Keyword Research Tips to Help you Rank Higher in Google
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Keyword Research Tips to Help you Rank Higher in Google

Keyword research is a process. But the problem is that some of the best keywords and topics can’t be found through a conventional process. So in this SEO tutorial, we’re going to cover
some advanced keyword research tips to find topics worth going after. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up SEOs? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. If you’ve watched any of our videos on keyword
research, I’m sure you’ve seen me talk about entering a couple seed keywords in a tool, going
to a keyword ideas report, applying some filters and then picking topics to create content on. This is how keyword research is normally done
and it works no doubt. But the thing is that if everyone is doing keyword research this way, then everyone’s finding the same keywords, so they’re going
to be more competitive. Instead, you need to look into additional methods
that your competitors might not be using. With that said, let’s start hunting for some
keyword ideas. The first thing you should do is find pages that are sending a lot of search traffic to your competitors. And I’m going to touch on a couple of things
to look for here. So let’s say that I have a yoga site. I’d start off by looking for a competitor’s website. And by competitor, I’m talking about websites who are ranking for keywords that you’d also want to rank for. So they might not be your direct business competitors
in this case. So I’ll start off on Google and search for a keyword
that’s likely popular like “yoga exercises.” Since this page is ranking high and you can
clearly tell that the domain is relevant to yoga, I’m going to run a competitive analysis on their domain. So I’ll head over to Ahrefs’ Site Explorer, and enter in “” And it looks like they’re getting hundreds
of thousands of search visits each month, making them a good target for further analysis. If you find the site you’re analyzing doesn’t
get very much search traffic, so we’ll say, less than 30,000 search visits in a popular industry
like yoga, then you may want to try a different site. Since we found a competitor with a lot of search
traffic, let’s head over to the Top pages report, where you can see the pages that generate the most search traffic for the site. Now, because my yoga site doesn’t discriminate
against which part of the world you’re from, I’m going to switch this filter to show traffic
estimations from all countries. Now, there are two ways you can use this data. First is to find low-competition topics that
get search traffic. Since we know that backlinks from unique websites
help a page rank, let’s just look at the Referring domains column. Now, for anything that has less than, let’s
say, 10 referring domains, these might be low-hanging topics worth targeting. So these ones look good for our first test. Now, let’s take a look at the page URL and
top keyword for these pages. This will help us evaluate whether these are
relevant topics for your site. To me, they all look relevant, so let’s add
the traffic number to our analysis. This column will be a good indication of whether
spending your time and money building those links will be worth the estimated traffic you could get. So these are all getting at least a few thousand
search visits per month, so the traffic I can get from ranking for these pages would probably be
worth going after. Finally, I’ll look at the Position column. Looking at these pages, you’ll see that this page
is ranking in position 6 for “yoga for weight loss,” which isn’t a very high position. So that tells us that ranking ahead of them
could produce much more traffic for us. The second way is to look at the traffic distribution
going to these pages. I don’t know about you, but I personally hate
losing in anything I care about. Beat me in a round of golf, and I’ll challenge
you to another round. Outrank me in the SERP and I’ll come back fighting. Own a large percentage of traffic that’s not
even mine, and I’ll come and compete. Now, within the Top pages report, you can
see the total percentage of traffic each page accounts for across the website. And you’ll see that the topics “yoga poses”
and “yoga for lower back pain” accumulate to around 15% of this website’s entire search traffic. Assuming this was my direct business competitor,
I’d personally go after these topics for the sole purpose of owning as much relevant traffic and taking it
away from them. After you’ve depleted the list of this competitor’s
top pages, go to the Competing domains report to find even more relevant websites to get
new ideas from. Rinse and repeat and we’re on to the next tip, which is to discover keywords your competitors
aren’t targeting. In the words of Glen Allsopp: If you can find the keywords your audience are
searching for, but your competitors haven’t found, you can leverage a huge advantage to increase
traffic and engagement on your content. The good news is that you can find these keywords
that your direct competitors aren’t targeting. The bad news is that there isn’t a cookie-cutter formula to find these. It requires a bit of creativity. Here are a couple of ways you can find some
out-of-the-box keyword ideas. The first way is to look at Google Trends
for stand-out keywords. So let’s say we’re in the ultra-competitive
weight loss niche. I’ll run that search in Trends and scroll
down to the Related queries. Looking at the results, you’ll immediately see
something interesting. Celebrity names. And if we go to the next page, you’ll see even more. So let’s keep that in mind. Now, let’s go to Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer to dig deeper. So I’ll search for a couple of seed keywords
like “weight loss” and “lose weight.” Next, I’ll go to the Phrase match report. Now, since we’re looking for celebrity-related
weight-loss queries, we need to try and identify a pattern, also known as a footprint. So based on our research from Google Trends,
