This is your definitive guide to SEO keyword research in 2021.
Here you will find:
To kick this guide off, here are the key trends that will inform the winning keyword strategies in 2021:
As search engines get smarter and able to understand complex queries, people tend to use longer search phrases.
Not only are they rising in popularity among the searchers, but more and more SEOs are targeting them too due to their light competitiveness. Namely, 92% of all long-tail keywords get 10 or fewer searches per month.
Unlike short keywords that are very broad, with long-tail key phrases searchers can easily find the solution or answer they are looking for.
What's more, in 2021, long-tail keywords and voice search will change the way we do SEO.
When conducting keyword research for voice search, the following points will make the querries more conversational:
One of Google’s latest algorithm updates, BERT, focuses on analyzing individual words and their order. This update helps Google understand the content better and provide more relevant search results.
This is where LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords come in handy. They are closely tied to the focus keyword and help search engines to determine the quality and relevance of the search terms as well as the content on websites.
Instead of simple queries, Google now targets more complex question key phrases and provides answers for the websites themselves.
According to SEMrush’s research, some of the most popular question keywords on Google are:
Google uses machine learning to understand search queries and content with remarkable accuracy.
To do so, its algorithm scans content, "reading" through the HTML code and other resources, marking keywords and related entities to determine its contextual and nuanced meaning.
Google uses keywords to understand the search queries as well as the searcher's intent (ex. are they looking to learn, to be entertained, to shop, etc.?).
Good keyword research and strategy can help businesses target the terms that accurately describe their offering and help Google match their content with the right audiences.
If you are aiming to increase the value and relevance of your keywords, consider leveraging a keywords database, that will help your business become more visible to search engines by supplying all the necessary data for it and thereby attract relevant customers.
Here are a few non-keyword-research tips that will make the process of searching for topic ideas easier:
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what they may search for when they need products or services related to your niche.
Write down everything that comes to mind.
Then, turn to these platforms to assess, refine and expand your keyword ideas:
Most of the top SEO content writing experts use Google Suggest to find fresh keyword ideas.
To use it, simply write down the base of your business-related keyword and Google will provide you with several suggestions that include the specific term.
These are usually the phrases that a lot of people search for.
Enter your topic in Google search and scroll down.
You will find the “related searches” section at the very bottom of your first-page search results.
Here you can find great long-tail phrases that will provide you with an idea of how to continue your SEO keyword research.
You can generate some amazing keyword ideas using forums!
Find the forums that attract your target market, or visit the established ones you frequent, such as Reddit.
Reddit has more than 430 million monthly users, making it the most popular forum in the world.
Your audience or at least some of your audience is spending time on this forum, asking questions and sharing opinions - giving you a gold mine of information.
To take advantage of forums like Reddit, search for specific discussions or broad topics in your industry, and join the subreddits closely related to your search.
Then, pay attention to the threads that have lots of comments. Read through these to identify the terms your market uses to describe your (type of) services or products.
For instance, let’s say you are an SEO agency that has its own SEO tool. Head over to Reddit and type “SEO tools” in the search bar.
The platform will show a list of SEO-related communities and discussions on the topic.
Jump into the relevant discussions and analyze the language they use to describe their experiences with SEO tools.
To incorporate this into your ongoing SEO strategy, join the relevant subreddits to track discussions and find some great niche-related keyword ideas.
YouTube Suggest is another great strategy to use in your SEO content writing.
Simply head over to the platform and enter a phrase.
Then, just like Google, YouTube will hand you some related options that people search for the most.
People very often turn to social media when they have a problem or a question.
There are plenty of Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to your industry where your audience shares concerns, insights and experiences.
Here you can find some brilliant keyword ideas and topics you can elaborate on in your content.
Similarly to Facebook and Linkedin, you can also find great keywords for your SEO content strategy on Twitter by looking at popular hashtags and threads.
Whether face-to-face, email conversations or surveys, use your customers’ input to generate relevant keyword ideas.
This will not only help you get to know your clients better, but it may give you some great keyword and content ideas by understanding their needs and the language they use.
Wikipedia is an excellent source of niche research that you should definitely incorporate into your SEO content strategy.
Once you pop up a broad term in Wikipedia, you will get a master guide on the topic.
Pay attention to the table of contents.
It is a list of subtopics that the page covers and a goldmine of great content and keyword ideas.
SEO keyword research tools not only make the process of finding important topic phrases for your content easier, but they also help you run a competitor keyword research.
Here you can find the best tools that are worth using in your SEO content strategy in 2021:
SEMrush is one of the best on-page SEO tools to use because of its ability to run competitor keyword research.
It provides you with the exact keywords that your competition ranks for.
This allows you to discover a list of hundreds of unique keywords that are proven to rank within seconds.
What’s more, it also shows you the exact keywords your paid competitors are making efforts for.
And, it lists other key metrics like keyword volume, difficulty, CPC and more, which are essential in your SEO content strategy.
