Five Advanced Tactics for Keyword Research14 May, 2018 Read time: 5 minutes
Think you know keyword research? Discover 5 advanced tactics to help you take your SEO strategy to the next level with our step by step guide.
Updated: 27th September 2021
Keyword research is one of the fundamentals of SEO. In fact, it plays a crucial role in understanding what people are searching for and the type of content in demand.
Ultimately, keyword research helps you shape a reliable SEO strategy. In this guide, we go beyond the basics. Besides advanced keyword research, we’ll cover five strategies to help take your SEO to the next level:
- Question-based search terms
- Keyword research for ecommerce
- Keyword research for commercial intent
- Latent Semantic Indexing
- Low competition keywords
Before you get started, check out our free keyword research template. We take you through keyword research step by step, and you’ll learn how to optimise your online content for better website performance.
Question-Based Search Terms
People love asking Google questions: How many weeks are in a year? Why is the sky blue? What is hair pomade?
Question-based search is so prominent that Google has even included an answer box (also known as featured snippets) for some search terms in the current search engine results page (SERP) landscape:
Why target question-based search?
Keyword research tends to focus on core commercial terms, but understanding which questions your audience is asking is a great way to develop informational content.
It’s also useful to consider here all three types of search queries. Informational queries are searches where a user is looking for information. Navigational queries are where a user has clear intent and wants to find a specific site or brand, such as Malin + Goetz. Transactional queries are where a user intends to make a purchase i.e. buy hair pomade.
Let’s consider this informational query – ‘what is hair pomade?’
It’s unlikely somebody searching this phrase is looking to purchase pomade – at least not right now. Targeting this term may not be appropriate for a commercial landing page, but it would lend itself to a blog post or a page within a pomade hub on a hair products site.
Targeting informational search in this way can be a great way to build brand awareness and to establish your site as a voice of authority within your niche. If ‘inform, don’t sell’ is the mantra of content marketing, then answering the questions you know users are asking is a great way to achieve this.
How to discover which questions your audience is asking
Here at Jellyfish Training, we recommend the following free tools that will help identify high-impact and question-based keywords:
There are many other useful keyword tools. Here are a few paid-for examples:
So, let’s say we are hair pomade sellers. And we’d like to write blog articles to answer the questions searched on Google about pomade. First, we want to look at Google Trends to see how popular our product currently is. This will give us insight into whether there might be a need for answer-style blog content.
Google Trends shows us interest in hair pomade has been climbing steadily in the UK since 2011. It also doesn’t look like it will decline anytime soon. This gives us confidence that there is a market looking for information on our product type.
When we look at the related searches above, we see the top search query is ‘best pomade’ and ‘what is pomade’. Both these queries may be considered question-based. So, we’re off to a good start, as there is a clear interest in our product. Let’s jump over to Answer the Public for more search terms.
On the Answer the Public homepage, input ‘pomade’ into the search box and click Get Questions.
When we carried out this research, Answer the Public found 79 question-based search queries, displayed in a flow graph. Answer the Public also provides a second flow graph displaying prepositions and an alphabetical list of related search queries.
Now that we have our lists of 79 questions, 56 prepositions and 305 alphabetical search queries, we can explore each list. We want to choose search terms that would make great blog post topics for helping people learn more about pomade.
We'll copy and paste the list of question-based keywords into a text file, making sure to save the file in a safe location. Next, we'll use Google Ads Keyword Planner to expand on this keyword research and explore the average monthly trend.
We can see an average trend of all our question-based keywords combined, with an average monthly search volume of just under 12,000.
Note: We have set the Keyword Planner to give us data from all locations.
The top 10 search queries relevant to average monthly traffic volume.
Although these tools offer insight into what questions people are searching in Google, they are never as sharp as the human brain. So, feel free to add questions to your keyword list that you think people might ask.
Finally, it’s time to create content that will rank in Google based on your research.
- Check Google Trends to ensure that your product or service has a potential market
- Use Answer the Public to generate lots of question-based keyword ideas
- Upload your curated list of question based keywords to Google Ads Keyword Planner to get a good idea of the average monthly search volume and keyword trend
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
The latent semantic indexing (LSI) refers to the process of helping Google define the context of a webpage’s topic by using related terms.
