Episode 13 – We Test Multiple Keyword Research Tools

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Popular Keyword Research Tools Compared

We wanted to talk about our favorite keyword research tools and why we chose them.

We originally sat down to record this episode a few weeks ago, but quickly realized that we were making claims based on our own anecdotal evidence, and not on real data. 

So, we scrapped the recording, collected the data, and made this episode. The results of testing hundreds of dollars in keyword research tools will definitely surprise you. 

Tools We Looked At

  • Ahrefs
  • SEMrush
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • Ubersuggest
  • Mangools KWFinder
  • Google Ads Keyword Tool

We did a poll in the Facebook Group

It was somewhat expected to see these poll results, as they more or less are the same as our personal feeling going into the keyword research test.

Which tool won?

Definitely listen to the podcast to get our thoughts on the different tools and how they performed. The best data is available from a few of the cheaper tools, but most of these tools are still very useful in their own ways.

We’ll be creating a separate blog post to go through the data from our test in detail quite soon, so check back in a few days.

podcast-13

Corey:

welcome to episode 13 of the SEO for photographers podcast by fuel your photos. It's Corey and Dylan here today. And we have a really special episode today because we have a topic that has come up multiple times in the past few weeks. And we were going to record a podcast on it and we sat down and we said, okay, let's just do this.

It's easy. We can do this off the top of our head. And we're like, wait. Wait, what are we going to say about this? And actually Paul,

Dylan: more than that?

Corey: Yeah. We're like,

Dylan: wait, we're just doing like anecdotal thoughts on after. Doing keyword research. I don't, we actually get some data.

Corey: So we stopped and we said, you know what?

Let's like do a spreadsheet and take some, do some testing and actually come up with a real data that we can share with people. And the topic is keyword research and specifically keyword research tools and how their volume and competition data stacks up against each other.

Dylan: Yeah. And then we'll kind of also show UI differences or talk about UI differences.

how you can use those tools actually to find topics, build your content, optimize your content, that sort of thing. So going a step beyond just the numbers for volume and competition.

Corey: Awesome. Okay. So why don't we start out with kind of a little bit more, generic or general conversation about keyword research.

Why would you say keyword research is important or is keyword research still important to SEO?

Dylan: Yeah. I think it's one of the most important things that we do, we do it day in and day out, for a few reasons. first content marketing is so key to what we do driving content through like blog, post creation, for photographers is a huge part of how you should be bringing traffic to your site.

and the is finding content that actually drives. Meaningful traffic that will like people that might book you or, or even people that might link to you and, and build your other rankings that have more commercial intent. But, without knowing the topics specifically that are actually working for people kind of flying in the dark, like you're just not, you're not going to have much success unless you get lucky.

That's

Corey: true. you know, I think it's interesting because I think what most people think of when they think of keyword research is. Different than the way that I think about keyword research. Would you say that's true for you?

Dylan: Yeah. I think that the typical person is thinking like, what keywords should I use?

And they're, they're kind of trying to figure out which exact keyword and what wording should I use for like my main pages and my title and each one and all of those things. Right. And not what like topics can I talk about and what are, what topics are related to those and how can I build out a. A huge vault of amazing blog content based on all these topics covering all of them individually and overall.

Yeah.

Corey: Yeah. I think that's the key right there is that I really consider. Keyword research are, I would almost call it topic, research, what I do these days, instead of keyword research, that being said, I feel like at some point, whenever I'm creating any sort of piece of content, whether that be long form written content or a homepage for a website or whatever, if there's going to be any kind of a ranking considered, if I'm, if I know that I want to rank for some topic, I do want to eventually find out what exact phrases are most likely used by searchers.

Dylan: Totally. Yep. And I mean, I did this on my own site last night. I've been throughout this pandemic. It's changed kind of photography marketing a little bit and. I've been wondering if it's more beneficial for me to target Portland, elopement photographer or Portland wedding photographer with my homepage.

And so I was doing quite a bit of research just to really make an informed decision before I, I do that change, so,

Corey: right. Cause I mean, you do want to know how many people are actually searching that you wouldn't want to search or change from Portland wedding photographer to elopement photographer. If you were going from a thousand searches a month to 10 searches a month.

Dylan: Yeah. And that's, I mean, that's kind of a similar situation to what the actual data was. And, what actually pushed me over the board to change into alignment was looking at the clicks versus the impressions.

Corey: Hmm. Interesting. That might be a whole different podcast episode, right

Dylan: there. Exactly.

Corey: Speaking of other podcast episodes and.

Kind of one other thought here. One of the topics we were talking about potentially recording is kind of the 80 20 principle in the way that it applies to the number of pages on your site and the number of total clicks from search. And I think this is another. A point that really drives home. Why topic research is so important because we find that so many photographers are basically just writing whatever comes to their mind and wasting lots and lots of time, because in reality, only a few pages or on their site or driving, the vast majority of their traffic.

