Having a content strategy is important; and so is adjusting that for the whims of your audience, especially as current events influence search trends. Here are four free tools for keyword research that can help you answer questions about your audience.
“How are people finding me currently?”
If you want to figure out what’s already working, Google Search Console (fka Google Webmasters Tools) is your friend. Its Search Analytics screen will show you how users are finding your content, and how they’re searching for it. So you can see, at a glance, what’s working, and what’s not.
Free tip: check Average Position for high-Impression keywords for easy insight into where you can make up some SERP ground.
“What’s going on in Search today?”
Google Trends tracks, well, trends in Google search. Great for fast-moving industries, capitalizing on current events (“newsjacking”), and leveraging local events when they break through to the general consciousness.
“What will people be searching in the upcoming months?”
Stay ahead of the curve with Google’s Keyword Planner. Get keyword ideas, multiply keyword lists for more specific targeting, and most importantly, view past search volume for a number of search terms. The Keyword Planner can show you seasonality in a very vivid way, so there’s no missing it!
“How are users modifying their searches to be more specific?”
In order to know what people are specifically searching for, you need data. Fortunately Google tracks that, and can provide it via their search autocomplete feature. And Keywordtool.io has done a marvelous job of building a tool that leverages that feature and turns it into a turnkey solution for keyword variation research.