Strong SEO starts with strategic keyword research. Finding the right keywords to target is crucial for driving relevant traffic to your website and ranking highly in search results. But with search engine algorithms and user search behavior constantly evolving, you need to stay on top of the latest trends and techniques in discovering high-potential keywords.

In this post, we’ll explore five cutting-edge tips to master keyword research in 2023 and set your SEO strategy up for success. Whether you want to improve existing content or find new opportunities, these innovative keyword research methods will help uncover hidden gems and grow your organic search visibility. Let’s dive in!

Tip 1: Leverage Google Autocomplete for Fresh Keyword Ideas

Google Autocomplete is one of the most potent yet underutilized keyword research tools available today. As you begin typing a word or phrase into Google’s search bar, it provides suggested searches in real-time that other people are entering.

Autocomplete essentially allows you to peek into the minds of searchers to see the exact keywords and questions they are interested in. This precious data lets you discover fresh, high-potential keywords that precisely match user intent. In this section, we’ll explore actionable tips and strategies for using Autocomplete to take your keyword research to the next level.

Analyze Root Keywords

Start by brainstorming broad root keywords and topics related to your business, brand, or website. For example, if you run an interior design blog, root keywords could include:

  • Interior design
  • Home Decor
  • Furniture
  • Kitchen design
  • Bathroom remodels

Begin typing these keywords and phrases into Google’s search bar and pay close attention to the Autocomplete suggestions. Look for patterns and popular searches. You’ll likely notice searches like:

  • Modern interior design
  • Small kitchen interior design
  • Contemporary home decor
  • Furniture stores near me

Google surfaces these specific suggestions because multiple users are actively searching for them. Your goal is to mine Autocomplete for these high-potential keywords you may have never thought to target.

Look for Questions

Also, notice the questions that appear in Autocomplete. For example:

  • How do you arrange living room furniture?
  • What are the best furniture stores?
  • How much do bathroom remodels cost?

Google includes these because searchers are asking them. Questions present perfect opportunities to create content that answers user queries and ranks highly. An FAQ blog post or videos work great for these.

Filter Autocomplete Suggestions

Here are a few ways to filter Autocomplete results for more relevant keyword ideas:

  • Add negative keywords like “not” or “vs.” to exclude unwanted results
  • Include geographic modifiers like “in San Francisco” for local keywords
  • Filter by date using tools like Wayback Machine to see older results

You can also open Autocomplete in an Incognito browser window to avoid getting personalized suggestions based on your search history. This shows the most objective, high-volume keywords.

Export Results

To make analysis easier, use a tool like Kparser that exports Google Autocomplete results to a spreadsheet. Or you can manually compile them in a document. Once you have a list, here are some next steps:

  • Delete exact match brand name searches for competitors.
  • Remove keywords irrelevant to your business or content.
  • Identify 3-5 word long-tail keyword opportunities ideal for targeting.
  • Cross-reference keywords with Google Keyword Planner for search volume data.
  • Prioritize keywords with sufficient volume and low competition.

Refine and Repeat

Autocomplete suggestions change frequently as Google continues learning about user search behavior. Set reminders to revisit root keywords every 2-3 months and export the latest results.

Compare new Autocomplete keywords with your previous lists to identify rising trends and new opportunities. Pay attention to fast-climbing suggested searches signaling high user interest. For example, if “small living room ideas” has increased quickly in Autocomplete results since your last analysis, it could be a hot new keyword to target.

Keyword Groupings

Look for keyword groupings and clusters within Autocomplete for expanded ideas. For example, around the root of “living room ideas,” Google may suggest:

  • Small living room ideas
  • Living room lighting ideas
  • Living room furniture ideas
  • Living room curtain ideas
  • Living room paint ideas

These provide perfect cluster topics for content creation. You have five targeted articles or videos to produce around one root keyword theme. You can leverage this for any focus keyword – “fitness tips,” “chicken recipes,” etc. Identify search modifiers people pair with the root topic and expand each into tailored content with a cohesive theme.

Accurate Matching

One advantage of Autocomplete is it surfaces the exact words and phrases searchers are using. This helps you match keyword terms to content accurately. For example, the suggestion “dark, moody living room ideas” shows the specific descriptive keywords people pair with that search. If you created content using your own guessed keyword, “dramatic living room ideas,” it may not rank as well.

Optimizing content with precise keywords from Autocomplete improves relevance. Always defer to the terminology Google provides from actual searches.

