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How To Find Kick Ass Keywords Without Touching Keyword Planner

Looking for a new way to find keywords for your blog posts and sites? Or new to keyword research and want to know how to find (and use) great keywords? You are in the right place!

If there is one thing that is absolutely essential to my business, it’s my ability to find and rank for great keywords. The money I make across my travel blog and niche sites rely on this. This means I work hard on ensuring that I know how to find the best keywords and that I use them in the most effective way possible.

This tutorial is all about how to find the best keywords, quickly and easily, and how to use them in your blog posts so that you too can kick ass in Google search. I will show you my technique for doing this.

how to find kick ass keywords without touching keyword planner

If you have read and followed my last tutorial about how to find keywords, you will be happy to know that the strategy is the same. It still works. I have just updated the tools I use now that Keyword Planner and Long Tail Pro no longer work in the way they did.

The problem with Keyword Planner…

If you are anything like me then a month ago you came close to having a heart attack when Google AdWords Keyword Planner stopped showing search volume for many of its users. One day it was there, the next it was replaced by ranges which are completely pointless.

keyword planner

The problem became even worse when I realised it flowed into my beloved Long Tail Pro. The keyword tool I use most days.

The main way I market my articles across all my websites except this one is via SEO using great keywords so these changes were a huge blow for me. I was lucky that I was ahead in my keyword research and was able to sit back for a couple of weeks to see what happened.

Unfortunately, nothing good has happened with my ex-favourite tool, Long Tail Pro, and I no longer recommend this. I am still waiting to get access to their new web version, but given the new version does not show the data I need, is expensive and limits searches too much, there is no reason at all for me to continue with it.

This is good news for you, however, as I have found a far better and cheaper tool for doing kick ass keyword research ultra fast.

The solution?

I am so happy to have discovered KeySearch. This web tool does everything Long Tail Pro did and more. It shows keyword volumes and the Moz data that Long Tail Pro annoying stopped showing. It’s quick and easy to use and it’s cheap. More about this below.

Why should you care about keyword research?

But before I get ahead of myself, perhaps you are new to keyword research and wondering if you should even care at all.

The first question you should ask yourself is…

Do you care about attracting visitors to your site?

If the answer is yes then you should absolutely care about search rankings – and keywords are a huge part of this.

Even if your blog or site is new, it is worth taking the time to research your keywords now. Some keywords have so little competition that even a new blog can rank for them. However even if you don’t rank right now, if you pick the right keywords as your blog and your domain authority grows you are giving your site its maximum chance to start ranking for those keywords.

Often, it only takes wording your titles in a different order or using words that wouldn’t have immediately occurred to you to make a big difference in your search rankings. Keyword research will show these to you.

If you are unsure what I mean by keywords, read my section on this here. If you don’t understand what I mean by our domain authority or you need to grow it, read this article.

In this article, I am going to focus on finding the best keyword when you already know the topic. For example, I know I am travelling to Cairns soon and I want to find the best keywords for my article.

You can (and should) use keyword research to find ideas for new topics or for even an entire site – which is what I do when building a niche site. I follow a similar process just with am extra first step which involves a lot of brainstorming for topic ideas.

You will learn...

  1. What you need to know before finding keywords for your article.
  2. How to find the main keyword for your article.
  3. How to find additional keywords for your article.
  4. How to use keywords in your articles for maximum rankings.
  5. How to rank faster in Google for your new articles.
  6. Why I love Keysearch

1. What you need to know before finding keywords for your article

The only thing you need to know before starting to find keywords is your domain authority (DA). This is what we use to determine if we can rank in the first page of Google results. If you don’t know your site’s current DA, find it here.

If your DA is less than 30 then I strongly recommend that you work on building it up. I find 30 is a good value to aim for as it will give you much more choices of keywords you can rank for. It’s going to be much harder to find ones if it’s less than this. You can read my article about how to do that here.

It’s also useful to know if Google favours you in search results in any way. For example, I find it easier to rank in Australian searches for my travel blog and I also find it easier to rank for articles about SE Asia or Australia.

This means when I am looking for keywords for these topics, I know I can beat harder competition than for articles about other topics.

You may not know this right now, but it shows the importance of tracking how you rank across your main articles. This way you will learn any preference Google gives you over time.

2. How to find the main keyword for your article

By main keyword, I mean the primary keyword you want to rank for. This is the keyword that we will put the most effort into ranking on the top page of Google results.

Many bloggers make the mistake of just looking for the keyword with the most searches. This is a mistake. 

It doesn’t matter how many people are searching for the keyword if you are never going to rank on the first page of Google for the keyword. You are never going to get any decent level of traffic without being on that first page. So it’s essential you work out how competitive it is to rank for the keyword. This strategy is showing you how to do that.

