Keyword research has changed a lot over the past few years. Keywords are no longer the sole focus of rankings; search engine optimization now includes context, intent, location, authority, citations, and more.
Fortunately, there are helpful tools for the first stage of keyword research: When you have a few core terms and you are looking to expand your keyword list before digging deeper. But these tools will do more than just extend your core terms; they’ll be able to research context, related concepts and entities, and natural language wording.
The very first step of any new keyword research project is sitting down and making a list of words you would use if you were to search for something that’s related to your site. You think which questions you’d ask, which problems your site is solving, and how you’d use Google to find answers and solutions. Sometimes it’s hard to come up with the initial list of core search terms you’d then build on. Seed Keywords is free and simple. You can create a scenario, like describing the situation in which a user would need to find something.
Generate a unique link for your scenario. Share that link through social media, email, Skype, etc. to get your friends and followers submit the search terms they would use in that scenario. Then you wait for the results to come. You can search Google for those submitted terms right away to quickly evaluate whether they are a good fit.
When you need to do keyword research from scratch, search for the core term and then extract words and phrases that tend to occur in the search titles and snippets next to my keyword. That approach is nothing new, but it’s still underutilized. DeeperCloud is the fastest way to do that research it uses custom Google search. You have an option to see words or phrases neighboring your search term in Google results.
More often than not, local keywords are easiest to rank high for, and they mostly convert very well. SERPstat lets you set the filter called “Only keywords with toponyms,” which allows you to see most popular locations associated with your core keyword. What’s more, the tool allows you to filter keywords by presence of blended search results and special search features. For example, you can see your location-based keywords only when they trigger the knowledge graph to quickly see navigational search queries like when users’ intent seems to be to navigate to a particular website/brand.
Google is looking for content that implements known entities and introduces new ones. It’s building the search engine where entities and their context play the decisive role. The abovementioned tools will help you get a handle on your keyword strategy and setup.