Keywords are essential for any online business. They’re the words and phrases we want to use in our written content, in order to attract buyers and clients. The keywords we want to use are based on what those same clients are keying into search engines to find solutions, reviews, products and services that will solve their problems and pain points. 

However, it isn’t always easy knowing what keywords and phrases to use! We can sit and brainstorm what we think people are searching for, but it’s only when we research the figures behind those results, that we’ll know for sure we’re on the right track. And let’s be honest – sometimes we’re not! This is why keyword research tools will give you alternative suggestions, search volumes and even content that’s already out there. It’s all designed to make sure you have an accurate representation of what is and isn’t being searched for in the search engines. You can then look to use those words in your written content and on your website pages.

Keywords only work if you have a strategy in place

However, stuffing your content with a load of keywords, will only get your site penalised. But on the flip side, if you don’t use any keywords, you’ll struggle to show up in any search results. 

If you want your keyword research to count for something and actually work for you, make sure you have a strategy in place. This means having a clear plan in place for knowing what keywords you want to be associated with, who your client persona is, and what they’re searching for – and ultimately, how you’re going to tailor your core content and products to focus on providing associated solutions for your clients needs. 

The best keyword research tools for Virtual Assistants

The keyword research tools detailed below will not only be useful to your Virtual Assistant business, they’ll also come in handy for your clients too. Whether you’re creating content for blogs and sales pages, helping them set up a website, or managing their ad accounts, keywords are always needed, if you want to get good results. So here’s a breakdown of the best free and paid keyword research tools out there at your disposal. 

Fat Joe – premium keyword research tool and so much more… (free and paid)

Back in the summer I learnt about the company Fat Joe (always makes me chuckle as my step dad is called Joe and I have visions of him trying to do stuff on a computer!).  Fat Joe offer a variety of services (both free and paid) to their clients including keyword research, blog title idea generators, affordable content creation, infographic design etc.  But one of the things I love about them is their blog they share lots of actionable and knowledgeable content.  In particular, I liked this blog about “More Traffic; Less Competition: The Long Tail Keyword Mastery Guide” which explains actually what is a long tail keyword but more importantly how you can find and use them in your marketing.  They also have a downloadable guide which covers areas such as how to choose keywords on a newly created website on their post, SEO Training Guide: How to Do Keyword Research – definitely one to read.

SEMRush – premium keyword research tool (free and paid)

SEMRush is perfect for checking out your keywords, seeing what keywords your competitors are using, and for finding backlink opportunities for your website. The free account will enable you to do 10 searches – so use them wisely!

Ubersuggest – keyword research tool from a digital marketer (free)

Ubersuggest is owned by digital marketer Neil Patel. It gives you keyword suggestions, content ideas, backlink data, and you can enter any URL to see what keywords they’re ranking for. It also colour codes the results, so you know which keywords are easiest to start ranking for. Simple to use and clutter free interface.

Answer the Public – questions for keywords (free)

Answer the Public is an awesome research tool, as it gives you the questions being asked about your keyword. For Virtual Assistants it’s a great way of seeing what kind of questions could be added to your FAQ pages, as well as objections your potential clients have.

Keyword Tool (free and paid) 

Keyword Tool uses Google’s autocomplete to find long-tail keywords. This means the keyword recommendations it gives you are based on what people are actually typing into Google. It also presents that information in an easy to read format – something many people struggle with, when using Google’s own Keyword Planner tool!

Moz Keyword Explorer (free and paid)

Moz Keyword Explorer is pretty user-friendly and gives you a peek into who’s ranking for any keywords you’ve entered, as well as the top content. The free version is limited to only 10 queries a month – but you can opt for a free 30-day trial, if you want to blitz your keyword research in a couple of sittings and make the most of their keyword suggestions. 

Pinterest – a hidden keyword research tool (free)

I know, Pinterest is a social media platform – but let’s not forget that it’s also a search engine too. It’s great for looking into what people are currently searching for. Simply start typing in a keyword and see what suggestions come up! You can also scroll down the results page to find other keyword suggestions, as well as looking at the main colour-coded suggestions at the top of the page.

Google – the traditional keyword research tool (free)

Finally we move onto the main giant of search engines – Google. Yes, they do have their free Keyword Planner Tool, but there’s also valuable keyword research opportunities on their homepage too. Simply type in your keyword and, without hitting return, see what suggestions come up. You can then repeat the process but by gradually going through your keyword plus a letter from the alphabet. There’s also the further suggestions at the bottom of the search results to look at too.

Moz actually has an awesome article on how to quickly do keyword research – The Lazy Writer’s Guide to 30-Minute Keyword Research – and there’s also this in depth keyword research guide from Backlinko – both are worth a read.

Want to know which one I use… actually all of them at some point or other.  I tent to go through phases of having a preferred tool and have loved my free trials of Moz Pro. (But make sure you have time to make best use of it.)

Tell me in the comments box what tools you use to do your keyword research.