While there is a seemingly infinite amount of resources available for keyword research, I’d like to cover a handful of my favorite tools relevant to paid search.
Before diving in, I emphasize continually keeping negative keywords in mind and make a concerted effort to continue building your negative keyword lists so that they don’t just get treated as an afterthought. That never bodes well and can snowball rapidly while wasting precious advertising dollars. If it’s a totally new Paid Search account, start building your negative keyword lists from the ground up. When any of these tools suggest a keyword/keyphrase, it is being searched for and with enough frequency to get noticed. Therefore, you’ll want to pay attention to it one way or another. I suggest targeting the keyword or adding it as a negative.
5 Useful Keyword Research Tools
Without further delay, here are my current nominations for Useful Keyword Research Tools, listed in no particular order.
Google’s native keyword planner
Any digital marketer who has been around has certainly heard of the Google Keyword Planner. I miss the days when this tool used to be standalone and not buried in the recesses of a Google Ads (AdWords, technically) account. But I digress. Now, you can locate it by clicking on the Tools (wrench) icon and then going under Planning to Keyword Planner. You must have a Google Ads account set up to access the Google Keyword Planner. If you’ve used this tool but haven’t fully perused it since early May of 2019, you will notice some changes in both looks and functionality. Because it’s Google’s baby, you do get a ton of useful and legit stats like monthly searches, competition level, average costs per click. Additionally and of note are synonyms and variations of keywords you may otherwise have a tough time unearthing yourself.
I’ve personally been using this one for 3+ years now. It was once much less known but has really picked up. And due to its more frequent adoption by search marketers alike, the capabilities have increased. For example, Keywords Everywhere is supported on more than just Google Search, including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, YouTube, Bing Search, Amazon, Ebay, Answer the Public, Majestic and several more.
With all of the resources available at our fingertips nowadays, I admittedly often neglect this tool. With Soovle, you can see the suggested and related searches instantly as you type in your query. It uses Google as the base search but then shows results for other popular sites, simultaneously, like Wikipedia, Bing, YouTube, Yahoo and Amazon.
Bought by Neil Patel – Co-founder of many companies such as Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics – in 2017. It lists not only helpful keyword ideas but also content ideas. Additionally, it nicely displays the Top 10 websites/URLs on Google SERPs for the keyphrase you are researching.
View Competitor’s Source Code
An age-old and somewhat unspoken method to find competitor’s keywords outside of keyword research tools is to view the source code of a particular website. SEO 101 5+ years ago used to dictate that we add all of the keywords you are targeting into the meta keywords section of each respective page. Today, it’s far less common that every site has meta keyword added or even updated in general. So, the data is, for the most part, wildly inaccurate. I list this method because you are still free to check out the source code (Ctrl U) and see what you can see. It may be worth it for your particular case.
It would be easy to proceed and list another 5 to 10 tools, but I’ll stop at these for now. Sure, you can go to the Keyword Planner, as highlighted earlier. But if one of the primary purposes of using tools is to streamline efficiencies and increase productivity, then why not just opt for a one-stop tool. There is never(?) going to be a single tool that will accomplish everything you set out to do when performing keyword research. As with anything, you must find what works best for you. I present these options based off of my experience and success in using them. Each tool or method works nicely alone or as a complement to any of the others on this list.
If you would like additional tool suggestions, advice, more paid search insight, wish to have an audit performed on your Pay-Per-Click account or if you have specific questions about keyword research do not hesitate to contact Ecreativeworks any time.
Written by: Nick Meyer, Paid Search Specialist at Ecreativeworks