Whether you are a fan of keyword data or not, they do still matter! And with the age of (not provided) in organic keyword data, the rumour of Google also blocking paid advertising keyword data is a little scary. All hope is not lost when it comes to finding keywords, Google is just making it much harder. Here are some techniques you can use for keyword research.
Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools provides a good starting point in terms of what keywords are bringing traffic to your site, and is a reliable source for CTRs and average rankings. Although this is the case, GWT data does not tell you any information about user behaviour after they landed on your site, for example whether it converted, bounced etc. This is what Google Analytics was useful for, of course until the majority of keyword data became (not provided).
Another useful piece of information is to see whether the keywords have high rankings and impressions but a low CTR. Many people think it’s so important to have high rankings, but what is actually important is whether your result is relevant to the users query. There’s no point spending all your time and effort on getting number one rankings if they are not actually attracting any qualified traffic. So just as AdWords quality score is important, so too is relevancy for organic results.
Small AdWords Campaigns
Speaking of AdWords, this can be a great way to get test keyword performance before implementing it into an SEO strategy. It is best to start with small groups of keywords, and especially if you don’t have much of a budget then you can further group and filter by location etc.
UberSuggest works based on a keyword root. And then gives you suggestions (hence the name) for what Google recommends people search for based on what you have inputted as your keyword root. This makes it very interesting to see the trends for Google’s recommendations.
Once you have the recommendations you can repeat with keyword root variations and add all of this to a spreadsheet with one simple click ready for grouping, analysing etc. The grouping is important as the more times a keyword appears, the more Google has recommended it. Which means it should be a key term for your strategy.
Interviews or Surveys
The difference between tools and interviews is that you can get much more contextual by finding out directly from your target audience. This process obviously takes much longer but finding out exactly how users find your products can be extremely valuable.
You can streamline the interview process by using surveys. Although this cuts out the valuable one-to-one conversations, it can still give you much more accurate data that keyword tools.