Google has been and continues to be the dominant player in keyword research for content writing and blogs. Its powerful tools and free methods for keyword research are user-friendly and easy to use. The keywords retrieved out of its research methods have been studied to be effective in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, and boosting up website traffic. The searching ability of the tools is faster and efficient compared to the other keyword research tools and methods available on the internet.
In this article, we will discuss the 6 Free Methods for keyword research using Google for your reference and guidance. We will focus on the salient features and benefits of each of the methods. A recommendation is to analyze the features and advantages of each of the tools and methods and select the best fit for your business or company.
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most popular free methods for keyword research by Google. If you are unsure of the keywords to be used in your content, you can blindly trust the tool to provide you a list of keywords. The keywords can be leveraged as Primary and Secondary in your article.
The Steps for accessing Google Keyword Planner:
- Create a Google Ads or Adwords account before accessing the keywords planner. You will be prompted to enter your email address and website for creating the account.
Please note: Creating an AdWords account does not mandate you to run ads or campaigns via Google. It’s just a starting point to use the planner.
- Login to the tool using the email id and password selected. You can locate the Tools icon at the top of the page. Click on it to open the list of tools of Google. Select the Keyword Planner under the Planning menu.
- The two tools of the keyword planner open up – “Discover New Keywords” and “Get search volume and forecasts”.
How to use “Discover New Keywords”?
- Click on the tool icon and it will ask to enter the products or services that are related to your business. A suggestion is to enter the keywords that you feel are relevant and strategic for your business. In other words, the phrases that accurately describe your business for example fashion, lifestyle, etc.
- Click on Get results to retrieve the list of keywords that can be used for your website or content.
How to use “Get search volume and forecasts”?
- If you have a long list of keywords then the tool is useful. You need to enter the list in its search bar
- The results of the keyword search volume will be displayed for example Impressions, Clicks, Cost, Click Through Rate (CTR), Average Click per cost (CPC), etc.
Let us now try to understand how to shortlist the keywords retrieved by the tool above:
- The keyword search results display the list with their average monthly searches and competition (High, Medium, or Low).
- Since the search is also relevant to people looking for advertising their pages in Google, hence it also displays the amount you need to pay or the bid amount.
- Now select the keywords based on the high average search volume and the higher bid amount.
- Check out websites that rank high in Google with respect to the keywords selected. If you feel you can outbid the websites, then finalize the keywords and start using them
Fact to remember
The tool will provide you the appropriate and accurate list of keywords, but selecting the correct one for your business will require further deep dive into the current websites that rank higher in Google.
Google Trends is one of the preferred and commonly used free methods for keyword research. Whenever you enter a keyword or a search word in the search console it shows how frequently the word has been used in the search engine. This provides good guidance in analyzing and comparing the different keywords relevant to your website and content. Besides, event-triggered spikes are displayed in its search volume functionality.
The Steps to use Google Trends:
- Visit Google Trends and check the search words which are currently trending
- Select a topic of your interest and related to your website or article
- Alternatively, you can add in your preferred keyword and check for the search volume
- You can vary the location, time, industry, category for finetuning your search and check for the trends
What does the Google Trends graphs depict?
- Google Trends displays a graph plotted over a period of time for a particular location or multiple locations. The graph depicts the peaks for the keyword search. You can either schedule your content targeting the audience of the locations where the keyword search volume is highest. Also, you can select the peak time for posting your content to boost up your traffic.
- For an advertiser, the graph aids in deciding the peak periods for investing in ads. You need to allocate more budget at those periods since the cost per click on AdWords will be higher compared to the other time periods.
- A heat map shows how the search volume of a particular keyword varies in different locations
How can you utilize the data displayed in Google Trends?
You can leverage the search results and analytics displayed in Google Trends for various purposes, the key ones being:
- SEO marketing and Content marketing – You can write about the trending topics based on the keywords. Check the keywords people are looking for in your business sector or market before deciding on the topics.
- Paid Advertising and Campaigns – Check out the trending keywords relevant to your business and their peak periods with maximum search volume. Plan and allocate your budget accordingly.
- Generate creative ads – Trending topics assist in creating campaigns in social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
Google AutoComplete was previously known as Google Suggest. The tool is one of the best free methods for keyword research. It has the ability to search and suggest keywords faster and quicker than any other tool. The tool has been very useful for SEO marketing enabling digital marketers, online business owners, and entrepreneurs to perform extensive keyword research.
Where can you find Google AutoComplete?
Any app for Google that has a search box, incorporates the functionality and capability of Google AutoComplete.
How is it powered to function efficiently?
The tool utilizes the deep machine learning capabilities of RankBrain. RankBrain is the key component of the AI and machine-learning and search algorithm of Google. It has the capability to read signals and search patterns, displaying results and page rankings. Google AutoComplete was the result or outcome of its predictive models.
