How To Perform Quick-And-Dirty Keyword Research To Jumpstart Your Content Marketing

How To Perform Quick And Dirty Keyword Research To Jumpstart Your Content Marketing


Keyword research is anything but exciting. In fact, trying to do it after a satisfying dinner and glass of wine is more likely to end with your forehead on your keyboard than a list of low-competition, high-value phrases.

Unfortunately, the research has to be done. Without knowing which keywords people are searching for, it’s difficult to target the phrases that will draw search traffic to your site. That traffic is the lifeblood of your business. Whether you’re running a blog, operating an ecommerce site, or trying to position yourself as a thought leader in your niche, it begins with targeted traffic.

And for that, you need the right keywords.

There are lots of ways to perform keyword research. On one extreme, you can devote months to the task, drilling down into every iteration of every phrase you can imagine. Or you can do some “quick and dirty” research, using a few tools available online. There’s definitely a place for both approaches. But today, we’ll focus on the latter one. Read on for 3 quick ways to find out what type of content your audience is searching for.

How to Perform “Quick and Dirty” Keyword Research to Jumpstart Your Content Marketing

What Does Google Think You Should Search For?

When the Google Suggest tool first reared its head a couple of years ago, users nearly revolted. They couldn’t stand the obtrusive box that dropped down with suggestions every time they tried to perform a search.

Fast forward to 2013. Not only are people used to the feature, but many folks like it. The suggestions are actually helpful in getting folks to the information they want.

If you’re focused on content marketing, it’s important to understand where the suggestions come from. They’re made based on past search data. In other words, the phrases offered by the Suggest feature are those that have been used, in volume, by searchers in the past. And that means they offer a glimpse into the topics you should be addressing in your content.

Side note: type “google is” (without quotations) into the search box. Google’s suggestions may give you a few chuckles.

What Are People Watching On YouTube?

YouTube’s search function is equipped with the same Suggest feature that you’ll find at Google. That shouldn’t be a surprise since the property is owned by the search engine with a link to it placed on Google’s topside navigation.

The important thing is that you can identify the types of video content people want to see. That can be extremely useful. For example, suppose you sell golf instructional DVDs. You’re looking for a way to reach people who want to become better golfers. Visit YouTube and type “golf” into the search bar. Notice some of the suggested phrases…

– golf swing tips
– golf trick shots
– golf lessons

Now type in “golf tips.” Here are a few phrases you should see…

– golf tips driving
– golf tips chipping
– golf tips putting
– golf tips for seniors

Can you see how creating short videos around these topics can introduce you to a hungry audience? We mentioned recently that folks consume content in different ways. Some like to read. Others like to listen. Still others like to watch. And with more businesses providing video content these days, people are getting used to watching videos designed to promote products.

Of course, the content still needs to be useful or entertaining if you want it to have an impact.

What Keywords Are Advertisers Buying With Adwords?

The Google Adwords keyword tool has been used by millions of people to figure out which keywords they should focus their time, effort, and budgets on. Plug in a keyword phrase, and Google will provide a bunch of data, including related keywords and the number of monthly searches performed for each one. If you’re logged into your Adwords account, you’ll even be able to see CPC (cost-per-click) data.

For example, access the keyword tool here, and type “golf tips.” Notice some of the keyword phrases that signal an interest in learning how to be a better golfer…

– golf putting tips
– golf tips for beginners
– golf tips videos
– golf swing tips
– golf driving tips

Can you think of ways to incorporate this type of data into your search engine optimization efforts, your content marketing, and your product creation?

I’ll bet you can!

Keyword research can obviously be much more involved and complex. If you’re entering a new niche or even launching a new site in a familiar niche, it’s worth taking a lot more time to map out the keyword territory. But if you just need a way to perform “quick and dirty” research without spending a lot of time and effort on it, now you have three ways to do it.

Give them a try. You might be surprised by how useful they are and how much time they can save!

Your Turn!

Have you used the Google Suggest feature to research keywords in your niche? If so, how helpful have you found the tool to be? Did it help you uncover keyword phrases that you had previously missed? Enquiring minds want to know. Share your experience by leaving a comment below!


Christine OKelly Headshot 300x300 4 Tips To Optimize Your Content For GoogleChristine O’Kelly is the co-founder of Online PR Media, the press release distribution site that supercharges traditional media press releases with multimedia, social media, and search engine optimization. A recognized expert in SEO press release strategy and distribution, Christine teaches marketers, advertisers, and business owners how to gain more online visibility and publicity for their businesses. For a FREE copy of Christine O’Kelly and Tara Geissinger’s e-book, “The Results Driven Press Release Formula,” visit:


  1. says

    Keyword research is the main point in order to rank the articles. What is always do is, 1. google keyword tools to decide the keyword. 2. Search the keyword and check for competition on search result. 3. Read few of the articles from search result. 4. Pick up a dazzling title and start to write.
    Look what Muhd Hanis just posted..Keyword Analysis, Beware Before BloggingMy Profile

  2. says

    Hope this article was able to make the process a little less confusing and frustrating for you Carla and Jackie! The key is to put yourself in the mindset of the person who NEEDS your solutions (whether they realize they need them or not). What would you imagine them typing into the search engine? Start with a few of those ideas and then use a keyword tool like Google’s Adwords tool to discover additional possibilities.
    Look what Christine just posted..Essential Changes In Press Release SEO After Google’s Latest Algorithm UpdateMy Profile

  3. says

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha
    plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours
    and I’m having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!
    Look what Kirsten just posted..KirstenMy Profile

  4. Alexey says

    Thanks for another great post! I’ve suggest Keyword Suggestion Tool as a starting point of searching for most popular keywords or phrases suggested by Google, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon or Youtube and where you can see results on the same page. I hope that this free tool will useful for everyone.

  5. says

    I think you’re right Kim, unless your longtail keyword shows up in Google Suggest dropdown list, the demand for that query probably won’t be as strong as you would like. I also pay attention to the PPC panel. If the PPC is there, you know the demand is there too.

    Like in your example “golf tips” I tested 1) link wheel 2) social link wheel 3) what is a social link wheel and then I created content built around these 3 phrases and it worked as planned.
    Look what Neil Ferree just posted..Content Marketing System Best PracticesMy Profile

  6. says

    Great article. Certainly helpful for anyone seeking to increase traffic to their website or blog! One of the biggest advantages of google “suggestions” is the efficiency and convenience.

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