Making sure your content has relevant keywords in it is one of those bits of content creation advice that seems so obvious it’s almost silly. Of course your content is going to contain relevant keywords. You wrote it. It’s on-topic. Therefore, the keywords should be in there already, right?
Unfortunately, it’s not really the simple. Doing your keyword homework is important because you aren’t only creating content because you have good, unique, high quality things to say on a topic. Don’t get me wrong, you absolutely need to be creating good, unique, high quality content – but the other factor at play here is SEO.
The operative part of “Search Engine Optimization” is the word “search”. Keywords are important because no matter how good and unique your content is, if you want people to find it, you have to know where to lay bread crumbs. And that’s really all that keywords are. They are the breadcrumbs on the path to your audience’s search for your content. People are already searching for the content you are creating, you just need to know how they are searching for it. Thus, you need keywords.
Generating keywords for your content is certainly a chore, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. There are several free tools you can use to find keywords. Some of them may even give you inspiration for further content, or new angles you can view your content from. Here are some of our favorites.
Simple and straightforward, keywordtool.io gives you 750+ long-tail keyword suggestions for every search term you plug in. Powered by Google Autocomplete, a feature used in Google searches to speed up the searching process, keywordtool.io allows you to optimize for Google, YouTube, Bing, Amazon or the App Store. The free version is great, and if you are looking for more results that dig a bit deeper, there’s also a Pro version you can subscribe to.
Sometimes you want to get your information straight from the horse’s mouth. If you are optimizing for Google or a Google AdWords campaign, even if you are using another keyword generator, it’s always good to see what Google itself has to say. Keyword Planner is a free tool with every AdWords account (also free), and is especially useful for getting search volume data.
Google Trends is a slightly different take on keyword generation. In true Google fashion, this well-organized, well-designed tool tells you what has been trending on Google search and charts its popularity over time, as well as by location. You can see what is trending generally, or narrow it by specific topics.
Another tool that is based on Google Suggest, Übersuggest gives loads of keyword suggestions, and lets you optimize for web, images, shopping, YouTube, or news. It also allows for a wide range of language and locations settings. But what really makes Übersuggest cool is its integration with the free KeywordEverywhere extension for Chrome and Firefox, which add volume and CPC information.
If endless lists of keywords make your head spin, then Keyword Eye might be the right solution for you. Rather than lay out your keyword suggestions in a grid, Keyword Eye creates a color-coded word cloud that tells you what keywords are most popular, both in terms of search frequency, as well as how costly those terms are for Google AdWords. Keyword Eye also provides you with competitor research, and a handy question finder so you can see what questions people are asking.
Doing your homework on keywords is a crucial part of any content development strategy. While you certainly don’t want to go overboard, and some keywords are always going to be obvious, it’s important to give yourself the tools to lay a path for your users to find you.
Need help with keyword strategy or quality and strategic content creation. Contact the team at 10twelve for help!