And so I think. Really, if you get good at topic research and competitive analysis, which is kind of part of this topic research, you can save tons of time by narrowing down your list and only working on things that have the best chance of actually getting you more traffic

Dylan: from search. For sure. I mean, I hear that all the time with either people that are.

Afraid to jump into SEO because they don't want to just spend the next six to 12 what's writing or people that are burnt out from doing weekly blog posts for the last year or whatever. Yeah. And you're right. I mean, I think my site's an outlier and it has in that it has over 10 pages that drive significant traffic.

Corey: Most

Dylan: of the sets we look at have.

Corey: Two or three. Yep. So true. All right. Let's talk a little bit about kind of the questions that brought about the idea of doing this episode, and then what made us stop and think specifically, Jared, in our course group asked recently about, the very specific topic of.

Yeah, keyword volume and the different tools and whether they were reliable. And it was interesting cause that when he said that I'm like, well, it's anything reliable when it comes to this kind of data. Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah. That was a great question.

Corey: Yeah.

Dylan: And I think what, what made us Rick want to record this as B?

Cause it's, it's, it's a, it's a long answer. All of these tools. So we're going to talk about, I think about six or so tools, They are all, they all have their weak points in their, their

Corey: strengths

Dylan: and it's yeah, it's going to be a fun discussion.

Corey: I think we were, we were sitting down to start recording just based on our personal experience with these different tools.

And we're kind of like, so what are we going to say about these tools and why? Like, are we sure that that's what's. Actually happening here behind the scenes, we're sure that this, this tool is more accurate than that one. And so what we did is we decided to come up with a list of about 30 keywords. It's not like a massive study, but we did very intentionally pick these keywords with a few parameters.

one is that we had. Search console data from a first page ranking over the past 90 days. So on average, over the past 90 days, these keywords, one of our properties in search console had a. first page ranking over 90 days, that would give us an idea of real world volume, because if it's ringing on the first page, that means that every search would, would have lit a lead to an impression for that term.

Now, we understand that that's not a hundred percent accurate because that average could mean that some of the days it was on the second page or the third page, or for some of those searches, it didn't show up until the 10th page, but. As an average, it's still about the best data you can get. I think don't, you completely agree.

and so basically then we would run, each of several different tools. let's actually, what are the tools on our rundown? So we have,

Dylan: yep. so that one's about 90 ish dollars a month to start, we have SEMrush, which is very similarly priced, keywords everywhere, which is incredibly cheap. Yup. Uber suggest, which is cheap ish cheap puts some upsells and main goals, which I think is, is it price under a trip slightly?

Corey: Well, actually it's pretty, it's my half.

Dylan: Well, yeah. That's okay. So it's a,

Corey: if you do the monthly, there is significantly less, but it had to pay a lot upfront.

Dylan: Yep. And then we had Google ads coming in free and useful.

Corey: I'll get way too much. I'm just kidding. Alright. We're basically, we ran, all of those keywords through each of these.

I didn't finish telling you the parameter, so we want to make sure we had at least search console data from a first page ranking over nine days. and then we made sure to pick from different niches, different topics. Short tail and long tail. So somewhere like one word topics, some were a five or six word, long tail, very specific topics.

the volume on these ranged from. you know, anywhere from like, let's see the smallest was about 30 searches per month and the highest was about 40,000 searches per month.

Dylan: 20,000. Oh wait. Yeah.

Corey: 40 seconds per month. Yeah. And we had some branded terms, so, you know, just like lots of different types of things.

We made it very much, across the board kind of study here. And then we just ran the, the volume and difficulty on. Every one of those tools so that we could compare and get a better idea of how they actually perform in the real world.

Dylan: Yeah. And for those who don't want to listen to a podcast about a spreadsheet, we are also going to be making a blog post that accompanies this and can actually show the data exists.

Corey: Yeah. And we probably put some screenshots on the show notes or something.

Dylan: Yup. Yup.

Corey: Cool. All right. So what should we talk about first with this?

Dylan: Yeah, I think the first, I mean the over the first topic I think is just going to talk about the differences in volume, just at a glance, like a high level view of how each tool handled.

Just volume suggestions. Yeah.

Corey: What were your estimates, thoughts, or general feelings about that?

Dylan: Yeah, I was blown away. I came into this open to being surprised, I've been using AHS primarily as my keyword research tool for about the last year and a half or so. And I knew that I hadn't been looking at others in detail.

I'm just so used to it. Yeah. I kind of, yeah, I'm used to making my own corrections too. If it tells me there's a hundred clicks or searches per month for a term, what I think that might actually be great. and so I'm just, I just work well with it, but I was. Surprise enough of these results that I might be changing up my, my strategy

Corey: going forward.

Yeah, it's funny. Cause I'm like on the opposite side of the professional tools I'm using SEMrush primarily and also kind of felt underwhelmed looking at the data. although there's some caveats to that. And we talk about that later on. I

Dylan: guess I should also preface that with my biggest takeaway for the last six months or more has always been.

Just look in search console, get something ranking, and then look in search console. I know that's still kind of is

Corey: true. We could just end this podcast episode say, Hey, if you want to do keyword research, use your intuition, get something ranking and then check search console.

