This is a guest post written by Helen Stark

All bloggers and website owners have long time considered Google Keyword Planner their go-to tool for keyword research and content marketing strategy. But after it started grouping keyword and providing average numbers on their monthly search volume and competition, many users start considering alternative ways.

google keyword

Since many bloggers are used to relying on GKP mainly, there is no significant diversity in keywords and keyword groups they focus on. That’s why many websites target one and the same terms and it becomes harder and harder to rank for those terms. They select keywords they like and think they will be able to rank well with no efforts, just because they fit their niche.

But what if you have a quite narrow niche and need more specific keywords you hardly find good for ranking high?

In this case, you may need more specific criteria to choose the best keywords. You need to learn your target audience closely and try walking in their shoes to understand HOW exactly they search for the products. You should analyze keyword ideas based on their traffic potential and difficulty. Then you will be able to rank high.

Here are the ideas on how to get keywords with high traffic potential outside Google Keyword Planner.

Consider User Search Intent


Most bloggers, website owners or even SEOs start their keyword research with brainstorming keywords they think can get the highest search and traffic potential. Big mistake! Google stats claim that up to 20% of searches have never been performed before. So there is a risk of missing a huge piece of user’s market.

So your task at this stage is trying to get into the mind of your potential customers and do some guesswork. There are a few tricks on how to do it effectively:

  • Get into shoes of your customer who knows nothing of your niche. Try to figure out what questions they may have about your product, service topic;

  • Pretend that your product doesn’t exist yet. How would you describe it in detail?

Thus, you may imagine a world where the coffee-making machine is not invented yet. Then, you might search for something like “device for making coffee at home”. It’s closer to real user’s searches than “buy drip coffee maker”, isn’t it?


In addition, most of keywords users type into the Google search field will be long-tail ones. That means you will get more chance to rank for those keywords if use them wisely.

Ask Your Users Directly

User’s feedback is a real treasure for keyword ideas. And for various ideas in general. Users can supply you with ideas for new blog posts, for new sections on your website, for additional services or new products. Just ask them about it.

There are many different ways of getting user feedback on different topics. It can be onboarding forms, emails, questionnaires, on-site forms, autoresponders etc. Ask your users about their goals, issues they would like to solve with a help of your product/service/blog etc.

These activities can provide you with three benefits:

  • You get a feedback about your services and can start working on features or product line that your competitors don’t have yet;

  • You get some nice ideas about blog posts or general keywords you can use on your website to rank higher and get traffic;

  • Finally, you tap into the user’s mind and see what language they use to find your products. They can also suggest you some unexpected keyword ideas you never thought of using before.

Search Related Communities and Social Media Groups

Social media, forums, and various communities (Reddit, Quora etc.) are the endless source of the so-called UGC (user-generated content). And they can supply you with tons of untapped keyword ideas.

In most cases, people turn to Facebook or LinkedIn when they have some questions and wish to get live answers to them. Niche-specific Facebook groups can become a great source of keyword ideas since they are mostly loaded with user’s questions.

Take a Step Further with Your Keywords

After you’ve collected a decent list of keyword ideas, it’s time to choose the best and implement them into your post.

First, you should check out your ideas in your favorite keyword tool for closely-related variants to select the most appropriate to your product page or blog post. This is a moment to use advanced keyword tools in your keyword research like Ubersuggest, Soovle, Ahrefs, etc.



Advanced tools usually offer you more opportunities for finding keyword ideas. After dropping your suggestions into the tool, you can play with filters and choose the phrase match keywords, or ones that include only the same term etc.

You can also go a bit deeper and choose keywords by their characteristics:

  • Keyword difficulty. Shows how many backlinks you should be getting to rank for this keyword;

  • Estimated traffic. Suggest the amount of traffic to the page with the given keyword;

  • Monthly search volume. Choose the tool that shows you the exact number of searches per month;

  • Number of Clicks. It can give you the idea of how many users may click on your link provided it appears in Top10 in SERP.

Different tools may give you different metrics, but usually they all show search volume, clicks and estimated traffic numbers. These metrics are the basic ones you should pay attention to decide which keyword suggestions are good for your website.

The Bottom Line

There are many ways of finding keywords for the website or article. The main focus point here is learning your audience and find out what and how they look for things on the Internet.

Don’t forget about your own goals too. You wish not just to please your customers or readers but get something in return. Think of ROI you get from your content (yes, the time you spent on keyword research and writing article are your investments too). Then create high-quality content and get to the top!


About The Author:

Helen is a content marketer at Ahrefs. She explores new things every day to impress her readers with catchy stories. Apart from all that marketing stuff, Helen loves listening to rock music, reading and traveling. A lot! Feel free to follow Helen on Twitter.


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