Watch the following video to see my strategy for finding this kick ass keyword…

The basic process is…

  1. Look for all the keywords associated with your topic in KeySearch
  2. Ignore keywords that have a score above 40.
  3. Look for the best choice of main keyword by examining the top ten search results and focusing on the title, URL, authority links and DA to work out which will be easiest to rank for. Ideally, you want to find at least ten entries that you can beat.

It can seem difficult when you are first starting out but it really isn’t. Soon you will find great keywords in minutes.

If your domain authority is low you might find it hard to find anything at all that you can rank for.

In this case, just pick the keyword that looks the easiest to rank for.

When you get to guest posting and other ways to build links to your site, pointing the links to these articles instead of your home page can be a very effective way to still make the top ten while raising your overall domain authority and ensuring you rank in future.

3. How to find additional keywords for your article

Watch the following video for how to find additional keywords for your article…

You basically do step 1 above and then export all the results.

Once you have these keywords in a spreadsheet, remove any that aren’t relevant or that don’t make sense.

This is the list of keywords to add to your article.

4. How to use keywords in your articles for maximum rankings

Use the main keyword in:

  • the title
  • the URL
  • a subheading
  • the article text –  once or twice is enough. The earlier in the article the better.

For all other keywords, once in the article is enough. A couple of times each is better but it’s more beneficial to use lots of different keywords rather than the same ones over and over. It is also less risky from the stand point of an over optimisation penalty from Google.

If there is a keyword that is a very close second to the main keyword, also use it in a subheading. Prioritise which keywords to use based on their search volume.

If you use a SEO plugin like Yoast, don’t worry about the green light. I don’t put my keywords in that anymore as it is set to demand a far higher percentage of the main keyword than is required to rank well. In fact, it’s a risk using a keyword that much.

5. How to rank faster in Google for your new articles

I generally find articles take 4-6 months to rank well in Google. Sometimes longer. Sometimes if they are very good keywords, it’s faster.

If you can’t be that patient there is a short cut – gain some external links to the article. This should help your article rank faster and is also a good thing to do if your DA is low. Here’s some tips about how to do that here.

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6. Why I love KeySearch

KeySearch makes it so easy to get keywords for my articles and to calculate which keyword is best for my main keywords. It also makes it very easy to seach for topic ideas for future articles. In fact, I love it so much that I already bought a lifetime membership – which unfortunately was only on offer at their launch and not available anymore.

This article is about finding keywords so I didn’t demonstrate all the features of KeySearch. Here are some of the other things I use KeySearch for:

  • Checking what my competitors’ rank for – in the Keyword Reseach section, you can enter the URL of a competitor and it will return a list of many of the keywords they rank for. It’s a handy way to get article ideas.
  • Checking competitors’ backlinks – you can see and filter/sort all back links for a website
  • Rank tracking – I have set it up so it keeps track of how I am ranking in Google for my main keywords. It checks them every day and lets me know how they are going.
  • Keeping track of my website metrics – it allows me to easily check all my sites and my main competitors with the up to date metics such as DA, PA, CF and TF.

It does everything I need in the one spot and is very quick and easy – especially if you are used to the low speeds of Long Tail Pro. It’s also cheaper with prices starting at $13.60 a month using the 20% off discount code I have for you below.

Another thing I love about it is that the limits it has in place for how much keyword research you can do in a month are very generous. Since the Keyword Planner change, it seems like all the quality tools have limits. Long Tail Pro is only 10,000 searches a month on their cheapest, $27 a month plan -and by searches they count everything that is returned when you search for the keyword. So if you type something in like “Sydney attractions” and it brings back 1000 results, you only 9,000 searches left.

In KeySearch, you are allowed 20 new searches a day on the cheapest plan and they count a search as when you enter a keyword and press search meaning that “Sydney attractions” is just one search. You can also look up the difficulty of 200 keywords a day. These amounts are plenty and I have not come close to running out yet.

If you sign up now with my affiliate link, use the coupon code: KSDISC for 20% off.

Conclusion

You now know how to search for keywords and how to work out what is the best keyword to use as the main keyword for your article. You can now find some kick ass keywords for your next article.

It can sound complicated, but it really is not. It is just about having a good process (which you now have!) and being methodical. Once you have done it a couple of times, it will become natural.

KeySearch is an essential tool for performing keyword research. I highly recommend it! It also works well for tracking your rankings and getting ideas from your competitors. If you sign up now, you can get 20% off using the coupon code KSDISC. It is only $13 to try it our for a month to see how you go.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below or tell us your own keyword research tips!

Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links to my favourite SEO product, KeySearch. If you buy it after clicking on one of my links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you very much for supporting my site. It means a lot to me.

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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