Dylan: Yeah. Yeah,

Corey: it sounds really hard, but it's actually in my experience, maybe I'm like, Underestimating how difficult it is because of my experience.

But yeah. I had several articles recently where it's just like, publish them and then a few days later, at least get that initial spike in impressions and then take that keyword data and see like how even that is enough to usually show you, Hey, this in one day had 30 searches. That means that over a month I had a ton.

So I don't know. I think. That's a great thing to do, but obviously that also takes all of the work of, well, I shouldn't say that you've taken plenty of cases where you just published the outline. Yeah.

Dylan: And if you want more information on how to do that whole process, check out her blogging course, which is in the SEO course.

Corey: Yup. Cool. So let's see what, how let's see. Maybe we should talk about each tool individually, or should we just talk about like what. I guess

Dylan: first let's say, what, what was your biggest takeaway from search volume? differences in wins and that sort of thing.

Corey: Yeah. So, I mean, just like right off the bat, if you look at basically what we did is we compared the volumes side by side and then ran a difference from the actual volume in search console, but then also, looked at like, which one was closest to the actual, and then in the chart, basically highlighted that one and.

The one that won the most was actually mangles and second was keywords everywhere. So that initially, like, it's funny because SEMrush and, and H refs were fourth and fifth or Nope, third and fourth, I guess we were suggested last right where it should be in the trash.

Dylan: Another takeaway from this whole thing, university just was worse.

Like we already had low expectations and it. Just went through the floor on those.

Corey: And it's funny because I bet you, if anyone's been listening to this entire podcast from the beginning, or if they've known us for a while, there was a timeframe like earlier this year where we were recommending Uber's who does pretty hard or suggestions

Dylan: it's because it was free.

So

Corey: I've been around, you probably know that we are not fans of Neil Patel and today my. Experience with running these tests and using it was just confirmed that more than ever. I think that the tool is everything I would have expected Neil Patel to do with a great tool. Neil

Dylan: Patel really cares about user experience.

Corey: You mean making money

Dylan: to shit, the user experience of that tool. Will drive you insane. just constant upsells, broken everything. Just, you can tell that they do not care about development. They do not care about your search process and actually helping you find better topics. They just want to get money out of your pocket.

Corey: Right? I had at least two or three upsells when I was like using that account, just one time today. And it was really frustrating. I will say this, my. My suspicion is that Uber suggest. I wish they would have kept it free for longer. Well, I don't wish this because that would actually give them an edge if they would've kept it free for longer and use the model they were using, they could have had a really interesting advantage in this market because they were basically asking people to give them access to all search console data when signing up with their Google account.

And I would assume probably 80% of people just checked. Yes. and so with that, you know, if they had a hundred thousands of users approving. All access to search console data. They would have some of the best search volume data in the world. Sure. And maybe they do have that many. I don't know what the numbers look like.

I always just check. No, I don't let them get my search console data. But anyway. Yeah. So there was a weird time period where, keywords everywhere had to shut down, because people were abusing it with robots and different things like that. And so they just closed down completely to pretty much everything.

and then. our Uber's that just came out with a free tool that was upgraded significantly. It looked a lot more alike, SEMrush in a dress where you do competitive analysis and deeper keyword research. And, you know, it's just much more like a full. SEO tool. Yep. And it was free and no limits. Just use it.

However you want. You had to like sign up with an account, but other than that, you can just use it. And then eventually those kinds of things reversed. So now keywords everywhere is back and you can use it for bulk checking. You can use it for the sidebar suggestions in search, but you do have to pay, but it's $10 for a 100,000.

Credits and a credit is like one keyword look up our volume lookup or whatever. and then the opposite happened with Uber suggest. Now they're paid. And so they have a few different tiers. I believe that the cheapest one is $30 per month. and it's pretty limited for $30 per month. And still, like I said, they're gonna try to sell you on things.

And anyway, it's just, it's not great. So now we're kind of in a different spot. So we do not suggest Uber suggest, maybe in the future, they'll come back from this, adjust their pricing. And, you know, it's funny because if, if people have been following this podcast from the beginning, or if they're in our course, or if they're in our main groups and they've been following us, they probably know that we were actually suggesting Uber suggest earlier this year.

And they probably also know that we never have really liked Neil Patel and funny that I feel like basically all of those positive things that we were thinking about Uber suggests have. Gone exactly the way we would have expected them with a company run by Neil Patel, which I found out when I was checking out to upgrade my account and test this thoroughly earlier that the, The billing agreement is with, I'm kind of a big deal, LLC.

Dylan: So that's just so

Corey: tell you something about that. Anyway. so it was in this kind of weird timeframe where keywords everywhere was. They basically had to shut down because there was a lot of bot traffic and people were using tools and scrapers and all kinds of weird things. And their volume was just.

They couldn't handle the server costs. And so they had to re redesigned their tool. So they shut down for a few months. and during that time is when Uber suggest kind of came in as a free alternative, and they had pretty decent data. And it was an interesting tool because it was more like a full SEO tool, like a dress or SEMrush.

