I think it’s ironic. but there’s a LOT of SEOs who haven’t actually been using Google for their keyword research. It’s hard to blame them, SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs have what seems to be dozens and dozens of tools, graphs, charts, metrics and tables tables tables of data.

That’s perhaps why, in the quest for keyword data and insights into search queries that SEOs might not be using the most obvious source of insights for their keywords, a good old fashioned Google Search.

What You Find On Google May Surprise You

There’s a lot of opportunities for keywords to have search result sets that don’t actually align with your goal of reaching specific searchers who may be interested in your particular product.

For example, if you had a website that provided local commute guides, you might think “potential traffic” could be a search that would hold relevant results, but an actual search for that term would show you that it’s actually about potential WEBSITE traffic. It’d be a shame if you worked to optimize your on-site SEO game, for THOSE keywords!

Do a “Quality Check” On Your Keywords on that huge Keyword List

When you take ALL THAT TIME to come up with your keyword list, be sure you take the time to actually pop open those urls, and review the results. So add a column to your keyword research sheet for “Quality check”.

  • Rate keywords with the value of 4 if you KNOW that these are direct, transactional keyword phrases that people search seeking SPECIFICALLY your product/service
  • Rate keywords with the value of 3 if you think these are SIMILAR products or services, that your target customer would also LIKELY buy. For example, if you sell toothpaste, then “tooth brush” would be SIMILAR
  • Rate keywords with the value of 2 if this is a topic, question or search that would be made in the same niche or industry but isn’t DIRECTLY related to what it is your product/service does. “Hiking trails near sedona” would be an example if you’re a bed & breakfast in Sedona, who has customers who love to hike!
  • Rate keywords with the value of 1 if it’s off topic, a mismatch, or a competitor brand.