Let’s say we have an article on our website about cars. How will Google know which cars we’re talking about? Is it an article about motor vehicles or the Disney movie, Cars?
Google uses LSI to decide which is which. For example, if the film Cars served as the main topic of our article, there would be related terms and phrases throughout, such as:
- Lightning McQueen
- Animated movie
And if the article covered vintage cars, related terms and phrases would appear in the content, such as:
- Classic cars
One of the best ways to find related words to include in your content is using Google. By searching for a query you’d like to rank for, you can determine which related words and phrases appear in the top results.
For a more real-world example, let’s search for the best sandwich places in London:
Looking at the search results above, we can see Google has found several related words and phrases. The ones that stand out are:
- Sam Sandwiches (venue in London, which matches our intent in the query)
- Shop (related to the word ‘place’ in our query)
- Subs (related to the word ‘sandwich’ in our query)
So, we may want to include the above words and phrases when writing about the best sandwich places in London. We can use LSI to help reduce keyword stuffing and give Google an understanding of our articles.
- Use Google to establish related words and searches
- Include semantic terms in your content and be mindful not to use an unnatural amount of keywords in your articles
Now, let’s look at another helpful but often underestimated SEO strategy — optimising for low competition keywords.
Low competition keywords
One of the biggest hurdles with gaining visibility for any client is competition. Our relatively small online pomade business can’t compete with the big pomade brands and ecommerce sites like Amazon for large volume search terms such as pomade. Just look at the current first-page landscape.
Is targeting low competition keywords worth the effort?
We can use low competition keywords to our advantage to add oomph to our pomade review articles and blog posts. The idea is that Keyword Planner is not accurate by any means, and it would not be wise to disregard any potential source of laser-targeted traffic. If the search query is searched monthly, it’s worth considering using these keywords for content development.
Next, let’s find long-tail, low competition keywords for a PomadeEmporium.com blog post. Firstly, we’ll head over to Keyword Planner and type in ‘best pomade’ to get ideas.
From these results, we will look for potential keywords for an informative blog post.
From the results, we have highlighted three useful topics for blog articles. We can now use these keywords as our article titles, and we will be able to rank these articles easily using just on-page optimisation.
How do we know we can rank easily for these keywords?
We will now check the competition for these long-tail keywords. If the competition is low, then we are more likely to be successful with our efforts.
We will not be using the competition score provided by Keyword Planner as this score is only for pay-per-click competition. We want to check the organic search competition; how many other web pages use the specific keywords we target.
Checking competition for long-tail keywords is quick and easy using Google itself. Just check the number of allintitle results:
You’ll find the number of pages with our long-tail keyword in their title highlighted in green above. For our example, the keyword ‘hairstyles using pomade’ has only 41 results. Anything under 500 results is low competition.
We now have our article title, and we are ready to write an informative and helpful article about the different hairstyles you can create using pomade.
- Use Keyword Planner (or your preferred keyword research tool) to look up low volume (anywhere from 20 – 500 searches per month).
- Choose low volume keywords that will make great article topics, check the allintitle competition (anything under 500 is low competition).
- Write helpful and informative articles about your chosen topic. Include images and videos where possible and include keywords in the page title, page description, URL slug and H1 tag.
Top Keyword Research Resources
Below is a list of resources and keyword research software recommendations
Keyword Research Software:
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Long Tail Pro
- Google Ads Keyword Planner (Free)
- Keyword Optimizer Pro (Free - scrapes Google’s related searches results)
- Ubersuggest (Free)
- Keyword Tool (Free - scrapes keywords for YouTube and Amazon)
More resources on creating an effective SEO strategy:
- Take Control of Your Search Results
- How to be Google Awesome
- A Beginner’s Guide to SEO for WordPress
- How to Find Trending Topics for Content Creation
You might also want to check out our free keyword research template to help organise and store your keyword targets.
If you’re looking for more SEO strategies and keyword research tips, browse our range of SEO courses led by in-house experts. We offer introductions to search engine optimisation, valuable insights around keyword research, plus on-site and off-site SEO.