[HOW-TO] Do Keyword Research for Free

Watsoneology

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Great share

Thanks for sharing.... thanks alot
 

mindmaster

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Tell me about it ... I think I'll never catch up to my 'To do' keyword list but that's fine. I'll just do the best prospects.
You can always hire someone to do what you don't like that much...
 

GenesisOne

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Nice put up guide for those in a low budget.
If you invest in keyword research first (for free in this case), you'll already start with the right foot.
 

Shana Walters

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Hi Everyone! I wanted to do this write-up for a while now. Whenever I started in SEO it was all very confusing and every tool seems sooo freaking expensive.
So, let me share with you my process for creating content when I started out and didn't want to pay a penny for anything. I'll share resources, tips, and tactics.

[KEYWORD RESEARCH]
Whenever you ask someone how to do keyword research they will start going into long monologues about how to get the best out of Ahrefs, what to do in Ahrefs, which options to use for hidden keywords in Ahrefs... etc.? I think you see the theme. Everyone absolutely loves Ahrefs but that thing costs $99 dollars a month. That's a lot of money to shell out if you have 0 income! Plus, whenever you are starting out, your KW research game will be sub-par.

Rather, let me tell you some tips about doing KW research for free.

First of all, I recommend grabbing the MOZBAR free plugin which will show you PA/DA in search results. This will come in handy when you have to decide if the KW is hard or easy to rank for.
Now that you know how strong the websites are in the search it's time to start looking for some keywords.

Let's say I have a fashion website. I want to write something about sneakers. If I simply put 'best sneakers' into the search I will have extremely strong results. DA 60+ most of the time:

View attachment 197748

Wow, those are some strong websites! Let's not waste our time with this one. We will use one of my favorite tools that I have found here on BHW based on a recommendation. It's called KW Sheeter and it will literally s**t out keywords based on your input. So let's input 'Best Sneakers' into the Keyword Sheeter and let it run for a couple of minutes.

Here's the url: https://keywordsheeter.com/
View attachment 197749

Look at the bottom. In around 5 minutes it found me 617 related keywords. Nice! Now click into the list press CTRL+A then CTRL+C open a new empty text file and copy the contents there.

Start from the top of the list and check with Google Search + Mozbar whenever you find something promising. For example, I skip over KWs like 'best sneakers nike' because I know without checking it's covered by everyone and their mother.

What are you looking for? Well, you are looking for search results where the DA is low and hopefully, articles are NOT on topic. When DA is low but articles are on the topic it's still not too bad, but when only a few articles are on the topic then it's great.

So I know nothing about fashion niche so I'm just scrolling my list that I got from KW Sheeter and trying whatever I think might be low comp.

Then I stumble upon this:
View attachment 197757

This looks pretty good: First result is a forum. 3rd result is already not on topic (rather it is but on a 'broader' topic). Every other result is broad topic so this looks doable even with a weak domain. Look at nr2 result it has a DA of 7 only.

Usually I put this keyword in an empty txt file for further research and I like to continue with the list from KW Sheeter until I checked everything that is interesting. After I've done that I have a nice smaller list of possible keywords.

[ANALYZE FOR RANKING]
So now that you have your list you need to analyze the individual results if it's possible to rank or not.

First thing: How many results are ON topic and what's the website strength? There should be at least some sites in the results that are 10> DA

Second: Content Length - You should open each result and see what is the content length. Sometimes I find great opportunities, but then realize everyone on Page 1 has 6K+ words + great OnPage seo so I just say 'f**k it, doesn't worth the time'.

+++ Important: Let's say you find a great and promising keyword that has NO on topic results. BUT the results are the 'broad topic'. If this is the case you really need to analyize search results. Are the top 10 all LOT of words covering LOT of long-tails? If this is the case then skip, these guys know what they are doing.

So let's say so far it's few results ON Topic, all below 10 DA and content length is only 1K average, not well optimized for SEO. Well, that looks like a great prospect.

Whenever I see short articles at the top10 I take that as a good sign.

