If you want to know how to do free keyword research without tools and rank at the top of the SERPs, there’s a way to do it that’s easy to learn. And it might just be better than using any keyword research tool out there.
The FREE Way to Do Keyword Research WITHOUT Tools & Rank Number 1!
Use the tools Google gives us (People Also Ask, Related Searches) and find those keywords that have USER GENERATED CONTENT landing in the top 10! These are placeholders BEGGING for your content to take its spot!
Keyword research tools are great for giving us numbers to crunch when it comes to figuring out the topics our target audience is searching for. After all, when you know the searches your audience is making, you can then create content that’s the answer to those searches.
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How Do Keyword Research Tools Work?
Keyword research tools can give us so much useful data, including:
- average number of searches per month for a given keyword
- average number of website visits you can expect if you achieve first page rankings in the search engines
- number of competing websites ranking for the exact keyword
- and more…
They’re spectacular tools, but sometimes bloggers get so lost in that data that they forget about the importance of simply writing quality content that is of value to the reader.
Technically, this article is about doing free keyword research WITHOUT tools, but are there free keyword research tools out there?
Quora offers up some quality free options with Ubersuggest, Google Adwords, and freemium versions of Moz and SEMrush.
Ahrefs.com lists several free keyword options from Google Keyword Planner, Keyword Generator, Keyword Surfer, and more.
But in my opinion the best free keyword research tool is Jaaxy. It has different paid versions as well with incredible features, but even at just stand alone keyword research, it’s at the top of my list.
So where do we start when we’re doing keyword research without tools?
First, put yourself in the shoes of your typical reader. Where do you start when you want answers online? Simple. You go to Google. And literally every time we’ve ever made a Google search I guarantee the following has happened: Google tries to finish your sentence and figure out what you’re about to type, right?
It’s called Google Autocomplete.
How Does Google Autocomplete Work?
Danny Sullivan, public liaison for Google search described it in even more detail:
How do we determine these predictions? We look at the real searches that happen on Google and show common and trending ones relevant to the characters that are entered and also related to your location and previous searches.Source – “How Google Autocomplete Works in Search”
So, as an example, when we start typing “How does Google know what…” in a Google search like so:
Google tries to finish our search by showing us the most popular searches people have made with those same words.
In this case:
- how does google know what I’m thinking
- how does google know what I’m about to search
- how does google know what I’m watching on tv
- how does google know what ads to show me
…and so on.
So, when we’re doing research on topics our target audience is interested in, using Google Autocomplete is a perfect way to find the ACTUAL searches our target audience is making.
This isn’t the only place where Google suggests great, relevant keywords.
According to mktoolboxsuite.com, the LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords found at the bottom of a Google search also offer keywords of great relevance.
Here’s what’s suggested in the LSI’s for the topic we’re talking about now: “keyword research without tool”:
Google considers these keywords semantically related to your keyword search. They help it understand context. Additionally, when writing your article it would be a good idea to incorporate some of these suggestions within your content as well.
How to Choose the Best Keywords Without Seeing Their Data
First, let’s cover a few tips that will make our keyword research that much better.
- Open up a private window or use incognito mode to make sure your search history doesn’t influence the predictions you get.
- If you are based in a different location than your target audience, use a VPN. A VPN can allow you see predictions for the location based on where your target audience is.
- Adjust your language settings to be similar to the language settings the people in your target audience use.
According to ImpactPlus.com, start with the root keywords you’d like to go after by first determining the main goals of your business.
Root keywords are that thing you do. That service you perform. That product you sell. That industry you serve.Source – “The Best Way to Do Keyword Research (Without Any Keyword Tools!)”
So let’s say your niche was travel photography. Let’s start with some root keywords describing products in this niche. A couple of examples of “root” keywords to start plugging into Google Autocomplete could be:
- travel cameras
- compact cameras
Now start to think about how your audience might phrase a search using one of these root keywords. I’ll start with “best compact cameras”.
