While creating a high-quality content with real people in mind is essential, it will be foolish to ignore keyword research and SEO. Doing keyword research is like a seasoned fish monger casting his net at the right time and at the right place. If you are not using the right keywords: short-tail or long-tail, you can be selling yourself short on your potential success.
The good news is that there are a bunch of useful keyword research tools for handling your daily workflow in content marketing. In this article we will look at my 10 favorite keyword research tools for making the process less time-consuming and more efficient.
SE Ranking is by far my favorite keywords suggestion tool as it’s not only giving me the new keyword ideas and variations, but also groups thousands of keywords within minutes to distribute the keywords efficiently throughout the pages.
Also, with SE Ranking you will get a list of short tail and long tail keywords filtered by popularity with a single-click.
The tool has more than 2 billion unique search queries and an internal database is getting updated on the monthly basis. I also like their user-friendly interface.
Just enter a keyword or a list of keywords (one per line), choose the language, the source and get search results based on the detailed statistics: monthly search volume, KEI, competition, the number of search results, etc. Fast and effective!
#2. Keyword IO
Keyword IO allows you to get hundreds of keyword suggestions free. Just enter a target search query, choose a specific country for search, click the button “search” and get an overview of possible keyword suggestions, keyword trends and top 10 search results from Google.
What I really like is that keywords are listed clustered in long-tail and alphabetic order. You can easily pick relevant keywords and export the list of keywords, but only after free signup.
A simple and intuitive interface helps you show all relevant URLs for entered keywords and visualize the relevance of terms based on TextRank and TF•IDF.
#3. Google Trends
Google Trends helps you compare the popularity of keywords, shows which keywords are growing in popularity on the market and find out the top keywords in the niche.
For example, let’s compare two keyword phrases: “sewing machines USA” and “sewing machines”. It turned out that no one searches for the phrase “sewing machines USA”, just because it sounds unnatural.
Google Trends is a free indispensable tool. But I really like to combine it with Google Keyword Planner what helps me get the most accurate estimate of search volumes.
Wikipedia is an awesome source of getting contextual keywords. Wikipedia is a gold mine of LSI keywords. It is simple to use: just enter a keyword and view the results on the page.
For example, for “keyword research” I discovered a bunch of contextual keywords. Moreover, you will discover a lot of useful information in your niche.
Wikipedia is also a good way to search for industry terms, jargon and slang in your niche. Just make a good list, save it and use in your content marketing activities.
Soovle is a free keyword research tool that provides autocomplete suggestions from different sources: Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Amazon, Bing, YouTube, Answers.com. Just enter a keyword and choose your source.
Make sure that Google is the default, you can easily change it by clicking one of the suggested sources.
Soovle doesn’t offer the most advanced keyword suggestions that can make sense for your blog. If you want to get unique keywords, you need to choose paid keyword suggestion tools like SE Ranking, KWFinder, etc.
KWFinder is an easy-to-use long tail keyword research tool that brings perfect keyword ideas with a great interface. The tool helps you dig into local keyword research, so you can target your keywords by country, state or city.
It shows not only long tail keyword suggestions, but also trends, search volume, CPC and level of difficulty in search results.
Ubersuggest is a free keyword tool that provides you with keywords that are not available from the Google Keyword Tool. It is really simple to use: just enter a keyword, a language, a source and click “Suggest”.
The tool helps you generate a list of keywords that can be a saving grace for the busy SEO specialists.
The best thing that I like about Ubersuggest is the way that it filters results for letters or numbers. You can also search shopping, YouTube, images and news.
#8. Google Correlate
Google Correlate is a great keyword tool, but often overlooked. Google Correlate doesn’t work well for key phrases, but if you enter a single keyword, you will get pure dynamite LSI keywords.
You just enter a keyword and the tool does all the work for you.
Keyword Discovery is a free search term suggestion tool that gives a list of general and long-tail keywords for SEP and PPC marketing goals.
The keyword data is gathered from different toolbar browsers and over 200 search engines.
You won’t detect the same keyword data anywhere else unless someone is using your API. To use the tool, just enter a keyword and click “Search”. The tool generates the top 100 search terms for your core keyword.
Google Keyword Planner is a primary tool when starting a new website. It is my best friend to grow and produce more and better content.
This is the best place for keyword research that provides a comprehensive and targeted list of keywords. In addition to the keyword list, you will get average monthly searches, competition, suggested bid, etc.
