The Problem With Keyword Tools (And How To Fix It)

The problem with keyword tools

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Google’s Data Limits All Keyword Tools

Google has the best data on keywords and it doesn’t share a lot. Almost all keyword tools are limited to Google’s data or other services that only have a tiny sample of searches. Many of which are inaccurate.

At lower search volumes, Google’s searches per month count can be way off. Many low search volume keywords don’t even register with Google, but can have enough traffic to make good money for a smart marketer. Google’s data is historic and does not predict the future and the use of competition metrics can be altogether unreliable.

Since practically all keyword tools pull data from Google, and those suffer from the same problems as Google, then these tools are missing a wealth of hot keywords out there.

Keyword Tools Increase Competition

There are billions of keywords and keyword combinations out there’s so do you really have a good chance of being able to use a keyword tool to find that hot keyword with high demand and low competition?

99% of keyword researchers are using these tools to find keywords using essentially the same techniques. There are also huge content sites (like eHow.com) that rake in millions a year in revenue using advanced in-house, automated tools to find hot keywords.

When it comes to the real keyword gems, they are often found outside the keyword tools.

Think Outside the Box

Keyword tools are a good starting point, but, if you understand the limitations, you realize that the biggest opportunities are in what the keyword tools don’t find. Some of our top keywords are ones that the keyword tools have failed to identify. You will find that competition is often non-existent.

The following can help you identify hot keywords:

  • Common sense
  • Your own understanding of research habits
  • Your website’s statistics
  • Your knowledge of a niche
  • Any other nugget of knowledge about your prospects

Here are some ideas to help you discover those undiscovered, profitable keywords.

Future Products & Events

If a product is not out yet or an event has not happened, then the keyword tools typically don’t know about it because very few people are searching for it. As a result, there tends to be little competition and rankings become much easier.

Check for upcoming product launches on popular blogs in a given niche (such as engadget.com for gadgets), or any other sources you can find for undiscovered new products or services.

When you find a potential product launch or event that is coming, get in early, put up a page or website on that keyword, target longtail keywords using the Sideways Keyword Search method and do some early promotion.

If your content is good, people will then start linking to you securing your position in top spots and locking out competition. This is how web pages first on the scene are exceptionally hard to move from the top spot.

It doesn’t matter what your niche is, there is always an upcoming product or event that you could benefit from if you ranked highly for it.

Sideways Keyword Research

If you are going to target a keyword that the keyword tools have not picked up on, then you can use the sideways keyword research method.

Here you find a very similar keyword and use that as a route keyword to help you find longtail keyword searches, and apply those longtail keywords to the actual keyword you are targeting.

This sounds more complicated than it is. For example, let’s say you were targeting the next unreleased game console from Playstation; imagine it is called `Playstation 5’. Since it isn’t launched, the keyword tools would only tell you about what people are searching for already. So put into the keyword tool names of other existing games consoles to identify search patterns and longtail keywords. Applying a bit of common sense you will easily see which longtail keywords you can target for the upcoming console and be the first on the scene when competition is low to non-existent.

You can also do this effectively for local marketing as I mentioned earlier. Look up search trends in big a populous city, and use it to reverse engineer longtail searches in smaller localities. Google generally fails to report all the longtail keywords that a small town might be getting because of the lower search volume, but you can figure it out from the big cities and find keywords nobody else is targeting.

What Keyword?

Your first thought might be to target product names followed by the word `broken’, `repair’ or `fix’. That’s not a bad idea, especially if you mix it in with new products you expect will start breaking any day soon.

However, don’t overlook the keywords for the spare parts, specialists and tools that might be needed to repair these products. The individual names of spare parts for even hugely popular products often have little if any competition and can represent a big opportunity when those products break.

Also apply sideways keyword research here to predict what keywords will come up.

An Example: If a new phone launches, find out what broke in previous models and what people searched for to fix it.

Some replacement parts and repairs cost $50 to $100, so there’s money to be made there. Also people will spend $10 on a thorough guide on how to fix their phone rather than buy a new one.

The Real World

All around you are great ideas for potential keywords, many that a keyword tool would never give you. Ask friends and potential customers what problems they have had in the last week, what products they bought online, and specifically what they typed into Google on those subjects.

You can discover keywords, and possibly whole niches that remain largely untargeted online.

It could be that new model of television that lacks the online reviews, or recipes for a new strict diet plan. By studying your target audience in the real world, it will help you discover them.

Mix outside the box thinking with keyword tools.

Use a keyword tool to help you brainstorm and find promising keywords and niches. This should give you a brilliant starting point, get your brain ticking, while undoubtedly providing you with some longtail keywords you can mix and match, as some promising keywords you can go out and target immediately.

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