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How to build up keyword phrases when your research tools fail

| Posted in category Keyword Research

Either as a professional SEO or webmaster you might have been stuck in a situation when the available keyword research tools like:

Fail to provide you with any keyword ideas. Typically, it happens due to any of the following reasons or their combination:

  • A new keyword/ object/ notion (e.g., you are promoting an absolutely new product or service)
  • The keyword has very low search volume (the research tools often omit such keywords)
  • Adult or restricted niche (the research tools may, and they actually do, filter out 'adult' related keywords from their results)

There are a few techniques that might help you pick out potentially good keywords despite the lack of information. Read on!

Use existing language patterns

Each natural language offers its speakers a set of patterns to use in a particular communicative situation. If applied to our interaction with search engines, we tend to use similar phrases when making search engine queries. It is possible to distinguish the following typical search queries and corresponding language patterns.

1. Querying for additional information, e.g.:

  • How to use/get/find/etc SEO PowerSuite
  • What is SEO PowerSuite
  • SEO PowerSuite reviews

2. Navigational queries. Users actually know the name of a website or service but don't know its exact URL, e.g.:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Link assistant
  • Google plus

3. Transactional queries. They reflect an intention to perform a particular action.

  • Download SEO PowerSuite
  • Buy SEO PowerSuite
  • Get SEO PowerSuite
  • Order SEO PowerSuite

4. Geo targeted queries. Users indicate where the main object should be located.

  • Pizza New-York
  • Montana real estate
  • Fly-fishing in UK
  • Outlets near Salem

5. Multimedia queries. Users are looking for multimedia content.

  • Pamela Anderson photos
  • Michael Jackson listen online
  • House watch online

6. General queries. In this case users are querying for an object without any modifier. Thus, it’s difficult to determine their real intention. Mostly, it's a query for additional information.

  • Wooden blinds
  • Nightgowns
  • Large hadron collider

7. Mixed type queries.

  • Where to download Pamela Anderson photos
  • Buy real estate in Montana
  • New-York pizza restaurant reviews

How to put this theory to practice? – Combine your main core keywords with these patterns and get an extensive list of keywords.

Let's say you are selling "blabla-Books" (some kind of new electronic book reader). You have a retail location in Montecita, CA and you are also selling products via you website with the delivery across all California locations. Look at the spreadsheet below.

Element 1 Element 2 Element 3
Buy blabla-Book in Montecita
Order Montectia
Purchase Montecita, CA
in Montecita, CA
In California

By combining Element 1 and Element 2, Element 2 and Element 3 or all the three elements together you may build up a huge list of potential keywords. We build up keyword phrases with our core keyword "blabla-Book" using patterns three, four, and seven mentioned above. Depending on your particular case you may make use of other patterns.

Sure thing it's boring and time consuming to compile such keyword lists manually. The keyword suggestion tool included in Rank Tracker may do all the tedious job for you:

1. Start the program

2. Click on "Suggest" icon in the top left corner

Rank Tracker

3. In the newly opened modal window click on the dropdown menu and select "Word Combination" and click Next.

Rank Tracker

4. Select the number of parts to combine and enter the keywords. Then click Next.

Rank Tracker

5. Rank Tracker will instantly generate possible keyword phrase combination. Now you can select any of them and check Competition, Number of Searches, KEI, and the number of expected visitors.

Rank Tracker

6. Your keyword list is ready!

Try more general keywords

You may also substitute your low search-volume keywords with more general keywords. E.g. use "ebook reader" instead of "blabla-Book". By the way, the same approach may be applied to the geo locations: you may substitute town/city name with the respective county or state. You may then either repeat the research in various keyword tools or build up another list of potential keyword phrases with more general core keywords.

Test drive

Before you put any resources into SEO, test your newly baked lists of keywords. Some of them might be bringing no traffic; after all it’s a hit-or-miss game.

Google Adwords is a perfect playground, where you can try something new. Create a new Adwords campaign. Opt to show your ads in search network only. Set up phrasal match for your test keywords. Make sure the bids are not too low and the ads are being shown. Run the campaign for a few weeks. Estimate the number of impressions generated by the keywords and pick out the best, i.e. the keywords that triggered more ad impressions. If you get any clicks, don’t forget to analyze the visitors' behavior. It might give you the insights about the more converting keywords. You may now safely use the refined keyword list for SEOing your money-making website.

How do you build keyword lists when conventional tools fail?

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