4 Simple Methods For Generating A Huge And Effective Keyword List Using Familiar Free Tools
Are you a beginner or not-so-beginner online writer and just beginning to understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or learning keyword research? Good SEO and keyword research starts with generating a list of good, related and relevant keyword list – there’s no other way around it. In this post, you’ll discover how to use simple and familiar free tools (that you probably already know and use in other ways) to generate a huge list of related and highly relevant keyword list, as part of your keyword research for content or blog / website SEO.
Why Build Keyword Lists?
They say that the money is in the list. That’s correct BUT another (real) truth is that more money is in the Golden keywords within your contents; keywords that lead the desperate, willing and hungry buyers who have cash in hand, straight to your store front and promotional contents. More prospects will join your list if they can find your posts when they search for information on the search engines.
So, if you’re looking to sell any product or service online, you need to learn how to find a list of good, highly relevant keywords that the people who want to buy now are searching with. Else, even with an award winning content, a competitor with a poor content (but with the right keywords) will get the sale.
Writing your contents, naturally speaking with a group of related key phrases (aka keywords), will make it easy for any reader (and search engines) to ‘place it’ even without the title, while creating an opportunity to rank for multiple long tail keywords (more on that later). That’s because your content will have a topic theme.
Now, you may be asking “when should I build a keyword list“?” You should build a keyword list when you want to write a post / article or when you want to determine content categories for a new website or blog.
Beginning Keyword Research: 4 Fast And Simple Methods to Generate Good Keyword Lists On The Fly
The goal of this post is to keep it really stupidly simple, as much as possible. This post is the second in the series to demystify Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for you (a beginner or intermediate blogger) and let you know that you too can rank high for competitive keywords in your market niche. You’ll soon discover that SEO is only scary either because you’re still far away or have not yet found a simplified approach to it.
This is the second in the series, Simplifying and Demystifying Keyword Research for Beginners. In case you missed the other lessons, you can go to the links below later to read:.
- Part 1: Understanding Keyword Research, the Foundation for effective SEO and high search engine traffic
- Part 3: Where and How to place Keywords when writing articles/ posts – with examples and screenshots for illustration
- Part 4: What is a Backlink and How to Build Links – a Beginners Guide
Caveat: I’m not an SEO expert but I know a few non-complicated things about SEO and keyword research, that is working for me, that you can learn to improve your search engine rankings and free, organic traffic.
So, let’s go dive in to the topic of the day, shall we?
NOTE: I suggest you follow this series by experimenting the steps in this post. You’ll need to use an experimental post – so first decide on the title for your blog post/ article you’ll conduct keyword research for.
Keyword Research Method 1: Brainstorming to Generate A Keyword List
Step 1: Brainstorm different possible phrases a searcher could possibly type in the Google search box
Ask yourself: “if I was to ask someone a question on this topic, what would I say? OR if I was searching Google, on information on this same topic, what would I type?
*For example here: I want to write on the topic that I titled my post: “How to find the perfect birthday gift for a friend”
NOTE: To practice these methods, start writing a draft blog post title to work along with. It doesn’t have to be a serious post, you can even write a practice post on a notepad or Wordprocessor, whatever is comfortable with you – as long as you are practicing ‘how to generate keyword lists’ as you read this post.
Step 2: Write 5 different ways you would ask someone for information on that topic
If you had a limit of 2, 3 or 4 words maximum to ask your questions without losing the meanings, what would they be? From each of the 5 different ways you wrote, filter out most important key phrases (2 word key phrases, 3 word key phrases etc.)
Now back to my experimental blog title of: “How to find the perfect birthday gift”, the 5 ways I could ask someone the question or type inside Google search box can be:
best birthday gift for a friend, best birthday gift, idea for best birthday gift, where to get nice birthday gifts, places for best birthday gifts
Thinking Sideways: This brainstorming keywords method of keyword research is so critical and essential to generating your ‘seed keywords’ but is often overlooked by many freelance writers and bloggers. In fact, my friend LaKesha Brown calls this method “the Thinking Sideways method” of finding click-magnetizing keywords. In her post, she illustrates with examples how to brainstorm long tail keywords.
*Hint: Long tail Keywords are those that are composed of 3 and above words in length. I use Traffic Travis to save time on generating keyword lists. It spits out hundreds of keywords for me in a matter of seconds. I highly recommend this tool. Once I got it, I never imagined how I managed without it.
