By Ann Smarty
SEO moved beyond exact keyword matching long ago. These days, in order to rank, we need to create content that includes related concepts, satisfies intent and provides value.
With such an important and complicated task in front of us, there’s never such a thing as too many tools.
Every keyword tool below has something new to bring to the table when it comes to helping you understand the topic better, expand your keyword list and diversify your organic rankings:
TextOptimizer is probably the most interesting tool on the list. For any term you put it, it will look at Google search result page, extract search snippets and apply semantic analysis to generate the list of all related topics, terms and concepts that form your topic cluster.
For example, for [grow tomatoes] it will generate the list of the following terms:
If you already have a page that you want to rank for that query, the tool will compare your existing text to the snippets Google returns for that query. It will then score your text and recommend expanding your content to include some of those suggested terms:
The thing is, Google generates its search snippets based on which sentences from the ranked pages do the best job satisfying the query. This means that Google search snippets represent the best (in Google’s opinion) summary of the query topic.
By semantically analyzing those snippets and extracting related terms and topics from them, you will get a better understanding of what you need to include in your content.
It also shows subtopics and related questions (i.e. niche questions for each query you run) which helps you structure and format your content better.
Overall I have found the tool extremely helpful for creating more indepth content as it does a good job urging the writer to include the variety of related and neighboring terms (in order to increase your score)
There’s a good guide on how the tool works here. There’s also a handy Google Chrome extension to help you easier access the tool.
2. Serpstat Clustering Tool
Serpstat Clustering Tool is another innovative tool that uses Google to better understand and analyze relevancy.
This tool should be used to make sense of your long keyword lists. Instead of simply word-matching, the tool analyzes Google SERPs for every single term in your list and groups them based on how many overlapping URLs each query triggers in Google.
The logic is simple: The more identical results two SERPs have, the more related the search queries are.
This way, instead of creating a group based on a common modifier, the tool will form groups based on each keyword meaning and let you discover keywords which have no words in common, yet can (and should) be used within one copy:
Read more about clustering here and about this grouping method here.
3. Spyfu Related Keywords
Spyfu has a separate tab listing related keywords to the one you put in. The nice thing about the tool is that it excludes phrases that contain your core term.
You can play with helpful filters to see more popular or less competitive keywords.
Read more about Spyfu related keyword analysis here.
4. Google: Related Searches, Google Trends, Google Correlate
Google is kind enough to provide us with lots of useful data that can be used for content planning and optimization. Here are three Google tools that are useful for discovering related terms:
According to Google in the tool’s documentation,
Google Correlate is like Google Trends in reverse. With Google Trends, you type in a query and get back a series of its frequency (over time, or in each US state). With Google Correlate, you enter a data series (the target) and get back queries whose frequency follows a similar pattern.
In our case, we don’t have the data series, but the tool can also work with keywords: Simply put in your search term, and Google will calculate the trending pattern and show matching patterns.
Mind that correlation does not necessarily equal causation, so you may come across some funny terms. Don’t be discouraged! Keep running the tool and put together a list of related terms that do match your topic.
My favorite thing about the tool (and why I do use it) is that you can exclude your initial search term from the returned list which means you can prevent the tool from phrase-matching (which you already did when doing your traditional keyword research) and force it to come up with related phrases instead:
Google Trends is a more straightforward tool: Simply type in your core term and scroll down to “Related queries”, i.e. “Users searching for your term also searched for these queries”.
The nicest thing about this tool is that it shows “Breakout” queries, i.e. queries that “had a tremendous increase, probably because these queries are new and had few (if any) prior searches.” These could be an opportunity for trending content!
Google’s “Searches related to”
Finally Google’s “Searches related to” can give you some ideas where to expand your core terms. Notice how Google is helpfully showing new terms it’s suggesting in bold:
IMN Featured Snippet Tool collects those results and organizes them by (1) query they are triggered by and (2) popularity (i.e. based on how many queries trigger them):
- How to organize your keyword lists (Plus, some free tools to properly record your keyword ideas)
- The best alternative keyword research tools
- 3 keyword research trends to reshape your content optimization
Expand your keyword lists! This will help you create more indepth content, diversify your rankings and generate expsoure from other Google search result sections, like featured snippets and “People Also Ask.”
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