Just simply enter a keyword or keywords into the search box and you will get everything in a clear and concise manner. Together with search terms, you will get many other ideas. Some of them will work, some won’t. You will never know when you will find a gem.
Have you ever used any of these keyword research and suggestion tools? Which tool has been the most useful in your content strategy? Please leave your comments below.
No business owner has the time to do a lot of SEO, but you can delegate the SEO basics to an employee or freelancer. Even doing basic SEO tasks can make a difference to what page of Google’s results you appear on. Take control and prioritize.
Your Top Priorities
- SEO Basics
DIY SEO comes down to proper site management, fresh content and making your site attractive to users.
SEO is too important to leave to chance. Neil Patel puts it very clearly in his SEO guide,
“If you ever need to hide a dead body, you should place it on the second page of Google search results.”
You MUST do everything in your power to improve your search engine results pages (SERPS) ranking, or no-one is going to find you.
Good site management is a part of SEO that can be outsourced, or delegated to a trusted employee. This SEO Chat article runs you through the basics of SEO and can form the basis of your employees’ training.
The most time-consuming aspect is keyword research using the free Google Adwords tool, but even this is not a task you need to do yourself. With basic training and the right tools, your content team can identify keyword phrases to target.
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Installing the free Yoast SEO plugin on your blog will ensure writers’ awareness of the importance of correct keyword density.
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Yoast also checks for paragraph length, sentence length and other readability factors that will affect your user time-on-page and bounce rate statistics.
Yeah, yeah. We all know content is king, but it takes time!
There is no way to avoid it. Regular fresh and insightful content is part of what will rank your site higher in search engine results pages (SERPS). There will be nobody else who understands your business as well as you, but you need to change that. If you don’t educate writers into how your business works, you will be stuck writing everything yourself, other important tasks will crop up, and the writing won’t happen.
Even the best writer works better with input from you regarding your services and clients.
Take the time to explain your business and how it works to your content production team. Educate your writers about your customer persona, his needs and how your company solves them. Make your business values clear, have a content production plan and feed your writers plenty of ideas for articles.
User Experience (UX)
The most important person in your organization is imaginary. Your customer persona should be writ large in every office, and room in your premises. Use an image of this imaginary persona as a screensaver on all your computers, put posters featuring his image on the backs of all the doors ion the washrooms and in the staff canteen.
If your users dislike your website, you are doomed.
Your site has to look good, use colors users like and that will elicit the emotions related to your business objectives. Minimize clutter, maximize contrast and ensure everything shown on a page is the optimum size, color, and shape. Negative space is every bit as valuable as page components, so avoid trying to do too much on any one web page.
Each page should have one purpose and one purpose only. The rationale behind a web page’s existence should be obvious. Navigation through your site should be simple and easy to use, regardless of the screen size someone is using.
Building links to your website is essential, but if you build them in the wrong way, Google will bury you on page 200 of its SERPS.
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Safe link-building activities:
- Learn what links point to you by installing the free Incoming Links plugin
- Provide high-quality and insightful resources people in your niche value and will link to without any prompting
- Build your reputation by sharing everything you know without asking for payment
- Design infographics that link back to you when others install them on their sites
It is well-nigh impossible to do even basic promotion without a large team.
If you only focus on one promotion channel, let it be YouTube.
Forget videos about your business; they won’t show in Google and no-one is interested. But, videos that show how to solve problems are another matter.
Ryan Stuart from Webris says Youtube video promotion is vital as part of your top-of-funnel marketing and engaging customers.
Much SEO can be done in-house using basic training and free WordPress plugins to help inform decisions. You must delegate content production, but feed writers with ideas and company information frequently. Concentrate your social media presence on producing How-To videos on YouTube.
Content marketing is a cornerstone of modern brand promotion. In fact, a 2016 study found that it costs 62 percent less than traditional forms and generates about three times as many leads. With numbers like this, it seems like every business is working tirelessly to create captivating messaging that will springboard into the mainstream.
As great as the concept sounds, getting into a rhythm of producing high-engagement brand messaging is not as easy as it looks. Even further, once you reach a certain level of quality, the last thing you want to do is backslide.
Once a company begins to gain more traction in the marketplace, a team will be needed to meet demand. This is a time when it’s VERY easy for a strategy to crumble. The more minds you have working, the harder it is to keep everyone’s visions in line.
