Keyword research is one of the best ways to understand what your readers want and then decide how you can provide value for them through your articles.
Blog posts that target a primary keyword has more chances to get more traffic, leads and sales.
However, choosing the perfect keyword isn’t easy.
You need to perform keyword research to find the right keywords with right intent and even more importantly, profitable keywords with good search volume.
In today’s article, I will show you how to do keyword research with SEMrush, take the maximum advantage of this SEO tool and also a 30-day free trial coupon so that you can use SEMrush to your heart’s content without having to worry about paying.
While this article talks about how to do keyword research using SEMrush, you can typically use the info and insights I give here in any keyword research tool of your choice. I just used SEMrush because it is by far the best and gives results that works.
Getting Started with Keyword Overview
To get started with SEMrush, you have to sign in for a free account here.
After you login to the SEMrush dashboard, click on the overview tab under the keyword analytics options (on the left hand sidebar).
You’ll find a search bar in the next screen where you need to enter your broad topic of which you want to find keywords.
You can also select the country (which I highly recommend) for which you are targeting the keyword or preferring an audience of.
For this particular example, I chose the keyword indoor plants. After all is said and done you’ll have a result page as follows.
In the above screen, you can see 4 different reports for my preferred parent keyword “indoor plants”. Let me explain them to you:
1. Organic Search:
It gives you an idea of how many people actually search for the keyword in Google (22.2K in this example) and how many web pages are ranking for that term (28.7M). That’s pretty tough (but we will see how to tackle such tough keywords in some time).
2. Paid Search:
This part reveals if any websites or brands are bidding for that term using paid ads. And what is the average cost per click, in case you wanted to bid for the term too.
3. CPC Distribution:
This section shows the average CPC based on country you would target.
This is something interesting and a key factor to analyze. It shows you the monthly distribution of your target keyword and hence you know if a keyword will bring you traffic all the year round or only on specific months (example, Halloween costumes)
This basic info is important to give you an insight of what elephant you are rearing as your keyword. But, you shouldn’t just shoot for these keywords, that would be foolish.
You can also use the “overview” option to research and find 5-6 key topics around your blog.
These topics can be used as your broad categories. If you already have broad categories, use the above option to research more about your category topics.
The search trend in them and how SERPs are changing with time. This will help you to build a relevancy score for your blog which can help you build authority.
For further digging into the gold rush for more profitable keywords you need to dig deeper.
That’s where we meet…
Phrase Match and Related Keywords
Right below the keywords overview tab, you’ll find option for phrase match and related keywords.
This is where the most technical keyword research happens.
What we did in the first phase was actually find a few parent keywords which could form the pillar of our content strategy.
Targeting them or any similar parent keywords is nearly impossible, not at least if you’re just starting.
For that, you have to find the low-hanging fruits (keywords that have very less competition) and leverage them to first build a strong ranking profile for your blog.
We are targeting low competition keywords because they are often left abandoned by authority sites who already have the resources to rank for much broader and profitable keywords.
Hence they mostly don’t target or rather optimize their content for keywords with very less search volume like 60 searches per month (country specific) or even 20 searches per month.
Aren’t we wasting our time by concentrating on something not fruitful?
Not at all.
In fact these low-hanging keywords are easier to rank because you have dedicated blog posts for these unlike the authority sites.
This way, you have far more chances of ranking and thus more click-through rates in the SERPs.
Eventually these blog posts will also rank for a ton of LSI keywords which will bring more cumulative traffic.
How to Use SEMrush Phrase Match Option for Keyword Research?
Phrase match is a great option when you know you have a product or topic to target but it is too broad.
Phrase match gives you the option to find all possible keywords that are closely related (have the exact phrase you searched) to your target keywords along with alternative words.
You can also use phrase match to find long tail keywords and alternatives to product names (alternative terms used by users to search a product).
In the above image, you can clearly see two profitable keywords with good buyer intent.
This is only half the screenshot, if you actually search it has 2,641 keywords that match your target keyword.
I would say even the two keywords I selected inside say just half of the story, use these keywords (indoor plant stands, grow light for indoor plants) and enter them separately again as you did to the parent keyword to reveal for easier to rank long tail keywords.
How to Use SEMrush Related Keywords Option?
Are you working on a niche you don’t have any idea of?
Many times we come across a keyword that we’d like to rank for but we don’t have any idea for related keywords to write next.
With related keywords, you can easily enter a specific keyword and find all related keywords that might not have the same terms but belong to the same industry.
This time I entered a keyword as vague as “shoes”.
To be honest this is a keyword that is literally impossible to rank and maybe unprofitable too.
But, suppose you thought of working in the shoe niche but you have absolutely no idea about this niche.
This is where Google’s related searches also fail because they will only show you closely knit related searches like shoes for men and shoes online shopping.
To actually save time, digging deeper, you can use SEMrush’s related search feature which easily unlocked me to many keywords like orange coral shoes, gold women sneakers, all black womens tennis shoes, etc.
You could rinse and repeat the same procedure to further refine into more keywords worth targeting.
Now that you found keyword these keywords, I’d suggest to use the same rinse and repeat formula with these to uncover more related keywords to your key topics.
How to Use SEMrush Keyword Difficulty Tool?
Imagine you found a keyword (shoes) with 673,000 searches per month.
Isn’t that the ultimate zen thing to happen for your content strategy?
Most keywords already have content published around them (I hope you know internet’s been there from a long time and much before you’re a blogger).
Often times, these keywords have brands or high authority sites ranking for them.
You wouldn’t even want to mess with their keywords because, well, this is nearly impossible to achieve.
That is why keyword research tools are used to give you an idea of how easy or difficult a keyword is to rank.
These tools use a lot of data like ranking domains’ DA, PA, backlinks, social shares, word count, trust and citation flow based on the tool you’re using.
Most tools are machine algorithms after all.
They do give you an idea (which is correct most of the time) but do not guarantee their accuracy.
This is a matter with every keyword research tool out there, leave alone SEMrush.
So, it is always good to use these tools to get an idea of the game and then perform a check of your own manually.
The keyword difficulty tool shows you a count from 1-100% in which a count higher than 1 towards 100 shows the increasing difficulty of the keyword to rank where 100 is next to impossible to rank for.
SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool
SEMrush’s keyword magic tool is an all in one yet more feature-rich and advanced keyword research tool where you can literally enter a single worded keyword tool and build an entire empire of related long tail keywords to rank for.
With the keyword magic tool, you can enter a single word and then find the most related terms along with their keyword details under one tab.
You can then select these keywords (by pressing the + button) to dump them into the advanced keyword analyzer tool.
Check the image below:
After you’ve done that, you can now refresh the stats in the keyword analyzer to find detailed stats for each keyword like the keyword difficulty, click data, estimated search volume and the top competitors that are already ranking for the terms.
This is all you need to have a bird’s eye view over your whole keyword bucket.
Now select the ones that are the most relevant to your content strategy and use them accordingly.
Wrapping up with a Free Gift:
With this I hope you have had a good idea of how to use the SEMrush keyword research tool to uncover hidden profitable and easier to rank keywords.
Not only that, we also saw how to build an empire of keywords (from a single word) in a niche we have no idea of.
This can be quite useful, not only when you’re building a new website but also in Amazon sites where we often have no idea about the profitable niches we want to target.
our aim with these tutorials is to help you start stronger and win your blogging game.
And no, we don’t want you to spend a dime on keyword research or any such thing from day 1.
That is why, we have partnered with SEMrush to bring you a 30-day free trial coupon so that you can use it to find a year full of blog posts and keyword ideas.