Then it was like keywords everywhere, which is literally just basically a keyword volume checker. But, and it was like I said, it was free, pretty good data and here's Aurora was gone. So it made sense to suggest it at the time. And then of course, some of the other things happened essentially. now we were suggested as a paid tool and it is at least $30 per month, for pretty limited data, in my opinion.

And when you get up to the price points where you have. Pretty free or like not really strong limits. You might as well just go with a traps for SEMrush and then keywords there where it came back. And now they have, have a, $10 for 100,000 credits and a credit is one keyword check. So really cheap option.

Yeah,

Dylan: that's amazing.

Corey: Yeah.

Dylan: How many of those do you use in a month or do you, do you use the tool enough

Corey: to know that I haven't been using it much lately. I actually turned it off and I couldn't figure out my API key where I had already bought credit. So I just bought some cheap. It doesn't even matter, but I usually turn it off whenever I'm not actively using it.

So that's the thing about it. If you, if you click the little K in the tool bar, it'll have an on, off switch. And if you just turn it off. It's not using your credits. If you turn it on, it runs every time you do a Google search and there's not only Google search. if you go into the settings, I can see Google search, search console, being search.

Google trends, Amazon majestic keyword planner, eBay, MAs YouTube, Google analytics, answer the public Etsy doctor go Yahoo, keyword, shitter. All of these things are places where keywords are work can run and give you volumes side-by-side and those results.

Dylan: Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, I loved their integration where you could run keyword, shitter, or some other like keyword tool to get ideas and it would pull in.

The, volume and

Corey: competition to that and just display it right beside it, on the page,

Dylan: Rick and awesome.

Corey: Yeah. So I just leave it on when I'm using, it would say like in an average session where I'm doing keyword research, I might use a few hundred credits. Awesome. So I have a hundred thousand for a long time to burn for 10 bucks.

Yeah,

Dylan: that's right. It also pulled in that data into search console.

Corey: So exactly like that other instrument, right beside search actual data.

Dylan: Freaking. Awesome. Well, cool. So, so we're, we're high on keywords everywhere now

Corey: to an extent yeah. With second place in its accuracy or as it's wins for keyword volume.

Dylan: So it's going to take the place. Like, I don't think, I think if you're doing free, you just need to, Use your own Google search console. You're good. We're not going to suggest you ever suggest as the free option we're going to in its place, put keywords everywhere as

Corey: a basically free. Right.

Dylan: and then we should talk a little bit about our winner.

 

Corey: Surprise. Winner just came out of nowhere. I mean, I've used mangles suite a little bit before mangles, by the way. Has multiple different tools and it's a specific tool here is KW finder. And that's what we're kind of comparing. It's all these other tools, but I just kind of listed it as main goals because they have an entire suite.

but there is actually, it's funny because I think it's probably the most beginner friendly. That's probably why I had canceled my subscription is just because it's great for easy things. It's very intuitive. It's very helpful. Lots of really accurate data, but it's also kind of like stops there. You know, like if you really want to do more with it, it's a little bit limited.

But if you're looking for keyword research with accurate volume and a usable keyword difficulty score, I think thank you. Those might be your best option. And I don't know exactly what the pricing is. We can look at it here in a second. Yeah. It's it's about half of what the others, like a trust and SEMrush are.

Dylan: Yeah. I'm kind of blown away. Not only did it win, getting the most, accurate,

 

each keyword, we like out of all the, all the tools, it it's differences

Corey: are.

Dylan: And just scanning it the closest and the most usable. So when it's wrong, it's on things that don't matter,

Corey: like

Dylan: a single word, really broad terms where it's like, Oh, it's off by 40,000.

Yeah. Who cares? But when it's a more longer tailed query that the data's right on. It's

Corey: awesome. And I was noticing as well, even when it didn't went. So in our. No out of 30 it one, 10 types of 30% of the time. It was the winner. And the next highest was eight from keywords, everywhere. A tress got seven, then SEMrush got five and you were suggest got two.

But in those cases where mingles did not win, were key KW, funder did not win. It was often like very, very close, like within 10 or, you know, a hundred and some of these of the winner. Yep. Cool.

Dylan: Can it be used that tool?

Corey: Yup. I think I really want to dig in and a little bit more to mangles other tools and see how they stack up.

Like, for example, this morning, before we were recording this, we ran a search by domain in KW finder on Dylan's site and it was like just kind of helpful the keywords. There were basically. All keywords for the top two pages on his site, and then it limited. So I'm on the $49 a month plan. And I can only see 25 keywords for a competitive analysis.

Yeah, that's a pretty strong limit, I think,

Dylan: for sure. Especially when all of the, all of the keywords were. Like plural, singular versions and like just it wasn't putting them in buckets. That would be more useful.

Corey: So, yeah. And I feel like if I'm going to compare it to some rush or a stress, I probably need to move up to the plan.