Keeping this in mind, the entire entity of content marketing requires a superb level of coordination to remain competitive. Let’s discuss some foundational practices for keeping your team working towards the same goals as a single, efficient unit.
Involve everyone in the planning stage
As a manager, your job is to take ownership of projects. However, in order for a team to work as a fine-tuned machine, everyone needs to be present during the planning process and contributing to the big picture.
The truth is that the workplace is a much different environment than it was 30-40 years ago. The top-down dictatorship style of planning projects isn’t nearly as effective as it once was. Employees today need to feel valued in order to stick around. Remember, people leave bosses, not companies.
A good manager is one that works to bring out the very best in each and every member of the team. This process all starts in the planning stage. Be sure everyone has a voice, and ideas are shared freely.
Now, as great as this concept is, it can sometimes turn out to be a difficult task being that many companies these days allow employees to work remote. When this is the case, it’s wise to invest in interactive platforms like GoToMeeting:
Tools like this help ensure everyone is on the same page – whether they are physically present for the planning stage or not.
Promote transparency in task delegation
Once a solid plan is nailed down and the overarching goals are understood, the time will come when tasks need to delegated appropriately.
For example, let’s say one of your goals is to increase revenue by improving your customer service process. In this case, you will need information and data on some of the common issues and roadblocks of that department.
This would likely require someone to scour the web and pinpoint trending concerns most people are having when interacting with brands. With this knowledge, you would then need your creators to craft appealing content addressing these issues in accordance with brand messaging.
In order to get tasks done well, you and your team must embrace transparency in the workplace. If not, certain details can easily slip through the cracks.
For this purpose, it’s strongly recommended to implement a campaign management system. Tools like Workzone are built with a task-driven mindset with transparency being foundational aspect:
For instance, everyone involved in a project or campaign is able to look at the main dashboard and see exactly which projects are on the table, who is working on them, and where they stand in terms of progress.
This dashboard is ideal for small marketing or creative teams, and remains so all the way up to enterprise departments. With clear statuses on campaign goals, Workzone goes beyond simplistic to-do lists like Trello while steering clear of complex ICT project management tools like JIRA.
Transparency in delegation is much easier said than done. Do yourself a favor and look into a software that tackles this challenge for you.
Find a communication alternative to email
As great as email is for external communication, the same cannot be said for in-house interactions.
For one, people tend to get bogged down with more emails than they know what to do with. Therefore, it is all too easy for correspondence between coworkers to get lost in the shuffle.
Content marketing is very much a group effort. As all good leaders will tell you, communication is the key to a high-performing team. To make sure crucial messages don’t get overlooked, companies are wise to look into a form of communication exclusively for employees.
Consider introducing an instant messaging app; the wildly popular Slack:
This tool is well-known for being easy to use in businesses of all sizes. It’s designed for quick group messaging, cross-department communications, file sharing, and integrates with a lot of other popular apps like Google Drive, HubSpot and even Giphy.
Prioritizing emails and organizing an inbox is a task in itself. Keeping in-house correspondence separate is crucial for getting your team to accomplish goals without unnecessary delays.
Encourage teamwork and collaboration
One of the most important ingredients to successful content is consistency. For this concept to become a reality, you must create a strong culture of teamwork and collaboration.
Your content team should share the same vision and be walking on the same path to get there. If you are producing material in vastly different tones with divergent messaging, this is a big red flag your squad is not working as a unit, but a group of individuals.
The best way to create a motivating environment is to keep members in the loop while openly discussing certain issues or concerns related to goals. Programs like Yammer are great for team building and learning more about the visions of everyone involved:
Yammer is essentially a private social networking site you can set up for your company. This interface currently has over 7 million users from more than 200,000 different companies. It’s designed for people to stay updated on all aspects of the company and collaborate on projects across the board.
An open platform like this is perfect for content teams to continuously develop their unified approach. Good, consistent work is a direct product of sharing a collective pool of knowledge.
Managing a content team can be one of the most complicated tasks in the business world. You are dealing with a plethora of different creative and analytical personalities needing to work towards one collective vision.
Success in content marketing depends heavily on the systems and tools you employ. The common successful theme is based around a culture of open sharing and tight-knit communication. Producing compelling brand material is all about finding the perfect balance of these concepts.