5 Unknown Keyword Research Tips To Boost Your Online Traffic

Are you having a hard time finding out which keywords to target for your SEO and PPC campaigns?

Let me show you 5 Keyword Research Tips that will end your Keyword research problems.

1. Swipe your Competitor’s Keyword Research

Why not let your “established” and “authority” competitors do the keyword research for you?

You can ethically “swipe” your competitor’s keywords by using these Google’s Free Keyword Tool.

Use Google Keyword Tool

Here’s what you need to do.

List at least 5 top competitors that are ranking in the top results for your targeted terms or niche.

Let me use “Keyword Research Tips” as an example of a keyword/keyword theme that I would like to target.

I will then Paste the Top 5 URLs that are ranking for this term in Google Keyword Tool’s Website Box

Change your location and language based on your targeted demographic. Choose Global and English if you are targeting a worldwide audience.

Choose exact match or phrase match as keyword match types. I prefer to use phrase matches because it can help me find “hidden long tail keywords” later on.

competitor url

The great thing about this strategy is that you’ll immediately see the search volumes for the keywords you’ve chosen.

Select keywords that you think will be relevant to your niche and group them together to create tightly themed set of keywords.

2. Find hidden long tail keywords in the phrase-match/exact match difference

This strategy can help you uncover hidden long tail keywords that might be less competitive than most keywords.

The secret here is the difference between Phrase Match and Exact Match Search volumes.

Google Keyword Tool usually shows the Phrase match and Exact match search volumes, but they seldom release related long tail keywords to target for your SEO and PPC campaigns.

Basically, you’ll need to find the phrase match and exact match search volume of a particular keyword.

If there’s a huge difference between the search volumes, then you have a winning keyword.

Try to find the “missing long tail keywords” through Google instant searches or try some PPC advertising to drive some impressions and clicks which will help you identify these “hidden keyword opportunities”.

Here’s an example of what I mean:

seo search terms

SEO Tools (in Google Global Search)

“seo tools” (phrase match) = 90,500

[seo tools] (exact match) = 33,100

“SEO Tools” Phrase Match/Exact Match Difference = 57,400

SEO Services (in Google Global Search)

“seo services” (phrase match) = 246,000

[seo services] (exact match) = 49,500

“SEO Services” Phrase Match/Exact Match Difference = 196,500

Obviously the bigger opportunity lies in optimizing for the term “SEO Services” since it has 196,500 hidden long tail keywords.

These hidden long tail keywords includes:

“seo services canada”

“seo services toronto”

and more

The idea here is to find keywords that have huge differences between the search volumes of the phrase and exact match and create content around those keywords.

3. Blog on upcoming events and product launches

Monitor competitor product releases, industry updates and industry news.

If you can rank and optimize for keywords that are not being searched today, but will be highly searched in the future, then you’re in a great position to generate tons of traffic for that search term.

Here are just a few examples:

black friday

Date Based Searches

Black Friday 2013

Boxing Day 2013

Product launches

[Product name] launch

[Product name] review

[Product name] information

Basically, these strategy relies on anticipating keywords that will be highly searched in the future. These keywords are easier to rank in the search engines because no one is still optimizing for these terms.

4. Add geo-targeted search terms to your Keywords for Local Search

If you are promoting a local business, or you offer products and services to a local demographic, adding geo-location keywords for search can help you rank a lot faster than regular keywords.

Here’s another example.

If you want to optimize for “Seo Services” it might take you several months, or even years to outrank your competition.

Instead try adding geo locations to your keywords:

seo services toronto

“Seo services Canada”

“Seo services Toronto”

These keywords might have less search volumes, but they are highly targeted and more likely to convert than the Fat Head keywords.

5. Mine your existing Google Analytics Data for Long Tail Keywords that you might have missed

Do you know that you can find tons of keyword research data from your existing Google Analytics data? Of course this will only work for old websites with some organic or paid search traffic before. Using Google Analytics Regular Filters you can create a list of long tail keywords.

You can filter keywords with 3,4,5,6,7 or more keywords in the search phrase. This will help you find content ideas, keywords opportunities that you might want to include in your next blog post.

filter keywords

I’ve created a Google Analytics Dashboard to help you find these keywords quickly. Make sure you’re signed in to Google Analytics and Click here to Copy my SEO Dashboard. And there you have it, 5 Unconventional Keyword Research Tips that can help solve your Keyword research problems.

Ryan Cruz

Ryan Cruz

Ryan is a keyword ninja, content marketer, and a certified PPC search and display specialist in Google and Bing Ad networks. He helps professionals and business owners drive targeted sales and leads to their business. He also blogs about tips on online marketing and publishes case studies on his blog, Traffic Salad. You can usually connect with him immediately on Google+

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24 thoughts on “5 Unknown Keyword Research Tips To Boost Your Online Traffic

  1. Ryan, great article! Personally, I use the same methodology to help determine my content along with one or two other tools on a monthly basis.

