Over the past few years, many SEO professionals believe that the process of search engine optimization has changed drastically.

It is true that Google now doesn’t count outdated SEO methods, such as directory submissions, thin content, link-farming, etc., and instead penalize websites for some of those methods, the basic concept of search engine optimization is still the same.

You provide high-quality information to your audience in the form of content, make sure that search engine crawlers can understand and crawl through your web page, and make your website user-friendly, easily navigable, and a magnet for powerful backlinks. That’s a very bird’s eye view of how search engine optimization works in today’s online marketing world.

But how do you determine which topics to choose for content creation?

The answer is keyword research.

Keyword research still creates the foundation of sustainable search engine optimization. If you do not select the right keywords to optimize for your website, you cannot rank on Google’s 1st page — especially for keywords that have high competition.

Not selecting the right keywords can cause several problems. For example:

  • Your site would not rank on Google’s first page for keywords that actually matter for your website/business.
  • You would be ranking for keywords that either do not bring a good amount of traffic or have no commercial intent that you could translate into revenue.

The Biggest Problem with Traditional Keyword Research Methods

You know the biggest problem with traditional keyword research methods?

They start with the Google Keyword Planner tool.

Don’t take me the wrong way. The Google Keyword Planner tool is a brilliant tool and offers a wealth of information for free. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is a terrible place to start your keyword research.

Why You Shouldn’t Start Keyword Research with Google Keyword Planner

There are a few reasons:

  1. First, you have to understand that the Google Keyword Planner is designed for Google AdWords advertisers. It is not designed specifically for search engine optimizers, or SEO, doing their keyword research.
  2. Second, Google Keyword Planner does a horrible job of suggesting new keywords. Most keyword researchers simply put in their seed keyword (usually the niche of their online business) and hope for good keyword ideas that they can explore. The Google Keyword Planner tool doesn’t give you any good keyword ideas. Here’s an example.


As you can see, it always gives you very closely-related terms. However, for proper keyword research and keyword exploration, you’d want varied ideas that have potential and that you may explore.

  1. Third, because Google Keyword Planner is the first tool most keyword researchers resort do, it is safe to assume that your competitors would be doing the same.

The result?

The Google Keyword Planner tool would be showing the exact same keyword ideas to you that it also shows to your competitors. How do you plan to beat your competitors when they are also getting the same information as you are?

The Unconventional Approach to Unique Keyword Research

What we suggest is not to start your keyword research process with the Google Keyword Planner tool. We’ll come back to it later.

For now, start by creating an audience persona for your business.

What does your ideal customer look like? What are her qualities? What are her likes, interests, hobbies, and preferences? What are her biggest goals, challenges, and problems?

Do you know the answer to all these questions?

If not, make sure that you do. Start by answering the following questions about your ideal customer:

  1. Define an age group of your ideal customer?
  2. Are the majority of your customers males or females?
  3. What is their approximate income?
  4. How willing are they to shop online?
  5. What are some of their biggest problems?
  6. What do they want to learn? Or what are their immediate goals that you can fulfill?

Let’s continue with our previous example and see how this audience persona looks like after we answer these questions:

Niche: screenwriting.
Ideal customer: a person who wants to learn the craft of screenwriting and get better at it.

  1. Age group: 20 - 45
  2. Dominant gender: Male
  3. Approximate income: $40,000 — $70,000
  4. Open to the idea of buying good tools and courses online
  5. They can’t find a reliable source to learn more about screenwriting processes. They also struggle with finding paid work and sell their scripts once they are done.
  6. Their immediate goals include:
    1. Finding a reliable source to learn screenwriting
    2. Finding enough time to pursue this learning process
    3. Get better at the craft of screenwriting
    4. Improve the process of character building, storylines, and plot twists.

You might be wondering how this audience persona creation and analysis would help you with keyword research.

Well, here is how.

Finding Niche Topics

Based on the audience persona analysis you just did, you can now find niche topics that would be much more useful than the keywords Google Keyword Planner initially showed to you.

These are the topics that are not just closely related with your seed keyword. Instead, these are topics that your potential customers / readers would be actually searching for.

For example:

  • The beginner’s guide to screenwriting
  • 10 ways to build memorable characters
  • The ultimate guide to understanding plot twists
  • 20 screenwriting experts revealed their secrets for creating winning scripts
  • 10 productive ideas to finish your scripts 3x faster

So on and so forth …

As you can see, these are keywords and topics that Google Keyword Planner just couldn’t provide. These have to come from you.

But brainstorming isn’t the only way to find these keywords.

Here are a few tools and tricks to help you find these niche topics:

1. Use Google “Searches related to” Feature

What is that? And where can I find it?

Well, it is always on Google’s first page. Just search for any of your primary keywords and then scroll to the bottom of Google’s search result page. There you will find plenty of other ideas (which are usually better than keyword ideas that the Google Keyword Planner presents)
Screen Shot 2017-07-30 at 12.53.36 PM.jpg

2. Use Quora

Quora is a wealth of relevant questions that real people are asking. Consider it a better version of Yahoo Question & Answers, with a major difference that, well … Quora is much better than Yahoo ever was.

The best thing about Quora is that you wouldn’t have to guess whether someone would be interested in a topic or not. If people are asking about it on Quora, it is safe to assume that they are interested in it.

3. Use Forums & Boards

Use keywords, such as “your keyword + forums” and “your keyword + boards” in Google to find relevant forums on the internet.

Use these forums the same way you’d use Quora.

Forums that are dedicated to specific niches/topics usually have dozens and hundreds of threads for each major topic. More often than not, each thread would serve as a different niche topic for you.

You can go one step further and contribute to these forums and boards. Contributing there — and actually hanging out with your potential customers — would give you great insights and hundreds of ideas that you can cover on your website.

Using the Google Keyword Planner

If you follow the methods mentioned above, you’d have hundreds of great niche topics. Don’t forget that these keywords and topic ideas would be unique, since they came directly from your brainstorming processes, instead of a tool like Google Keyword Planner that your competitors also had access to.

Now, you can start using the Google Keyword Planner to find the level of competition, search volume, and commercial intent of these keywords.

As a basic rule put in all the keywords that you have found so far. Then shortlist keywords that have a search volume of more than 1,000 searches per month and a low-to-medium level of competition.


The keyword research process still plays a crucial role. If you get it right, you can lay the right foundation to build your online business. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Check out ruwix.com to learn the solution of the Rubik's Cube and other twisty puzzles like Pyraminx, Square-1 etc.