As you can see, Google Autocomplete starts suggesting several relevant keywords. Writing an article on the best compact cameras for street photography could be an excellent topic for a travel photography site. Same goes for best compact cameras with zoom, for beginners, under 200…
Can you see how Google Autocomplete gives multiple ideas from a simple root keyword search?
And the best part is you KNOW these topics are relevant and will bring some traffic because they’re ACTUALLY BEING SEARCHED FOR.
So how do we choose the best one?
Which ones would be considered “low hanging fruit” keywords?
“Low hanging fruit” keywords refers to keywords that have a low number of websites targeting them while still bringing decent traffic.
Let’s break down an example from my own personal experience so you can see the process in action, shall we?
Finding the GOLDMINE!: User Generated Content!
A few months back I was doing some keyword research for future articles I wanted to write. I thought about possible searches my target audience who’s looking to “work from their laptop” might search for. I started with a root keyword search of “where can I get paid” and let Google Autocomplete serve me up some suggestions.
Autocomplete served up several options. A couple of these options stood out as possible topics I could write about: where can I get paid for my photos, where can I get paid for my writing, and where can I get paid for my handwriting.
So here’s the key step to determine the low hanging fruit keywords that I should go after.
The best way to determine your competition without using a keyword research tool is by checking out the actual Search Engine Result Pages for that keyword.
Here’s what I saw when I checked the results for “where can I get paid for my handwriting”.
As you can see, right there on the first page of the SERPs, I believe it was ranking in position 4 or 5, was an entry from the popular discussion forum Quora.
Ladies and gentlemen, when this happens it is a gold mine just waiting to be tapped.
Any time you find a discussion forum like Quora or Reddit in the top 10 results for a keyword, this is almost like a placeholder that is just begging to be filled with an article from a website.
First, when you see this in the top search results, not only do you know for a fact that people are looking for answers on this topic, but it’s also a hint that the competition is relatively low as well. Why? Just think about it.
When the competition is really high for a keyword, all the top spots on page 1 will be taken by authority sites. There’s just no spots available for discussion forums like Quora or Reddit when you have a high competition keyword.
So, seeing one or more entries like this on the first page of the SERPs is a GREAT SIGNAL for an opportunity to rank! And when I put together a quality article based around that focus keyword, guess where I landed?
And as you can see, this strategy worked like a charm! There I am in the very top spot for that keyword!
Let’s review the process:
- I started my keyword research using root keywords and letting Google Autocomplete suggest more specific topics my target audience was searching for.
- I chose some relevant ones that I liked and then started checking their competition by checking the SERPs.
- I found one with 2 discussion forums on the first page of its results, a good compass for determining low competition.
- I wrote a quality article around that focus keywords and ranked #1.
Now, is there a method for writing the article that will help it rank at the top of the SERPs when using this process?
Yes. There. Is.
How to Write Your Blog Article So It Ranks #1
I wish I could take more credit for this whole process. The truth is, another member of the same affiliate marketing training platform I owe all my success to, Wealthy Affiliate, shared some really profound insight on the subject in this blog post.
I’d like to share that insight with you now. And while I obviously can’t guarantee that your articles will land at that sweet top spot every time, I can tell you that the method I’m about to share is a proven way to write quality content that ranks.
So much so, that you can find your article ranking #1 across SEVERAL related keywords just as I did.
Related Article at WorkFromYourLaptop.com!
- Using The Perfect Title
This first one may seem a bit obvious, but surprisingly it can be overlooked. You need to create a title that makes someone want to actually click on it! This means not only including the keyword (preferably at the front end of the title) but also creating a “hook”.
See how the tail end of that title drives just a bit of intrigue into what the content is about? Granted, this particular keyword I was targeting is a bit wordy, not leaving too much space to create a hook, but that brings me to another point.
Don’t be afraid to have a long title that trails off with the “…”
In this particular case, think about how much more likely my content is to be clicked on with the “6 Options and How…” than if it didn’t have that at all. Your audience is now curious. How to WHAT?
And, oddly enough, using an odd number in that hook seems to work great.
