How to Find Thousands of Keyword Ideas for SEO (Part 2/3)
In this lesson, we are going to show you how to generate a list of thousands of keywords and find easy topics to rank for.
This is the second part of our keyword research tutorial series. So a quick recap on the first lesson.
We covered some essential keyword research fundamentals.
You learned that any search volume isn’t super accurate by definition.
And that not all searches result in clicks to the results. Think of the query “Time in New York.”
So today, we’re going to build on these fundamentals and generate a solid keyword list using some of Ahrefs’ keywords reports so you can start creating content, rank in Google, and get more search traffic.
Let’s dive in.
First, we are going to go to Keywords Explorer tool and instead of searching for a specific query, we’re actually going to start with a “seed” keyword in a rather broad niche so we can find new topics.
And by “seed” keyword, we are referring to a single word or maybe two words that a lot of searches would include. So we’ll type in the keyword “parenting” and run the search.
On the overview page, you can see the same metrics that we talked about before.
So in this lesson, we’ll be talking about these keyword suggestions reports:
- Phrase match
- Having same terms
- Also rank for
- Search suggestions
- Newly discovered
- and Questions.
“Having same terms” and “Phrase match” reports
The phrase match report lists keyword ideas that have an exact match mention of your target keywords in the order they’re written.
‘Parenting’ is just one word, so if you were to type in something like “keyword research”, then it would only look for keywords that have that whole phrase in the exact order it’s written.
So something like “research keyword” wouldn’t appear in the phrase match report, but it would be available in the “Having same terms” report, which shows you all of the terms of your target keyword in any order.
So looking at this report for the keyword, “parenting”, you can see that there are over 110,000 keyword ideas that have your seed keyword in them!
And the reason why we can find so many more keyword ideas than other tools is that our Keywords Explorer database has over 5.8 billion keywords and we update it every month with fresh data.
So you’re unlikely to find a keyword tool with a bigger database.
When you see the keywords that interest you, click on the “get metrics button” to start loading up detailed metrics on each of these keywords.
Supposing the first is parenting styles, which is a huge topic in itself. And then there are some other sub-categories to this like authoritarian parenting, attachment parenting, and helicopter parenting.
And actually, we are going to update the metrics on “parenting classes” too since there could be commercial value in this plus the keyword difficulty score is quite low.
From here, you can do the same thing we did in the first lesson and analyze the clicks vs. search volume, open up the top 10 SERPs, and look for solid opportunities with traffic and or business value.
Now, obviously filtering through 110,000 keywords just isn’t going to work. So let’s get into some neat filters that will save you time and bring your searches in focus.
Finding low-difficulty keywords with high search volume
The first filter is to find low difficulty keywords with high volume.
This is super straightforward. You can just set the maximum keyword difficulty number to something low like 10 and the minimum search volume to something like 1,000.
Alright, so “parenting books” and “best parenting books” look pretty cool.
Now, this is actually interesting. You would think that the top keyword for this topic would be “parenting books.” But you can actually see that the opposite is true.
“Best parenting books” seems to be the top keyword for both of these queries.
If we open up the top 10 SERPs for “parenting books” and look at the top keywords, you’ll notice that the majority of these articles get the most traffic from the search query prefixed with “best.”
So something like this would tell us a bit about keyword intent. When someone types in “parenting books” into Google, they’re likely looking for a list of the best ones so they can pick and choose which ones to buy.
And analyzing this search result from npr.org titled, “Why I’ll never read another parenting book”, you’ll see that they have the second most unique linking websites in the top 10 results, yet they only generate a fraction of the traffic compared to ones that are ranking high for best parenting books.
This should tell you that if you were creating content around this topic, you might want to create it as a list post style rather than an opinion piece or something else since it’s pretty clear on the type of post that people (and Google) seem to favor.
It should give you a few hints too on some of the basic on-page optimizations you should do like your title, permalink, metas, and content.
And we do want to make a note that judging a keyword’s difficulty from something as simple as a number between 0-100 usually isn’t enough.
This is just to give you a baseline metric for quick filtering. Then you should do a proper assessment on keyword difficulty.
And you can also alter these numbers to ones that are relevant to your industry. For example, KD will likely be a lot higher than 10 for SEO related terms and we’d probably lower the search volume to around two to three hundred.