One more thing we should attempt to find out is search volume. Usually, for this, you can use the free Keyword Suggestion tool of Ahrefs. Whatever you put in this tool will return the same as the 'first' match so you can get the details. https://ahrefs.com/keyword-generator

View attachment 197759

Well! This is very very MEH. Less than 10 a month? You might get some traffic, BUT it's not a great KW in the end. So at this point, you need to decide if you want to write an article or not in the end. I would skip this one, but if you don't rank for anything at all, maybe it's worth a shot.

[HOW-TO STEAL COMPETITOR KWS FREE]
Now let's move on to another method.

Do you remember the method where you find competitors via: intitle:niche "Is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program"?

This method was shared already multiple times on BHW but the suggestion is always to find the bad competitor and plug them into Ahrefs. Of course, that's the fastest way, but what if you are on a shoestring budget?
We can try to apply Surfer SEO tool and MOZbar to our advantage here. SurferSEO has a great free plugin that will add search volume to the results.

Let's continue with sneakers so let's input it to search: intitle:sneakers "Is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program"

You are looking for sites where DA is below 10 and traffic is above 5K.

Look at this:
View attachment 197760


17K traffic with 8 DA. Looks great.
Now we will search for site:siteyoujoustfound.com to list every single article that's indexed in Google.

Remember as per OnPage seo article titles will have the Keyword.

So look at their articles and whenever you think they are a good candidate for a Keyword plug it into Google. Look I already found a keyword where positions 3+ are below 10 DA:
View attachment 197761

An look there is a better (still bad but for a new site not horrible) search volume this time around:
View attachment 197762


[IT'S HARD WHEN ITS FREE]
Now I will not lie. These two methods are rather time consuming, sometimes will yield no result, and take effort. Regardless, they are FREE. I've had success like this when starting out so I wanted to share.


[OnPage]
After keyword research all you have to do is have a great OnPage and you will be ranking in no time.

FREE ONPAGE CHECKLIST
Here's a link for an OnPage checklist since I've seen that being asked around the forum. It's a 'BASIC' checklist, but it will get you started.
Link ---> https://imgur.com/a/vNs24nX

[RESOURCES]
A few things I used and still use today

KW Research With Free Runs
Code:
https://www.semrush.com/ -- 10 daily check
https://www.wordtracker.com/ -- 12 daily check
https://app.neilpatel.com/en/ubersuggest -- 3 daily check (I don't like this guy)
https://ahrefs.com/keyword-generator -- infinite checks

USE THESE
I check these two DAILY!

Code:
https://ahrefs.com/webmaster-tools -- If the website is yours you can sign up for Ahrefs free webmasters tools!!!
Don't skip this firend. You will get all Ahrefs functionality for your own website: Backlinks + Keywords.

https://www.semrush.com/ -- Similarly you can sign your website up as a project on Semrush to get track it for free

DON'T FORGET
If you are new, click the 'Partnerships' tab on BHW and activate your 30-day Semrush trial.

That's it! I hope I could help you a little bit on your journey :)

Thanks.
 

EAY

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Thanks for share. I will try in my free time.
 

Dattebayo

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Solid thread. As a beginner, I've been struggling for months with finding a suitable niche and doing proper keyword research. This thread is going to help me a lot. Thank you, good sir.
 

nolocalboii

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Great guide. Even though I don't bother with DA, I still learned a lot here
 

naskootbg

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Hi Everyone! I wanted to do this write-up for a while now. Whenever I started in SEO it was all very confusing and every tool seems sooo freaking expensive.
So, let me share with you my process for creating content when I started out and didn't want to pay a penny for anything. I'll share resources, tips, and tactics.

[KEYWORD RESEARCH]
Whenever you ask someone how to do keyword research they will start going into long monologues about how to get the best out of Ahrefs, what to do in Ahrefs, which options to use for hidden keywords in Ahrefs... etc.? I think you see the theme. Everyone absolutely loves Ahrefs but that thing costs $99 dollars a month. That's a lot of money to shell out if you have 0 income! Plus, whenever you are starting out, your KW research game will be sub-par.

Rather, let me tell you some tips about doing KW research for free.

First of all, I recommend grabbing the MOZBAR free plugin which will show you PA/DA in search results. This will come in handy when you have to decide if the KW is hard or easy to rank for.
Now that you know how strong the websites are in the search it's time to start looking for some keywords.