Long-Tail Keywords

Autocomplete excels at uncovering specific long-tail keywords, which are longer and more focused. For example:

  • Rustic decor ideas for small living rooms
  • Low-budget kitchen remodel ideas

These longer queries indicate higher user intent to find that exact content. Pages targeting long-tail terms can more easily place well in Google. Autocomplete provides endless inspiration for long-tail variations around any focus keyword. Look for questions, comparatives, modifiers, and multiple-word phrases. For example:

  • What is the best budget furniture?
  • Modern vs contemporary interior design differences
  • COLORFUL and fun living room decor ideas
  • Small kitchen remodel cost calculator

Mine Autocomplete frequently for new long-tail keyword ideas that precisely match searcher intent. This level of personalization will drive more clicks and conversions. In short, leveraging Google Autocomplete taps into an invaluable source of fresh, high-potential keywords and questions that real users are searching for in real time. Make it a standard part of your keyword research toolkit to stay on top of changing search trends and unlock new SEO opportunities.

Tip 2: Learn from Competitors by Analyzing Their Top Keywords

Your competitors’ websites are full of valuable keyword data. Study the terms they rank highly for to find “low-hanging fruit” keywords you can target for quick SEO wins. Your competitors rank for many keywords that could be a match for your business, too. By studying their target terms, you can gain invaluable insight into new SEO opportunities and emulate their success. Analyzing competitors’ top-ranking keywords reveals tactical “quick wins” you can pursue along with broader themes and gaps in your optimization strategy. Let’s explore tips for extracting those keyword insights.

Find Key Competitors

First, identify 3-5 competitors relevant to your space. For example, if you sell coffee online, some competitors may be:

  • Starbucks
  • Peet’s Coffee
  • Blue Bottle Coffee Company
  • Counter Culture Coffee

Ideally, choose businesses with websites similar in size and function to yours. Their keywords will be more relevant versus much larger corporations. You can find competitors by:

  • Researching brands in your space
  • Checking ads running in your niche
  • Using tools like SEMrush Related Domains
  • Googling key terms, your brand ranks for

Once you have your competitor list, it’s time to dig into their keywords.

Identify Top Keywords

SEO tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Google Search Console allow you to input a competitor’s URL and view their top-ranking organic keywords. For each competitor site, enter their homepage URL. Most tools will scan their domain and provide data, including:

  1. Total number of keywords ranking
  2. Top 10-20 keywords by traffic
  3. Keywords ranking on Page 1 of Google
  4. Keyword difficulty scores

Study this data to identify common themes and specific terms each brand targets. Compile a spreadsheet to compare competitors side-by-side quickly.

Assess Search Volume

Next to each keyword, add the monthly search volume using Google’s Keyword Planner. This shows the traffic potential each term drives. Focus on competitor keywords with higher volumes in the thousands to tens of thousands of monthly searches. These have the most opportunity to drive leads and sales if you target them. Competitors may rank well for keywords with very low monthly search volume. Ignore these less valuable keywords in your analysis.

Find Common Patterns

Look for keyword patterns and themes across competitors. For example, coffee sites may commonly target:

  • Different brew methods like “pour over” or “cold brew.”
  • Regional terms like “Seattle coffee.”
  • Product names like “dark roast beans.”

Make a list of recurring keywords and subjects to identify areas competitors are actively optimizing for.

Uncover Gaps

Importantly, look for SEO gaps where competitors lack presence. With the coffee example, a few brands may be targeting keywords like:

  • Sustainable coffee farming
  • Coffee subscription services
  • Best coffee gifts

These gaps present prime opportunities for you to create content and optimize pages around those less competitive terms.

Identify Quick Wins

Look for promising “quick win” keywords that seem easier to rank for than competitors based on your existing content and authority. For example, if a keyword has relatively high volume but low-to-medium difficulty scores, you may have a better chance of ranking well in the short term.

Always Cross-Check Data

It’s essential to cross-check competitors’ keywords across more than one tool. Each tool has slightly different keyword data. Verify keywords and volumes using:

  1. Google Keyword Planner
  2. SEMrush and Ahrefs
  3. Moz Keyword Explorer

Look for consensus between tools for the most accurate, reliable data.

Perform Regular Checks

Set a reminder to redo competitor keyword research every 2-3 months. SEO is constantly evolving, so continue analyzing their latest terms. Look for new patterns in their keyword targeting and strategy changes. Watch for opportunities if they give up ground on key terms. Track their keyword ranking growth over time as another benchmark for your progress.

Turn Insights into SEO Strategy

Now that you’ve done the competitor research, here are some next steps to apply those keyword insights:

Evaluate Alignment

Which of the competitor keywords are relevant to align with your brand’s products, services, and expertise? Avoid straying too far from your niche just for rankings.

