Feb 20, 2024

Advanced Keyword Research: Secrets Of SEO Pros Revealed

Advanced Keyword Research: Secrets Of SEO Pros Revealed
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Well, as an SEO professional and SEO agency CEO, I’ve looked at thousands -or rather- hundreds of thousands of keywords.

And what I’ve learned is this: when researching keywords, professional SEOs -like myself- typically use tools such as Ahrefs or Semrush to find the best keywords to target, conduct keyword popularity research, find gaps, ‘spy’ on competitors, etc.

These tools are more or less enough to get your clients’ pages up and ranking. But sometimes, you need that little extra to make your content ‘stand out from the masses.’

Does this sound familiar?

I thought so!

In such cases, you must leave your SEO software’s comfort zone and explore more sources for valuable keywords. And also find other related words and phrases that people use when looking for information on your chosen topics.

Let me show you how.

Keyword Research Secrets: Make Your Content Stand Out

Here’s the good news: there are many places to find new and exciting keywords (and other standout words) to add to your content.

And here’s my best advice: never settle for just one source.

But let’s get down to it.

After years of dealing with SEO, here are my favorite secret (and some not-so-secret) keyword sources and procedures, plus tips on where to find related words and topic cluster ideas that will boost your content.

Note: These pro keyword tips are also great for SEO copywriters and digital marketers who want to make their content stand out!

Advanced Keyword Research Strategies: What To Look Out For

With Google concentrating more and more on search intent, natural speech, and semantic searches, you can broaden your keyword research to go beyond exact matches or similar queries.

You can actually take advantage of topic clusters and silos, semantically-related words, sentiment words and phrases, low search volume keywords... you name it!

That said, here’s my current pic of keyword research secrets (but more are coming soon, so keep an eye on our blog!)

Google’s Related Searches & Suggestions: Real Questions By Real People

This is a no-brainer for SEOs, but it’s worth highlighting its importance.

When you want some inspiration on additional keywords or when you want to validate your keyword choice, don’t forget to check:

  1. Google’s search suggestions at the search bar at the top
  2. Google’s ‘Related Searches’ at the bottom of the page.

Why?

Well, here’s how Google confirms that loads of users do, in fact, search for these keywords.

Check Google’s search suggestions to see popular searches related to your keywords.

To get even more ‘related terms’ to your main keywords, click on one of them further down and, in the new SERP, scroll again to the bottom for even more related keywords!

Click on Google’s ‘Related searches’ to get even more user queries for your keyword research.

Google Books: In Paper We Trust

It may sound outdated, and admittedly it’s my copywriter who loves it, but keep in mind that Google Books is an extensive index of books ranging from classics to recent editions.

So, one thing’s for sure: Google Books is a proper library (!) to get ideas for related topics, page titles, semantic words, and standard terms and phrases related to your main keywords.

Just type in your query and see the results.

Via a Google Books search, you can get related topic ideas by checking the book’s Table Of Contents, plus more related queries via the ‘Common terms and phrases.’
Tip: read the book preface and extracts for semantic words!

The truth is, you’ll get quite a lot of inspiration here and new ideas, too!

Wikipedia: A Hub Of Keywords And Search Terms

Picture this: as a user, when you search for general information on a topic, you look at Wikipedia. So, as an SEO, why not use it to find popular wiki information around your primary keyword?

Just type a broad term in Wikipedia and look at its table of contents. You’ll get a great list of main topics and subtopics related to your term!

Compare your keyword research with what Wikipedia has to say. Discover more related terms and topic ideas via its contents and text links.

But beware: Wikipedia may be your ally, but it can also be your competitor.

When you want to evaluate a keyword’s competition quickly, do a Google search and check which websites appear on the top results of page 1.

If there are many high-authority wiki sites (like Wikipedia), then you better keep this keyword on hold for later: until you have a very high domain authority, that is.

Zero Search Volume Keywords: Making Something Out Of ‘Nothing’

Consider this: your SEO tools show zero search volume for your chosen keyword.

But, obviously, zero volume doesn’t mean no one has ever searched for it!

Quite simply, your keyword may have a low search volume or your tools just don’t have enough data on it (yet!)

One of the secrets of keyword research is to give these ‘low-profile’ search terms a chance. Remember that here, too, strength comes in unity! (Just like your off-page SEO link strategy).

So, when the rankings for multiple (related) keywords give you “0” search volume, try grouping around 10-12 of them within the same piece of content (blog post, product page, etc.) You can thus create a topic cluster that Google loves and appreciates.

What’s more, you employ low-competition keywords to rank for a more trending topic. Just take care all your terms have the same search intent.

Keyword Difficulty vs Domain Rating: Getting The Real Values

Here’s another case where numbers are ‘almost’ correct. And frankly, even though this is an advanced keyword research tip, I’m glad I’ve noticed it early enough in my SEO journey.

What I am referring to is Keyword Difficulty values.

Let’s say you have two different keywords with similar levels of difficulty. In this case, “seo for restaurants” and “seo rich text.”

At first glance, these two keywords both have a low difficulty level. But you need to investigate further to uncover their real ‘secret’ value for your keyword research.

By analyzing them in a tool such as Ahrefs, you can quickly see their competing sites on page 1 in SERPs.

Then, look again!

Check the DR (Domain Rating) of these URLs.

Example of a keyword with low Keyword Difficulty (KD) but a pretty high Domain Rating (DR).

If the average DR differs between the two keywords, then that with the lowest value has, in fact, a smaller KD! In our case, it’s “seo rich text” with a lower keyword difficulty.

Example of a keyword with low KD and some low DR URLs.

Let me explain further: Keyword Difficulty considers the number of backlinks on search results page 1 without taking into account the overall authority of these websites.

So, here’s a well-kept secret of effective keyword research: Look for keywords where the average Domain Rating on the first page of the SERP is relatively low.

Or, make sure that there is at least one low DR result on the first page.

And finally, here's a tip: Use Ahref's "Lowest DR" filter to filter for pages that have at least one low DR result on the first page.

Looking For More Advanced SEO Tips?

We are a passionate team of SEOs who work on search engine optimization with enthusiasm and diligence, uncovering the best-kept secrets and applying them in our projects.

That’s why we get great reviews for our work and top results for our clients! Want to know more advanced SEO tips? Read our blog!

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