That's more like their price point. And then maybe it would be pretty comparable, but just know that if you're going to try to use it as your like full SEO suite, then the cheapest plan is still somewhat limited and may not be extremely helpful unless. You know, one thing I didn't try, it does have search by domain, but I didn't try, like, can I search by, okay.

You can use domain sub domain or URL, so that's helpful. You can drop in a specific URL. Cool. but anyway, like I said, there's more experimenting to do with this, but I think in the short term is definitely gonna move up on my recommendation list and I'm probably gonna need to spend some more hours just like using it and figuring things out about, if you want to check it out.

Our affiliate link is fuel your photos.com/kw finder, no dashes or spaces or anything. and that will take you there and you can see that. Cool.

Dylan: So as far as we, we looked at all the data as far as accuracy and, and how close they were to the actual search console. Do you want to talk a bit about just ease of use and like running these

Corey: checks and yeah, cause I feel like there's some differences in like the scenarios where, where you would use these different tools.

and when we didn't even talk about yet in that list is the Google ad. Google ads, key keyword planner. Is that what it's called now? Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah. Let's let's just dive into that real fast.

Corey: You go for you. You did that part of the study.

Dylan: Yes. So we ran all the, all of the status through this, all the tools.

And then we threw it in, the Google ads, keyword planner, which before keywords, everywhere. And before Uber suggest this is the GoTo recommendation for like free search volume. And

Corey: that can for 2016.

Dylan: Exactly. So 2016 came and instead of showing decent, buckets for search volume, because Google ads has always said like it's between zero and a hundred or between 105 hundred or something like that.

now the buckets are. Like zero to 100, a hundred to 1000, 1000 to 10,000, and then it goes up from there. And if you think about the typical wedding photography term, they're all 100 to 1,004, zero or zero to a hundred. Like they're pretty much in those two buckets, so it's not usable. we did it on this list of 30 keywords.

I don't think I could use this to figure anything out.

Corey: Not really. And I would say is maybe a verification of some of these other schools, because it does sound like it put it in the right bucket every single time. That's true.

Dylan: It is always accurate. I could only find one case where it, it was like

Corey: slightly

Dylan: off that's right.

 

so yeah, it is that's true. It would be a good double-check and it is sorry.

Corey: Did you get any good suggestions? Like if you put in a keyword, did it give you other similar keywords or related topics?

Dylan: Yeah, definitely got some decent suggestions that I would have to then run through a

Corey: real tool, but

Dylan: good suggestions.

and I mean, I don't run Google ads, but looking at the list, I was like, Oh, there's, there's a few terms here where I would even consider running an ad because the, the actual data on how many people were clicking those ads and seeing those ads and the cost was pretty mind blowing for a few. So,

Corey: yeah.

Dylan: I mean, yeah, it was interesting.

It's something that I should check more often, but I don't think it's usable for most of the

Corey: purposes we do. Yeah. Yeah. I would say it's only in that initial, digging up keywords, you might open that up and run a few of your kind of seed keywords through it, or just your general thoughts through it and see what it throws back at you.

just to add some more keywords to your list. But other than that, it's basically useless when it comes to volume and competition. Yep. Speaking of which, if you are in have a long list of keywords, let's say you've done this research with tools like keyword planner or, you know, you've just been saving them whenever you're doing your searches or you use something, in some of our, in our course and a few other places I've taught people that use this, like.

merge words or another, keyword combining thing where you're basically brute force checking. Yep. If you have a list like that, I think by far the best tool for just checking volume is keywords everywhere. Oh, yeah.

Dylan: Easy.

Corey: And if you don't know, I do that in the, with the browser extension. You just click on the K and then you click import keywords, and then it gives you this big screen and you just drop them in one per line.

So if you had them in a spreadsheet, you just copy the whole spreadsheet column, drop it into this bulk checker. I don't know how many can check, I think is at least a thousand at a time. Yeah. And then it just gives it back to you with like nice, neat. You can export it back to a spreadsheet or copy and paste it in back into a spreadsheet.

It's really clean and the volume is pretty decent second place in all things we tested

Dylan: mindblowing. Yep. I'll probably be doing that a bit more than, the actual volume numbers in Asia. Yep.

Corey: but what I

Dylan: like about the tools like , and which we haven't really talked about yet is just how easy it is to find.

Actually useful topics that you can start working on.

Corey: Exactly. When it comes to topic research. That's when you start moving into the big leagues, when you stop thinking about keyword research so much, you can start thinking about topics. So how would you use a dress to do your topic research?

Dylan: Yeah, so I think the first, the first thing that I do is I look at, competitors, local competition, national, early competitors that are in the same specialty, but different markets, people that I know.

Have a bit of content, and just look at what contents on the, on their site is actually driving traffic, what those topics are, what kind of content they've done for those. maybe looking at larger wedding blogs, seeing which topics they have their local to me that, I might be able to wedge in with more local authority than they have or better content than they have, but that are driving them significant traffic, and just kind of stealing ideas like

Corey: that.