Prioritize Opportunities

Create a shortlist of competitor keywords you can realistically target in the next 3-6 months. Consider difficulty, your content gap, and search volume.

Expand Topics into Clusters

Group keywords by broader topic clusters they fit under. Use these themes for content expansion. For example, “coffee brewing methods” can become a cluster for several articles or videos about pour-over, cold brewing, Aeropress, etc.

Create Keyword-Focused Content

Produce new pages and posts optimized specifically around your priority keyword targets. Make sure to promote this content to increase rankings over time actively.

Fix Technical On-page SEO

Review your website and ensure your high-potential keywords appear in key places like page titles, headers, metadata, alt text, etc.

Earn backlinks and mentions for new content pages to boost their keyword authority faster. In summary, continuously analyzing your top competitors’ keyword strategies will provide an invaluable blueprint for SEO success in your space. Learn from their initiatives and research gaps to find your “quick wins” and untapped opportunities.

Google Related Searches are another goldmine for keyword research. At the bottom of search results pages, Google lists other relevant searches people make around that topic. Google Related Searches are a precious yet underused source for fresh keyword discovery. At the bottom of Google search results pages, they list additional relevant queries other users searched related to the main keyword.

These provide perfect insight into long-tail keyword variations and topics you can optimize your content for. In this section, we’ll explore tips for unlocking Related Searches’ potential for better SEO.

Start by searching Google for your core focus keywords and branded terms. Scroll to the bottom of the results page, and you’ll see “Searches related to [keyword].” For example, for “content marketing,” Google lists:

  • content marketing strategy
  • types of content marketing
  • content marketing examples
  • content marketing ROI
  • content marketing plan

These are all highly relevant, high-intent keywords you could target in your content. Make a note of the ones relevant to your brand.

Compile Keyword Lists

Capture Related Searches from first page results of 3-5 core keywords. Manually compile them into a spreadsheet for analysis. To automate, use a tool like SEMrush or Moz that extracts Related Searches in bulk. Make sure to download new lists regularly, as suggestions frequently change.

Analyze for Opportunities

Study your Related Searches lists and highlight keywords with potential. Ask these questions:

  • Which aligns closest to my brand and offerings?
  • Which keywords have a decent search volume I can realistically target?
  • Which face low SEO difficulty and competition?

Identify both short-tail and long-tail keyword opportunities. Longer, more specific phrases indicate higher user intent, which converts better. For example, “content marketing conferences 2023” is a tremendous particular phrase versus just “content marketing.”

Cross-Reference Data

Take your shortlist into Google Keyword Planner or other tools to verify that suggested keywords have sufficient search volume to be worth targeting. Prioritize those Related Searches with over 1,000 monthly searches and medium-to-low competition scores for focus.

Create Optimized Content

Turn high-potential Related Searches into new blog posts and content pages. Craft compelling titles using the exact keywords, like: “Content Marketing Conferences to Check Out in 2023”. This not only helps rankings but answers the searcher’s original query.

Optimize Existing Content

You can also integrate Related Searches into current content by adding keywords wherever relevant. For example, if “content marketing examples” appear frequently in Related Searches, work it into a broader content marketing post.

This “keyword injection” helps pages rank for additional terms over time.

Pay Attention to Questions

Related Searches often surface keyword questions searchers have. For example:

Answer these directly in dedicated content pieces like “How To Build A Winning Content Marketing Strategy in 2022”.

Localize Keywords

Related Searches can uncover location-based keywords you may miss otherwise. For example:

  • Content marketing conferences in Los Angeles
  • Content marketing companies bay area

Target these regionally-optimized keywords if you offer local services.

Compare Related Searches lists month-over-month to identify new keyword opportunities with rising search volume. Capitalize on these fast-climbing searches before competition increases. Conversely, look for once-popular Related Searches that now have declining inquiries. Pause optimization for these fading keywords.

Update Content Frequently

New Related Searches appear all the time. Set a monthly reminder to revisit core keywords and refresh your spreadsheet with the latest suggestions. Then, continually improve existing content by working in new terms Google indicates readers are searching for. This evolving optimization is vital for staying ahead of the curve.

Use Autocomplete Together

Google Autocomplete suggestions appear as you type into the search bar. Many will match the Related Searches listed for that keyword, validating those terms. Cross-compare Autocomplete and Related Searches for consensus on the best keywords to target.

Promote Your Content

Creating content optimized around Related Searches isn’t enough on its own. Actively promote each piece via social media, email lists, outreach, etc., to drive traffic and rankings. Over time, targeting Related Search keywords delivers exponential SEO benefits. As content ranks higher, it will surface even more Related Searches to leverage. By tapping into these suggestions, you’ll discover endless fresh keyword opportunities matching real user search intent. This takes the guesswork out of keyword research.

