If you want to do high-quality keyword research, you’ll need a lot of time. Or a lot of people. Keyword research is a process which requires you to get inside the heads of your audience. You want to find out which words they are using. After that, you’ll need to analyze which keywords you should go after first. That’s difficult, as well as time-consuming. So, what to do if you don’t have that much time? Are there any shortcuts? In this post, I’ll talk you through the process of accelerating your keyword research.
What is high-speed keyword research?
High-speed keyword research is keyword research that’s focused on quickly assessing which words are most viable to optimize website texts for. Without doing proper keyword research, your content SEO strategy could well be completely worthless. But high-speed keyword research allows for some shortcuts, without making too many concessions to the quality of your keyword research. You can save time on two aspects; firstly: finding your keywords and secondly: evaluating which keywords to go after (first).
Quickly finding your keywords
You can use some practical tools that’ll make it much easier to find keywords. You will still have to make a short list yourself (no corners to cut there), but once you have ten to twenty proper keywords, you can use several tools to find similar keywords. Using these tools will significantly speed up the process of coming up with long lists of keywords.
Tools like Übersuggest offer clusters of keywords. If you fill in a keyword your audience uses, Übersuggest will give you keywords they’ll probably also be searching for. In other words, this tool generates keywords that are similar to the keyword you’ve come up with. Such a tool will easily supply you with many alternatives, once you’ve come up with a few good keywords.
There are many tools like Übersuggest. We particularly like Yoast Suggest Expander. Yoast Suggest uses the Google Suggest Keyword expander. It’s a helpful tool to come up with many (long tail) keywords.
Tools are incredibly useful, and we actively use them at Yoast as well, but you should never lose track of what you’re doing. Keyword research always has to do with trying to make sense of the search questions of your audience. Getting inside the heads of your audience usually involves talking to that audience. No app or tool can ever replace that process entirely.
Quickly assessing viability of keywords
Assessing which keywords to go after first is a crucial second step in your keyword research. This is difficult: not everyone is good at estimating which keywords their site will be able to rank for. If your niche is very competitive, you probably shouldn’t go after the most competitive head terms. It will be really hard to rank for those.
Moz has a very nice tool which gauges how competitive your keyword is. Keywords that are very difficult to rank for, are probably not the ones you want to go after (unless you have a very authoritative, high-ranking website already). The Moz tool will probably help you speed up your keyword research. It does come with a little price tag, however.
If you don’t want to spend any money on a keyword tool, you can simply google the keyword you want to rank for. Does your site ‘fit in’ with the results Google shows you? Or are the sites on the results pages much larger or more well-established than your website? Go after more long tail and less competitive search terms if your website is too small to compete with the websites in the search results.
Read more: Why focus on long tail keywords »
Keyword research is something that needs focus and attention. It’s something you should take seriously. Without proper keyword research, you could well be optimizing your texts for the wrong search terms. Even though keyword research is the first and most important step in your SEO strategy, there are a few corners to cut. Using tools to make a long list of potential keywords is a great way to speed up your keyword research. When deciding which keywords to go after, you could also use a tool, but simply googling your keywords will also give you insight into the difficulty to rank for a certain search term.
Keep reading: Keyword Research: Ultimate guide »