In last week’s article we talked about all the reasons why businesses need to do keyword research FIRST. If you make things up (like what you “think” your customers search for), you’ll miss out on a very long list of keywords that your customers actually want to know about. Furthermore, doing the keyword research will generate a LONG list of topics to write about, blog about, create videos, podcasts and a variety of other types of content. Easy peasy.

So just where do you actually start to find all this great stuff that people want to know? You have lots of choices available to you. There are free keyword research tools, some obvious, some not so much. There are paid tools too, that will give you varying results. None of them are perfect, and none will give you THE answer that will drive millions of raving, drooling fans to your doorstep. But you have to start somewhere, right?

I like to start with the easy tools that cost nothing (did I mention I like “free”?). I also prefer to get the data straight from Google, because they’re going to be the most accurate. There are three tools that Google gives you some data, two of which I prefer, and will discuss here:

  • Google Suggestions
  • Google Trends
  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner (formerly Google Keyword Tool)

All have there merits, and all have their warts. Most other tools available on the market either pull data from other systems, or utilize the Google Adwords API to pull data into their tool.

Google Suggestions Is Simple and Easy To Use

You’ve probably used Google Suggestions without even really thinking about it, or noticing that it could be a keyword research tool. It’s where I like to start.

Sample Search with Google Suggestions for Keyword ResearchGo to the Google home page and start typing. As you type, you’ll notice that Google gives you some ideas, trying to anticipate what you’re going to type into the search bar. Let’s say that you’ve started a blog (or business) that is all about dog training. Type dog training into the search bar (but don’t press [Enter] or click [Google Search]. You’ll notice a drop down from the search bar that has up to 10 other possible choices, like:

  • dog training tips
  • dog training videos
  • dog training collars
  • dog training classes
  • dog training books

and probably a few location-specific terms (your results will vary). So what exactly is this all about? Basically Google is trying to anticipate what you’re looking for, and is suggesting the top 10 things that OTHER people in your area also search for. The location-specific terms are probably near where you live, and yes people search for those too. But what I’m interested in are the “tips”, “videos”, “collars”, etc. Those are the things that make for great content for your website.

Let’s take this a little further. Continue the typing, and add the word videos to your search, so it reads dog training videos (be sure to put the space at the end). Now you’ll see even more choices:

  • dog training videos online
  • dog training videos for kids
  • dog training videos on youtube

and so on. All great ideas. For instance, I could see a whole series of training videos teaching kids how to work with their dog, be patient, use treats, not negative reinforcement (i.e. spanking) and so on. Of course all of these can be a channel on YouTube that leads people back to your website with a link in the Description, and an offer in the video itself.

Sample Google Suggestions for Keyword ResearchType in Pomeranian puppy training and now you’ll see ideas around tips, biting, house training, and so on. All fantastic articles about the Pom. Pick other breeds, and you’ll see more ideas. Write all of these down in a log that you can use to generate content. Then use them to generate one page of content in your blog for each topic.

It’s critical that EVERY page of your blog (or website) has ONE topic per page, which we’ll explain in the near future when we show you how to optimize it. The reason is, that if someone is searching for information how to train their Pom, you want to give them VERY specific information about that very topic. If it’s too generic or watered down for less specifics, people won’t consume it, and bounce out. Give them exactly what they want based on their search term. This helps the search engines and helps the reader.

Next time, we’ll talk about another keyword tool, which is super cool, Google Trends.

Note: This is a series of weekly articles designed for the novice to learn step-by-step how to improve their position on the search engines. Each step takes approximately 15 minutes, and are all easy to implement. If you, the reader, takes each step one by one each week, you’ll soon be getting better search engine results, and hopefully more qualified visitors to your website.