If you’ve ever done your own keyword research, you already know what a time-draining, mind-numbing, expensive (and sometimes fruitless) process it can be.
Granted, SEO tools like Moz and Ahrefs can help lighten the load but they’re not cheap. You could be spending thousands of dollars per year on a subscription and there’s no guarantee your keywords will help you earn it back.
I’m sharing my top hacks I use for clients to choose effective keywords in a fraction of the time it used to take me:
Hack #1 — Focus on User Intent
Keyword success largely comes from understanding user intent. In most cases, users are conducting searches to fit within a specific context, such as making a purchase, finding a service, learning information, or navigating to a location.
Depending on your user’s intent, you’ll want to look for a few “hint words” when selecting keywords. For example, if your content’s goal is to sell dog food, the keyword “where to buy dog food” matches the user intent better than just “dog food”.
Hack #2 — Get Inspiration from Google Autocomplete
Have you ever typed part of a search in Google and Google tries to guess your query? This “autocomplete” feature can give you mega inspiration for keywords — no SEO tools required!
Google offers these suggestions based on popular searches. While you won’t have as much as data, such as keyword difficulty or search volume, it can help you get a feel for what people are searching for.
Start typing part of a search related to your product or service and see what pops up. In any case, it can help you come up with ideas for your content.
Hack #3 — Stalk Your Competitors
SEO tools offer a backdoor glimpse of how your competitors stack up. You can find out the keywords they rank for, where their backlinks are coming from, what their high-performing pages are, and other secrets you can use to your advantage.
While copying their strategy might not yield you the same results, it can give you tons of inspiration and provide a starting point.
Bonus Hack — Outsource Your Keyword Research
Let someone else handle the headache. If you’re spending a lot of time on research, don’t want to shell out hundreds for SEO tools, or want the best results, you can outsource your keyword research, often for less than what it costs to do it yourself.
Got questions? Feel free to reach out and let’s collaborate on crafting high-quality content with high-performing keywords to get you the best results.