“7 Incredible Ways to…”
“13 Mindblowling Tips You’ve Never…”
“9 Ridiculously Easy Steps You’d…”
In mine, I kept it even with 6 and it didn’t hurt it one bit.
- The Art of the Minimalist Intro – Get to the Point!
Take a look at the beginning of this post. 2 quick sentences for an intro. Right to the point. And then BAM there’s my highlighted answer to the topic at hand.
Don’t get mixed up in creating some long, drawn out introduction where you tell a story that your audience is going to skip right over. Your audience’s attention span is VERY SHORT. Get to the point or you’ll lose them!
- Creating a Highlighted Answer
You’ll notice at the top of this post I have a highlighted box of text. It’s like a “Hey, here’s the answer you’re looking for!” signal to the reader, right? In it, you can put a concise paragraph that most directly answers the question the topic is answering.
In this case, the main bulk of this post is about using Google Autocomplete to find spectacular keywords without using a tool. So let your audience know what your post is about right out the gate! Don’t worry! 9 times out of 10 they aren’t going to read the answer and leave.
They’ll appreciate how quickly you got to the point and will now scan the rest of your content to check out the details as you fully and thoroughly explain that answer.
If you’re lucky Google may use this highlighted answer in their snippet at the top of the SERPs. Create an h2 heading with the keyword in it followed immediately by the highlighted answer to better your chances!
- Make Your Content Scannable!
Just after the quick introduction and just before my highlighted answer is a table of contents box. This is key! Did you know that on average your audience only reads 14% of the words in your post? FOURTEEN percent.
This doesn’t mean that your words are going wasted. Not at all. In fact, if you make your content easily scannable, this means it’s actually creating a good user experience where your reader is able to quickly find the answer they are searching for.
There are plenty of quality table of contents plugins out there. Find the one that best suits your needs and use it in every post.
- Making Your Post Easy on the Eyes
After your get the answer out of the way at the top of your post, it’s time now to thoroughly explain it in detail. The last thing your audience wants to see is a MASSIVE WALL OF TEXT.
Break up your writing into short, easy to read 2-3 sentence paragraphs with plenty of white space Extra wide content is harder to read on a screen, so keep that in mind too.
Images and videos are great too, just don’t overdo it. You don’t want your post to be too busy. A nice image here and there will be fine, especially when it visually confirms the point your text is making.
Embedding a relevant YouTube video can be a great way to keep your audience on your page longer as well. Find a relevant one on YouTube (or even better yet use your own) and embed away!
Related Article at WorkFromYourLaptop.com!
- Make Your Post a One Stop Shop in Google’s Eyes
Google is all about putting the best possible answers in front of its readers. If it strayed from that people would simply stop using it.
Don’t be afraid to mention what the other listed top results cover in their posts. Link to them as well. They’re relevant right? If Google can make it easier on their readers, they will. What sounds easier to you? Clicking through 10 different articles or clicking on one that covers everything?
- Summarizing Your Content with Final Thoughts
Last but not least, a quick couple of paragraphs at the end of your content that summarize what it’s about is a nice bow to put on your post. I highlight mine in the same way I do the answer at the top of the post.
It lets the reader know they’ve reached the end of the post, and it also adds a nice bit of symmetry.
- Ask For & Create Engagement!
Google loves a post that drives engagement and comments. So when you lay out your final thoughts, pose a few questions to your audience. Let them know you’d love to hear what THEY have to say. Ask for comments and questions and DON’T FORGET TO RESPOND!
This means 100%
When your audience knows your accessible and willing to answer the questions they have they will see you as a quality blogger who is sincerely interested in helping them where they need it.
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By using Google Autocomplete you can find the ACTUAL QUESTIONS your audience is looking for answers to and create keyword rich content without using any keyword research tool.
Do it right and you’ll find your content at the top of the Google SERPs and your traffic will build like crazy. Do you have a favorite keyword research tool? What free keyword research tools have you used in the past? Have any questions about the methods discussed in this post?
Leave your questions and comments in the comments section below! I’d love to hear what you have to say and I always respond!
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