Yeah, man. Another random tip, you know, you mentioned wedding blogs, but something that works for weddings and also for non weddings is often cities will have like official tourism sites and some other things like mom blogs and things to do type sites. Those sites can be goldmines for topics as well.

Dylan: Yeah, big time. I was even just thinking like local news site and just filter it for. Photography or wedding or family or something like that might have some great stuff.

Corey: Exactly. All right. So basically you're going to start off by potentially doing some competitive analysis. You're going to take those competitors that you found and what do you do with them?

Dylan: Yeah, so I look at the top pages. I start looking at what the overall topics are for those start building a list. All of these tools have different. Like if I, if I take one topic, say it's Portland wedding venues, I can put that in the tool and get keyword ideas. SEMrush is really great at showing like featured snippets and like all of the, related topics, and filtering those keywords into buckets for each related topic.

It'll give you ideas like industrial venues and outdoor venues and indoor venues and, separate those into their own lists potentially. So

Corey: I feel like all of that stuff that you're saying right now, kind of internally while I'm brainstorming. Sure. But I wouldn't necessarily do those two things together for.

The purpose of like actually writing something. Sometimes, sometimes I know you, you have more of like the, the impulsive, Hey, I found the topic now I'm also gonna write it. Whereas I'm usually more like, okay, I need to put a content calendar together. And then I was just going to come up with 50 topics and then, then eventually I might get around to writing them.

And when I do, I just go back to that list. Oh one and write it instead of like, Doing it impulsively, either one can work in like your style of doing that kind of thing could also heavily influence which of these tools you like the most, for sure. but they two kind of the same.

Dylan: Yeah. If I was building a content strategy, I would be looking for those, those larger volume, a little bit more competitive terms that are going to be the longterm goals.

And then just trying to snipe the easy wins around the fringes, where I can build supporting content that. Might only have 100 searches per month, but it has no competition. Right. And just building up a lot of those easy, early wins.

Corey: You know, what I love to see is a topic that basically contains a lot of subtopics.

So when you see a page on a competitive analysis report, when you're running pages and you see a page that has like a. 10,000 keywords that are ranked for something like that. No, it's a gold mine because you're gonna be able to rank for multiple topics. And there's so many related topics and tangents and things that you can cover on that post.

And so that's like if we're talking specifically keyword research, then that's one of the things that I'm gonna look forward to kind of analysis is, you know, how many keywords is this page actually ranking for?

Dylan: Yeah. So yeah. The strength of these more extensive tools in my opinion, is that you can, you can quickly see which topics might be worthy of building an entire new site for, or a new section of your blog or a series of blog posts, or just like one huge guide that also ranks for thousands of keywords.

the

Corey: killers everywhere. Yeah. You know, we, we talked there about. A competitive analysis, but the cool thing about these tools is that there's so much more than that. They have the standard keyword checkers. One thing I noticed with SEMrush when I was using for this test is that if I did a bulk keyword, Search, and just got back a table of data from SEMrush.

I thought the data was significantly worse than I was used to. And I was like, why is this happening? Winning? And I realized I never do keyword research that way. Totally, always doing topic research. And when I went back and took those same keywords and put them into a different part of SEMrush into the keyword magic tool instead of the bulk checker.

It was so much better because it was understanding my topic and giving me related topics and questions related to that topic and, and keywords that are related to that keyword. And it's like so many different things. So actionable every time you click a keyword, it digs in even further. And it shows you the whole set of search results for that.

And it can show you, featured snippets or yep. Whatever other SERP features show up for that keyword. So there's just so much information you can actually pull from these things if you want it for, I guess, not going to be there. And those other tools.

Dylan: Exactly. I get lost in that tool because I I'll see like a keyword snippet or a featured snippet opportunity.

And I'm like, Oh shit, I should have shit. I'm going to optimize my pitch for that real quick and get this heading just right. And steal that snippet and like, it's, it's amazing. So yeah, you're definitely missing that and keywords everywhere. doesn't exist. But that, yeah, I think that's their strength.

Cool. Should we, should we talk about a competition and

Corey: difficulty,

Dylan: difficulty scores? So all of these tools pretty much offer some sort of score the trust to quantify how hard it's going to be. To get your new content on to the first page for that keyword. Yup. They, they all have different ways of doing it and they're all wrong.

Yeah. It's just understanding how they're wrong, why they're wrong and kind of getting a feel for if you can even make use of that data in some way.

Corey: Yeah. I mean, I can basically give you my thoughts on this pretty quickly. Let's hear so a dress and some rush are both pretty much useless. is going to always say that it's too easy and similar.

She's basically always going to say that it's medium. Yep. And then, keywords everywhere is just based on ads and who's running ads. That's basically useless unless you're specifically looking at keyword research for running ads. Yeah. Uber suggest I can't. Make any sense of it either. It's basically like SEMrush where it's all medium, it's kind of all down the middle of 20, 22, 2023, 2120.

It's just like, everything is basically at the same number. mangles on the other hand actually seemed like a pretty decent score. Right.

Dylan: So I actually, so I mean, just to like briefly talk about how they calculate all of these SEMrush is looking at the overall domain authority. keywords everywhere, like you said, is looking at, is it number of people buying ads for that term?

