Keyword research can be a real pain in the butt. But, figuring out the exact right, targetable terms that your audience is searching for and building your content around it is absolutely necessary if you want to grow your business using digital advertising. When you know what your potential customers are searching for you can begin reaching them directly. There are hundreds of ways to go about doing keyword research to make it more tolerable but lately we have been pretty smitten with one. Using Answer the Public to generate a pool of possibilities and further refinement!
First we are going to give a walkthrough on using the Answer the Public tool. If you already have a handle on that, jump to the second step where we talk about using our next step in the process, using Ahrefs to get hard numbers.
Jump To Ahrefs
Note: there is a paid Pro access (currently at $49/month) that will give you unlimited searches, language and locations results, saved reports and unlimited team member access. For our purposes the free plan is enough to.
Don’t let this man’s gruff appearance fool you, he’s about to be a wealth of help!
Answer the Public is a free keyword research, visualization, and content ideas tool. It’s built by Propellernet, the team behind other marketing tools like CoverageBook.
You type in a keyword you feel fairly strongly about, say ‘blogging’, hit the Get Questions button, and the tool will populate possibilities generated from Google & Bing’s auto-suggest results.
Note: You’ll see there that the ‘Region’ option is for subscribers only. For this method we’re handling that’s fine, we’ll work with what we got.
You’ll see the program came up with 92 ‘questions.’ These are questions that are compiled using Google’s autocomplete functions.
This means that every suggestion is a direct phrase being entered into Google. Users are actually searching for this content! These are high-value keywords because they represent direct searcher intent.
You’ll see in the above image that ‘questions’ aren’t the only category in which you can view results. The Answer the Public tool also returns comparisons, prepositions, and other phrases that use the keyword you may not be expecting. Visualized, it looks like this:
Pretty overwhelming right? This tool delivers tons of content ideas to choose from. But rather than tilting your head at Exortcistian angles, you can choose to download it as a simple CSV.
Now we have something a bit more organized. We can already see that some of these suggestions aren’t what we are looking for. Will and Grace, while an excellent TV show, is probably not going to be something we are going to write about at Helix House. Sure, we will gladly recommend it to our friends and clients, but that is a different story. Now, we need to comb through all the results to find valuable terms.
That’s where the next step comes in!
Once we have a plain text CSV file of all these suggestions returned by Answer the Public, we can do one of two things. We can select a keyword that we have a good feeling about and write up a piece content to answer that question (hence the name.)
Or, we can do a little more work researching and vetting keywords to ensure that we invest valuable time in creating content around a perfect keyword.
If you don’t want to waste your efforts answering low volume search terms, it’s important to take this next step. Answer the Public gives you ideas, but Ahrefs will give you the data you need to determine where to focus your time and effort.
Let’s take that CSV and get to work. Head over to Ahrefs and hit their Keyword Explorer Page.
Plug in a set of the keywords pulled from Answer the Public, hit Metrics and let’s see what we got.
You can see that of the first 23 keywords from the CSV only one of them had any real search volume. This might make you think ‘Well what’s the point of Answer the Public at all then, if it gives such low volume recommendations!’
Answer the Public is great for generating ideas using autocomplete but it doesn’t tell you what are the most sought after. If you just want ideas, it’s an astoundingly robust way to generate them. But Ahrefs, hoo boy, Ahrefs is the tool to find the metrics and viability of keywords and search terms.
The power of this system is to discover focused longtail keywords which represent clear search intent. This allows you to created specific pieces of content, which can rank quickly, to appear in front of searchers who are likely further along in their buying journey. Answering their search queries at this point gives you a much better chance of converting them into a paying customer!
This one-two system is just one of the ways Helix House develops robust SEO gains for our clients and we are happy to offer that info free of charge. Take it, go out and write the best content users are actually searching for! If you need any help, give us a call!