Let's say I have a fashion website. I want to write something about sneakers. If I simply put 'best sneakers' into the search I will have extremely strong results. DA 60+ most of the time:

View attachment 197748

Wow, those are some strong websites! Let's not waste our time with this one. We will use one of my favorite tools that I have found here on BHW based on a recommendation. It's called KW Sheeter and it will literally s**t out keywords based on your input. So let's input 'Best Sneakers' into the Keyword Sheeter and let it run for a couple of minutes.

Here's the url: https://keywordsheeter.com/
View attachment 197749

Look at the bottom. In around 5 minutes it found me 617 related keywords. Nice! Now click into the list press CTRL+A then CTRL+C open a new empty text file and copy the contents there.

Start from the top of the list and check with Google Search + Mozbar whenever you find something promising. For example, I skip over KWs like 'best sneakers nike' because I know without checking it's covered by everyone and their mother.

What are you looking for? Well, you are looking for search results where the DA is low and hopefully, articles are NOT on topic. When DA is low but articles are on the topic it's still not too bad, but when only a few articles are on the topic then it's great.

So I know nothing about fashion niche so I'm just scrolling my list that I got from KW Sheeter and trying whatever I think might be low comp.

Then I stumble upon this:
View attachment 197757

This looks pretty good: First result is a forum. 3rd result is already not on topic (rather it is but on a 'broader' topic). Every other result is broad topic so this looks doable even with a weak domain. Look at nr2 result it has a DA of 7 only.

Usually I put this keyword in an empty txt file for further research and I like to continue with the list from KW Sheeter until I checked everything that is interesting. After I've done that I have a nice smaller list of possible keywords.

[ANALYZE FOR RANKING]
So now that you have your list you need to analyze the individual results if it's possible to rank or not.

First thing: How many results are ON topic and what's the website strength? There should be at least some sites in the results that are 10> DA

Second: Content Length - You should open each result and see what is the content length. Sometimes I find great opportunities, but then realize everyone on Page 1 has 6K+ words + great OnPage seo so I just say 'f**k it, doesn't worth the time'.

+++ Important: Let's say you find a great and promising keyword that has NO on topic results. BUT the results are the 'broad topic'. If this is the case you really need to analyize search results. Are the top 10 all LOT of words covering LOT of long-tails? If this is the case then skip, these guys know what they are doing.

So let's say so far it's few results ON Topic, all below 10 DA and content length is only 1K average, not well optimized for SEO. Well, that looks like a great prospect.

Whenever I see short articles at the top10 I take that as a good sign.

One more thing we should attempt to find out is search volume. Usually, for this, you can use the free Keyword Suggestion tool of Ahrefs. Whatever you put in this tool will return the same as the 'first' match so you can get the details. https://ahrefs.com/keyword-generator

View attachment 197759

Well! This is very very MEH. Less than 10 a month? You might get some traffic, BUT it's not a great KW in the end. So at this point, you need to decide if you want to write an article or not in the end. I would skip this one, but if you don't rank for anything at all, maybe it's worth a shot.

[HOW-TO STEAL COMPETITOR KWS FREE]
Now let's move on to another method.

Do you remember the method where you find competitors via: intitle:niche "Is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program"?

This method was shared already multiple times on BHW but the suggestion is always to find the bad competitor and plug them into Ahrefs. Of course, that's the fastest way, but what if you are on a shoestring budget?
We can try to apply Surfer SEO tool and MOZbar to our advantage here. SurferSEO has a great free plugin that will add search volume to the results.

Let's continue with sneakers so let's input it to search: intitle:sneakers "Is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program"

You are looking for sites where DA is below 10 and traffic is above 5K.

Look at this:
View attachment 197760


17K traffic with 8 DA. Looks great.
Now we will search for site:siteyoujoustfound.com to list every single article that's indexed in Google.

Remember as per OnPage seo article titles will have the Keyword.

