You know how they say you should shake up your work-out routine from time to time to “shock your body”? (Real talk: I never do this.) The same is true of your keyword research routine – changing up your tools is a great way to get new content ideas. The WordStream Free Keyword Tool and Google Ads Keyword Planner are old, reliable favorites, but here are three newish/new-to-me keyword tools that I’ve been using lately to find new keywords to conquer.
I saw someone mention Answer the Public recently on Twitter and immediately checked it out. The home page looks like this:
Except the “seeker” is animated. It’s weird. Don’t get distracted. As with any other keyword tool, you just plug in a topic and go. It’s a UK-based tool, but you can select a different country from the dropdown:
Here’s the cool part – the results come back in visual form. First, you’ll see a “wheel” of question keywords related to your topic. I entered “AdWords,” and here’s what I got:
They’re organized into questions that begin with where, which, who, what, when, why, how, and are. I love answering question keywords with content; it’s a really effective way to demonstrate expertise and generate leads, and they can drive a ton of organic traffic (especially if you manage to rank in the featured snippet box, AKA position zero). We’ve already targeted a bunch of these keywords, but I also see a lot of questions that we haven’t tackled yet:
On the downside, there’s no search volume data, but if you see an interesting keyword, you can always check it in another tool.
Answer the Public also returns a visualization of keyword phrases containing prepositions, like for, with, without, and versus:
Some keyword ideas I got from this visual include:
I like this tool because question keywords and phrases with words like “versus” surface PROBLEMS that your target audience is having and that you can then solve.
Speaking of question keywords! FAQ Fox specializes in them. This isn’t quite like any other keyword tool I’ve seen. It scrapes Q&A sites like Reddit and Quora to find questions related to your topic of choice.
If you click the “marketing” category, the tool will automatically search relevant marketing subreddits as well as a few popular marketing forums like Wicked Fire and Warrior Forum.
You can also enter your own sites. I searched for “adwords” on Reddit and Quora.com and got a great list of questions:
The questions are linked to the actual threads so you can go check out the full question as well as any answers it already has.
These questions tend to be much more specific and complex than the kinds of terms that people enter into Google, so if you decide to use one in your content marketing, you’ll probably have to use another keyword tool to find a phrase with search volume that you can map to the question. For example, if I wanted to create content to answer the question “Why are branded keywords costing me more in AdWords?” I could go into Keyword Planner to see that my best bet for this topic is the keyword “branded keywords”:
Another awesome way to surface problems that your prospects are trying to solve.
When figuring out which keywords to target, it’s always a good idea to take competition into consideration. This will help you prioritize your keyword research – you don’t want to go for the super-competitive keywords first, but you also don’t want to only go after keywords that have very low volume, and that aren’t going to have great return even if you do rank on them.
KWFinder is a cool free keyword tool that shows you search volume, average CPC and both PPC and SEO competition. As with the above tools, I entered “adwords,” then clicked on the magnifying glass icon next to “adwords training.” This gives me a ton of data:
Higher scores are more competitive, so you can see that while “adwords training” is a highly competitive term in paid search (with a score of 91 and an average CPC over $12), the organic competition is pretty low (26). On the right-hand side of the screen you can see a snapshot of the search volume for this keyword over time, as well as some data on the pages that are currently ranking on the Google SERP for this keyword search.
We’re unlikely to be able to outrank the Google support result, but I bet we can beat that Moz community page!
I got lots of new content ideas playing with these tools. Now I just need to go to the gym.
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Elisa Gabbert is WordStream’s Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.
See other posts by Elisa Gabbert
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