The Steps for using Google AutoComplete
- Type a keyword related to your business or article in the Google search box
- The search box shows a drop-down list of the possible search queries as predicted by the Google AutoComplete tool
- The predictions of the search queries depend upon individual search history, popular search words or phrases by people and the words typed
- You can select any of the search queries from the drop-down list and check the display results
Interesting facts about the tool
- The algorithm embedded within Google AutoComplete personalizes search results for you, based on our browsing habits and search
- The first two search queries that appear on the drop-down list are normally based on your historical searches. The rest are based on the popular searches on the internet.
- Another aspect considered by the algorithm is the relevancy of the search words to the displayed search queries
Google Search Console is one of the best SEO tools in the market and is free to use. It was earlier known popularly as Google Webmaster tools. The tools guides in monitoring, analyzing, and troubleshooting the appearance of your website through its search results.
How to start using Google Search Console?
- Sign in to the tool with your Google account
- Enter your domain name or the URL of your website. It allows both the options
- If you want to restrict the access of the console to a specific page of your website you can do so else you can provide full access by entering the domain name
- The next step is to verify the domain property. Either select the domain service provider from the list of the search console or select “Any DNS Service provider” from the list. If you select the second option then you need to provide the name of the DNS provider and save it
- Click on Verify to initiate the verification process
- The next step is to verify the URL prefix property. The recommended verification method is to upload the HTML file to your website. The other methods are via Google Tag, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Domain name provider. The last method is the simplest method among all of them.
Now let us try to understand how you can improve your SEO by leveraging the keyword research feature of Google Search Console.
The ways are mentioned as follows:
- Check the underperforming keywords and improve their rankings. The underperforming keywords are those which are not driving in traffic. The reason being while searching those keywords in Google, people click on the high-ranking one or two websites and do not navigate to the other websites ranked below. Hence you need to identify them and check which pages or articles of your website are using them. Try to add relevant internal links, improve page speed and on-page SEO and also try getting more backlinks to the page
- The console helps in identifying the pages with low CTR but with high keyword rankings. It displays the keywords with the number of clicks, impressions, CTR, and the position or ranking. It may happen that Google is featuring any snippet, video, or ad that is similar to the keyword being used. You can optimize the relevant page so that Google features snippet or video carousel on your page, thus improving the CTR
- The tool has an option to provide a Sitemaps report. The report shows results only if you submit a sitemap to Google to verify if there are any crawling issues or wrong indexing of URLs. A section in the report mentions the “Excluded pages”. Once identified you need to delete the post and submit it after re-writing it.
Google surveys are now turning out to be one of the essential free methods for keyword research. Only instead of searching for some specific keywords, you need to enter the survey questions related to specific website content or page.
How does Google Surveys function?
- It is essentially a market research tool
- Gathers data and information from the survey questions which you enter into the tool
- Web-users answer the survey questions and get access to high-quality content. The contents are part of Google’s display network
- Content publishers thus get paid as their users answer the survey questions
- Google amalgamates the responses and analyzes them through its interactive online interface
- The survey questions selected and entered into the tool must be shortlisted and screened so as to target the potential audience of the relevant business. If you target all users then the results expected may not be accurate. Besides you can focus on a specific age group, gender, or location.
The tool is one step above a normal keyword search tool. It assists in ensuring that the article or website content of the page is capable of addressing the consumer intent. The tool can predict the market trends and assist in selecting topics with the relevant keywords; thus increasing the organic traffic to your website.
The steps for using Google Surveys are as follows:
- Define your audience by specifying locations, age groups, genders
- Design the survey questions
- Finalize the price you pay for each complete response to the survey
- View the results of the responses through graphs and charts
Google Shopping Insights
Google Shopping Insights is a free tool from Google. Well, conventionally it is not one of the complete free methods for keyword research but related to it. Instead of searching for keywords of all categories, the tool provides the facilities to search for shopping-related keywords or search phrases. The tool is essentially designed for retail consumers and e-commerce sellers to search for popular brands and products.
The key functions or features of the tool
- You can compare 4 products or product categories depending on their search results over a period of time. You can filter the results location wise too
- The tools aids in understanding whether consumers search for products or product categories by keying one particular keyword or a phrase
What are the benefits of using Google Shopping Insights?
- Helps to conduct market research of the products by analyzing the searches by consumers
- Insight into the popularity of the products in various locations and hence decide on the promotions and target customers accordingly
- You can predict the performance of the products based on locations, period of time, and also the devices being used for search. The predictions will eventually help you to plan and evaluate your focus points, whether it should be communication, merchandising, or marketing
- Aids in improving and optimizing the user experience of your e-commerce store to increase the clicks, traffic, and visitors to the website
- You can understand the customer buying patterns and decide on which location and time of the year to select for promoting your products
The six free methods of keyword research from Google, described in the article, are popular and preferred among users across different geographies and industrial sectors. They have resolved the dilemma of online business owners and e-commerce owners in searching the appropriate keywords to boost up website traffic.