So look at their articles and whenever you think they are a good candidate for a Keyword plug it into Google. Look I already found a keyword where positions 3+ are below 10 DA:
View attachment 197761

An look there is a better (still bad but for a new site not horrible) search volume this time around:
View attachment 197762


[IT'S HARD WHEN ITS FREE]
Now I will not lie. These two methods are rather time consuming, sometimes will yield no result, and take effort. Regardless, they are FREE. I've had success like this when starting out so I wanted to share.


[OnPage]
After keyword research all you have to do is have a great OnPage and you will be ranking in no time.

FREE ONPAGE CHECKLIST
Here's a link for an OnPage checklist since I've seen that being asked around the forum. It's a 'BASIC' checklist, but it will get you started.
Link ---> https://imgur.com/a/vNs24nX

[RESOURCES]
A few things I used and still use today

KW Research With Free Runs
Code:
https://www.semrush.com/ -- 10 daily check
https://www.wordtracker.com/ -- 12 daily check
https://app.neilpatel.com/en/ubersuggest -- 3 daily check (I don't like this guy)
https://ahrefs.com/keyword-generator -- infinite checks

USE THESE
I check these two DAILY!

Code:
https://ahrefs.com/webmaster-tools -- If the website is yours you can sign up for Ahrefs free webmasters tools!!!
Don't skip this firend. You will get all Ahrefs functionality for your own website: Backlinks + Keywords.

https://www.semrush.com/ -- Similarly you can sign your website up as a project on Semrush to get track it for free

DON'T FORGET
If you are new, click the 'Partnerships' tab on BHW and activate your 30-day Semrush trial.

That's it! I hope I could help you a little bit on your journey :)
One more free tool for the first method - google adwords keyword planner. With free account it showing dump results like "1-10", but it will still show the keywords with 0 searches and these with over 10 ("10-100"). So after KW Sheeter you can copy all of the keywords, set adwords filter to show only results with >0 monthly searches. This may save you time - instead checking all keywords in KW Sheeter's list.
 

korni

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am I the only one who doesn't necessarily have the first 3 results moz?

sometimes there is only one moz result displayed on the first 10 results of google, not very practical

View attachment 198559
Did you find a way to fix this? I've been experiencing the same bug since the last few days. None of the proposed fixes worked for me thus making the mozbar unusable.
 

bruce willis

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Did you find a way to fix this? I've been experiencing the same bug since the last few days. None of the proposed fixes worked for me thus making the mozbar unusable.
I spent a while looking for a solution without success. It works a little when it wants to, and it doesn't often

are you using it with a lot of chrome windows open?

I have to try to reduce the number of chrome tabs and do a test.
 

korni

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I spent a while looking for a solution without success. It works a little when it wants to, and it doesn't often

are you using it with a lot of chrome windows open?

I have to try to reduce the number of chrome tabs and do a test.
Well typically yes but I've tried with no other tabs opened at some time. What I've done - disabled all extensions, removed all extensions, added moz.com to always accept cookies, tried incognito with only the mozbar enabled. What I haven't done - uninstall chrome, make a new account at moz. The same thing happens when I try it on the brave browser so it might be related with the account.
 

korni

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I spent a while looking for a solution without success. It works a little when it wants to, and it doesn't often

are you using it with a lot of chrome windows open?

I have to try to reduce the number of chrome tabs and do a test.
Sorry for quoting you twice. I think I found a fix for me, at least. I went to chrome://settings/cookies, and I allowed all cookies. I think it was set to block third-party cookies in incognito. Also, apparently, my adblocker was blocking ads/cookies for moz.com so I disabled it for the whole site. I did a couple of restarts and log-ins/log-outs from my Moz account, and voila - now it works for both chrome and brave.
 

bruce willis

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Sorry for quoting you twice. I think I found a fix for me, at least. I went to chrome://settings/cookies, and I allowed all cookies. I think it was set to block third-party cookies in incognito. Also, apparently, my adblocker was blocking ads/cookies for moz.com so I disabled it for the whole site. I did a couple of restarts and log-ins/log-outs from my Moz account, and voila - now it works for both chrome and brave.
Thanks for persevering to find a solution, on my side I enabled all cookies in the settings and it seems to work.
Now I'm going to the 1st place :)
 
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