When you’ve finished mining both your brain and Google Keyword Planner, you can either decide that you have what you need, or you can go to other tools to try to expand your keyword list further. There are a variety of tools out there that will try to suggest related keywords for you — the idea is that you go to the tool to generate more keywords, then take those keywords back to the Google Keyword Planner to see whether there’s any significant search volume.
Here are a couple of ones I’ve used and like:
One of the tools that I like is Ubersuggest. When you type a search query into Google, the search engine will try to predict what you’re searching for and gives several auto-complete options below the search box (Google calls this Instant Suggest). Those suggestions are based largely on what other people have searched for.
Ubersuggest mines those Google suggestions to find possible related keywords. When you enter a word, like “headboards,” Ubersuggest then gets all the Google instant suggestions. Then it adds the letter A — “headboards a” and gets all the suggestions based on that. Then it adds B, then C, and so on.
With this you can get a nicely expanded list of potential keywords, which you can then run through the Google Keyword Planner to get the search volumes (and possibly additional suggested keywords).
Published by the SEO software company with the best reputation in the business, Keyword Explorer is a relatively new tool that aims to be a one-stop shop for keyword research. It combines tools like Ubersuggest with the Keyword Planner suggestions with its crawls of the web to find keywords that commonly occur along side the keyword you’re searching for on pages that rank for that term, and then gives you an estimated search volume for each term.
Like all tools, it’s going to give you some weird unrelated keywords, but it’s very nice and does simplify keyword research once you know how to use it. It is, however, part of Moz’s paid suite of tools, so you’ll need to pay a monthly fee for access. That said, many SEOs already consider it necessary to pay for a Moz subscription for access to their many other tools (which we’ll talk about much later).
Another useful tool to be aware of is Google Trends. Google Trends will show you the search volume for a given query over time. With it you can see whether searches for a given term are generally increasing or decreasing, and more importantly you can see the seasonality of terms.
You can tell if it spikes in the summer or winter every year, which helps set your expectations and sometimes can put a deadline on some of your SEO efforts. Just be careful not to get too obsessed with it or read too much into it: it’s somewhat useful, but should not determine which keywords you target. Instead use it to determine when you target those keywords (a couple of months before the seasonal spikes).