In this article, I’m gonna explain you my proven five step keyword research blueprint. This is the same blueprint I’ve used to help grow my site to over a hundred fifty thousand unique visitors per month. I’m Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko the place where marketers turn for higher rankings and more traffic. And today you’re gonna learn exactly how to find the best keywords for your business. Keep reading. When I first got started with SEO my approach to keyword research was a total mess. Back then, I’ll fire up the latest and greatest keyword research tool and start typing in a bunch of random keywords. So, what’s wrong with this approach?
My competitors were doing the exact same thing. No wonder most of the keywords I found were insanely competitive. Now over the years I developed a keyword research blueprint that works really well. Specifically, this blueprint will help you uncover keywords that your competition doesn’t know about. So let’s dive right in with step number one of this process which is to identify your customer persona. This is a step that most people skip and it hurts them. (zapp) Aww. What was that? So what is identifying your customer persona actually mean? Let me explain with an example.
My site sells SEO Training products to small and medium size businesses. Most people in my position would open up a keyword research tool and type in things like; SEO training and SEO courses into the tool. What’s the problem with this approach? First off like I mentioned before your competition is doing the exact same thing. Which means you’re gonna run into the exact same set of keywords as your competitors. But more important than that this approach ignores a very important fact about your customer and that fact is this: your customer spends 99.9 percent of their time online not searching for what you sell.
In other words, if you only target your customer when they search for the exact thing you sell you’re missing out on hundreds of other opportunities to get in front of them. For example in my case I noticed that most of my customers were SEO agencies. So I went to forums and online communities where SEO agency owners tended to hang out. That way I could see what my target customer search for when he wasn’t searching for SEO training. And I discovered that there are dozens of keywords that my target customer typed into Google that were related to my products but had nothing to do with SEO training.
Keywords like on-page SEO list building how to get more traffic and SEO tools. And because I target these keywords I get my business in front of thousands of my target customers every single day. And when my target customers ready to buy I’m the first person that comes to mind. That’s the power of doing keyword research based on your customer persona. And all you need to do for this step is say my customer is X. For example, if you run an online flower shop you might say; my customer is a bride getting ready for her upcoming wedding. That was easy, right?
Now that you’ve identified your customer persona it’s time to find topics that your customer is interested in. Which leads us to the next step in my keyword research blueprint which is to find topics that your customers care about. So how do you find these topics? Its simple. Go to where your target customer hangs out online. Then look for topics that they tend to discuss. Seriously, that’s it. For example in my case, my customers tend to hang out at marketing-focused communities like inbound.org and growthhackers.com. In your case your target customer may hang out in places like Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, industry blogs and niche forums.
Once you’ve identified where your target customer hangs out it’s time to keep an eye out for topics that are important to them. For example in my case, I noticed that link building was one of the most popular topics in the online communities that my audience spent time on. So I wrote down link building as a topic. And I kept digging until I found at least five topics that my target customers talked about in online communities. Now that you have at least five topics it’s time to drill down into finding keywords. Here, my four favorite tactics for finding on-tap keywords that your competition doesn’t know about. First we have Google Suggest. To use this strategy, just head over to Google and type your topic into the search field. But don’t press Enter.
Instead, take a look at the keywords that Google suggests for you. These are usually awesome, long tail keywords that you can go after. As a quick pro tip, try putting a few spaces before your keyword. This will show you a completely different set of keyword ideas. Next up, we have quora.com. Quora is a massive community of people that ask and answer questions on every topic under the sun. All you need to do is search for your topic in Quora and see which keywords tend to show up. Our next tactic for finding keywords is to use Reddit. Like Quora, Reddit is a massive community of people that discuss every topic under the sun from pets to politics. To use Reddit for keyword research simply head over to Reddit and search for your topic. When you find a thread on your topic keep an eye out for words and phrases that tend to come up again and again. These make awesome keyword ideas.
Next up we have Google’s Searches Related To feature. To use this feature, simply type your topic into Google. Then scroll to the bottom of the results. Google then show you other searches that are related to the keyword you just put in. These are usually excellent long tail keywords that you can target with your content. Finally we have Wikipedia. What other site had in-depth articles for topics like mall walking The Lingerie Football League henlias, the five-second rule.