you’ll see that these queries have exactly four words. “First name,” “last name,” “weight,” “loss.” So I’ll set the Word count filter to show
keywords with a min and max value of 4. So this will show us queries with exactly four words. And now we can easily spot names like Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, Susan Boyle, and Mama June. And if you look carefully, you’ll see that all of these keywords have low Keyword Difficulty scores. So to further narrow our list, let’s set another
filter to only show keywords with a maximum Keyword Difficulty of 10. And you now have a ton of low-competition
celebrity weight-loss keywords, which may be a good way to enter an ultra-competitive niche. Now, this is just one example of following
the rabbit hole to find keyword ideas. But most niches aren’t filled with celebrity names. So the second thing you can do is look for
related keywords using Google Correlate. Let’s search for “weight loss” again. At this point, I just want to skim through the correlated keywords and look for interesting words. So based on this list, I’d choose anything
that looks remotely-relevant like “percentage,” “average,” “salad,” “vacation,” “peanut,” and “vacations.” Now, let’s go back to Keywords Explorer and
go to the All keywords report with “weight loss” and “lose weight” set as our seeds. This time, I’m going to use the “Include” filter and paste in a comma-separated list of our related keywords. And I’ll make sure to show keywords where any of
these words appear. And we have yet another list of relevant keywords,
where most are actually pretty low-competition. But you should be a bit skeptical and ask
why are these low-competition? Well, in this case part of it has to do with
search demand. But a good chunk of these are because a lot
of other sites don’t know about these keywords or at least they don’t seem to be targeting it with
much intention. You just need to filter, analyze the SERP for search intent, and target the ones worth going after. The next keyword research tip is to find low-competition topics with high search traffic potential. And the way we’re going to do it is using
Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, which has a database of over a billion pre-vetted pages of content. Just search for a query related to your niche. And you should see a ton of relevant results. Next, let’s set a filter to only show pages
that get at least 500 monthly search visits. The final filter will be to only show pages
that have a maximum of 5 referring domains, or unique websites linking to the page. And the reason why we’re doing this is because
we know that backlinks from unique websites help a page rank higher in Google. So looking for pages without a lot of backlinks, yet they’re still generating a good amount of search traffic, likely means there’s an opportunity to be had. Looking at the results, you’ll see this one on
a 1,200-calorie meal prep that gets around 3,000 monthly search visits! Click on the organic traffic number, and you’ll
be able to see all of the keywords it ranks for and their keyword metrics. Next up is to find keywords that forums are ranking for. From an ownership standpoint, forums are great
because it’s all user-generated content. People are actively asking questions, providing answers, and the owner is able to reap the traffic as a result. On the flip side, forum pages that are ranking
high are generally easy topics to rank for because they often contain low-quality
user-generated content. Now, this makes your chances of ranking with a well-crafted page high. On top of that, since the content is usually subpar
at best, it’s unlikely they’ve generated a lot of links. But because of the sheer amount of content
they have, they’re still going to manage to rank for all sorts of random keywords. For example, Quora gets around 90 million
search visits each month. Yahoo Answers gets around 17 million monthly
search visits. And StackOverflow’s questions get around 22 million search visits! And to prove my point, look at the Top pages
report for Some of their pages are generating over one
hundred thousand search visits per month without any or many links from unique websites. Now, looking at the Top pages report for Quora
is great if you’re in a niche that doesn’t have any high-traffic forums. But if you can find a niche-relevant forum
with high search traffic, then you’ll find a ton of great keyword ideas to cover. So let’s say you have a site about golf. Then you’ll probably know about the GolfWRX forum. First, I’ll check how much search traffic they
get by looking it up in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer. And it looks like they get a good amount of
search traffic. Next, I’ll go to the Top pages report to see
the pages or questions that are driving the most search traffic for them. Now, you might notice that the top keyword
for a lot of these pages are branded queries. So let’s enter keywords like wrx, and golfwrx
into the Exclude box. Now, I’ll click on the “Target” filter, and choose
to exclude these from just the keywords. Now, if we skim through the list, you’ll see
a pattern yet again. They’re ranking for a lot of keywords with
a golfer’s first and last name, and WITB, which stands for “what’s in the bag.” So let’s take this over to Keywords Explorer
and search for “witb” as our seed. Next, I’ll go to the Phrase match report to
see all keyword ideas that contain this word. And without even setting any filters, you can
see a whole bunch of low-competition keywords that might be worth going after. I could go on and on about looking for footprints
or patterns and then following the yellow brick road to keyword heaven, but I’ll leave
you with these tips to try out for yourself. Now, if you’re relatively new to keyword research
and you’re looking for more of a process, then I highly recommend watching some of our
other keyword research tutorials which are super-focused on process. But before you go, make sure to like, share,
and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. So go and try some of these tips out and I’ll
see you in the next tutorial.


