How to Research Trending Keywords

How to Research Trending Keywords

by Robert Clough

Trending keywords is vital to content marketing, PPC and SEO. But do you know how to research keywords? Here’s your guide to the different keyword strategies.

From January until April 2018, there has been an average of 80 million blogs posted on WordPress every month.

This is why it isn’t enough to just create engaging content for your website and blog. It’s why you need to use trending keywords when writing those blogs.

Don’t misunderstand us, having great content is important, especially when it comes to converting potential customers and retaining them as clients. But before they can become clients, they need to actually find your company among all the noise. The way to acquire new users, whether through organic or paid search, is by writing about the topics that they are interested in.

So, a key component of your content marketing strategy is figuring out what your customers are searching for.

Read on to learn how to find the trending keywords to best promote your product or service.

Brainstorming to Find Trending Keywords

Start your keyword research on the social media platforms you already use on a daily (or hourly!) basis. This is especially effective if you are in the target demographic that you are selling to.

We’ve all had the experience of seeing the same news article popping up all over social media. Look for other trends that are occurring across multiple platforms.

Even if your target customers are in a different demographic from you, social media is a helpful tool for finding trending keywords.

Twitter makes it easy to see what’s trending in your geographic area with the most popular hashtags listed right on the homepage. Additionally, you can search for hashtags that are relevant to your industry and see how they are performing.

Another website you should be using when researching keyword trends is Buzzfeed. Love it or hate it, Buzzfeed essentially wrote the book on publishing content based on what is popular. When you visit their homepage, click on the red circle with an upwards arrow to see what’s trending on their site.

Finally, Reddit is very useful for finding trending topics on international and local levels. Posts are ordered based on votes from its extensive user base. There are geographic subreddits as well as pages for various hobbies and more.

Tools for Find Even More Trending Keywords

After you’ve combed through your social media channels to see what’s trending, the next step is to move on to dedicated keyword tools.

These tools vary greatly in complexity from free tools that will list keywords according to their search volume and acquisition costs to incredibly in-depth tools that will allow you to search for trends according to specific dates and places.

With the more complex keyword research tools, it’s important to not let yourself get overwhelmed and get frustrated.

Finding successful trending keywords for your marketing campaigns and content strategy will be the difference between how many people visit your site. Ultimately, you need those visits for people to become clients.

Types of Keywords

There are three main types of keywords and a fourth, less popular category. The three main categories are brand terms, generic terms, and related terms. The final category, which we’ll get into separately, are competitor terms.

Marketers use brand terms to target customers who are already aware of their company to help them find out more about the products and services that are offered. Generic terms, as the name implies, focus on the product rather than including the brand name. Related terms are keyword phrases that will target customers who are early in their buyer’s journey and therefore in the research as opposed to purchasing stage.

For example, if we are researching keyword trends for the fictitious “Boston Athletics Gear” retail store:

  • Brand terms – Boston Athletics Gear shoes, Boston Athletics Gear sports watch, Boston Athletics Gear hockey socks

  • Generic terms – sports stores in Boston, where to buy yoga mats in Boston, where to buy hockey sticks in Boston

  • Related terms – pick-up hockey in Boston, adult rec leagues in Boston, yoga classes in Boston

The fourth category marketers encounter in their keyword trend analysis are competitor terms.

This involves targeting search terms that include your competitor’s brand name. They’re not only more costly to your marketing budget, but they also require a more aggressive approach than using the previous three categories of keywords.

Expanding Your List of Keywords

The final step of your research process is to use a concatenation tool to expand your list of keywords. This will help you to fill in any blanks that you may have missed.

A concatenation tool creates a chain of keywords based on your inputs. There is actually a concatenation tool built into Excel.

But don’t worry if you’re not strong in Excel. There are online tools that simplify the process.

Before using these tools, look at your list of keywords and put them into broad categories. Using our earlier example of the Boston Athletics Gear store, we might have one category with our customer types (men, women, children), a second category with activity-based items (running shoes, cycling shorts, ice skating socks), and then simply “Boston” in the third category.

The result of using the concatenation tool is the following list of potential trending keywords:

  • men running shoes Boston

  • men cycling shorts Boston

  • men ice skating socks Boston

  • women running shoes Boston

  • women cycling shorts Boston

  • women ice skating socks Boston

  • children running shoes Boston

  • children cycling shorts Boston

  • children ice skating socks Boston

Of course, not all of these will be trending keywords. But the best way to create a list of search queries to target is to start with a very long list and then start narrowing it down.

What’s Next Once You Have a List of Keywords

After you’ve researched the trending keywords relevant to your business, some of the next steps are refining your keywords and defining negative keywords.

Learn more about how to use Google Analytics and the types of traffic that you’re getting to help you improve and target your marketing strategy.

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