It’s been seven years and counting since Google’s first biggest update. And SEOs have been battling ever since on how to best please the Google engine.

And you might keep hearing conflicting information on whether keywords are relevant or not. I’ve touched on that subject before and the answer is “mostly yes.”

So, we’re not going to talk about that today. What we are going to talk about is how to research keywords effectively in 2019. Let’s get digging.

1. Search Volume Isn’t All That

With the advent of Answer Box, we no longer can rely solely on search volume. Search volume doesn’t always mean clicks.

For example, if I look up “how many stars are in the sky” I get an Answer Box that gives me the answer. Unless I want to find out more about stars in the universe, I’m probably not going to click on anything else.

If you were an astronomy blog and you relied on the search volume for that string, you’d end up only getting a small percentage of the clicks you expected.

2. Search Intent Almost Always Wins

You need to look at intent above volume. There are four types of search intent. Informational, navigational, commercial investigation, and transactional.

Each of those produce different kinds of content. And the searcher is looking for something specific when they search in those categories.

So, you work backwards to find these. See what type of content is in the top ranking pages for a query and find your keywords based on those. You’ll be able to design a whole campaign based on intent.

3. Keyword Search Tools Are Still Relevant

Some people might just use Ahrefs’ popularity tool to find topics. And ever since Google got rid of their basic keyword tool, it’s been harder to find reliable keyword tools.

But when you find a reliable keyword tool like Wonpy or KWFinder, you’ll be able to quickly search and create a list. It’s better than going the long way around and you’ll end up saving time.

4. You Know Your Niche Best

Before doing any research, do a little bit of thinking. What would your customers or users search for? What are the problems you solve with your product or content or service?

Start a list.

Then go and validate your list with volume, intent, and traffic research tools.

By Ben Mattice

Benjamin Mattice is a freelance writer/editor, horror and sci-fi writer, SEO and affiliate marketing newbie, dog wrestler, cat wrangler, capoeirista, and long distance runner. He lives in the Palouse with his wife, three dogs, two cats, and two rats. Yes, that would probably be considered a mini-zoo.