In short, mining Google Google-related searches provides easy wins for improving existing content and knowing exactly which new keywords and questions to optimize and answer. Make Related Search research an ongoing part of your SEO strategy.

Tip 4: Fill Your Keyword Gaps with SEMrush Gap Analysis

One key strategy is comparing your organic keyword rankings with competitors’ to uncover gaps. SEMrush’s Keyword Gap tool provides an invaluable snapshot of performance opportunities you’re missing out on. Enter a competitor domain and your own. SEMrush generates a report of your shared keywords and compares ranking positions. It identifies areas where that site outperforms you for specific keywords you don’t rank for.

These represent immediate keyword gaps you should target in your SEO efforts for quick wins. The tool also suggests “Questions” people are searching for that you can create content around.

Here are a few tips for practical SEMrush gap analysis:

  1. Use accurate competitor and your domain data for reliable results.
  2. Filter by critical metrics like Volume and KD score to identify priority gaps.
  3. Export the report for further analysis.
  4. Cross-reference with other keyword research sources.
  5. Track progress monthly and fill identified gaps.

Regularly running gap analysis reports provides tangible, actionable keyword opportunities to execute. This drives continuous improvement.

Search volume is a critical factor when determining which keywords are worth prioritizing for SEO. But search volumes fluctuate over time based on seasonal, trending, and real-world factors. This is where Google Trends provides invaluable insights. Google Trends allows you to analyze historical patterns and emerging changes in monthly search volumes. With this data, you can better understand when to focus on specific monthly keywords and identify new opportunities.

Let’s explore how leveraging Trends can take your keyword targeting to the next level.

Track Seasonal Fluctuations

Specific keywords naturally rise and fall in searches depending on the time of year. For example:

  • “tax refund” spikes from February to April every year during tax season, then declines.
  • “snow tires” see search volume peak annually in October through December as winter nears.

Looking at Trends’ past data, you can chart when search volumes for your keywords historically hit their yearly highs and lows. Then, you can properly time your targeting and content promotion for each keyword around its peak months. This helps maximize traffic potential when the market is most interested in that term.

Uncover Breakout Keywords

Trends also reveal fast-rising keywords based on current events or trends. For example, when gas prices hit new highs in 2022, searches like “save on gas” surged. Study Trends to identify similar breakout keywords experiencing triple-digit growth YoY. These present opportunities to create content while search volumes are still rising.

Compare Geographies

Trends allow you to filter keywords by country and even state. This helps uncover geo-based differences. For example, “ice fishing gear” averages significantly more searches in Minnesota than in Florida. Location-based keyword opportunities exist.

Pay attention if your core keywords have a much higher search volume in specific geographies. You can tailor keywords and content accordingly.

Gauge Competitiveness

Higher search volume indicates more interest from a larger searcher audience. But it also attracts more competitors. Cross-compare Trends data with a tool like SEMrush to analyze keyword difficulty scores. Make sure a high-volume keyword you want to target has reasonable competitiveness.

Identify Questions

Trends list the top related questions around keywords that are rising in searches. For example, around “gas prices,” top questions include “Why are gas prices so high?” and “Where is gas the cheapest near me?”. Answer these types of trending questions in your content before competitors do.

Look at the Trends’ Related Topics section for more keyword ideas around rising searches. For example, around “gas prices,” topics include “fuel economy tips,” “hybrid vehicles,” and “work from home.” Brainstorm content ideas around these topics to indirectly optimize for main keyword surges.

Analyze Trend Durations

Trends graphs show whether a keyword rise or fall is a short-term temporary spike or a longer sustained pattern. This helps you determine if a breakout keyword’s higher search volume will likely last. If it’s a short blip, it may not be worth acting on.

Update Tracking Over Time

Search volumes naturally evolve month to month. Set reminders to revisit Trends for your main keywords every 90 days. Look for new seasonal patterns or changes in baseline averages. This ensures you always have the latest data.

In short, tapping into Google Trends’ historical and emerging search volume patterns provides you with actionable insights for maximizing keyword impact. Use Trends data to better time seasonal targeting, capitalize on trends, and make data-driven decisions in your SEO strategy.


Mastering accurate, effective keyword research is challenging but extremely rewarding for your SEO success. By leveraging these five cutting-edge tactics – from Autocomplete to Trends – you’ll uncover volumes of fresh, high-potential keywords that precisely match searcher intent. This will provide the fuel to drive more relevant organic traffic to your site and dominate the first page of Google this year.

Which of these innovative keyword research methods will you be using right away? Let me know in the comments below!