Step 3: Write your generated Keywords as a list
Take those brainstorm ideas (short versions) you got from step 2 above and write them down in a list, to give you your keyword list.
So, in my case, I’ll have:
- best birthday gift for a friend
- best birthday gift
- idea for best birthday gift
- where to get nice birthday gifts
- places for best birthday gifts
That is my keyword list. What’s yours? Are you working along as you read this, if so leave me a comment and tell us your own keyword list you brainstormed.
Why would you generate a Keyword list, you may ask? As you can see, it took a bit of time to think through to create that list. So we’ll need the help of a Keyword Research tool to generate more keywords faster. But they need seed keywords to give them an idea of what related keywords to return to us.
NOTE: You can use a thesaurus or synonym checker to generate more variations of that same question. For instance, another variation of:
“best birthday gift” could be “best birthday present” OR “nice / good birthday gift”. I got those two variations from an online thesaurus, under “synonym”.
*You can use Thesaurus.Com to find synonyms of your seed keywords.
Keyword Research Method 2: Mining List of Related Keywords From Google Search “Related Searches”
The second method for building targeted keyword lists is the Google “related searches” which is a feature inside the usual Google search results page.
For Google Search to present you with a related keywords list:
- First you’ll have to enter one of the key phrases (aka keywords) you brainstormed (aka ‘a seed keyword’) into the Google search box, as illustrated in the image below where I entered my seed keyword ‘birthday gift’;
- Next is to look on the left hand sidebar for “Related Searches”. [Hint: Sometimes you'll not see "related searches" but will see "more search tools" which will expand, if clicked, to show you the 'related searches' tab;
- Take a look at the image below, on the left hand side - the area highlighted in red is where you'll find and click "related searches"
- Then look up your search results page to find a set of more related keywords that Google presents you with, under "related searches" (as shown in the second image below);
I love this method and use it every time I want to write a post, to have an insight into the different variations of search terms for my keyword. This method generates lots of really long tail keywords (that is, any keyword made up of three or more words).
Hint: Long tail keywords get more traffic because fewer online writers use them in their contents; therefor you'll find it easier to rank on top Google search results page if you write your articles with them (low competition).
Keyword Research Method 3: Finding Suggestions For Related Keywords Using “Google Wonder Wheel”
The third method for generating good keyword lists is by using a free tool called Google Wonder Wheel, which can be accessed from within Google Search pages, as illustrated in the image.
Here’s how to find and use the Google Wonderwheel tool to find more related keywords:
Google Wonder Wheel is found within the Google Search Results page, so here are the steps to generate more relevant keywords with Google Wonder Wheel:
- Go to the usual Google Search page and enter one of your brainstormed keywords (remember we learnt the ‘brainstorming method” in method 1 above);
- Look to your left hand side and click “More Search Tools” on the sidebar (see the image below for illustration, yellow arrow)
- You should now find the Google Wonder Wheel (as shown in the image below, red highlight)
- Your wonder wheel pulls up, with many nodes, each one is a keyword (as you can see in the second image below) – I entered my brainstormed keyword (‘keyword research’) AND the Google Wonder Wheel presents me with the following keyword: free keyword research, keyword research, keyword elite, google api keyword suggestion…
- You may find that some of the keywords presented will not be relevant to the purpose you have in mind, ignore those and focus on digging deeper with the relevant keywords
- Next step is to dig deep, one relevant keyword at a time. Here’s what you do – click one relevant keyword node at a time and you’ll discover that it generates another Wonder Wheel. In my case (third image below), I clicked “top keywords” and you can see that it generates more keywords related to that term “top keywords”
- Next step is to write down the list of the relevant, related keywords you find while researching keywords with the Google Wonder Wheel
Look at the keyword variation generated with the Google Wonder Wheel – each node on the Google Wonder wheel is a keyword, and you can see that they have two and more words combination (that is, long tail keywords).
Hint: What To Do When You Can’t Find “Google Wonder Wheel” Under The “Search Tools” Sidebar
Turn off “Google Instant” temporarily: Sometimes Google Wonder Wheel interferes with Google Instant and you may need to turn off your Google instant for a while so that you can use Google Wonder Wheel. Here’s how to turn off Google Instant:
- Look up your Google search results page – top right beside the “Sign Out” you’ll see “Settings” –> Then Click “Settings” –>Click “Search Settings” –>Scroll Down and you’ll see “Google Instant” –> Then Click the button “Use Google Instant – predictions and results appear while typing” –>Finally, Click “Save Preferences”
- Do your search again and locate the Google Wonder Wheel
*Note: Sometimes I notice that Google Wonder Wheel still does not come up even after I turn off the “Google Instant” from the ‘search settings’. In case that happens, just try it again the next day and next day – looks like Google turns it off and on. Ensure to try this hack, if not for anything, you’ll be convinced you have learned one new thing.
