Paid Advertising Keyword Research Made Simple


Use Keyword Research Tools to Gather Long-Tail Keywords

By now, you’ve got a firm grasp of your business goals and objectives, as well as the primary keywords you want to use to garner interest and attract prospects. The next step is to go a little further down the rabbit hole by using keyword research tools to identify effective and affordable long-tail keywords.

There are literally dozens of different keyword research tools. Many of these tools are free (or at least have free versions), although they vary greatly in value and ease of use. The one constant you’ll need to focus on is search volume, which is usually broken down by average monthly searches. This is a good indicator of the competition around each term and will also give you a good idea of how expensive the CPC is for these keywords.

Let’s take a look at three of our favorites.

1) Google Keyword Planner

The Granddaddy of them all, Google Keyword Planner might not be the most accurate tool out there, but it’s free to use and can get pretty detailed. If nothing else, Google Keyword Planner is a great place to begin your research and offers compelling statistics such as:

  • Average monthly searches
  • Competition level
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Average CPC
  • Conversions 
  • Conversion rate
  • Average cost per acquisition (CPA)
  • Suggested max bid

One drawback is that it doesn’t provide exact keyword suggestions. It does, however, suggest a ton of different synonyms and variations, which is huge when you’re trying to build an extensive long-tail keyword list. If you have a Google Ads account (not sure why you’d be reading this if you don’t), just login and then navigate to the Tools and Analysis dropdown. Click on the Keyword Planner and… voila!

*Bonus: Act-On easily integrates with Google Ads!

2) Moz Keyword Explorer

The Moz Keyword explorer allows marketers of all skill sets and experience levels to conduct more thorough research by:

  • Analyzing keywords by search volume with more than 95% accuracy
  • Generating, saving, and scoring keyword lists
  • Exporting their research, analysis, and lists into easy-to-read CSVs
  • Predictively analyzing keyword difficulty, volume and CTRs
  • Reviewing SERP details by keyword to better understand how pages rank queries
  • Performing competitive analysis to stay ahead of the competition

Unfortunately, Keyword Explorer isn’t free, but it’s pretty cost-effective considering the level of functionality, accuracy, and analytics. There are two different pricing levels:

  • Level 1 ($600/year)
    • 5,000 full keyword reports/month
    • 10 keyword lists (500 keywords per list)
  • Level 2 ($1,800/year)
    • 30,000 full keyword reports/month
    • 30 keyword lists (1,000 keywords per list)

If you’re managing a limited marketing budget, you can still run two free searches each day without having to log in. Or, you can create a free community account for 7 free searches per day.

3) Wordstream Keyword Tool

I’m a rabid Wordstream fan. Their marketing content is next-level, and their tools are extremely effective and easy to use. So while I’m not in anyway professionally linked with Wordstream, I’m a great admirer and so probably a touch biased. 

Like the other tools on this list, Wordstream Keyword Tool can help you find relevant keywords at competitive price points. Users can enter a keyword or website URL and also choose by industry and/or country to get the most accurate data on the most relevant terms. Results will include hundreds of related terms, as well as:

  • Google Search Volume
  • Competition
  • CPC
  • Opportunity Score

The “Opportunity Score” is my favorite part of Wordstream’s Keyword Tool. It’s a proprietary metric that ranks impact potential on a 1-10 scale to help marketers focus their efforts in the right areas — saving time, effort, and budget in the process. You can then take those prime keywords and use Wordstream’s keyword grouping functionality to organize your terms into actionable segments consisting of useful and effective long-tail keywords.  



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