Keywords play a major role in your SEO success. With proper keyword research, you can optimize your site for high-volume keywords and reach your target audience.
If you follow their lead, you can say goodbye to standing out. So don’t go in that direction.
Instead, you need to take a page from Apple’s book and think different!
In this post, you’ll learn how to look for keywords from unlikely sources.
Get customer feedback
Your customers are the people you’re targeting, right? So, what better way to know what they want than to talk to them.
By talking to them, you’ll find out firsthand what they’re struggling with. You can also ask them to point out the strengths and weaknesses of your product.
Direct discussions with your audience will help you get to the bottom of any concern. You can then use this as an opportunity to improve your brand and, of course, identify potential keyword ideas based on the improvements they suggest.
If talking face-to-face with your customers isn’t an option, don’t fret. You can get their feedback via other means such as:
On-site search. Setting up Site Search gives you access to search data. This allows you to identify the keywords people are searching for on your site’s search bar.
Online surveys. With platforms like Google Forms, you can easily whip up online surveys to help get to know your audience better. It features a drag-and-drop interface that makes it possible to create visual surveys within minutes.
Customer feedback can help you understand the language they use. And from their choice of words, you can discover new keyword ideas you haven’t heard of.
Take it from Ahrefs. You see, the people that run the popular tool set for SEO analysis handed their customers a form as part of an onboarding process. And one of the questions in the said form was about what they were looking to do with the tool.
Here are some notable responses:
Think like a customer
84% of organizations can see how important customer experience is.
Great user experiences can significantly drive up revenue, boost buyer confidence, and stimulate brand loyalty. That is why the majority of startups and small businesses nowadays prioritize UX design.
Be like them. Take a break from your usual routine. And instead, walk a mile in your customer’s shoes.
As you are doing so, be sure to think about what your typical customers would search for. It’s a genius way of finding out what they want – and a genius way of giving it to them!
Let’s use a classic example and say you run a store that sells greeting cards. If you use Google Keyword Planner for this, some of the keyword ideas you’ll get after searching for “greeting cards” are as follows:
•Funny birthday cards
•Photo Christmas cards
•Birthday cards online
Using these keywords is good because as you can see, they have high search volumes. The keyword “ecards”, for instance, is the subject of 10K-100K average monthly searches.
This means that there are 10,000 to 100,000 people who are entering these exact words on Google on a monthly basis.
But as you can also see, the competition for these keywords is high. If you optimize your site for them, you should be ready for the heavy competition.
Sure, there are people who are already looking to check out the content for those keywords. But what’s stopping them from checking out similar content from other (and more popular) businesses?
Now, high competition isn’t a problem if you’re already one of the frontrunners in your industry. If your foundation is rock-solid, the idea of competition shouldn’t scare you.
But if you’re still yet to make waves, it’s best to steer clear from highly competitive keywords. Otherwise, you’ll end up pitting yourself against big brands.
Think of it like you’re that small fish in an ocean. And your competitors are the big ones!
The result? They’ll unapologetically crush you.
To prevent this, the solution is simple: be more specific.
And luckily, thinking like a customer will do the trick. If you think like one of your customers, you’ll come up with keywords that people – and not tools – are actually using.
Let’s follow up on the example above, in which you sell greeting cards. Some of these keywords are:
- Best greeting cards for mom’s birthday
- Funniest greeting card for your colleague
- Photo Christmas cards for parents
- Romantic greeting cards for girlfriend
Granted, these keywords probably have very low search volumes compared to competitive ones. But then again, you can always mix up your keyword strategy and target multiple search terms at the same time. Having a few “wild-card” keywords just might give your brand the lift it needs to stand out.
Visit sites with user-generated content
Did you know that campaigns with user-generated content see a 50% increase in engagement?
It’s no surprise, given the fact that user-generated content can make any page or blog post significantly more relatable.
Put simply, user-generated content is anything published by users themselves. It can be an Instagram post, product review, forum post, or any form of online content that discusses a brand.
As you may have guessed, these types of user-generated content could be loaded with untapped keyword ideas.
Sites like Quora and Reddit will be great places to start.
Remember, online communities and Q&A sites are some people’s go-to platform for the information they need. If people can’t find the answers to their questions in search engines, it’s off to these places they go.
To go utilize these sites for keyword research, simply perform a good, old-fashioned search using their built-in search bar. From there, analyze the results to see which string of words can potentially be used as keywords.
Here’s an example. On Quora, I searched for “SEO” and among the results, these are some keywords I’ll use:
•Best SEO companies
•SEO or PPC
•Best SEO plugins for WordPress
In some keywords, Quora will provide you with search suggestions right off the bat. You just need to throw in terms often used in questions, like “how,” “what,” and “where.”
Take a look at what happens when I added the word “how” to the term “SEO” on Quora.
In the search suggestions above, some of the keywords I can pluck out are “scalable SEO strategy” and “tools for SEO professionals.”
Look at related searches
Go to Google and enter your main keyword. Once the results are in, just scroll to the bottom.
That’s where you can find these related search keywords!
For example, I searched for “SEO specialist”. When I scrolled down, I got these suggestions:
A benefit of these searches is that they provide you with variations of your original search term. This will give your content more chances of generating organic traffic.
Between short-tail and long-tail keywords, the latter can elevate your site better. After all, long-tail keywords are responsible for 70% of web searches.
With a long-tail keyword strategy, you can attract a narrower audience driven by a more specific goal -- and convert them incredibly well.
Using the same example above, the long-tail keywords that I can use from Google’s related searches section are as follows:
- SEO specialist near me
- SEO specialist skills
- SEO specialist salary in India
It’s also a big plus that these searches have been used before — hence, why they appear as related searches. So if you optimize your site for these keywords, you can bank on the fact that you already have potential readers.
Check out social networks
You see, people who post on these sites tend to do so with nearly zero editing.
And while social media posts aren’t always a pleasant sight for the grammar-conscious, they can still reveal unique keyword opportunities all the same.
Here’s the thing: raw, unedited posts on social media reflect how the online audience hold conversations in real life. Just like sites like Quora and Reddit, social networks are where people go to talk about their experiences, feedback, complaints, and suggestions to brands.
If search engines fail to enlighten them about their concerns, they’ll air them out on these places.
To get the ball rolling, just go to any social network. Then, head on over to pages or groups that thousands of people follow. And finally, look through the posts and keep an eye out for potential keywords.
For example, these are a couple of posts I encountered when I looked through SEO-related groups on Facebook:
And from here, I’ll go with the keywords I boxed:
- Fluent in search marketing
- SEO is dead
- How SEO will change in 2019
Remember, identifying these golden keyword opportunities is all about thinking outside of the box. If you only rely on the generic keyword research methods, that’s all you’re going to be — a generic brand.
With the tips above, you’ll know that unique keywords are just out there. And they’re ripe for the picking!
About the author
This blog is a journal documenting my thoughts, case studies, challenges and things i have learned, tweak and evolve on my internet marketing journey .