Although we have many blog posts across many topics, our focus here at StartupMenyu is bootstrapping your business. For those who haven’t heard the term bootstrapping, it means self-funding your business. We say bootstrapping because we’re pulling our boots up by their straps.
Put differently, we’re supporting our business with our own capital / credit / funds. These funds could be in the form of our savings, credit cards, or profits from our business reinvested back into the business.
Because we’re using our own capital to fund and grow our business, we don’t want to spend it loosely. We want every penny’s worth of value out of anything we pay for. If we want to grow our business and not get squashed by bigger, better capitalized competitors, we need to be extremely efficient and productive with the little bit we have and spend.
OK, but what does this have to do with free keyword research?
One way to be more productive with the money we spend is to not spend the money.
Let that sentence sink in…
One way to be more productive with the money we spend is to not spend the money.
By finding valuable methods, processes, and tools to grow your business that are FREE, you preserve your capital for better, more valuable uses elsewhere. Keyword research is one such area that has many powerful, free methods. Let’s get started.
To illustrate the free methods we’re going to cover, let’s pretend we have a gardening blog. We want to write an article about preventing deer from eating our flowers (my wife regularly battles this problem). We want to determine a good title for the blog post as well as the keywords and phrases we should optimize for (the ones people use to research the topic).
Without further ado, let’s review our first free method for finding keywords – Wikipedia, the information site that we’ve all heard of.
Visit their home page and type deer repellent in the search bar and press ENTER.
The search results will appear. Unfortunately, no page for deer repellent exists. If it had, you can be sure there would be plenty of keywords on it. With no repellent page, one search result stands out though – Deer Management. Let’s click on it and check that page out.
After clicking through to Deer Management, we want to hunt for keywords and phrases that we think people might be searching for. Since our article is going to be about preventing deer from eating flowers, fencing seems relevant. Fencing the yard to protect the flowers could make sense to some of our readers. We could touch on fencing in our post and even link to a second post about different types of fencing, including their advantages and disadvantages to a garden.
Let’s navigate back to the Deer Management page. We also highlighted alternative methods of deer management and repellents to manage the deer population. These long tail keyword phrases could also have value and provide search traffic. Especially the repellents to manage the deer population.
Let’s keep this search phrase in mind as we navigate to our second free keyword research method.
Google search three assume features for keyword research – People also ask, Searches related to, and the auto-suggest feature. All three of these provide powerful insight into the specific questions Googlers are searching. Let’s get started by navigating to google.com and enter in the search phrase from above – repellents to manage the deer population. We get the below results.
We can see instantly from the People also ask feature that people are searching primarily using how, what is good for, and keeps deer away.
As part of our blog post, we want to make sure we optimize for How to keep deer away from flowers and What is good for keeping deer away from flowers.
Let’s put those keyword phrases in our pocket and continue. Let’s look at the second great keyword feature of Google search – Searches related to.
Honestly, not many useful terms here. But that’s OK, try and try again. Let’s do a new search. Enter How to prevent deer from eating your flowers and press ENTER. We get the below.
Holy moly! Where do we start! There are useful terms all over the place. We can especially take advantage of the how to keep deer from eating hostas phrase. Actually, let’s click on that link and see what else we get.
Wow! We could do this all day and keep getting great keyword ideas! One thing to note above, notice the phrase What to use to keep deer from eating plants?. We were going to write and our post about preventing them from eating flowers, but they also are always eating our plants. Duh! Our article should cover how to stop them from eating both flower and plants. I also keep using the term prevent, but notice how none of the keywords and phrases we’ve found use that word? People don’t phrase their questions that way. Instead they use phrases like:
What stops deer from eating flowers
How do I stop deer from eating my flowers?
This is a big deal and why keyword research is important when writing content. We don’t want to sprinkle our blog post with phrases like Prevent deer from eating your flowers, thus excluding the more valuable, traffic-generating phrases that read What stops deer from eating MY flowers.
Before we finish with Google search, let’s take a look at the auto-suggest feature.
Are you kidding me! My goodness, as if we don’t already have tons of great ideas, take a look at these phrases. These confirm that how and what types of keyword phrases are the way we want to optimize. They also give us a new idea that might be worth looking into – home remedies. Two of those phrases, worded differently, apply to home remedies for keeping deer away. We also might want to explore what is the best dee repellent phrase as we could write a blog post about that and include many affiliate product offers that make us money.