Corey: I don't know exactly how they get that little ratio

Dylan: thing like that. So it's heavily weighed toward commercial terms. mangoes, we'll talk about last Uber suggested, I don't know.

Corey: That's probably random

Dylan: numbers. Yeah, exactly. Random number generator. Yeah. 80 trips is looking at how many backlinks point just to the page that's ranking.

So anytime a website is using their overall domain authority to really muscle into that, SERP. it's not going to look like there's any strength there, but it's, you're trying to rank against the New York times.

Corey: They just lost the last week and it doesn't have any links to it yet.

Dylan: Exactly. So that's where a trust kind of fails, main goals we read a little bit, I think you, you read about it today.

Corey: Yeah. And I can even put that article in the show notes on how they calculate it. Yeah.

Dylan: Yeah, this is just interesting because it, instead of just looking at page level metrics or just looking at domain level, they mix the two. Who, who would it be? Yes, that'd be better algorithm. And then they also had a few tools that I really like, which are from a company called majestic, which is citation and trust score

Corey: or right.

So, you know, it's funny because one day one of these other, people's gonna be listening to our podcast. Someone's going to send it to Neil Patel or someone at SEMrush or someone they trust. And they'll be like, that's not how we do it at all. We're not claiming that we know exactly how all of these tools could impute their algorithms.

We didn't have a general understanding. And observations in the field on these things. That's kind of what we're basing it on the mangoes. They all actually do have articles out there that tell how they calculate it. But even that is somewhat cryptic and for sure to understand, and

Dylan: they're all going to claim that they have like

Corey: the

Dylan: best way, and they're not going to list why it could be faulty.

Corey: Yeah. But they always put like one factor at the end. It's like, and other things,

Dylan: exactly our feeling today. How many times do you have open in your browser? Yeah. Cool.

Corey: And the number generator. Yeah.

Dylan: And I mean, it's just, it's wild looking at this number. We'll, we'll throw it in the show notes, of course. Or at this data, these just don't make sense.

Like some rushes don't make sense. And, well, I should say that

Corey: when

Dylan: I look at this, I can see why they're giving the number they are. And I just. No also why it doesn't matter towards that actual query.

Corey: Sure. Or why that's ranking.

Dylan: So it's, it's not actionable for actually figuring out how hard is this going to be for me to rank.

And I think it scares a lot of people away from topics that they could actually rank for. And also it gives photographers a false sense that, Hey, I can rank for the term elopement because nobody has links to the pages that are ranking for that, even though it's. Like multinational corporation sites or whatever, like,

Corey: so yeah.

Yeah. There's some interesting ones that I'm looking at even right now. I'm like, eh, the right, or maybe it's completely wrong. I think like my advice here is typically just. You have to use your intuition on this and actually analyze the SERP, go do the search and see how difficult you think it's going to be.

And there's a lot of things to consider in our course, we have a whole lesson on this, so yeah, if you want to know exactly what, the kinds of things that we think about the check that out, but, for the most part, it comes down to, I like to think, can I make something that's 10 times better than this?

Sure. Not 10 times longer. Not

Dylan: totally

Corey: like it doesn't have to be. It could just be that that 10 times means it's 10 times easier to understand, or for the paycheck or to skim or whatever. There's a lot of factors that go into it, but really you want to understand are the top 10 results nailing the primary searcher intent behind this query?

And I think

Dylan: my biggest tip from the last few weeks of helping a lot, we've definitely helped a lot of photographers in the last few weeks through content strategies. Yeah. I think that the, my number one tip is looking for topics that have really low quality results. Yeah. And when I say that, I mean like a Pinterest pin ranking for.

How to guide right. That that should not happen. So that means if you can just take the time to write the, how to guide and publish it, it is going to be infinitely better for users than this Pinterest pin that they have to be logged into Pinterest. And then it's just a photo with text on it, make that guide.

Corey: Yeah. And I think you'll also find that a lot of different. websites that are publishing information are doing it with the primary intent of selling their own services or getting people to go to other pages on their domain. And the content marketing for them is just a front that's kind of the case, even with like our students and ourselves to some extent, but yeah.

Well, that's not that shouldn't be your goal when you're doing this kind of research and thinking about creating content, you don't want to just think, how do I get them there so they can buy my services. You want to think exactly how do I completely help them and answer their question based on their query.

Dylan: And then they'll know about your brand. And hopefully. Want to be your client someday.

Corey: Yeah. But when you, I mean, I saw, for example, just real quick, we were doing research on an article recently and there was a result from a high authority website that seemed to be on topic. And when you went into it, it was making gear recommendations.

But when you actually looked at the gear recommendations, you realize they're all Amazon widgets. And they were very generic recommendations that were not actually helpful at all. It's like, it was, it was talking about live streaming, a wedding. But one of the things they recommended was like a blue Yeti microphone.

