Suggest and Autocomplete surfaces the most popular search terms related to your seed keywords.
- Go to Google.com and type one of your seed keywords in the search bar.
- Scroll down the dropdown menu that appears and look at the suggested search terms.
- Compile a list of suggested keywords from all your searches. Look for high search volume terms that align with your goals.
Tip: You can refine suggestions by typing additional keywords after your seed term, like “seed keyword+definition”
Use Related Searches
Related searches take keyword research a step further by showing you what queries other users searched for in conjunction with your seed keyword.
To leverage related searches:
- Google your seed keyword and click on a result to open it.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and locate the section “People also ask” or “Searches related to”.
- Compile related keywords and questions into your list. Focus on ones with high search volumes.
- Rinse and repeat for each seed keyword.
Related searches are a goldmine for discovering lucrative long tail versions of your core keywords.
Cross-Reference With Keyword Data
By now you’ve generated dozens of potential keywords to target. The next step is validating them against keyword data to gauge viability.
Cross-reference your list against keyword research tools such as:
- Google Keyword Planner – Shows monthly searches and competition data. Focus on decent search volume and low-medium competition terms.
- SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool – Provides search volume, CPC data, and more. Look for high volume and low competition.
- Ubersuggest – Free tool that gives search volume and related keywords. Great for a quick overview.
I recommend compiling your keywords into a spreadsheet or document so you can easily filter and analyze the data. Cut any keywords that lack search volume potential or are too competitive to realistically rank for.
Organize and Prioritize
The final step is to organize your keywords so you can start targeting them immediately.
- Group keywords into topics and themes. This forms the outline for content creation.
- Prioritize keywords by search volume, competitiveness, relevancy for your business, etc. Highest potential terms should be targeted first.
- Focus on 1-2 core terms that encompass your main topics.
- Fill out the list with 4-5 secondary keywords and dozens of long tail versions for each core term. This provides search diversity.
And that’s it! In around 5 minutes you’ve identified a list of profitable, low competition keywords to focus your SEO and content efforts on. Now implement what you learned:
- Optimize existing content for your target keywords
- Create fresh content designed around ranking for those terms
- Promote your content to earn backlinks and traction for keywords
Rinse and repeat this quick yet effective keyword research process before creating any new content. Choosing the right keywords will empower all your SEO and content marketing efforts!
Keyword research may seem like a daunting, time-intensive task. But as this article showed, you can perform effective keyword research in as little as 5 minutes. By leveraging seed keywords, Google’s Suggest and Related Searches, and cross-referencing with keyword data, you can quickly generate a prioritized list of profitable, low competition keywords to target.
Consistently doing quick yet robust keyword research will empower all your SEO and content creation efforts, leading to higher rankings, more qualified organic traffic, and greater success for your website. So next time you need keywords, remember these steps and you’ll be researching like a pro in just minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many keywords should I target at once?
Ideally focus on 1-2 core keywords, 4-5 secondary keywords, and 10+ long tail variations of each core term. Targeting 6-12 total keywords helps concentrate your efforts while providing enough variety.
What keyword metrics should I pay attention to?
The most important metrics are search volume (how often a term is searched) and keyword difficulty (how hard it is to rank for a keyword). Look for higher search volumes and lower difficulties during research.
How often should I do keyword research?
Ideally every 1-2 months to account for changing search trends. But even 5 minutes of research before creating new content can make a difference in targeting better keywords.
What tools do you recommend for keyword research?
Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool, and Ubersuggest are great free options. Ahrefs, Moz, and Keywordtool.io offer more advanced paid solutions.
Should I only target keywords for which I can rank #1?
No – targeting long tail keywords where you can rank on the first page (positions 1-10) is often easier and can drive a lot of traffic. Shoot for a mix of terms you can rank at #1 for and those you can get onto page one.
How can I turn my keyword list into content?
Group keywords by theme to form content topics and outlines. Turn each keyword into a blog post title or meta description. Make sure to work core and secondary terms into headers, text, titles, URLs, etc.
What comes after I’ve done keyword research?
Use your keyword list to optimize existing content and create new content designed specifically to target those terms. Promote that content to earn backlinks. Analyze keyword rankings and traffic regularly to inform the next research cycle.
Is keyword research necessary for SEO?
Absolutely – researching and targeting keywords that people are searching for is fundamental to SEO and ranking well. No amount of technical optimization can overcome targeting the wrong keywords.
How do I save my keyword lists for future use?
Use a spreadsheet, Google Docs, or keyword research software to store keywords for reference later. This allows you to track which terms you’ve targeted and optimized for already. Update with each new research cycle.