  • Kamal Bhatt

    Suppose you want to make 10,000 amazing blog posts in 2 years with great money to pay to freelancers who would write for you? How will you make it bro? How would you manage this number of blog posts and how would you do link building??? 😁

    There is a keyword where top page gets a traffic of 5,000. CPC of the keyword is 2.0$? How much money can I expect is I ranked on #1 😇

  • Kandaman

    Sam OH, I can't believe you don't charge for this stuff 🙂
    This is an AMAZING content strategy you are sharing.
    As always, am always BLOWN AWAY by your videos.
    I learn so much each time you publish. Keep up the GREAT work my friend. HIGHLY APPRECIATED!!!

  • Kagura TheWindSorcerer

    Sam, this video comes at the right time as now I am reading an article written by Joshua, also on some untapped keyword research techniques. What a coincidence!

    I know your video this time is not specifically discussing google trends, but my questions are still related to keyword research.

    In google trends we can look into a keyword either as "search term" or as "topic". Both options will show different results. As I've read many of ahrefs articles, I agree I need to focus my effort on targeting promising topics instead of just high-volume keywords that many have done the same.

    I have 2 questions related to google trends and 1 question on keyword research technique in more specific.

    1) if, say yoga (i dont check, just take the same example you used in the video), shows an increasing trend as "topic" but shows a declining trend as "search term", is that keyword still worth targeting?

    2) if google trends result shows an increasing trend for a keyword as "topic", is there way to get all search terms falling under/related to the said topic?

    3) can you recommend any easy/quick way(s) to validate traffic potential of keywords we have thought of by ourselves (by putting ourselves in users' shoes) or of keywords found from user generated contents in forums or other sources? Those (long-tail) keywords may result in 0 volume as they are not commonly targeted, but we know there are people out there searching for those questions/keywords in their own speaking/communication style. How can we assure such keywords will become a good topic to cover that may naturally rank for other related keywords?

    Thanks so much in advance and sorry for asking many long questions! 😋


    I have to rank one keyword and ahref showing you have to take 7 backlink from different domain. Then your page rank on top 10. Can you help me i have created 4 backlinks but its not showing on even top 100??

  • Brendon Patrick

    Great video; however, I'm in a low volume niche and got very poor results following your steps. Any way I can work around this issue with Ahrefs?

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