Okay, “parenting books” and “best parenting books” two look good, so we’ll click the checkboxes and then we can click “add to list.” We’ll create a new list called “Parenting Post Ideas.”
Finally, we’ll apply the changes. And we’re off to filter #2.
Finding keywords with SERP features
And that’s to find keywords with SERP features. So first, we’ll clear the previous filters.
Next, we’ll click on the SERP features dropdown.
Now, depending on your needs, there are all sorts of different SERP features you can use to narrow your results. For example, if you want to see search queries that have ads, you could use the Adwords top or bottom features.
Then there’s the knowledge type features, videos, which is kind of an interesting one for people doing a push on YouTube.
And then there’s also featured snippets which is a pretty awesome one and a low-hanging way to collect up to 8.6% of clicks, even if you don’t rank in the #1 position.
Now, it’s important to note that both keyword difficulty and the SERP features area work with cached data. This means that after you click the “get metrics” button, you might see slightly different difficulty scores or SERP features.
Alright, so the next filter you can do is to look for highly commercial keywords with low difficulty.
Finding highly commercial keywords with low difficulty
The way you do that is to set the maximum keyword difficulty, again, to something like 10. And then the minimum CPC to something like 5.
And this could be a good way for those of you who are monetizing with Adsense to rank your pages and collect a hefty commission on each click.
The one on parenting podcasts could be a good one. If we look through the top 10 SERPs, you can see that posts are mostly list posts.
So you could collect a bunch of parenting podcasts, listen to them, write reviews, and then send an outreach email to each podcast you reviewed.
We’re sure they’d want to share it with their audiences, maybe link to it, and who knows...they might even link to your post or mention it in a future episode.
This filter is also great for companies where Adwords advertising is generally expensive.
By ranking for these lower competition keywords in organic search, you can potentially get free traffic with high business value.
The next filter is a super cool one and that’s to use modifiers.
Using modifier keywords
So we’ve cleared all of the filters again. This time, we’re going to use modifier keywords like “best,” “top,” and the “past year” to look for some long tail keywords.
So in the “Include” filter search box, we’ll type in “best,” “top,” and “2017,” separated by commas.
Then, we’ll click on the dropdown and select “Any.”
What’s interesting here is that the majority of these keywords have low-ish difficulty scores, which often tells us that it might belong to another parent topic.
If we look at the SERP results for "top parenting blogs," you'll see that the top keyword is “parenting blogs.” And looking through the search results, you can see that some of these results rank for hundreds of keywords and generate thousands of search visitors.
So this might be a good additional keyword to include in your post for a more general topic like “parenting blogs.”
You could also use bottom of the funnel keywords here to find keywords with high business value.
Since parenting is more of an informational topic, let’s look at the phrase match report for the keyword “lawyer.”
So a keyword we could type in here is something like “hire.”
And here, you can see a few great topics you could write about like “hire a lawyer” or “hire a lawyer online.”
You’ll also find some great topic ideas for earlier stages like “when to hire a workers comp lawyer” and “how much does it cost to hire a lawyer online?”
And if you’re not into things like pro bono work, then you can pair your search with the exclude feature and type in something like free, cheap or both to exclude all queries that you’re not interested in targeting.
There are an endless number of filters you can create. We encourage you to go and play around with different combinations and see what works for your business.
And with these filters, you can use them in any of other reports. So we’ll quickly go through these so you can see some unique features that might help you with your content marketing efforts.
We briefly showed you the “having same terms report”, which again, shows you all keyword phrases that have your target keywords in any order.
”Also rank for” suggestions
“Also rank for” is one of our favorite reports that we like using once we’ve narrowed down our topic. This report pulls the top 10 ranking pages for your seed keyword and lists the other keywords that these pages rank for.
So let’s say you wanted to write a list of post on “the best protein powder.” Then you can get some cool keyword ideas like, whey, best tasting, and for women which are all great sub-categories you can include in your post.
There are two other cool reports that we think you’ll find super helpful.
Next is the Search suggestions report. So we’ll click it in the sidebar on our “parenting” query.
This report takes the autocomplete suggestions from Google and gives you all of the insightful metrics right beside it.
So if you’re anything like us and wondered whether Google’s suggestions have any real value, then it’s all available for you right here.