Let me know in the comment area if this works for you – to get your Google Wonder Wheel back on.
LATEST UPDATE (July 11, 2011): Recently, there had been frequent service outage by one of our favorite keyword research tool, Google Wonder Wheel. I thought it would be back ‘soon’ as it it used to. However, last week I read on one blog that it looks like Google has temporarily or permanently taken it off. Next day, one of my readers Ameya of SpiceNfries pointed me to a new post on SearchEngineLand.Com that reported a Google spokesperson saying that Google Wonder Wheel was officially offline, as part of Google’s service and products consolidation exercise. Let’s hope that Google will bring this cool tool back – so, I suggest you check once in a while. – because in the past it was on and off.
Guess what? However, I discovered an even better tool that generates tons of long tail keywords. It’s called LongtailPro – I highly recommend you get it because in a few seconds it can generate hundreds of long tail keywords for you.
Keyword Research Method 4: More Related Keyword Research Idea Using Google “Something Different” Sidebar – Niche Research Made easy
Did you notice a set of keyword variations on the sidebar, under “Something Different”? Did you see they are of a different twist? Look at it again on the image below.
When I searched ‘birthday gift’, I found these under the “Something Different” tab on the sidebar:
wedding gift, birthday present, graduation gift, housewarming gift, valentines day gift
Now, these are the kind of keywords you could use as your category pages, if you were creating a new niche affiliate website on ‘Gifts” – so that you would have contents under each of those categories.
Are you truly working along? I hope you are working along, as you’re reading this post. If so, leave me a comment on the keywords you discovered under “Something Different”.
Hint: What To Do When “Related Search” Feature Is Not Displayed
“Related Search” feature appears to be off, for some countries. However, there’s a way around it.
Start searching on Google as you do normally –> Go to “Google.Com” (It’s a text link you’ll from on top right, right under the box where you typed your search query. There you should find the word “Google.Com”) –>Click “Google.Com” and you should find “Related Searches” showing on the left sidebar, right under “All results”.
Note: You do not have to turn off “Google Instant” to get this on. On a good day, even Wonder wheel usually comes on without turning off Google instant.
That’s it for today on Starting Keyword Research: How to Build Good Keyword Lists. As I mentioned in the previous post, we’ll cover only a few methods in each post of our series on “Demystifying Keyword Research”.
- Where we are so far: Those are only 4 out of the 8 simple and fast keyword research methods I’ll cover in this beginner series.
- Where we’re going: We’ll also cover how to write in keywords, so save those keyword lists you researched in today’s exercise because you’ll need them to create a Search Engine Optimized (SEO) content, when we get there.
Practice makes perfect. Let me emphasize again that, the only way you’ll know how to do keyword research is if while you read the posts in this series, you’re experimenting it along. So, practice through your reading this post so that you will know it.
What to do with your keyword list when it’s all ready? We have four more simple methods for generating good keyword lists, and after that we’ll learn how to use the keyword list we generated to write a Search Engine Optimized (SEO) blog post or article that will get lots of free traffic from the search engines and also rank well.
Once you learn a couple of simple keyword research methods, you will have a choice of tools to use on the fly when you’re in a hurry or hen you have a lot of time for keyword research.
Your Next Steps to Action…
Congratulations, if you practiced along with this tutorial. Now that you know how to generate keyword lists manually, you’ll want to do it faster the next time – so be sure to get yourself a keyword research automation tool.
You can get the $1 trial of Traffic Travis (one of the cool tools I use) to test and see the difference between manual and automatic keyword research.
Finally, thanks for reading and I hope you found value in this post. In the mean time, before you go I’d like you to help me do two things:
1.) Comment: I always love to hear your feedback on my posts – did I miss anything? Did this post answer your questions? What keywords did you find using the above methods? Even if you have nothing to say, simply leave your footprint behind to let me know you were here and read this post:)
2.) Share this post: Stumble it, Facebook it, Tweet it, Digg it, email it… You can do that in one click with the easy share buttons below or floating to the top left.
I’ll see you in the comments side (down below).
Yours in increasing blog search visibility with keyword list building,