It can be easy to get locked into a pattern when it comes to keywords and concepts in marketing. You find what works, and it works for awhile, so you stick to it. The problem is that it won’t work forever.
By the time you begin to see results tapering off, you have to scramble to research new ones. You end up losing ground that way, and have to make it up while establishing a new path to exploit.
Your best bet is to continuously research both keywords and concepts that are beneficial to your brand. Keeping up to date and experimenting as you go will keep your progress from ever dipping. Having the right keyword research tools and tactics will help you along the way.
Keyword Research Tools and Tactics
1. SERPstat: Research Niche Questions
I really like SERPstat, and I actually use it more than Google Keyword Planner. As a direct alternative to the giant’s monitoring system, they have really worked hard to make something special.
It works by taking your info and establishing up to hundreds of unique long tails for you to research and try. It works accurately, extensively, and it has a very extensive free version which you can use without even signing up.
Best for: Customer behavior research and content inspiration. If you export the list of question queries, you have an almost complete plan for a Q&A section for your site, like FAQ, Knowledge Base and Resources.
2. Page Comparison: Extract Keywords from Competitors’ Pages
Page Comparison is a free and easy tool that compares two or more pages. The most useful part of the analysis is extracted keyword phrases and how they are used on each page. While keyword density is a bit of an outdated concept, this tool is useful because it lets you see which words your competitors are focusing on.
Best for: When you have a solid insight into phrases your competitors’ sites are using as well as where they are using them, it becomes much easier to optimize your own site. Tools like BlueJay are very effective at showing you which areas of your pages need more work, so coupled with the keyword data, you have clear instructions on how to optimize. I recommend BlueJay here because it’s very newbie-friendly: There are clear instructions on what to do and why to do it for each section of their reports, so it keeps you from getting overwhelmed.
3. MyBlogU: Expand Your List Using Human-Powered Research
Sometimes it is better just to get help from people who are in your specific industry. MyBlogU (Disclaimer: This is the platform I’ve founded) is a crowdsourcing content site that allows groups of people to collaborate for singular pieces of content.
This has created an open community of those happy to share their expertise, interests and opinions on the fluctuations in trends. You can either ask directly and start finding patterns that apply to keywords, or look at what is already being shared.
Best for: Any type of brainstorming you can think of. If you are not sure which core keywords to start with before you expand, ask here! Or, vice versa, if you are looking to expand your current lists, ask for brainstorming help.
4. Cyfe: Integrate Keyword Research into Your SEO Dashboard
Cyfe might be the most extensive, low cost business platform on the Web. It allows you to create custom widgets that monitor everything you could hope for, from sales to analytics to social profiles and more.
SEO Hacker has a great how-to on establishing an SEO dashboard using their widgets. But I personally love Cyfe for this because you can integrate that keyword research with every other part of monitoring your business, all from one place. It is ridiculously convenient.
Best for: Archiving your multiple keyword referral and ranking data. Cyfe supports SERPs, Google Webmaster Tools and many more widgets from where you can extract keyword data to assign a content manager to plan out content strategy accordingly.
5. Hashtagify: Track Twitter Trends
Sometimes it is just a matter of seeing what is trending and watching it for awhile. I am a big believer in using both short and long term keywords in gaining traction, and that means watching for patterns in what is hot and using it to your advantage.
Sure, that doesn’t work for the bigger picture strategy, but it can be great for boosts (and for ideas on longer term keywords).
Best for: Social media content inspiration. Build trending content around popular hashtags to get additional visibility.
6. Redditlist: Track Reddit Trends
Another way to see what keywords are attracting a lot of buzz is with Redditlist.com. As one of the most commonly stolen from websites on the Internet, Reddit is a powerhouse for finding what has the Web’s pulse pumping. It is even better for getting new concepts to try.
Unlike trending hashtags that give you some insight into real-time trends and newsworthy content, trending Subreddits let you see popular topics and work for generic viral content inspiration.
Best for: Viral marketing content inspiration. If your team can react fast and provide good content for trending subreddits, you’ll see huge traffic and engagement spikes on your site.
Do you have keyword research tools and tactics that should be on this list? Know a good tip to share with our readers? Let us know in the audience!
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