Are you stuck in a keyword bubble?
I know the feeling. You dig deeper and deeper into your keyword tools, trying to find something novel, something in your industry that hasn’t already been completely saturated, but you keep finding the same 10, 20, 50 keywords over and over again.
You try scouting your competitors’ sites, but they’re using the same tools, they’re covering the same topics, and you just can’t find a newfangled topic.
These eight places will help you pop that bubble and find some new territories to explore.
1. The “Landing Page” Option In Google’s Keyword Planner
I swear most people don’t even realize this field exists in the Keyword Planner:
Instead of pasting a keyword into the “product or service” field, as usual, try posting one of your URLs here.
The recommendations that you get this way are so much different from the ones you’ll find if you search by topic. If you’ve been doing this for a long time, you probably know the feeling of trying to type in something new, only to get the same list of suggested keywords that you always see.
Give this part of the Keyword Planner a whirl. Try a few different URLs. You’ll find plenty of keywords that have never been recommended before. It’s a great way to mix things up and escape your keyword search labyrinth.
2. Internet Forums & Message Boards
Who knew these still existed? (Kidding.)
Forums are seriously underrated as a source of ideas and a lot of this comes down to thinking of them as throwbacks from the ‘90s. But the reality is that these still bring in a lot of traffic, they cast a wide net, and there are many searches for which almost all of the front-page results come from forums.
Looking at forums can be a great way to find those topics that nobody else has covered “professionally.”
Check out the forums in your industry. Many of them even simplify the research for you by allowing you to sort posts by traffic. Comb over the forums with your keyword tools. There’s a lot of uncharted territories to be found here.
3. Google’s Related Searches & Autocomplete
While these are fairly well-known, I can’t in good conscience write this post without mentioning them, because they are tremendously underrated.
Consider the recommendations I get at the bottom of the SERP when I search for “where to find keywords:”
While I’m not going to write posts on these topics, these are certainly different from the recommendations I would see if I typed “where to find keywords” into the keyword planner. And that means this is a great way to find ideas that would otherwise be outside of my bubble.
And typing your keyword phrase into Google plus a letter of the alphabet can be a good way to stumble onto new ideas:
4. Google Correlate
Google Correlate is a tool that lets you know about other things people are searching for related to your keyword:
It certainly isn’t going to help you dive deeper on one topic, but it can help you broaden outward and discover new, related things to talk about. For example, if I were developing tunnel vision about “keywords,” Google Correlate could have reminded me that I could switch gears and start writing about the checkout process, and so on.
But for the most, I recommend, “compare US states” over the “compare [weekly or monthly] time series” options. The time series correlations can be so spurious as to be meaningless, although it’s certainly worth trying all of the options.
5. Google Search Console
Even though Google stopped showing meaningful keyword data in Google Analytics a long time ago, many don’t seem to realize that the Search Console still has a great deal of keyword data:
The Search Console allows you to sort by clicks, impressions, click-through rate, and position. While the clicks and CTR do seem to be in considerable disagreement with Analytics, due to privacy issues, the impressions and position data do seem to be quite accurate.
Nonetheless, unlike other keyword tracking tools, this one tells you about pretty much every keyword you are ranking for, including the ones that you haven’t defined for yet.
This allows you to discover keywords that you are already bringing in some traction for, even if you haven’t explicitly targeted them.
There’s a lot you can do with this.
Try sorting by position and looking at which keywords you are currently ranking in positions 10-30 for, as a start. There’s a good chance that many of these are keywords you haven’t gone out of your way to target, but that you are already ranking decently for. This can be a sign that you could rank quite well for these with a dedicated page.
6. Google Trends
Most SEJ readers are well aware of Google Trends. Its ability to be useful for industry-specific content is limited, but it certainly deserves a mention on this list.
The most important thing to be aware of is that you can search by specific industries as well as narrow down the results for specific regions:
Google Trends then provides you with a list of topics that people have been searching for over the past 24 hours:
While it takes a certain kind of content producer to respond to these trends quickly enough to capitalize on the keywords before anybody else, I recommend looking at this tool in a different way. It’s another way to shake things up and broaden out your interests in order to discover topics that have been outside of your bubble.
The Keyword Planner and most keyword tools rarely get as specific as mentioning specific brands or models unless you enter them directly into the tool. This is where Amazon comes in handy.
Want a list of keywords in the coffee maker industry?5,786 options seem like a pretty good place to start.
By starting with individual products instead of classes of products or industries, you open up a completely different array of keyword opportunities. Tossing these into the Keyword Planner will also connect you with ideas you almost certainly wouldn’t have come across otherwise:
You can use a similar strategy with other e-commerce sites like eBay.
Wikipedia is such an important source of semantic data that, Google’s Knowledge Graph behaves as if it is a built in large part on top of it as a platform.
The Wikipedia page on your topic can be a great place to discover novel keywords and related concepts.
For example, take a look at the “keyword research” Wikipedia entry. At the bottom, you find these categories:
Clicking on the “search engine optimization” category takes you to a list of topics, some of which you may not have thought of otherwise.
Better yet, consider the “coffee maker” entry, which lists categories of coffee makers you may not have thought of or discovered if you just put “coffee maker” into the Keyword Planner:
There’s also a “see also” section with more ideas you may not have thought of, each with their own hyperlinks referring to still more ideas:
Not to mention the “coffee preparation” category at the bottom, leading to an additional 85 pages:
While results are heavily industry dependent, Wikipedia can be an absolute gold mine of keyword ideas.
Pop Your Bubble
Now that you have some places to start, get out there and start breaking new ground. Find those topics that nobody else has ever dived deep into, and grow your organic traffic.