This post is sponsored by Sameweb. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the sponsor.
In the SEO jungle, there is a lot of competition for the best resources – keywords, backlinks, and Google’s top sites. Being diligent is not enough.
You need to work your way through the keyword jungle and carve out new paths to identify the best and most valuable opportunities.
Well, admittedly, it’s not always that exciting, but you get my point.
If you want to be leader in your market, A standard compass (or a standard keyword research approach) will not suffice.
Here, I’ll guide you through seven less-explored paths to uncovering the best keywords.
1. Explore the site’s internal search
One powerful method of keyword research is to view your competitors through the eyes of their audience.
Since you and your competitor have a certain degree of overlap with the audience, why not use your competition site as a research tool?
Here’s how: Visit and explore your competitors’ sites, put yourself in their audience’s shoes, and start using the site’s search bar.
To conduct effective SEO keyword research, you need to think like the audience to take advantage of their search habits.
Every company’s website is set up differently, so some may suggest search terms as you type.
In this case, shell.com has a list of Top Searches.
This gives you an insight into what their visitors want to find.
You can use these terms to inform your keyword research. You can look at keyword search volumes using the search tool.
Research how the website ranks for these terms to see if there are any SEO opportunities for your brand.
- Pro tip: You can repeat this process on your competitor’s Q&A page to see which questions are most relevant to your audience.
As you wander through the rest of the site, get some more ideas by asking yourself:
- How does this site position itself for its audience?
- What keywords keep coming up?
- Where does the website direct you? How do the keywords fit?
2. Find backlinks and anchor text
I know what you’re thinking, body text can consist of doublets and noises like “click here”.
And you’re right, but it’s also an indicator of how people describe what they associate with.
Here’s how: If you look closely at the URL permalink and associated text, you will discover some previously searched keywords within it.
Try to identify the two keywords in the URL below:
did you find them
Check yourself. They are highlighted below.
If you’re doing keyword research for an e-commerce site that sells apparel under the heading “Squid Game,” you’ll want to include the terms “Squid Game costume” and “Squid Game jumpsuit” in your target keyword list.
- Pro tip: Use the terms you find this way in your keyword research, too. It may lead you to other forms of related terms that you haven’t considered yet. People’s search habits are unpredictable.
3. Dive into keywords by industry
High-value industry keywords are affected by events, trends, time of year, holidays, news stories, and other real-life factors such as new product releases from brands in your industry.
Here’s how: Keep your finger on the pulse of what is happening in your industry and use this information in your keyword research.
When you have access to accurate, up-to-date numerical data, you can understand which keywords are trending in your industry and identify the strongest terms before your competitors.
With Similar Web Intelligence Digital MarketingYou can filter this information by the last 28 days to see the latest keyword trends or select Trending Terms to get insight into what terms drove traffic in the previous month.
Then, sort by descending traffic or percentage change to see who the biggest movers are in your industry.
You can also discover newly popular search terms.
- Pro tip: Filter by “newly discovered” to see search terms that didn’t appear in the previous month that are currently driving traffic – a potential keyword gold mine.
4. Venture beyond Google Data
In fact, people turn to different search engines for different needs.
Don’t overlook the vast influence of Amazon and YouTube when embarking on your keyword research journey.
By revealing search engine keyword data and search intent, you can identify more opportunities to reach your target audience, no matter where they search.
Here’s how: Research potential keywords on Google, then Amazon, then YouTube to better understand your audience’s needs and intent.
Similar Site provides you with unparalleled data from the world’s three largest search engines, amazon.com. google.com and youtube.com.
Let’s dig deeper and compare YouTube vs Amazon for ‘ps5’ related keywords.
On youtube.com, “ps5 unboxing” is a popular keyword.
Terms matching the phrase include “iphone 11 unboxing” and “nintendo switch unboxing”.
All of these terms lead primarily to informational content about what happens when you “unfold” or open your product. This can include videos, vlogs, and reviews.
On amazon.com, phrase-matching keywords for “ps5” include “ps5 controller,” “ps5 games,” and “ps5 headset.”
These conditions indicate a high intent of the transaction. People primarily search for related products.
Analyzing related keywords on amazon.com can help you get a better understanding of what other topics and products your target audience is interested in so you can incorporate those terms into your strategy as well.
With a similar site for both platforms, you can click on specific keywords to get data on search volume, clicks, membership versus paid, and other metrics.
5. Find out terms with autocomplete
Have you ever noticed that when you start entering a query in Google, the search engine suggests what you should search for?
For example, if you start typing “running shoes,” Google might suggest you search for “men’s running shoes,” “running shoes for flat feet,” and other related queries.
Google Autofill makes these suggestions because these are all related queries that are of interest to many searchers.
Why is this important?
These autocomplete words and phrases open a portal to how people search for those keyword phrases.
Bottom line: This gives you the information to speak the same language as your keyword audience.
This may lead you to long-tail keywords that you may not have considered before and guide your long-tail keyword strategy.
Here’s how: Just search for a search term and see how Google Autocomplete Assistant ends your phrase.
But remember, only use keyword power that actually makes sense for your target audience and your website. You don’t want to be dragged in the wrong direction by following irrelevant keywords.
6. Go to Google SERP Features
Yes, you read that correctly. Google has been on this list twice, and no, it’s not wrong. Google Featured data can also be used to inform your SEO strategy.
Here’s how: Before you leave the popular search engine, check out Google’s “People Also Ask” and “Related Search” features.
Both are invaluable resources and give you different ideas for Google’s autocomplete functionality, so don’t skip this step.
These features show you the questions people are asking about your topic and other related searches.
This tool provides insight into your target audience’s interests and search intent.
In our previous “running shoes” example, the “People Also Ask” section reveals two very different search destinations.
- The first is informational intent and appears to be a researcher looking for information about running with flat feet.
- The second is transactional intent – the searcher is looking for the best shoe to buy.
You might consider creating content around each of these long-form keywords to reach different audiences.
When we check Related Searches, we can see many searchers looking specifically for Nike running shoes.
Knowing this may lead you to investigate Nike’s keyword strategy in more detail to understand how they reach their audience and enrich your search.
7. Dig into a competitor’s metadata
This is one of the best keyword research hacks.
It is especially effective when analyzing small, niche sites, but it can be used for larger websites. In addition, it is very simple.
Here’s how: All you need to do is check your competitors’ websites and ask yourself what keywords your competitors are using in their titles.
How your competitors’ position will be revealed through their language.
Let’s look at an example.
Notice how the tui.co.uk page navigation is set up?
It is evident from the tui.co.uk homepage that holidays, flights and cruises are areas of focus for them based on the content structure of their website.
These offers are featured multiple times and each have accompanying dropdown menus, which means they are content-heavy topics on the TUI website.
If you’re in competition with TUI for organic traffic, this insight will guide the types of long-tail keywords you can use to gain more market share.
Track your flight
There are tried and true ways to find great keywords. But, every SEO professional walks through those paths.
To find unpopular keywords that will put you ahead of your competition in SEO and boost your market share, you need the latest technology, latest data and actionable insights to properly create your keyword strategy.
As you plot your strategy for 2022, use Similar site as your compass and formulate a data-driven action plan. Let’s make a real business impact.
Featured image: A similar image for the web. Used with permission.