SEMrush offers four pricing plans:
This SEO keyword research tool also offers a free seven-day trial.
With Ahrefs, you can also get lots of useful data on the key phrases you search for.
In addition, this SEO keyword research tool also provides you with variations of the keywords you type in.
Just like SEMrush, it also allows you to do competitor keyword research and spy on your competition in terms of keywords, backlinks and strategies.
Ahrefs offers four pricing plans:
You can also get a trial for $7.
Soovle is another free SEO keyword research tool to use in your SEO content strategy because of its ability to suggest key phrases from multiple sources in one place.
It provides variations from Wikipedia, Yahoo, Amazon, Google and other platforms.
What’s great about this tool is that you can also save your favorite ideas and download them to a CSV file.
By combining your Google Analytics with Google Search Console accounts you can get a powerful SEO keyword research tool.
They will provide you with an in depth-data on popular key phrases like clicks, CTR, average position and more, from where you can generate keywords for your SEO content writing.
What’s more, Google Search Console can also help you do competitor keyword research and see which phrases your competitors rank for.
Plus, they are totally free.
Jaaxy generates lots of different unique ideas while providing helpful data such as traffic, competition, search volume and more.
One of its best features is QSR (Quoted Search Result) or the number of websites that rank on Google for the exact keyword you search for.
This SEO tool also does a great job of showing unique long-tail keywords that can boost your business.
Jaaxy offers two pricing plans. The Pro plan costs $49 per month and it includes all the features you might need to research key terms.
The Enterprise plan costs $99 per month and it is the best fit for marketers who put together large lists of keywords for different websites.
What’s more, you can also create an account and use this tool for free for 30 search queries.
Ubersuggest is another free SEO tool that can help you generate new keyword ideas.
It provides you with long-term keyword suggestions and it also shows data on search volume, PPC and SEO competition and CPC.
What’s more, this tool also shows related keywords, questions, prepositions, comparisons and much more.
Wordstream is an on-page SEO tool that allows you to target specific industries.
By placing a keyword and choosing a niche, you can get unique suggestions topics for your SEO content writing.
You can only make 30 searches for free.
However, WordStream also offers a pricing plan.
To get unlimited searches, subscribe to Wordstream Advisor which will cost you $229/month.
To use Keywords Everywhere you should install its extension. Then, when you search for a certain phrase, this SEO keyword research tool will provide you with “related keywords” and “people searched for” phrases for free.
However, to get additional info on volume, CPC and competition you need to choose some of its pricing plans.
Keywords Everywhere charges $1 for 10,000 credits, giving you the option to buy credits for $10, $50, $100, $200, $500 or $1000.
In other words, to get info on the key metrics (volume, CPC and competition) for a single keyword, it would cost you $1.
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most reliable sources, especially for businesses that cannot afford to get a premium tool.
That’s because the data you will get is accurate since it comes directly from the most popular search engine on the market.
However, this SEO keyword research tool has one drawback. It is designed to help brands with paid ads and not organic search.
But, after all, if marketers are investing in these keywords that means they are worth considering, right?
With Moz Keyword Research Planner you enter a keyword and you get info on important metrics like difficulty, organic CTR and volume.
What’s more, this SEO keyword research tool provides you with keyword suggestions and SERP analysis for the provided phrase.
It also allows you to track your rankings, crawl and audit your website pages and find link opportunities.
Moz offers four pricing plans:
You can visit their website, compare the plans and see what suits you the best.
Moz also offers a 30-day free trial.
Once you generated a list of some great topic ideas and keywords, the next thing to do is to choose the right phrases for your SEO content writing.
Wondering how you might short your list down and pick keywords that rank?
Here are some SEO best practices that you should consider:
Among the other SEO keyword research tips, you should consider, are the places where you should include your key phrases.
So, according to SEO best practices, here are the key places where you should incorporate your keywords to strengthen and improve your SEO content strategy:
You’ve picked your key phrases and now you are about to create your SEO content writing based on your SEO keyword research.
However, before you start developing your new blog post, make sure you go through the following keyword usage mistakes to keep up with the SEO best practices and ensure the quality of your content:
On average, Google receives 40,000 queries per second. (Internet Live Stats)
For web users to be able to find what you offer, you need to discover what terms they use exactly and include them in your SEO content writing.
Keyword optimization is one of the key factors for improving your search engine rankings.
However, if done wrong, it can have a reverse effect.
So, make sure you avoid these mistakes and always write naturally with your focus on your audience.
Congratulations! You’ve just learned how to do an SEO keyword research and use popular key phrases in your content like a pro.
Now you can use your knowledge to generate some amazing ideas for your website, blog and other pieces of your SEO content strategy.
Follow our SEO keyword research tips and don’t forget to focus on your audience when searching for popular terms and developing your content.
Google values user experience, and you can only satisfy your leads by providing them with high-quality content.