Updated August 2018
As a marketer, there’s no such thing as too much research.
In the grand scheme of things, you need to be in tune with the latest trends, be up-to-date with your strategies, and constantly monitor how your campaigns are running.
However, for the most part, your tactics must be guided by a portfolio of well-targeted keywords to make sure you’re not throwing away precious marketing dollars.
It doesn’t matter if you’re preparing for PPC, SEO, or just good old content marketing. Without keyword research, it’s practically impossible to draw the right audience into your campaign.
Fortunately, there are loads of research tools you can use to arm yourself with lucrative keyword ideas. But since not all of them can produce the same results, you need to be extra careful when choosing a tool you can bet on.
To help you make the right decision, here are the things you should look for in an online keyword generator:
1. Ease of Use
First and foremost, you need to look for a keywords generator that won’t overcomplicate your research.
The platform should allow you to jump into the action without you having to go through any unnecessary and time-consuming registration steps.
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner, for example, only requires a valid Gmail account which is something that most marketers today already possess.
The actual keyword research process is also made as clear-cut as possible. You simply need to enter a seed keyword, a relevant search phrase, or any URL to get things rolling.
However, when it comes to ease of use, not many can compare to LongTailPro.
The menu to the left of the interface makes it easy to navigate the platform, as well as find the specific feature you need:
Just like the official Google keyword generator, Long Tail Pro also lets you kickstart your keyword research with the help of up to five seed keywords. You can also specify the number of suggestions you’d like to retrieve for each of them:
2. Comprehensive Keyword Results
Now that we have usability out of the way, it’s time to focus on the actual results you’ll get.
You need to pay attention to the number of keyword suggestions a platform can generate.
It’s not rocket science — the more results, the better.
Be it for SEO or PPC; you need all of the keyword ideas you can get to make sure you don’t miss out on profitable opportunities.
This is another aspect where LongTailPro shines, especially since it can assimilate hundreds of keyword suggestions from Google itself.
Not only that, but it also does a great job of scraping low-hanging fruit keywords that are longer and usually more suitable for smaller brands.
Of course, you can make the case that the AdWords Keyword Planner also produces the same number of suggestions — if not more. However, their results are generally less focused and contain more broad keywords, making it slightly harder to find suggestions that are worth targeting.
Another alternative would be Ubersuggest, which is a free-to-use keyword creation tool hosted on Neil Patel’s website. Similar to LongTailPro, it’s also capable of suggesting longer keywords that are favorable for smaller brands, but doesn’t give a keyword competitiveness score which is crucial when trying to determine whether a keyword is worth your time.
3. Content-Ready Keyword Suggestions
In most cases, Ubersuggest and LongTailPro produce keyword suggestions that can be used to create unique headlines for content.
For example, if you enter “content research tool” as your seed keyword on LongTailPro, it shouldn’t be hard to find potential topics:
These are keywords that will not only make sense for headlines — they will also read naturally when inserted into the actual post. This isn’t normally an issue for PPC advertising, but it’s definitely beneficial to content and SEO professionals.
If content idea generation is your main objective, you should take a look at KeywordTool.io, which generates keyword ideas based on Google suggestions. After you enter a seed keyword, the tool can expand them into questions that the online audience typically asks:
4. In-Depth Keyword Metrics
Having enough keyword ideas to keep your campaign going for weeks is great, but a keyword research tool must also be able to show you the hard numbers — particularly a keywords’ search volume, competitiveness, and average cost per click.
These metrics will help you determine a keyword’s performance in SEO, PPC, and content marketing.
The good news is, keyword analysis is a staple feature in most keyword research tools. It’s only a matter of finding the tool that makes data more readable.
For example, AdWords Keyword Planner and LongTailPro are two of the few tools that provide adequate explanations for each metric shown:
LongTailPro also calculates the projected “Rank Value” of particular keywords, which will enable you to factor in ROI when using the keyword generator for SEO. They can also prescribe a certain range of keyword competitiveness based on the performance of your domain.
To do this, simply type your domain in the “Enter your domain” field:
Once you click “Add,” LongTailPro will immediately show important metrics on your site along with the recommended keyword competitiveness:
See it action:
5. Competitive Keyword Research
Sometimes, the best source of profitable keyword ideas are the competitors themselves. This is, unfortunately, where a lot of keyword research platforms fall short.
In LongTailPro, however, we’ve also incorporated the feature in our platform.
If you have an Agency Plan, from the main dashboard, you can head to “Competitor Keyword Suggestions,” enter your competitor’s domain, and sit back as LongTailPro identifies their target keywords:
You can then handpick potential keyword opportunities based on their rank value, average keyword competitiveness, and search volume.
Just remember that going straight for your top competitor might lead to keyword suggestions that are well beyond your reach.
If you want your competitive research to be fruitful, you need to be realistic and enter a domain that isn’t too far ahead. Adopting some of their target keywords into your own strategy could be the key to outranking or outperforming them in your marketing.
While it is true that using a powerful keyword generator tool will give you an unfair advantage over your competitors, you need to ask yourself, “How does a ‘powerful’ keyword generator tool even look like, anyway? What qualities does it posses?”
The points we covered are some of the most crucial features that you need to look into when choosing a keyword generator tool. Here’s a recap of the points:
- Ease of Use
- Comprehensive Keyword Results
- Content-Ready Keyword Suggestions
- In-Depth Keyword Metric
- Competitive Keyword Research
If you have a keyword research tool with these qualities working for you, your chances of finding the best keywords that can generate you truckloads of sales easily skyrockets!
LongTailPro is, without a doubt, the perfect platform whether you’re preparing for SEO or PPC. Check out its amazing features with our 7-day free trial today!