And I'm like use the blue Yeti microphone, because have to be your thing on that microphone, that would be good for live streaming a wedding for any part of the wedding. I mean, maybe I haven't used any blue Yeti right now. I'm two inches away from the microphone. And that's sounds like you could put it five or 10 inches away.

And like, if your room is perfect, maybe you can get, but like if you put it 20 or 30 inches from people, no matter what mode it's on, it's going to sound like you're either in a tin can or the bottom of the ocean, that's a terrible suggestion. And they clearly were just doing it for affiliate traffic completely.

So when you find those things and, you know, you can offer like genuine, helpful information, you'll gain the trust of your visitors and jewel over time. Hopefully the signals that are kind of, part of that will help you to rank higher. I know this is not about keyword research, but it's kind of keyword research.

That's top research.

Dylan: Yep. All right. Last topic, I think before we wrap up, mobile first desktop.

Corey: Oh yes.

Dylan: If he's totally

Corey: like.

Dylan: One mistake that I make weekly, daily. I don't know, only looking at desktop for that, this kind of data. Yup. I think I need to train myself in this place. Mobile first world, two actually, and search console, primarily look at mobile or at least separate the two and make sure that I know the, the mix for that site and for each page on the site, average type of page in each type of query.

and then throughout all of my keyword research, also, if the tools allow it and have the ability, try to see if there's a difference between mobile and desktop, that could be useful.

Corey: Yeah. That's something we need to actually pull out for when we do the blog post on this to see like, which tools actually allow that I was surprised at how many do not let you.

Yep. Actually distinguish that. In fact, almost none of them did, even the one Uber suggest tried. Yeah. But you couldn't actually talk like you had try set it on mobile and it just showed me his top results. Anyway,

Dylan: thanks, Neil. Yeah. yeah, I mean, that's huge. I mean, it could, cause I've seen this with content where you're getting the most of them impressions on mobile.

That's a totally different looking page. That you should be designing or thinking about in different user experience than if it's primarily desktop.

Corey: Yeah. It needs to be

Dylan: scrollable on the phone. It needs to be formatted properly for the phone. It needs to, the people are going to be on the road and on the move.

And you just have to think about how that content needs to answer the question differently. Yup. a huge topic

Corey: for sure. That's actually probably worth another episode. Yeah. There, we've got like three episode ideas out of this area. That's great.

Dylan: Keep this podcast alive.

Corey: Yeah. Cool. I'm sure there's plenty more we could talk about when it comes to keyword research and the tools that you can use.

I will actually, before we wrap it up, I did think it was our thing. What are your thoughts on after you've done this keyword research? You know, we've obviously talked about search console being the way that we want to track, but do you think any of these other tools? I think almost all of these tools, not.

Keywords everywhere, but pretty much everything else allows you to also do some keyword tracking. Okay. Do you think it's worth using those tools for tracking your progress and your rankings?

Dylan: Gosh, that's a good question. like everything we've talked about today, there's so much nuance. Like

Corey: yeah.

Dylan: I think that it's okay to throw some keywords in a keyword tracking tool.

Like any of these offer. Don't put too much weight on it. Like, I think we get a lot of posts in the group where people are like, Hey, I'm noticing my ranking for this term. It goes up and down 30 positions every day. And I just want to be like, well, it's actually going up and down 30 positions every time a person makes it query.

That could be every minute. and it's just so like, if any of these tools are just tracking once a day or once a week, it's a shot in the dark. It's only useful. If it's going to allow you to have some sort of takeaway and make some sort of action based on that. I do track some keywords on a daily basis, but I don't look at those ranking changes and then go make content changes on my site.

I look at those ranking changes and then go do some incognito searches and then go do some Google search console. look at that data. And then maybe think about making changes. So yeah,

Corey: exactly. It's a good way to understand if something really bad is happening for sure. You kind of

Dylan: put your look or like to, to, to look at your

Corey: site.

Dylan: Yeah. but that's all.

Corey: Yeah, that makes sense. Cool. Cool. All right. Well, if you have more questions about keyword research, or maybe we didn't cover a tool that you want us to talk about, or you want to know more about why we like. SEMrush or a, or mangles feel free to leave a comment on the actual podcast episode page, you can go to dot com slash podcast, and we're on episode 13 today, you can also join our Facebook groups.

We have the fewer photos, Facebook group, and the SEO for photographers Facebook group. check out our course, if you want to know more about this and how we do topic research, we have our blogging course, which is part of our main SEO course. And it covers exactly how we do topic, research, how we narrow down the best topics.

And then furthermore, how we are doing the actual keyword research for the specific topic and things like related entities and expected phrases and things like that. So we have a lot more information about this topic in our course. If you want to check that out, just go to a few of your photos and you can check the course link there in the top main navigation.

Dylan: Awesome. And huge shout up to the 11 people that have given us a five star review on Apple

Corey: 11,

Dylan: 11. Yeah. Yeah. Big ups to them. super. Yeah. Yeah. If you want this special shout out next, next episode, just please review us. We will deeply appreciate it. Thank you so much. Yeah.

Corey: Take care everybody. See you later.

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