Man, I’m worn out from all that research. But we must forge on to #3.
If you think the above methods for researching keywords were useful, I can’t wait for you to see this one.
Online Forums are an absolute gold mind when it comes to keyword research! You could use only them for your research and not only be perfectly fine, but have content and blog posts that thrive. That’s because forums house literally thousands of questions from real people wanting answers to real problems from other real people. And by the way, all the people, both asking and answering the questions are huge fans of the exact topic you’re writing about.
Are you kidding me! Like I said, an absolute gold mine. For those that don’t know, traffic to our blog is created by us providing value. Providing value means creating content that is useful to people. Us finding questions that people are asking and us creating content that answers those questions is insanely valuable! Enter the forum my friend as a great free keyword research tool.
Go to Google and search garden forums. Let’s go ahead and select that first forum, garden.org. Notice though there are many, many garden forums to choose from.
In the search bar at the top, enter how to keep deer away from flowers. Notice the phrase we entered. Remember, we learned from the Google methods above that people don’t want to know how to PREVENT dear from eating flowers, rather how to KEEP DEER AWAY. We’re using what we’ve learned to increase the chances that will get more results for our forum search. Let’s look at our results.
Check out that post that says Deer Decimate 31 Daylilies Overnight. Yikes, that’s going to be one pissed off gardener. Anyway, let’s click on it to see what happened.
Here is the link to the actual thread, assuming the thread is still active.
Another wow moment! Where do we start – an entire thread about trying to stop deer from eating flowers and plants. We see something along the lines of fishing line, rotating deterrents, Bobbex, fabric software, black plastic netting, on and on. The problems and possible solutions (value-adding opportunities for our blog post) are endless! And this is just one thread of many on one forum!
I’m too excited, I need to breath before we go on to free keyword research method #4.
Method #4 is very similar to using forums. Quora is a question and answer website. For those of us old enough to remember, Yahoo Answers used to dominate this space. Anyway, you can ask a question and people will answer it (this site is great for building external backlinks too, but that’s a different subject).
Lets start by Googling quora. Right in the search results quora appears with a search box. Let’s enter how to keep deer from eating flowers, press ENTER, and view the results directly in Google.
We can see there are plenty of questions on Quora regarding this topic. Let’s simply select the first one by clicking on it. Here we go again, just like the forum. The exact question we’re writing our post about with answers and advice all over the place! Another virtual goldmine. At this point, I think we know how to continue to use Quora and further find great keywords for our content. Let’s move on to the last two methods.
At this point, I think we all get the concept of free keyword research:
With that said, let’s wrap this up and quickly give you methods #5 and #6.
Facebook groups are groups of people that meet on Facebook and discuss like interests. Pretty straight forward. For us, let’s Google Gardening Facebook Group. We see the results below.
We can visit Facebook and join any number of these gardening groups. From there, we’ll get real, up-to-date intel on all topics relating to our blog. Keyword specifics and ideas will be ever flowing.
Similar to Quora, navigate to Google, enter pinterest, and press ENTER. Within the Pinterest results, you can search. Let’s enter are trusty old search phrase how to stop dee from eating flowers.
What is this? It appears Pinterest has their own People also search for feature. Or Google is providing us with other terms that their users search for on Pinterest. Either way, what a fantastic feature to find keywords and relevant search phrases for our topic. Let’s move on and click on the first result.
We land on a pin on Pinterest that goes to an article on a website called countryliving.com. The article’s title reads 22 Plant Ideas That Will Stop Dee From Eating Your Garden. We don’t ever want to plagiarize someone’s work, but jeez. Do you think that article might have some useful ideas? Probably so! We could visit it and read what they have to say as well as any reader comments.
All Good Things Must Come To An End
Well my friends, that’s it. I hope this post was helpful. If anything, it should prove that you certainly don’t need to purchase expensive SEO software packages, tools, and gizmos to research keywords for your content. Don’t get me wrong, most of the tools are great and have their place, but until you’re ready to spend some buck and get them, these methods got your back…