    1. Thanks Alvin! That’s great. Tools are really important especially if you are starting out. But I found out that some keywords have better conversions and they are usually from the brand keywords, location keywords and long tail keywords and not necessarily the fat head terms.

  2. Hi Ryan,

    Thank you very much for sharing this post. This is such a great post. I have learned something new today. I think I need to use this in my blog :) Thanks for sharing.


    1. Please do use them, and let me know what happens. Usually, with long tail keywords, you’ll see traffic and rankings within a few weeks instead of months. Hit me up when you’ve find them really useful.

  3. Seasonal keywords can be a great add-on to your usual SEO campaign. What’s coming down the pipe line in your industry that you can get a jump on now? For instance, “last minute 4th of July ideas” might be a great long tail keyword for someone that sells party supplies.

    1. Yes, I love seasonal keywords and should be a part of every smart content marketers strategy. But unless the site has authority and marketing reach, it would be best to write about seasonal keywords early on instead of just writing something within a few days. This way, you can still promote it while waiting for the seasonal event to take place.

  4. Hey!

    very much liked this post.

    Just to add a tidbit ( if you don’t mind), after the preliminary keyword research you can go one step further in analyzing the competition on the front page for your keywords by considering two pieces of information. 1) the average page rank 2) the ration of total number of competing pages to the potential search volume.

    I’ve used this to help assist me in further deciding which keywords I can potentially rank for in a shorter period of time.

    Great post, many great take always!


    1. Hey Tony,

      Thanks for leaving a comment and no I don’t mind the additional bit of info. And I will agree and disagree on the keyword competition using average pagerank and competing pages.

      If I see that most of the Top 10 ranking websites have pageranks of 5 and above then that’s a difficult keyword (together with thousands of backlinks, which would most likely be the case).

      But if the website that you are trying to rank has authority, then it’s possible to outrank these higher PR websites, because we see it all the time in the serps (lower PR ranking pages have higher rankings than higher PR pages).

      With regards to the competing pages, I used to take note of the total competing pages, but now I would just analyze the top 20 ranking pages for a particular keyword (Domain age, backlinks, Pagerank, etc).


  5. Nice post! Not enough people are talking about long tail keyword strategy – but they’ll be forced to soon enough – the “fat head” is only getting more competitive!

    Good tip on using Google Analytics to mine long tail keywords too. We use Hittail to do all the sorting for us, but if you don’t want to shell out for that it’s all in Analytics anyway.

  6. Hi Ryan

    Really cool ideas. I have work through them – quickly. Now I can take my time and implement these ideas. I have never really given Google Analytics the time I should. Now to get your dashboard installed. Thanks

    BTW: I must say that this blog post and the post – casestudy -by the guy who developed Long Tail Pro are some of the most useful I have read.

    BTW 2: I picked your article up via Zite.

  7. Hey,
    Thanks for Providing Such a wonderful Rich content,
    surely it was very informative, and as a newbie i tend to learn how to use Adwords and also with your information i can check my competitors keywords.
    i guess it will be of very help to many of the Newbie bloggers who wish to compete, hope them to get benefited as i have.

    1. You’re welcome Mohammed, This would help you really get started and find the “most important” keywords to target first. Then when traffic comes in, it will help you understand what people are looking for and create content for it (based on what analytics is telling you).

  8. Thanks Ryan. Interpreting the difference between exact match and phrase match is quite nice trick especially if you want to keep your mind at peace with the use of a broad semantic field.

    1. Yes Arun, a lot of people only target exact match and phrase match, not realizing that the re’s a huge opportunity for keywords between those two.

  9. Really awesome tips. I tried out the dashboard – it’s very helpful. Geo-targeted keywords are a great way to boost SEO efforts, as we’ve seen with numerous clients. They always boost the site’s rank, and there are always plenty of people who are looking to work with local companies.

  10. Hi Ryan,

    Great tips, however now Google have changed the Keyword Tool into the Keyword Planner I don’t see how you can enter a competitors URL, do you know how I can spy on my competitors now?

  11. Great post as always Ryan! :)

    @Colin, there is an option to enter the URL just under the section where you enter the keyword to search for, you will find it easily next time you try it, just look below :)

    Manny Zarate

  12. Ryan there you go with one of your best post and I would specially stick with this that find hidden long tail keywords in the phrase-match or exact match difference :)

    John Smith

  13. nice post.. I have work through them – quickly. Now I can take my time and implement these ideas. I have never really given Google Analytics the time I should. Now to get your dashboard installed.