To use Wikipedia for keyword research just head over to Wikipedia and type in your topic. Then take a look at the other entries that that article links to. These are usually closely-related topics and even potential keywords themselves. Also, make sure to check out the table of contents for the entry. Again, these are usually keywords that are closely tied to your topic. Now that you have a list of potential keywords it’s time to choose the best from your list. How? By analyzing each keyword’s commercial intent. One of the first websites I ever built shot to the top of Google for my target keyword. And because that keyword got a ton of search volume that single ranking helped that site generate over 60,000 unique visitors per month. All good right? Wrong. Even thought that keyword got a ton of searches the people that searched for that keyword were flat broke. Which made monetizing that traffic impossible.
Sorry dude, I’m broke. That’s why today I pay very close attention to a keyword’s commercial intent. Commercial intent simply means how likely someone searching for a given keyword is to buy from you. Here’s how to find out if your keyword has a high commercial intent or not. First, head over to the Google Keyword Planner and type in one of your potential keywords. Then take a look at the Suggested bid column.
This shows you how much advertisers are spending in AdWords for a single click from this keyword. Obviously, the higher the suggested bid the more valuable that keyword is. Another simple way to size up commercial intent is to see how many AdWords ads appear when you search for your keyword in Google. If you search for your keyword and see lots of AdWords ads it means that people are chobbing at the bit to bring those searchers to their site. Okay, now it’s time for our last step which is to look at each keywords search volume. Back in the day, Google would show you exact search volume numbers in the Google Keyword Planner. Unfortunately, that ship has sailed.
Today, unless you’re running active AdWords campaigns they show you an extremely unhelpful search volume range. So how can you see how many people searched for your keyword? There are two freemium tools that get the job done. The first is semrush.com. To find a keyword search volume simply type the keyword into SEMrush and they’ll show you how many searches that keyword gets every month. Simple. You can also use kwfinder.com. Again, just pop your keyword into the tool and you’ll see the exact amount of searches that it gets every month. Now before you decide in a keyword I recommend one last bonus step. Now this step is completely optional. But in my experience it helps you find the absolute best keywords for your business. And that step is to look at your keyword’s growth in Google Trends.
For example, let’s say that you found two keywords that have similar search volume and commercial intent and you don’t know which one to pick. But when you look at Google Trends you notice that one keyword is growing in popularity and the other is dropping like a stone. Obviously you’d wanna go with the keyword that’s growing. A couple of years ago, this step saved my butt. I was debating whether to target one of two keywords. Google Keyword Tool or Google Keyword Planner? You see, Google has recently renamed the Google Keyword Tool the Google Keyword Planner. But the keyword Google Keyword Tool still got 20 times more searches than Google Keyword Planner.
So I almost pulled the trigger on Google Keyword Tool. That is until I looked at Google Trends. That’s when I noticed that searches for the Google Keyword Planner were skyrocketing while searched for the Google Keyword Tool were steadily dropping. So I decided to go with the Google Keyword Planner and it was a good move. I now rank in the top five for that keyword and it’s a keyword that’s growing in popularity everyday. Okay, so that’s all there is to my five step keyword research blueprint. If you follow the blueprint you should have a handful of excellent keywords that you can use.
And once you have those it’s a matter of creating landing pages and content optimized around those terms. If you liked this video, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel right now. It’s easy. Just click on the Subscribe button right here. Also, if you want exclusive SEO techniques that I only share with subscribers head over to backlinko.com and sign up for the newsletter. It’s free. Now I want to turn it over to you. Which step from this video was new to you? Or maybe you tried them all already. If so, you probably have a favorite technique that works well for you.
Either way, let me know by leaving a quick comment right now. Okay, let’s do it. I just ssshshh do that if… Oh man, I can’t this is a tough one. Good? Aight. Ahh, gotta move around more. Ah-haa-eh. In depth, pfft, pfft… okay. Donesky.