“Newly discovered” keywords
The newly discovered report is also really cool.
This report shows you a list of keyword ideas that contain your seed keyword as a phrase match that were recently added to our database.
And in order for a keyword to be added here, it needs to reach a certain level of popularity for us to pick it up, which can cause a delay between the time people actually started searching for the keyword and the time we add it to our database.
So please don’t treat the “newly added” report in a literal sence. It’s a great report you can use to find new searches with decent popularity.
And you can use this report to monitor and find new content ideas regularly.
For example, if we look at the newly discovered report for “Netflix,” we can see a bunch of new queries that people are searching for.
If you press cmd+f or Ctrl+f buttons and look for the word “leaving”, then you’ll see that every month, people are searching for movies and shows that will no longer be available on Netflix.
And if we click on the SERP dropdown for one of them, you can see that the top 10 results are owned by news sites, where Netflix could easily update this page and siphon thousands or even tens of thousands of visitors to their website every month.
You’ll also see that the same applies for the query “new on netflix” and “coming to netflix” appended with the month and/or year.
Looking at the SERP results, you’ll see that again, they’re dominated by third-party websites. And you’ll see that the traffic potential is monstrous here.
For Netflix, this could potentially be an easy way to gain a ton of traffic plus a way to get new customers since we are sure some people would sign up if they saw that their favorite shows or movies were coming soon.
Monitor trending topics
Another cool thing you can do in here is to monitor “trending topics.”
So if we look at this report with the keyword “bitcoin,” and then we click on the date filter. You can choose “from” and “to” dates.
But what’s super cool here is that as soon as you click the dropdown, you can see the number of newly discovered keywords that we found each month.
So from the looks of it, it seems there was a massive uptrend in 2017, followed by a rapid decline of new search queries in 2018.
Which is actually quite interesting because this seems to correlate with their stock price.
But we are not here to give investment advice.
So for your own brand, you can see if search demand is growing and you can also look up topics to see if your niche is booming or if it’s somewhat stable like for the query “keyword research.”
“Questions” keyword suggestions
Next, is the Questions report which is really cool.
Remember how we mentioned that parenting is a very informational kind of niche? Well, this is the perfect report for that.
This report creates a list of questions related to the keywords you’re analyzing.
These questions are cool because you can easily create very focused content targeting them. So if there are a lot of questions in your industry, you could create your own Q&A, FAQ or some kind of series or column to target relevant questions and drive traffic to your site.
And generally speaking, the phrases with a bunch of words in it are going to be easier to rank for.
Take a look at this one, "which type of parenting is most effective during adolescence?" If we open up the top 10 SERPs, you’ll see that the top 6 results are dominated by a site called quizlet.com, all of which don’t have a single backlink, yet still generate hundreds of search visitors each month.
And if we click through to the top ranking page, you'll see that there are just a bunch of definitions, which doesn't solve the searcher's intent. That’s a lot of angry searchers, right?
”All” suggestions in one report
The final report is the “All” report. This report combines all of these reports into one.
So if you’re the type of person that prefers to work with large data sets and filters, then you’ll find this one to be indispensable.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to show you a powerful way to generate keyword ideas from up to ten seed keywords all at once.
So we’ll paste in a list of 10 keywords related to golf (golf clubs, best putters, golf courses, titleist, callaway, ping, golf drivers, ball striking, fantasy golf, golf coach).
After the page loads, you can see the overview and a comparison of the keywords you entered. here.
And you can access the same reports as we did before.
So let’s go to the phrase match report.
Now instead of getting just the phrase match for the single keyword, you have the phrase matches for all of the keywords in one single report.
Again, you can use filters like the include and exclude feature to narrow down your results.
For example, Ping is a brand that sells golf equipment. But it’s also the first word of the sport, “ping pong.”
So we could exclude the word “pong” from the results, which will remove tens of thousands of irrelevant search queries.
There’s obviously an endless number of keyword ideas that you can find in these 3 reports alone.
So try out these different reports and filters, add some of the good ones to your content calendar and let’s get your site ranking.
So that wraps it up for generating keyword ideas. However, more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials are coming.
In the final lesson in this series, we’re going to give you a data-driven way to find out whether you can actually rank in Google for these keywords that you want to target.
Excited? So do we. See you in the next lesson.