We do a lot of training around digital marketing and SEO. So, we’ve compiled some resources that can help enhance your keyword research when you’re finding ways to improve traffic to your company’s website. Here is our list of the best tools and how you would use them.
Topic (00:17): Top 5 Tools for Keyword Research
We do a lot of trainings around digital marketing and SEO for small businesses. So, we’ve compiled some resources that can help enhance your keyword research when you’re finding ways to improve traffic to your company’s website. Here is our list of the best tools and how you would use them.
#1 (1:06): SpyFu
Anytime we do keyword research, one of the starting points I like to do is spy on people. One of the first tools when I started learning how to spy on competitors, and really pay attention to what keywords they’re using to optimize their websites, was a tool called SpyFu. SpyFu gives you competitive intelligence by scanning your competitor’s website. It’ll tell you what keywords they’re using and how those keywords rank. It will also do the same thing for paid advertising campaigns – it’ll scan their paid ads and tell you what keywords they purchased in ad auctions. This will give you ideas that you can use.
Using a tool like SpyFu is not about stealing competitor’s keywords. We typically have our own ideas when we’re doing keyword research. There may be a little overlap, but it’s also just helpful to know what they rank on. Sometimes when they rank on these keywords organically, some of the ranking is intentional: they program their website with those keywords, and they’ve been focusing their SEO strategy with those keywords as part of it. But keep in mind, if you ever do that kind of research, know that they’re not intentionally trying to rank on every keyword; some of those keywords they just naturally rank on without even trying. For example, just by putting your company name on your website, you might rank on your company name. You didn’t try extremely hard to do it, it’s unique to your site, so you rank on it.
#2 (3:40): SEMrush
SEMrush is another tool that we utilize in our agency to help us do SEO research on competitors. We also use it to analyze our own website to track what keywords we currently rank on. This will give us some data on how much volume certain keywords are generating in terms of traffic to our website. How do we rank organically if someone were to go to Google, Yahoo or Bing, and type in that keyword? Is it a keyword our website gets found on or is it something we’re aspiring to?
Update – Pro Tip: When compiling your list of keywords to improve SEO for your business, especially for keywords you’re aspiring to get found with, this is when you should refer back to the results of your digital marketing assessment (that we hope you conducted before getting started on restrategizing your SEO!). Compare the keywords you’re currently ranking on with your marketing goals and values, and see how that can inform where you want to shift your aspirational keywords toward.
#3 (4:34): Ahrefs
Ahrefs is also a very popular tool. Again, it’s going to let you look at some of your competitor’s keywords, let you keep an eye on your own keywords, and see how your rank is doing. This is particularly important if your company has hired someone externally to do SEO for your business. You need to be keeping tabs on how you’re doing with those keywords.
Competitor research is a great way to start doing some keyword research if you’re trying to figure out what keywords you should be ranking for. Look and see, what are people ranking on out there, what are they optimized for? The second way, of course, is just come up with it yourself. If you’re going to do any kind of keyword research, you first need to have your own ideas for asking the question, what is it that people might be typing in? Or what would they go type in into a Google search that would prompt my website to appear if you’re interested in my product or service? For example, if I’m a company that does dog grooming services, and I want to get found, what’s something that someone would type in if they went to Google? They may type in “dog grooming” or “dog groomers near me”, or “dog hair wash” or “doggy-wash centers”, or something along those lines. So, those will be the keywords that you might enter into any tool and from there, it’ll generate ideas for you.
#4 (6:41): Ubersuggest
A tool I like to use to generate keyword ideas after we’ve manually come up with our own, is Ubersuggest. It’s actually a tool that is owned by Neil Patel, and now you use it through his website. The cool thing about Ubersuggest is it’ll give you dozens of keyword ideas, and also give you an idea of if these keywords will be easy or difficult for you to rank on, organically searched or in a paid advertising search. It will also show you what websites currently rank for that keyword. That way, you get an idea of who you’re up against if you decide to try to rank on this keyword, and if they are your competitors or not. The thing I love about Ubersuggest is that it’s completely free. You don’t have to be logged in to use it so you can go straight to the website and start using the tool right away.
Update – Pro Tip: Since this SEO tool is so seamless to use, it’s even good for before you even have a website at all. Should that be the case for your business, you can check out some more of our top tools for ecommerce businesses on our 10 Minute Marketing podcast.
#5 (8:09): Google’s Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is also free, but the only downside I would say in comparison to something like Ubersuggest is that with Google’s Keyword Planner, you have to be logged in. So, you need to have a Gmail account or G Suite business email. You have to log in through Google Ads (you don’t have to be running ads, just have the account, which is completely free to set up). Once you’ve logged into Google Ads, you need to go to the Tools section and click on Keyword Planner. The keyword planner will generate some ideas for you and show you volume for organic searches. So, when you’re trying to rank for SEO reasons, organically, that tool is still a really great one to use.
Update – Pro Tip: Once you’ve used Keyword Planner to improve your business’s SEO, the Google Ads account you need to have used is still a great tool for your digital marketing program. To learn why Google Ads may be beneficial to your strategies, and how to apply your keyword research to creating a lead generation or display ad there, check out our blog here.
Pro Tip (9:41): Next Steps
These are some good tools that will get you started in the right direction. And then from there, you can start building out your keyword list. But then after you have this list of keywords and these ideas, what do you do with it?
The next step is to look at how you can integrate those keywords into your website. If you come up with a list of 20-25 keywords, just put them in chunks on your website. Take the first five and get those distributed throughout your website. If you are using someone externally to manage your SEO for your business, give them to that person managing your SEO. From there, once you’ve started ranking on those five, move to the next five. So, it’s almost like you’re taking the approach in small steps or little bundles, but you’re ranking in the process to make sure that you’re reaping the benefit.
Final Thoughts (10:51)
SEO is a marathon, not a sprint, not a race. It’s about staying in it for the long haul. That’s what it will take to be really successful at it. So, when you do start focusing on those keywords after you’ve done the research, just know it could take anywhere from three to six months before you start to rank on some of them, especially if you have a new website.
As a digital marketing agency, we could go on and on about search engine optimization. So, we will. Here’s a few more expert SEO tips for your business:
Once you’ve implemented your keyword research, make sure to also optimize your Google My Business profile to rise in the ranks even further. Fill out as many details as you can and include some of your top keywords.
If your business’s website is hosted on WordPress, one plugin you can utilize to help put your keyword research into action is YoastSEO. This tool lets you add those keywords into your website and some of the technical places that a developer would normally put those keywords. Places like page titles, page descriptions, your URL, etc., to help improve your site’s ranking.
Your website and social media aren’t the only platforms you need to optimize your SEO on. Voice SEO accounts for users who speak into their device to acquire the information they seek as opposed to manually inputting a query into a search box.
As always, you can follow us at gogettergroup.com/blog or sonjacrystal.com/blog. Check out our blogs and follow us for more updates. If you need to get trained on any of these topics, we offer training as well, so you can always reach out to someone on our team to get more information. Join us again on our next 10-Minute Marketing Podcast where we’ll cover more digital marketing topics. Thank you!
This article was last updated in March 2022.